The Dynamics Of New Player Gameplay

Returning Houseguest weeks are tricky, as they can go smoothly or poorly for those in power. As the returning Houseguest is never a guarantee, they are often seen as a vengeful wild card – as a result, they are often targeted quickly for eviction. Indeed, past seasons have often seen the returning houseguest leave within one to two weeks.

It will say a lot, then, if John’s immediate return this week after his eviction will play out this way as well, given the dynamics of the House at this time.

Consider, if you will – at this time, there are two major alliance powers in the House. One side has a locked alliance of twins and a showmance, and the other has remained loyal to each other through the entire game. One alliance has power players who – at some point – will have to be targeted if anyone else intends to win the game.

And then, there is Vanessa.

Up to now, Vanessa has been seen as the “lesser of two evils” – the person to go after the following week, rather than “this week.” She has slid through the past several evictions, always seen as the bigger fish but with no one willing to actually target her. It has been said time and time again that she has the potential to win HoH and ruin any plans for others to get her out.

Sure enough, tonight was the night that she delivered on this potential. Vanessa’s HoH reign has the potential to put a major dent (or even a death knell) in one of the two alliances. At this point in the game, it is questionable as to the strategy that placed the game in the situation it finds itself. Players like Vanessa (and to a lesser extent, Liz) are typically gone from the game by this point, sacrificed as “big moves” meant to break alliances. That one side has its entire core still intact is unusual; that the other alliance is not actively targeting the main players is inexcusable.

That is the paradox of Big Brother 17 – players who are horrible at the game are producing the best feeds in years, and one of the most entertaining seasons in memory. We are being entertained by people who have no idea why they are entertaining, or how to play theme “properly.” In a sense, this is a good thing – you are not seeing truly savvy game players a la Derrick. Instead, you are seeing a game being played by a cast who is learning as they go.

Indeed, you shall find no complaints here.

Week Eight Results

Week Eight Head of Household: Liz

As lynchpin for the Austrians group along with Vanessa, Li has emerged as a power player and target. Her win here allowed her power foursome to remain in control following the loss of Shelli during the Double Eviction week.

Week Eight Veto Winner: Liz, Nominations remained Becky and Jon

Liz’s win in the OTEV “Butter Rock Star” competition was the next step in a week of dominance that assured her enemy would be removed, and that her opposing alliance would be heavily weakened.

Week Eight Evictee: Becky

Becky’s departure was assured the moment she stepped off the HoH spot. Her alliance’s inability to win an HoH of late, combined with her no-prisoners approach to the HoH, made her an easy target for eviction once

Week Eight Player of the Week: Liz

Liz dominated the week, winning HoH and Veto and taking out an opponent in Becky. Her HoH reign this week, while polarizing in the fanbase, cannot be argued as a failure for her game. In truth, she did more to ensure her partnership and alliance with Julia and Austin  would last far longer than expected. Indeed, it is entirely possible that Liz has paved a way to the finals for her alliance.

Week Eight Goat of the Week: Becky

Few people in this game have had a week as bad as Becky. From losing HoH to her enemy, to nomination, to an illness caused by a toe infection, Becky’s week went from bad to worse quickly. Her eventual eviction was a fait accompli.

Game Move of the Week: James makes a deal during HoH competition to save himself and Meg.

This one move set in motion much of the drama for the remainder of the week. James and Meg were unavailable for nomination per the deal with Austin, and as a result Austin was forced to turn on his newest alliance with John. The drama that followed ended up driving the week and John’s eventual eviction…
For all of 20 minutes.

Week Nine: Negated by John’s Return.

Much of the week had been focused around a see-saw battle between who was the better person to vote out – John, or Steve. Ultimately, John was voted out following Austin’s HoH win. This, however, was negated within a 40 minute span that saw an entire endurance competition play out in 10 minutes, John’s immediate return to the game and the change of HoH to Vanessa.  In that light, the week has little to review.

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