Boom Boom, Pao

At the beginning of the season, two things were made pretty clear. The first was that there was a major alliance, one that was already influencing the direction of the game and was intent on eliminating the so-called “weaker” players in the House. Led by Devin and Caleb, this Alliance – known as the Bomb Squad – was planning a systematic elimination of those outside of it by nominating weaker players and pitting them against much stronger players in the Battle of the Block competition. The second was that the alliance even had an “inside player” in the form of Paola, who was willing to throw competitions in the name of safety. This strategy worked… for about 1 1/2 HoH cycles.

By the end of Devin’s HoH reign the script had changed, the Bomb Squad had essentially exploded and Paola was out of the House – and in tracing back the root cause, the reasons were timeless in the annals of failed BB alliances.

By far, the first and foremost reason the strategy failed was ego. “Strong player’ alliances often fail because the players in them are strong in some aspect, which leads to overinflated sense of importance in the game. Too often this week, Devin and Caleb spoke of running this season as if they were entitled to the win. Devin, in particular, had a classic case of “HoH-itis” that led to him attempting to run the week with an iron fist. Devin forgot the main rule of being HoH – you have some power, but not ALL the power. His attitude and approach towards other players led to a revolt among the lesser-regarded players in the Bomb Squad against Devin’s plan to vote out his original target, Brittany. Devin’s Ego, in fact, had made it hard to believe that people WOULDN’T vote the way he was dictating, an attitude that led to his eventual outing of the Bomb Squad to the remainder of the House.

The second reason for this failure was a lack of clear purpose beyond “winning it all.” By midweek, Devin had changed his mind on who was being voted out twice. His original target, Brittany, had managed to sweet-talk him into keeping her – a strategy that got her removed from danger at the Veto ceremony. His second target, Zach, had managed to gain allies by promising to remove Devin from the game if he were kept in the House. There was no real strategy that was employed, and no real case made towards why someone should be eliminated or even targeted beyond “personal reasons.”

The third reason for this alliance failure was simple – mental game. Derrick has proven to be a smart player, and his mental game superseded Caleb and Devin by midweek. He had taken the role of “Team America” to heart and created his new alliance with Donny and Frankie, and this new loyalty led his game from the time he knew what he was in. Derrick played a chess game that took out the power of his main target – Devin – while retaining allies even through the initial gut shot of the Bomb Squad reveal.

While Derrick’s mental game was revealed to be strong, it was also shown just how weak Devin’s mental and strategic game turned out to be. By exposing allies (his revelation that Paola had thrown the Battle of the Block comp), turning against his alliance, over-relying on the “we’ll win it all” belief and alienating his core teammates, Devin set himself up for either quick failure or a long slog to eventual eviction (Witness BB5’s Jase, Brendon, Rachel, etc.).

It is too soon to know how the week will play out at this point. Nicole and Derrick are the new HoHs, and Devin appears to be their main target with Caleb second. It should be interesting to see how the overall week plays out, given the competitors involved.

 

Week 2 Results:

 

Week 2 Head of Household: Devin, eliminated Amber as 2nd HoH

It would be difficult at best to refer to Devin’s HoH as a success – even Devin himself acknowledged this during the live eviction show. His two targets remain in the House, and he is a major target for eviction himself. Devin burn nearly every bridge this week that had managed to survive the first week – witness his turn against Caleb midweek that eventually was smoothed over. Devin’s stay will be over by this time next week, if the remainder of the House has their say.

 

Week 2 Veto Winner: Devin

This was another example of Devin not playing smart. Had he played things smoother and in a more cooperative way with his alliance, Brittany would have been speaking to Julie tonight. Instead, his “my way or the highway” approach combined with a smooth performance by Brittany herself (and a little help from Zach talking too much) led to the eventual week’s result.

 

Week 2 Evictee: Paola

It says much that Paola was very little to say in her eventual ouster from the game. Paola was never taken very seriously by the other Houseguests, other than to be used as a pawn to get someone else out. Pawns have always been a poor position in the House, as Pawns often go home. Paola had on strategic value to most of the Houseguests, and she even acknowledged how much she “sucked” as a player. Paola talked big at times, but never backed it up.

 

Week 2 Player of the Week: Derrick

Derrick’s mental and social game has been, for lack of a better term, brilliant. From the moment he learned he was on Team America, he came out as a force to be reckoned with in the game. He managed to control Frankie (whose social game collapsed under stress this week), maintain silence regarding his new allegiance and maneuver a vote to save a key ally in Zach. Provided he keeps an even keel, he can go very far in the game.

 

Week 2 Goat of the Week: Devin

See above. Devin destroyed his game in two weeks with poor attitude and approachability. A close second was Frankie, with his inability to keep his cool under pressure.

 

Game Move of the Week: Derrick questions evicting Brittany, setting up the week’s events that evict Paola.

Derrick moved chess pieces in the game smoothly, and it started with questioning why they were voting Brittany out. This led to the revolt against the leaders of the Bomb Squad, the exposure of Paola as a game thrower, the nomination of Zach and the eventual ouster of Paola. This also solidified the group against Devin, which may have ramifications for weeks to come.