Few players in this game have been as polarizing as Janelle Pierzina. After two seasons, viewers had come to either love or hate her- rarely were people inbetween. What was never in doubt before this summer was that she was one of the hardest players in the game. Janelle combined this with a game play that had strong social overtones thanks to friendships with Howie and Kaysar, and the result was a player who has been widely regarded as one of the best never to win the game.
When viewers watched Janelle this season on the feeds, it was clear something was different. Perhaps too much time had passed since her last season. Perhaps her changed perspective on life (following marriage and motherhood) had turned this once-monster player into less of a force to be reckoned with. Janelle’s investment in this season seemed weaker than in past seasons, and her game play was off all season.
In the end, Janelle’s BB14 experience and overall game can be likened to another former strong player whose most recent outing was less stellar. Jennifer “Nakomis” Dedmon was the creator of the Backdoor plan, and her ability to see the game strategically made her a popular fan favorite. However, when she returned to Big Brother in All-Stars it was clear she wasn’t as invested that time around. Her early departure then reflected this new departure for Janelle.
Tonight’s 8-1 vote against Janelle was a result of two major factors. The first was her unsteady (and thus unreliable) game play that turned former allies against her. The second was an enemy whose mind was clearly focused and set upon removing a former opponent. Mike “Boogie” Malin has never been a polarizing player- almost all fans simply disliked him intensely. However, it is hard to dispute at this point that he is the strongest player and movemaker in this season. Mike kept his entire team in the game even when his players were nominated multiple times. Mike maneuvered votes his way to keep his competitors in the game. Once the game opened up to Coaches, Mike maintained his alliances with his former team and forged a strong alliance with Frank while maintaining a good bond with Ian. Right now, this season is being defined by the strong game play of the man who won All-Stars. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the former protege of Dr. Will in his own light, one separate from his personality and taking into account his strong performance in this season.
Right now, the game is anyone’s to win but there are clear stronger players and weaker players in terms of positioning to win. If one had to stack rank the players in terms of chance to win, the leaders at this point would be those in strong alliances who are maneuvering the other players like chess pieces to take the big moves that draw targets on backs. In that sense, Mike and Dan are in great positions with players like Ian and Britney close behind. The middle area is filled by players that haven’t made a big impact but are not seen as major threats- Wil, Jenn and Ashley are in this area. The biggest targets are those who have made big, polarizing moves in the game or are players that have rubbed the others the wrong way. In this area we have Shane, Frank, Danielle and Joe in the sights of the rest. Shane and Frank are in in steady positions thanks to strong performances early as well as being the lesser of their alliances. Danielle took out a potential ally because of her personal insecurities, and cannot be truly seen as a strong ally. Joe has managed to alienate many in the house, and none are willing to fight to keep him inside.
The rest of the season will be defined by the next strong player to get eliminated. Janelle’s departure, while unpopular to many fans, ultimately will likely have little effect on the game. The next strong coach to leave will determine much in the house, and will shape the course of the rest of the game.
Week 4 Full Results
Eviction #4 – Janelle
Once more, the Big Buxom Blonde Bombshell came up short- this time, however, it wasn’t a failure physically but strategically that did her in. Janelle never forged the strong allies needed to make it to endgame, and her ongoing battle with Boogie was the primary focus of her game. Seeing her scattered approach to the game this season forces one to also reconsider the effect of former Houseguest Howie on her game, as she was much more focused during the seasons in which he played alongside her. If there is solace for Janelle, it is in returning to her home life with her husband, her child and her legions of fans.
HoH #5 – Frank
If there was question before about Frank’s strength as a player, those were answered tonight. Frank is now clearly a power player, but this early in the game that can come back and bite him hard. The instant someone in an opposing alliance comes into power, Frank’s days may be numbered.
Star of the Week – Mike “Boogie”
Boogie’s game play has been masterful, and his moves this week were stellar. By moving this week to get Janelle out, he removed his biggest enemy in the game. Other players are working to align with him- a clear sign that he is playing this game very well.
Loser of the week – Danielle
It’s not easy to refer to the outgoing HoH as the loser of the week, but when your reign as HoH is used as a chess piece by players not even in your original alliance, you are clearly not in power at that point. Danielle was more focused on her own insecurities and confused standing with Shane to see that she was being played by Boogie and Dan. To add insult to injury, her HoH interview was pre-empted by a longer interview with the exiting Houseguest. Danielle’s reign may be seen as the most ineffectual by the end of the season, and all she will be concerned with is if someone called her fat offhandedly.
Game Move of the Week – Boogie convinces Danielle to backdoor Janelle
Boogie’s game play this week was masterful, in both effectiveness and subtlety. He played upon Danielle’s insecurities about Janelle to maneuver her into backdooring Janelle, and his low-level efforts had turned many in the house against her by the end of the week. Most in the BB House have no idea that they are being played by a new Puppet Master, one who has his hands on all the strings being pulled in the House.