Double Play, or Struck Out

At the end of any season of Big Brother, there is no greater power than that of the Veto. From the Final Five on, alliances can be made or broken based soelly on who wins he Veto, moreso than who wins Head of Household. It is quite telling, in fact, that the two most recent Head of Household were evicted the following week. Victor and Corey’s evictions could be predicted as strong possibilities going into their respective final weeks.

What was less predictable, however, was the lack of realization in each player as to their respective fates.

In truth, the surprise that both Victor and Corey found in being evicted was unreasonable. Both were obvious targets – Victor had been very strong competitively, and Corey was seen as the bigger threat in terms of future gameplay. Victor had not expected to be sent out based upon his perceived alliance with Corey and Nicole. That both he and Paulie were nominated upset him greatly, and his initial reaction was one of anger. By the end, however, he was resigned to his departure. Victor had even earned the respect of the Jury members, who did not wish to see him come out of the House.

Compared to Corey, however, Victor had a smoother departure. Corey had believed that previous alliances with James and Paul would save him over Nicole. Corey did not realize three basic truths of the game. First, you cannot rely on alliances that you broke. Corey had already broken alliances with both James and Paul, and Paul was smarting from the eviction of his closest ally in the game. Second, you cannot be seen as a bigger threat than someone else. Corey, whether true or not, was seen as a bigger threat than Nicole.

Lastly, and most important, you must play from the beginning as carefully and as smartly as possible – a mistake that Cost Corey dearly. Nicole, his alliance partner, had played the game well from the beginning – indeed, it is telling that her first nomination was THIS WEEK. Nicole, whether intentionally or not, had portrayed Corey as the better person to take out of the game by helping other see him as a bigger threat. Corey had done nothing to dissuade this viewpoint – in fact, he relished it.

With the departure of Victor and Corey, we are left with a final three that includes two veteran players. In and of itself, this sets a concerning position for the show. Popularity aside, James and Nicole’s positioning towards the final week indicates that putting new players with returning veterans leaves those new players in a worse position by default. New players, after all, have less chance to know how the game is played while they play it. Veterans have built relationships outside of the house that can benefit them upon returning to the game.

More importantly… it weakens the fun of the game. For all their bluster, Victor and Paul were fun to watch together. ,Paul has become a student of this game all season and has earned his place by being the best new player of the season. Now, however, he is in a weaker position.

The end of the game is one week from the posting of this article. We shall see who will ultimately come out as the winner of Big Brother 18.



Weeks 14 and 15 Results

Week 14 Head of Household: Corey

Corey played his week with only a short-term goal in mind – weaken the other team. While this can be seen as a mistake in hindsight, at the time it looked lieka smart game move for his alliance. What Corey didn’t consider was that as the person pulling the trigger, he needed to be seen as doing this purely because it was a game move. His nomination speech did nothing but paint a target on his back.

Week 14 Veto Winner: Nicole

Nicole came out looking none the worse for wear by keeping nominations the same. Indeed, she was seen as less of the cause of Victor’s departure than Corey.

Week 14 Evictee: Victor

Three strikes, and he’s out. Victor came out of this season as a legitimate All-Star candidate for his gameplay, but he couldn’tsurvive three against two in the end. he will be missed.

Week 14 Player of the Week: James

James, for doing so little this week, came out of it a highly coveted prospect. Everyone wanted to work with James, and this continued after Victor’s eviction.

Week 14 Goat of the Week: Corey

Despite being the one in power, Corey came out looking the worst. It was clear once Paul won HoH that Corey and Nicole would be his targets, and Corey made it easy wiht poorly thought-out game moves and approaches.

Week 14 Game Move of the Week: Nicole secures Victor’s departure by winning Veto.

Ultimately, this may be the move that wins Nicole the $500,000. Victor was the main competition in terms of a Final Two positioning, and Nicole ensured he wouldn’t make it there.


Week 15 Head of Household: Paul

Paul’s week was ultimately extremely successful. He took out his main target, ensured his position in Final Three and broke up the last major alliance. In doing so, he also took out the person who evicted his best friend.

Week 15 Veto Winner: Paul

Paul’s Veto win was impressive for memory and skill. It also ensured the couple of Nicole and Corey would be plit up.

Week 15 Evictee: Corey

Corey’s loss came as a surprise to him. Given how obliviously he played this game, it is easy to see why. Corey was a poor player overall, falling into game moves rather than thinking them through. He was easily led and manipulated, and never really was a threat in the House. Combined with poor social media presence, he will not likely be seen again on the show after the finale.

Week 15 Player of the Week: Paul

It cannot be stressed how impressive Paul’s turnabout was this week. He went from a weak position to a Final Three run, and a shot at the $500,000.

Week 15 Goat of the Week: Corey

How oddly fitting.

Week 15 Game Move of the Week: Paul moves to align with James, setting a counteralliance to Nicole and Corey.

By performing this move, Paul ensured he had a chance in the Final Three.

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