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BB16

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.

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BB16

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.

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BB16

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.