Some of the great Heads of Household have commonalities to their HoH reign – listening to their allies, making strategic moves, anticipating how their actions would have consequences later on in the game. The poorest of HoH performances tend to have the same thing in common – hubris and overinflated ego. This season has seen fair-to-good HoH reigns, but the most recent reign of Bayleigh managed to set a low mark for performance in the HoH room – a remarkable feat, given the reign of Kaitlyn before her.
When contrasted to the play of her unknown enemy Tyler, it puts a stark contrast in game play and skill – and sets the tone for the major divide defining this season’s house.
To say that Bayleigh’s reign as HoH was a filure is an understatement – it was a disaster. However, unlike previous Heads of Household who were mislead by allies or blinded by overambition, Bayleigh managed to handicap herself. From making the tactical error of not going after Tyler at a time of weakness, to trusting too much that Brett was a “house-wide” target when the truth was far from it, to relying too much on Rachel as a confidante – Bayleigh did it all. Any one of these mistakes would have led to a bad week, but Bayleigh did all three without even seeing that she was going down a wrong path.
Why did this happen? Overconfidence and ego, for starters. Bayleigh made a mistake common to bad HoH reigns – she assumed she had more power than was actually available to her. Bayleigh held court, dictating from her position without realizing that she still needed to play the normal game.
This was not, however, her worst mistake. By trusting Rachel – a key member of the other side of the house – with valuable information about a power she held, Rayleigh weakened the effectiveness of her power and ability to nominate someone from under a future HoH’s nose. Were this to happen in the future, it runs a heavy risk – Bayleigh would leave herself vulnerable to renomination at that point, were the Veto to be played. Given that her power would be most effective from a position of anonymity and against an enemy, she would do well not to play it at this point.
The final indignity was the loss of Rachel, and the larger implication fo Brett remaining in the House. More than an actual strategic advantage, having Brett in the house serves as a psychological advantage. Twice, Bayleigh and her alliance took shots at Brett; twice, they failed to get him out. To paraphrase a popular science fiction franchise, they’ve managed to evict just about everyone else, but like a poor marksman, they keep missing the target.
Where does her game go from here? It’s tough to say. Unless she manages to perform a strong mea culpa and make better alliances, she’s likely doomed to eviction and soon. Being in a continued position of weakness in numbers will eventually overpower her, if she stays with her current alliance.
Based on her actions so far, it’s most likely a matter of when at this point.
Week Five Recap:
Week Five HoH: Bayleigh
It really cannot be stressed enough how bad of a week this turned out for Bayleigh. She never saw the blindside coming, she weakened her power’s effectiveness and her social game was a disaster.
Week Five Nominees: Rachel, Brett
Week Five Veto Winner: Tyler, Veto Not Used
Another win for the mastermind, but one in which he wisely chose not to participate. Tyler’s non-use of the Veto was a smart personal game move, and one that benefitted his alliance.
Week Five Evictee: Rachel
Rachel was blindsided in a 5-4 vote that she never saw coming. The shock and anger, subsequently, made for outstanding television.
Star of the Week, Week Five: Rachel
Rachel’s paranoia managed to drive her out of the House, but it made for great viewing.
Goat of the Week, Week Five: Bayleigh
Game Move of the Week: Bayleigh chooses not to nominate Tyler, instead going after his alliance partner Rachel.
This is the first time a bad game move makes the Game Move of the Week, but it may be the biggest mistake of the season – one with lasting effects.