In the history of Big Brother, players that are truly honorable and successful at the same time can be counted on one hand. Very rarely does a player make the big money while staying true to their ethics and morals completely – inevitably, a compromise is made. This isn’t a statement of judgement – it is a game for $500,000 and to win it you have to make deals that may go against any statements pre-season that you will play “truthfully and honorably.”
Many want to play this way but few do, and get to Jury. Howard spoke about playing this way and compromised early, and it cost him the prize in the end.
Going into the season, Howard was seen as a possible powerhouse player. His interviews spoke of his religious beliefs and wanting to play Big Brother the right way, and early on he was seen as a potential “total package.” Some thought him to be the true threat to win the entire game, and waited to see him dominate the game. He had even become part of a “power alliance” of five guys who would emulate the Brigade, forming side alliances that were – in theory – going to be lesser to the core, true alliance. Unfortunately, this was where the “total package” on paper proved to be less than so in action.
From the beginning, Howard wasn’t quite as trusted by everyone as others. His main alliance to the Moving Company started to fall apart quickly, and the collapse of that alliance led to the collapse of his other alliance with Helen. Her reaction at his duplicity about the MC led directly to him being targeted, and Helen’s vendetta against Howard was consistent afterwards.
Howard’s main mistake was simple, from the beginning – he never knew how to play the game socially. Howard became known as someone who couldn’t be trusted, and who would try to talk his way out of a sticky situation rather than be honest and truthful. There is no small amount of irony in the fact that the one man who preached honesty turned into the least trustworthy person in the game. Howard also suffered from having poor alliance members overall. His partnership and loyalty to Spencer was commendable, but Spencer was a poor partner in general. This was an issue with both players – neither Spencer nor Howard ever came across as good game players at any point in the competition.
Howard also dealt with another issue in the house, one that was far more personal. Howard’s approach to the racist elements in the house was commendable – he chose to rise above it. This is the area in which there is most respect for Howard – and those who saw his tears when holding back his anger during the bed-flipping night can attest to his emotional strength and resolve. In that moment and in the times when he helped Candice deal with those negative elements of the game, we saw the man that Howard is.
Howard’s departure led to an endurance HoH that lasted a little over an hour – but in that hour, we saw solid competition and an entertaining competition involving walking on rotating barrels. The bulk of Houseguests fell off once the barrels began spinning in reverse, and in a stunning victory GinaMarie took the HoH for the week. The competition also involved holding onto a handle attached to a heavier swinging pole and bull’s head, and the irony of the night was that it may have been best suited for someone athletic with great upper body strength – the same person who had walked out of the house minutes before.
In the end, Howard was not a good Big Brother player. It is an easy argument to make, however, that he is a far better person than game player. There can be no better compliment to give the quiet man from the South than to say this – you’re a good man in the wrong place, Howard.
Week Five Results:
Week Five Head of Household: Aaryn
It’s been said before but bears repeating – Aaryn has won when she needed to. Although she runs a strong chance of going up and out in the Double Eviction next week, she has managed to play a somewhat smooth game since her early missteps and social mistakes. Aaryn is still the “always available” nominee candidate, but that time may be drawing to a close with Jury coming.
Week Five Veto Winner: Spencer
Spencer, in his veto win, managed to save his hide for at least a week if not two. GinaMarie’s HoH win will most likely save him for another calendar week, but the Double Eviction also aligns him in position to be an easy knockout next week.
Week Five Evictee: Howard
Howard’s eviction was guaranteed the moment he lied to Helen, turning her against him. His most loyal advocate became the secret architect of his removal from the game. It did not help that he was seen as a solid partner with two different players, both of whom were seen as a threat with him on their side. Howard’s game was rarely in his control, and his departure was perhaps fittingly out of his hands.
Week Five Star of the Week: Helen
Much like Shelly of Season 13, Helen has been subtly guiding the game through much of the first half of the season. While not nearly as smooth as the business executive’s game, Helen has managed to put herself in a position of power broker in the game – and Howard’s eviction was the latest major move she has managed to pull off. Helen is not quite as duplicitous as Shelly, which works to her advantage – but she is not as respected a game player, either. Still, at this point Helen is in a good position to go very far in the game.
Week Five Goat of the Week: Candice
In one fell swoop, Candice managed to kill her game with her “House Meeting” that called out Spencer for campaigning against her. House Meetings rarely help anyone, and often end up hurting the person who calls the meeting. Candice was already a target to go, and GinaMarie has made it clear that Candice is her target this week. Unless she runs the table in comps, her days are definitely numbered.
Game Play Move of the Week: Spencer lies about his target to Amanda in the Backyard.
Amanda’s calling out of Spencer’s moves against her tipped Helen off to the situation – and Spencer’s lie about campaigning against Candice instead. This lie, meant to placate Amanda, instead served to push Helen to Candice and set about the motions that hurt Spencer’s game, ruined Candice’s game and ended Howard’s run.