In a game where deception and double-dealing are remarkably effective strategies for victory, it is just as remarkable that people can feel assured of anything as a Big Brother Houseguest. Any information gleaned, any promises made or any long-term plans must be taken with a heaping mound of salt, as the very motto of the game itself is to “expect the unexpected.” James was the very model of this axiom in his previous season, as he reneged on a promise and deal made during an endurance competition and ensured an enemy was taken out.
It is fitting, then, that this truth of the game – that few things can indeed be taken as truth – may in fact cause irreparable damage to James and Natalie’s long-term games, especially when this has already been used against them in recent weeks.
Consider this – before listening to information given by Nicole (a fact that should have given pause as to the veracity of the information merely because of the source), Natalie and James were in a solid alliance with Paul and Victor. Their inability to rationalize where the information was coming from and why it was being given to them now led to poor decision making, and this was exacerbated when the former alliance member (Victor) returned to the game within less than an hour of their betrayal being complete.
James has made this worse by relying on a perceived alliance that no longer exists. Battle lines have been drawn in the house, and James has been unable to really see this for the truth of the situation. Believing he has a strong alliance with Nicole – a woman who is intent on wearing the other side of the house following a verbal slip-up by James himself – James has made poor decisions. He ended an alliance with two competitive strengths in Paul and Victor. He has isolated himself and Natalie from other players. Most critically, he has refused to see the truth – that his own deceptive play has led to a coalition intent on removing him and his ally from the house.
This is the final irony of James, in fact – he expects loyalty when he rarely shows it himself. James has been enlightened, however, by the truth of the week as Michelle walked out of the house. The blindside of Nicole’s turn against James is a refresher in the most basic truth of Big Brother – you cannot assume anything when it comes to who is on your side.
Weeks 11 and 12 Results:
Week 11 – nullified by Victor’s return.
Week 11 was completely nullified by the endurance competition that saw Victor’s return. That this happened during a week in Natalie and Michelle were Co-Heads of Household is interesting enough, but when you consider that Natalie’s game was heavily damaged by machinations by Nicole (that were incredibly successful) it becomes apparent that Week 11 did have one long-term effect – it either destroyed or weakened the games of the two Heads of Household.
Week 12 Head of Household: Nicole
Nicole played the endurance competition smartly, using a tactic of guilt/sympathy to convince James to drop from the Endurance competition. Following this, continued smart gameplay put her in a great position for the final weeks of the game.
Week 12 Veto Winner: Nicole, Did Not Use Veto
Nicole won the counting competition through strong play, and her choice to keep nominations the same ensured her longtime enemy would leave.
Week 12 Evictee: Michelle
You cannot say she went out with a whimper – rather, Michelle went out with pure bluster in a rare fight on the way out, yelling about Nicole as she walked through the front doors. Michelle played this game fitfully at best, varying between long bouts of laying about interspersed with “blowing up people’s games.”
Week 12 Player of the Week: Victor
Victor has clearly won this honor this week, with a return to the game (defeating all of the other Jury members) combined with a strong new alliance and $5000 as a gift from Corey. All in all, a great week for him.
Week 12 Goat of the Week: Michelle
Michelle was never quite aware of her true standing until she walked out the door. A long con had been played on her this week, with the added benefit of James and Natalie being clueless as to the true nature of their former alliance with Nicole. Michelle was always the target of a threatened Nicole, and despite knowing this she admitted to feeling safe. Because of this, she was a clear candidate of this ignominious distinction.
Week 12 Game Move of the Week: Paul and Victor align with Corey and Nicole for a Final 4 alliance.
In truth, this move was as much about a mistake by James as a strong game move by Victor and Paul. James’ verbal slip that Natalie was considering keeping Victor in the house prior to last week’s eviction was overhead by Nicole, and Paul’s maneuvering of this into a solid alliance with Nicole and Corey led to multiple benefits: it led to Michelle’s ouster, it was financially beneficial to Victor (who received Corey’s Care Package bribe of $5000, it led to the creation of a final alliance and it confirmed to Nicole that her former alliance partner was not in league with her.