Over the past three weeks, the Big Brother House has seen dominance by one side of the game. The alliance of six spearheaded by Shelli and Vanessa have ran the game with ruthless efficiency, clearing out 3 major opponents while building further inroads with neutral players. One might think that, given this run of dominance, other opponents would step up their games and be ready for battle.
This eviction of Jason this week, coupled with his last piece of advice to the remaining players, proves that the old adage is true – if you’re not in power you’re in danger, and the moment you feel comfortable is when you’re in most danger.
Jason’s eviction was unexpected before Sunday. Indeed, Vanessa had targeted a member of her own alliance in Austin – a player who had proven himself to be sketchy at best and downright traitorous to his alliance at worst. Austin’s rather boneheaded (by his own admission) move placed the alliance in a position where removing him rather than an enemy seemed best. Indeed, had Liz been reached earlier Saturday night then we may have seen the wrestler’s eviction this week.
In the end, minor events had major implications for the game. Liz’s distraction allowed other voices to come up and convince Vanessa to change her target. However, one key factor in all of this that must be mentioned is Jason’s complacency during this whole time. Jason, an admitted superfan, did not remember the key rule of Big Brother – you never rest on your laurels. It is entirely possible that Jason could have saved himself had he gotten into Vanessa’s ear earlier and pointed her towards someone else as a target. Vanessa had made deals with other, to be sure – but she showed a capability to be convinced with the right argument despite her own protests. By playing “personally” and not allowing for inroads with the other side, Jason’s actions made him a perfect target.
This is a lesson that others, particularly Meg, should take seriously. The best players and winners have varied in their strategy but many have found ways to make alliances of convenience at key times – Derrick of BB16 was a master of this. Those players who make it personal often make mistakes, and those mistakes often cost then the game.
The dominance of the House has already shift as of tonight – James has taken power following the Endurance competition, and two players have already made inroads to help themselves (Shelli’s deal to protect herself and Clay, and Vanessa’s conversations with James earlier tonight). The remaining members of the alliance should take heed and avoid playing lazily, lest they appear next to Julie Chen next week.
Week Four Results
Week Four Head of Household: Shelli, Defeated Liz in BotB
Shelli is quickly showing herself to be a power player in this game. Her second run as HoH had two benefits – she removed a key target of the House, and managed to do so with little backlash against her own game. If anything, she came out of the week with a stronger position in the game overall.
Week Four Veto Winner: Vanessa, saved Jason, Audrey placed on block
By winning the chemistry challenge Veto competition, Vanessa ensured that her own plans (removing Audrey) would fall into place. Vanessa had gone from a key ally of Audrey to sworn enemy through Audrey’s gameplay (some of which mirrored Vanessa’s own occasional dishonesty in the game to date), and the arguments that ensured Audrey’s ouster also gave access for Vanessa to another friendly alliance – by saving Jason, she gained loyalty from him.
Week Four Evictee: Audrey
Where to begin? Audrey, from Week One, had played far too hard and far too dishonestly to ensure any sort of long-term success. Her seemingly strategic insistence that people only quote exactly what they had said before in conversations (and using this as a way to say someone wasn’t telling the truth, a statement true only in spirit rather than in fact) became something of a joke amongst feedsters, and her emotional breakdowns led many to question if those were in fact real. Her unwillingness to take part in the game once it was clear she was going up led many fans to dismiss her as a Houseguest, and her poor sporting play was called out by fans and former seasons’ players alike. She will likely not be appearing on CBS again going forward, save for a possible reappearance on the finale.
Week Four Player of the Week: John
In a week where many big moves were made, the dentist musician showed a much larger understanding of how the game is played. He played the good guy when nominated as a pawn, but knew enough to know that pawns can go home His Veto competition play was strong once more, and he showed an ability to play the game longer than others with a low-key social game.
Week Four Goat of the Week: Austin
Austin’s gameplay degraded further this week when, at the last minute, he informed Jason of the truth about the Twin Twist and that he was intending to target Julia to ensure he had more time with Liz. This move backfired heavily, as Jason informed Shelli and Vanessa of the deception and betrayal. Austin’s time in the game is numbered, possibly in time amounting to less than a week. There would be no small irony in Austin ensuring his own game failure at the same time his amorous target is ensured her own survival in the game.
Game Move of the Week: Vanessa Saves Jason, Gaining an Ally and Ensuring Audrey’s Nomination.
Vanessa’s move to save Jason in the POV ceremony was brilliant – for multiple reasons. She gained an ally in Jason, which paid off when Jason informed her of Austin’s deception. She ensured a house pariah was nominated, and was seen as making a good “House move” in the process. She strengthened her position with Shelli and Clay. Vanessa overplays at times, but she is moving towards a solid top 3 performance and a good chance to win this season.
Week Five Results
Week Five Head of Household: Vanessa, Defeated Jackie in BotB
Vanessa continued the dominance of her alliance by winning HoH this week, and in the end convinced herself not to make a mistake by removing Austin from the game – numbers, especially during these pre-Jury weeks, are critical to success in the game.
Week Five Veto Winner: Clay, Saved Himself, Jason placed on block
In a rare physical Veto competition, Clay stepped up and showed his ability to play strong when necessary. The Squirrel Nut Ramp competition was one where dexterity and skill was key, and Clay showed both. The win was earned, and deserved at that point.
Week Five Evictee: Jason
Jason’s game play was not strong, a surprising turn for an admitted superfan. Jason was strong socially with many in the house, but his knowledge of the game and willingness to discuss it put him in the position to be feared in mental comps. Jason’s biggest weakness was in picking alliance members, and by putting himself on the opposite side of stronger players he ensured his own in-game demise.
Week Five Player of the Week: Liz
Liz managed to save herself and Austin with two key moves, and in the process ensured the arrival of Julia into the House this week. First, by winning Veto she ensured her survival. Second, by delaying her conversation with Vanessa on Saturday night she allowed others to gain Vanessa’s ear and attentions. This in turn put the idea of backdating and surprising Jason with a nomination into Vanessa’s mind, saving Austin from an assured eviction.
Week Five Goat of the Week: Jackie
Had Jackie’s brief HoH reign played out as originally intended, Austin would be going home this week. Instead, a surprisingly strong performance by Liz in the BotB comp and a lack of access to Vanessa at the right time ensured a key ally would be leaving, and another ally in Becky would be aligning with Vanessa going forward. Jackie’s position in the House is tenuous at best, at this point – and only strong competition performance going forward will increase her time in the game.
Game Move of the Week: Liz Eats Dinner Before Meeting Vanessa to Discuss Nominations.
As foolish as this sounds, this one action changed the entire course of the week. Liz was to meet with Vanessa immediately to be informed of Austin’s betrayal of her and Julia. Instead, she stopped and ate with Austin downstairs – allowing others to speak with Vanessa and change her mind about the nominations. Bear in mind, Li was away from Vanessa for 80 minutes rather than the 5-10 she had set as an exception. This one event was the key factor in ensuring Jason’s game demise.