Two Roads, Diverged

This season has seen an interesting dichotomy emerge between two players related to previous Houseguest, showing distinct  and definite alternate ways of playing the game. Whereas one of these players has capitalized on strong game play and social work, the other fell into a trap partly not of her own creation, but one in which she still exacerbated her own situation by not playing strong enough.

Indeed, Paulie and Tiffany have fallen into archetypal roles that are well-worn in Big Brother, and which clearly define how their game play has come to pass.

First, consider Paulie. By the time of this writing, Paulie has won several competitions and by all rights can be considered a strong contender for either winning the game or being taken out as a threat. Further, he has established a relationship with Zakiyah that should normally put a target on his back. Rather than this being the case, however, he has come to be seen as not really on anyone’s major radar save for Frank. Da’Vonne has said much about taking out couples, but her targets are the pairs rather than anyone specific.

By all typical rules of the game, Paulie should be seen as a major target. Instead, he is a key ally to many in the game. Contrast this to Tiffany, whose eviction was weeks in the making; indeed, she would have been evicted lsat week had a plan to take out one of Frank’s allies not come to fruition. Tiffany suffered from two things – a direct comparison to her sister by those who had played against Vanessa last season, and a lack of the full drive that Vanessa put into the game. Tiffany was never really the fighter that Vanessa was last season, and while they shared much in common physically, and in terms of personality a major difference emerged – Tiffany wasn’t the strategist her sister could claim to be, nor was the the competitor that Paulie shows himself to be (a family trait, asCody in Season 16 showed a strong competitive streak).

This leads to a question, naturally: Is it fair to compare a player’s gameplay to a family member or sibling that played before them? Indeed, Tiffany’s major offense early on was being the sister of a strong player. It can be suggested that rather than target someone for this, one should try to work with them initially and go from there. On the flip side of this, though, is a simple rule – in the end, only one player can win the game. Based on that, any reason to target someone can apply no matter the capriciousness of the reason. The simple fact is, Tiffany could be targeted for any reason by any other player so long as it provided the end result of her being evicted.

There must be noted, however, a potential bit of hypocrisy in this -Tiffany was targeted and evicted while Paulie has remained well-regarded. Both had the same credentials – indeed, Paulie served to have a stronger resume by having a brother who came in second place two years ago. The key to this is the person who started all of this – Da’Vonne. Da’Vonne had targeted Tiffany because of her sister’s hand in Da’Vonne’s eviction last year. Da’Vonne’s unwillingness to see Tiffany as an individual laid the groundwork for what we have seen the past two weeks, and in the end another legacy player took Tiffany down this week.

Of course, all of this planning – indeed, much of the season – could be rendered moot by the Battle Back competition. The new competition saw Victor emerge as the winner, and his return to the House was unexpected by many. In his return, we have seen a change in his approach to the others already. Time will tell if his game is truly improved.


Week 4 Results:

Week 4 Head of Household: Bridgette

Bridgette was seen as a pawn by the rest of the house, who saw her HoH reign as a continuation of Frank’s control of the game to date. Her nominations came from Frank, ad the target of her week was one that Frank had chosen. It was interesting to see the other Houseguests find a way to subvert her intentions, as seen later in the week.

Week 4 Roadkill Winner: Frank, Nominated Bronte

Frank used his Roadkill win to add someone who was seen as a pawn, which was the first mistake in his game play this year. Pawns have a habit of going home, as seen later in the week.

Week 4 Veto Winner: Bridgette, Did Not Use Veto.

Bridgette was put into a poor position here, and did not use the veto in a move which doomed her friend.

Week 4 Evictee: Bronte

Bronte’s game was not especially strong overall, and the mathematician fell to a strategy long held in Big Brother – when given the chance to weaken a rival alliance, that chance must be taken. Her loss this week was seen as a weakening of numbers.

Week 4 Player of the Week: Frank

Frank’s power consolidated even further this week, and even when losing an ally in Bronte he didn’t really lose any power.

Week 4 Goat of the Week: Bridgette

By being seen as a weaker player and the puppet to Frank, Bridgette did nothing here to change that perception. Her wins this week were impressive, but her motivations were not seen as her own – a key disadvantage should she get to the endgame.

Week 4 Game Move of the Week: Nicole and Michelle convince other players to evict Bronte instead of Tiffany.

While the two did not really receive the credit deserved, Nicole and Michelle were heavily instrumental in Week 4’s eviction. Their machinations put the pieces in place to get Bronte out.

Week 5 Results:

Week 5 Head of Household: Paulie

Paul racked up another strong performance, this time in a mental competition. Paul is putting together a Total Package game this season, one that combines strong physical and mental game play. While his HoH reign brought out some of the lesser qualities one wants in an HoH, his performance cannot be denied.

Week 5 Roadkill Winner: Tiffany, Nominated Corey

Tiffany aimed for a strong enemy in Corey, but poor performance in the Veto Competition put her in a position to lose that target. However, one stepped up in Da’Vonne with poor social gameplay after the competition. Frank even went so far as to try and get Da’Vonne out this week, a move that failed as he couldn’t convince enough people to target what he saw as a bigger threat to his game.

Week 5 Veto Winner: Corey, Used Veto on Himself, Tiffany nominates Da’Vonne.

Corey won when he had to win – although he wasn’t really a danger to go home, he did ensure that Tiffany remained on the block and a target for eviction.

Week 5 Evictee: Tiffany

As noted above, Tiffany’s biggest weakness was being Vanessa’s sister. In that regard, she never stood a chance. Her eventual loss to Victor in the Battle Back competition removed an interesting storyline to the season, and cemented Vanessa’s role as the more capable BB player in the Rousso family.

Week 5 Player of the Week: Frank

While he is Target #1 for many players, Frank still held a position of strength through the week. That strength may be lost with the dissolution of the Teams style of play, and it will be far easier to target and evict him going forward.

Week 5 Goat of the Week: Tiffany

Enough has been said about why Tiffany was the goat this week.

Week 5 Game Move of the Week: Paulie nominates both Tiffany and Natalie, ensuring his target of Tiffany goes home..

Paul had a goal this week, and his follow-through was perfect. By nominating Natalie (a player highly regarded and seen as essentially harmless) up against Tiffany, he made it clear how as the target for eviction. That strategy worked in this case, as Tiffany was sent packing.

One reply on “Two Roads, Diverged”

I think it’s funny how the house wants Frank out because “he’s a snake”, but Da’ is doing the exact same thing. I really wish that Tiffany would’ve battled back so that she could blow up Da’s game and work with Frank. Tiff and Frank probably could’ve been final 2 together. I just really wish the people weren’t afraid to make a move this year. This truly is the season of floaters, minus Frank and Da’.

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