The Imitation Game

From the beginning of Big Brother 18, there has been a consistent effort by two players to play the strategy that led to a win by Derrick LeVasseur in 2014. Both players were coached by Derrick, both came in with a pedigree (though with different origins), both have seen some success during the season and prior to two weeks ago, there was a clear indication of which was most likely to succeed and which would not.

That the tables turn in Big Brother is unsurprising – that Paulie’s eviction became unavoidable while James is in a clear position to be successful in the game going forward was surprising, and tells much about the lessons each took from the Big Brother 14 winner.

Both James and Paulie had legacies to overcome – James wanted to be more than the player who was outnumbered and out played last year, while Paulie wanted to show that his brother’s loyalty to Derrick was not the liability that many had seen it as being. Two years ago, Cody’s loyalty was the primary cause of his second place finish and Paulie had played the game trying to prove that loyalty was not a detriment.

Saying one is loyal, however, is not the same thing as being loyal. Paulie had formed so-called “ride or die” alliances with multiple players including each member of “The Authority”: alliance, and when notes were compared it became clear that Paulie’s only interests were in his on advancement. This was the lesson that Cody had missed – that while you can tell others you are working with them, you have to truly be loyal to one person from the beginning. For Derrick, this was successful as his one true alliance pulled him along to victory.  This detail cost Paulie, as when notes were compared the disloyalty was apparent. It can even be argued that Paulie would have dumped Corey as his “ride or die” ally were the need to arise.

With Paulie gone, a power shift is complete in the House. Nicole and Corey are on the outs, and it will take a serious effort to remain in the game longer than 2-3 weeks. Tonight also indicated that the game is not over in the Jury, as one player will be returning. In and of itself, this is a tricky situation; Depending on the competition, it cannot be determined who will return at this time. A mental challenge plays differently than a physical challenge, and both have been used in returnee competitions. Until more is known, any prediction is foolish.

At the time of this writing, no Head of Household has been determined at this time, and that person will not have full power as they will share nominating duties with a Co-HoH. The next 7 days may indeed determine the future of the season.


Week 10 Results:

Week 10 Head of Household: Victor

Rarely has a player who has returned gained so much influence and power as Victor, and rarely has a player been able to reverse public opinion as much. From a player easily dismissed (including by this writer in a previous article), to a player ingrained in the power structure and social aspects of the House, Victor has turned his game around entirely. At this point, he can easily be considered a strong contender for winner of the season.

Week 10 Veto Winner: Victor, Did Not Use Veto

By winning the Zingbot competition, Victor ensured his intentions for Paulie were seen through and that Paulie remained nominated.

Week 10 Evictee: Paulie

Rarely has a player gone from enjoyed to denounced as quickly as Paulie. His arrogant attitude and sense of entitlement was highly unappealing, and his inability to handle the past week was poor gamesmanship. He will not be missed.

Week 10 Player of the Week: Paul

While Victor was the power of the House this week, Paul was the consigliere that maneuvered Victor into the game moves that Paul wanted the most. In addition, Paul has gone further with his social game than almost anyone else in the House. While he is not necessarily a fan favorite, his skills in the House cannot be denied.

Week 10 Goat of the Week: Nicole

Primarily. Nicole earns this on the strength of a paranoid game combined with a useless power this week. Nicole was never the intended primary target, and her winning immunity for the week was regarded as almost a joke as she would not be in any serious danger of going on the block. Added to this was the misfortune of being a Have-Not.

Week 10 Game Move of the Week: Paul convinces Victor to put up Paulie and Victor.

Make no mistake – right now, Paul is dictating the course of the game. From being a neophyte with little knowledge of the game to where he is now, Paul has easily become one of the better students of the game. Key to this has been a remarkable social game, including staying friendly with those who could implement his plans. Paul is playing strategically at this point, and his maneuvering to convince Victor to put up Paulie – with the added bonus of Victor thinking it was his own idea by the end – made it clear that his game is very successful at this time.

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