All Hail The King

There is a new king in town.

After a run that saw complete domination by a small group of players, it was the undercover cop from Rhode Island who ended up taking the win. Derrick’s game play was one that ended up being respected by the Jury that had been sent there  by his moves, and his 7-2 win over Cody tonight now places him in the pantheon of Big Brother Greats that are debated as to whom is the “Best of All Time.” Continue reading “All Hail The King”

Slaying the Beasts

In the span of around 60 hours, the two strongest competitors in the House were eliminated and the endgame of this season became completely clear. The departures of Frankie and Caleb have set a finale that is almost assured, barring a last-second swerve. After 12 weeks and 13 evictions, we are at the point where everyone has an equal footing and chance to win.

In that same span of time, we saw two completely different approaches to campaigning to stay, and while Caleb’s attempt to stay in the game was understandable – and admirable – Frankie’s attempt sealed the opinion on what type of player and person he was in the House. Continue reading “Slaying the Beasts”

Exuent, Stage Right

The appeal of the unknown has been a part of Big Brother since the introduction of “Pandora’s Box.” Seeing the opportunity that comes with the unknown prize or punishment has been a storyline that has played out over several seasons, and this year was no exception. It was pointed out this season that no previous Houseguest has ever refused the allure of Pandora’s Box, and once again we saw that play out in Frankie’s push to have the rest of the remaining Houseguests join him in pushing the button.

Once again, we saw this come back to haunt the House – and Frankie’s allure to the potential of the button started a week that began with him firmly positioned in the Final Four and ended with him speaking with Julie tonight. Continue reading “Exuent, Stage Right”

The Summer of Our Discontent

For several weeks, fans of Big Brother have become less vocal in their praise of the show and a feeling of unease, malaise and overall discontent has begun to rise. Fans are less vocal on Twitter, save for commenting on fan sites and on Twitter that the show was not living up to standards we held for both contestants and the actual show itself. Even Julie Chen was not immune to criticism, as fans online expressed concern that she did not seem to be performing at her best on the show. That criticism, however, had remained in the realm of fandom for most of the season with little coming from other media or offline.

With two events this week, that changed – and with the TMZ article on Frankie combined with the reaction to Christine in tonight’s Double Eviction we have seen a change in the fandom that has rarely been exposed in seasons past. Continue reading “The Summer of Our Discontent”

Sleeping Through The Night

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. Continue reading “Sleeping Through The Night”

Masterminded, Blindsided and Being Shown The Door

There are times in Big Brother where a Houseguest has no idea how much their game is being influenced by another player’s efforts. Whether it be because of some real or imagined slight, a game move or simply because of someone moving their game forward, players across the seasons have had their games destroyed with no real knowledge of their own until it was too late. This is the point behind the backdooring strategy, as an example – get the person out without knowing they were the target.

The latest victim of this type of play, Zach, operated for weeks never knowing that 3 players were using him as their toy in the game – and his cluelessness to the machinations being played out around him was a testament to a player who was fun to watch, but weak when it came to playing this game. Continue reading “Masterminded, Blindsided and Being Shown The Door”

The Big Brother Experience

Over the years, the phenomenon of the “Superfan Houseguest” has developed. These are the Big Brother Houseguests that have been longtime fans of the show – either through watching the show on CBS, or even subscribing to the Feeds. Some of these players have been very successful in their runs on Big Brother, using their understanding of the game to get them to Endgame (or even win, in the case of Ian). There are the fans who have ben successful in more limited ways, usually by underestimating the stress and challenge of the game – these players, while making a good run, have far more often than not burned out before the end (in this sense, McCrae comes to mind). Then, there are the players who are simply looking for the “Big Brother Experience” – the ability to be in the House, to see it all and enjoy everything without actually stepping up and playing the game fully.

In this regard, Nicole was the exemplar of this type of HouseGuest – and in this regard, her time in the House can be regarded as a success for herself. Continue reading “The Big Brother Experience”

The Difference A Day Makes

In Big Brother, the difference between “going home” and “ruling the roost” – and vice-versa – an be as little as one day – or even one hour – of game time. Many seasons past have seen alliances fall apart due to the dreaded Double Eviction days where two Houseguests go home in the span of an hour. Fallout from the Double Eviction can wreck a person’s entire game (witness Jordan and Shelly’s blowout after Jeff’s eviction in BB13).

In the span of a day, Nicole went from “possible removal of a known enemy” to “enemy remaining and two allies gone” and while she returned to possible power, her game has been weakened severely. Continue reading “The Difference A Day Makes”

Moments of Weakness

Typically in Big Brother, the show is defined by moments of Houseguests stepping up and becoming the great gamers we knew they could be. Rachel, as an example, won Big Brother 13 by stepping out of Brendon’s shadow and playing her own game. Two years ago, Ian showed the kind of player he was by engineering Mike “Boogie’s” eviction. This season, however, has seen a different focus. Time and time again, we have seen potentially great players fall victim to a moment of weakness in their game that changed the course of the season.

This week’s HoH run by Cody showed one such moment, and although it may prove beneficial in the long run his allowance of that weakness to come through proved to be game-changing once more.

Continue reading “Moments of Weakness”

Done, By Design

It isn’t often that a week goes as smoothly for a Head of Household as it did for Derrick this week. From the beginning, every move he made to get his ultimate target out was set for success and performed by a House united in its belief that the biggest, strongest and most dangerous Houseguest of the season needed to go. One Houseguest was convinced to put himself up to ensure that this happened, and by the time the Veto Ceremony took place there was very little question how the week would end.

Indeed, for Devin the hope that he would remain in the House evaporated faster than any one could predict – and his acceptance of this loss was the icing on the cake that was delivered to feed watchers and Houseguests alike.

Continue reading “Done, By Design”