It is an important rule in Big Brother that the “social game” of a player can often be more important than their competitive play. The ability of a player to weave their way through the House and be seen as an asset and ally to as many people as possible can make or break a game. When a player develops these alliances, they can walk through the game and win the entire thing – Dr. Will Kirby is a testament to this. When someone forgets this and strays from playing a strong social game, they can burn out spectacularly (Witness the spectacular flameout of Shelly’s game in BB13).
In the case of evictee Donny, the lack of a strong social game and weak strategic thinking were glaring weaknesses that could not be overcome by strong competitive play and a good personality.
Donny came into the game with several questions about him, both from the viewers and the Houseguests themselves. Mistrust about what Donny told about his life (all of which, ironically, was true) plagued him from the very beginning. For many of the younger players, it just didn’t make sense that this man was who he said he was while being in Big Brother. Players who were themselves lying about their occupations planted seeds of discord about him that Donny never was able to overcome.
Along with this, it must be said – Donny did himself no favors by maintaining the schedule he kept through the game. In his post-eviction interview, Julie Chen asked Donny why he never changed his sleep schedule. Donny answered that he had little in common with the others and would just sit there, a true answer but one that misses the basic tenet of Big Brother – being there means everything. Being part of the conversation allows one to help control the flow of information, and Donny failed to realize this through the entirety of his run.
Indeed, the only reason Donny made it as far as he did was a competitive play that at times bordered on monstrous. Donny was a competition beast, winning or being close in most competitions he took part in during the game. (It is no small irony that the sleep schedule he maintained probably kept him strong physically, while weakening his overall game.)
Donny will be remembered for being a gentle man and a gentleman. He was well-liked by many in the House, but never in a true position of power during his run. Ultimately, that outsider’s position removed him from the game and placed him fourth in the Jury House.
This loss came at the start of a brutal Endurance Race competition, one that saw several injuries and an eventual winner in Caleb. Caleb’s game has evolved tremendously since his first HoH run, and the “Beast Mode Cowboy” has developed a strong and loyal social game. He has become a power player and voice of reason in the house, a tremendous feat considering the depth his social game had to climb from during the “obsession with Amber” period. It remains to be seen how well he handles his reign, and with a looming Double Eviction the game landscape will be very different one week from now.
Week 10 Results:
Week 10 Head of Household: Cody
Cody became HoH in the first “normal” week of the season, with no Battle of the Block to deal with. His reign removed the strongest competition against the Detonators in Donny, and while there was dissention in the ranks as to who should go between Donny and Nicole his way won out. This week can only be seen as a win for him.
Week 10 Veto Winner: Cody, Did Not Use Veto
Cody assured his week would go his way by winning Veto, and some slight wavering towards placing Frankie or Christine on the Block was quickly cut off in favor of keeping things as they were.
Week 10 Evictee: Donny
The most popular Houseguests were evicted in the space of 7 days, and in the process Team America went from 3 to 2. Donny’s weakness was most glaring in his dealings with Team America, when he stressed he would play his own game first before the team game. This ultimately hurt his dealing with Frankie and Derrick, and contributed to his departure.
Week 10 Player of the Week: Cody
Having one’s way in their HoH week is strong enough, but guaranteeing this by winning when it mattered is more important. Cody’s week went exactly to plan, and it was due to his play.
Week 10 Goat of the Week: N/A
In an unusual case, no one made any key mistakes this week. Things had fallen into place by midweek, and no one had really hurt their game by their actions this week any more than where they were coming in.
Game Move of the Week: Frankie unsuccessfully campaigns to have Nicole voted out over Donny.
Frankie’s move to change the vote – and recruiting Caleb to assist – was an unusually strong social move that revaled serious cracks in the Detonators Allliance. The lines are clearly drawn between the two sides, with Frankie and Derrick on one side and Cody and Christine on the other, and Caleb floating inbetween. While Derrick did his best to keep his loyalties quiet (and in truth, his is the only voice that can sway all sides), Frankie’s move showed a power schism that will have the potential to blow up in the next two weeks.