The Power of Cluelessness – A Story In Three Parts

For as long as the show has aired, Big Brother fans have thrived on the trope of “the clueless Houseguest.” Some of our favorite moments of the show have been the Houseguest caught unawares, not realizing what was going on until the moment was too late. In the last three weeks of Big Brother 19, the season has had example after example of clueless play and strategy based upon a lack of information.

It’s fun enough when it results in an eviction; it’s even better when it defines an HoH week.

Rather than the usual format of this article, this will examine poor game play based on clueless behavior in three parts. We will examine where the biggest mistakes were made, what could have been done to change the path (referred to as “The Missed Pivot”) and the results of this mistake.

Part One: Dominique

The Mistake: Hubris

If there was anyone whose game play was defined by clueless hubris, it was Dominique. From the overly egotistical attitude that God was on her side and her alone, to the desire to have this show be a stepping stone towards a career in entertainment, Dominique made the mistake of believing that her actions wouldn’t draw scorn or at the least, curiosity. The belief that her words would not come back to bite her was another example of hubris – clearly, she wouldn’t be seen as a threat since she had only voiced her beliefs about Paul to one other person. Her self-importance had deluded her to the truth – that her actions and attitude pointed everyone to her self-serving behavior.

The Missed Pivot: “It’s Not About Me.”

Dominique’s ego prevented her from forgetting a key tenet of her core beliefs – service of others. Rather than working to improve the whole, she instead took actions that were self-serving. Everything, from her attitude to her talk show, served only to promote and enhance her and her game.

The Result: Eviction

Dominique’s eviction, the sole unanimous one of the season, was assured by her behavior and attitude.

Part Two: Ramses

The Mistake: Failure to learn By Example

In many ways, it is apropos that Ramses and Jillian were as close as they were. Both were “superfans” that forgot the main rule of being a Houseguest – Never assume you are safe. Both Jillian and Ramses went into their eviction nights with a distinct lack of campaigning, and an outsider’s view of the week would have clued them in that they were not nearly as secure as they were believing.

The Missed Pivot: “I Play My Own Game.”

Simply put, Ramses should have learned to campaign. By assuming he was safe, Ramses made it easy to have Paul run a campaign against him that led to his ouster. This assumption was frustrating to feed watchers, who instead saw a lump that didn’t take his own game into his own hands.

The Result: Eviction

Ramses assumed that he could avoid eviction simply by being the lesser target against Josh. He assumed poorly.

Part Three: Paul

The Mistake: Assumption

Paul’s experience in the game has led to one or two mistakes in an otherwise strong game, but his biggest mistake was in assuming that there would be no real ramifications of Jessica’s Temptation win to his own game. Paul’s HoH is in jeopardy of being reset entirely by the Hex temptation, and it would take a strong game move to have either of his targets removed.

The Missed Pivot: “I Do Have Questions, Actually.”

Simple intellectual curiosity may have salvaged Paul’s HoH week. Jessica offered the chance to Paul to ask her any questions about her Temptation power, and he refused. A different target may have been chosen at that point, one that could have weakened Jessica and Cody’s alliance.

The Result: Unknown

At this point, it is unknown if Paul can pull off evicting Cody by convincing Jessica not to use the Hex power. Time will tell.