You Play To Win The Game

We are on Day 24 of Big Brother 13, and already we’ve seen game playing the likes of which you don’t normally get this early. There has been backstabbing, hinky voting; the game has kicked into high gear.  Normally it’s tough to judge the game being played this early on. However, as a feedwatcher and fan it is my Grodner-given right to play armchair houseguest and calls ’em likes I sees ’em! Here’s my take on the Big Brother 13 houseguests’  games so far:

Departed Houseguests:

1) Dick

– Previous winner of Big Brother 8. First out of the house, DOR. Left Game on Day 5.
– Dick’s departure of the game was based on the fatal flaw of having a life outside of the house, though we will never know for sure what caused his departure. Dick played a Mastermind game, being the person behind major decisions early in the game (Porsche joining Veterans alliance, team-up of Veterans).
– Callouts: For such a short time in the house, Dick’s influence is in inverse proportion to the time spent there. Dick solidified the Veterans alliance, set game strategy for the returning players and kicked off several under-the-table side alliances that are still causing reverberations through the game. Proof of this is in Porsche’s alliance with the Veterans as well as the distrust of Adam (more on him later).

2) Keith

– Partnered with Porsche.
– Second to leave the house, Evicted Day 12 by a 6-4 vote.
– Keith attempted to play a game based on a combination of Social strategy and building alliance with women in the house- “Keith’s Angels,” as he termed it. This strategy played out poorly when his duo partner, original Angel Porsche, decided to side with the Devil instead. However, keith might have survived had he not completely flipped out and lost his mind in the game. Campaigning too hard, multiple public spats, calling out people in his own alliance and in general being a douche led to this youth minister’s fall from grace.
– Callouts: Oh, Keith… Keith made the classic mistake of politicking and campaigning WAY too early in the game, and rather than calmly handling his nomination he ent into overdrive. Spats with Lawon and others became house topics, and his complete inability to play the social game he wanted to play led to his eviction. It was the fact that he was a member of the early “Regulators” alliance that led to him having votes to remain in the game in the first place.

3) Cassi

– Partnered with Shelly.
– Third to leave the house, Evicted Day 19 by an 8-0 vote.
– A model outside the house, Cassi played a game based on social interaction and Alliance strategy. As a founding member of the Regulators she had set herself up for what could have been a strong game going forward. however, three events led to her game demise. First was the collapse of Keith as an alliance partner. Second was a continuing conflict with Porsche, whose friendship with Rachel (along with a perceived jealousy on Rachel’s part) caused strife between Cassi and the Brenchel couple. Third was a refusal to campaign against her Duo partner Shelly, whose own subtle campaigning opened the door for Cassi’s departure.
– Callouts: Cassi had several things going against her in the BB house. First and foremost was her attitude. Cassi’s no-nonsense attitude on life and the game led to public disagreements that expedited her departure. This was in conflict with her ability to get along rather easily with many houseguests- notably in this case, newbies Adam, Lawon and Shelly. That attitude, unfortunately, was not helped by her striking beauty. Many houseguests have noted the jealousy of Rachel towards Cassi, and Rachel’s alliance being in power made it easy for the returning player to get her wish. The greatest weakness of Cassi’s game, however, was her refusal to campaign for herself when on the block against Shelly. The two women found kindred spirits in each other, and Cassi refused to fight against the mother figure that Shelly represented to her.

Houseguests Given the Golden Key:

4) Daniele

– Previously played in Big Brother 8. Partnered with Dick. Got Golden Key on Day 5.
– Daniele’s game strategy is a combination of Social Game, Multiple Alliances and Backdoor Dealings.Until Day 21 this gameplay led to smashing results, as none saw Daniele as a threat to that point. Her heavy campaigning prior to the Week 3 veto has backfired, as her original alliance has effective removed her from the team and her side alliance partner Dom is likely to go home.
Callouts: Daniele Donato’s game has changed heavily in the wake of her father’s departure. No longer the whiny wallflower, Daniele has to this point become a major player in the game. Strengths include an exceptionally strong social game, forming friendships with most in the house. Additionally, her attitude has improved dramatically since her time in BB8. Her weakness is very simple, though- she is her father’s daughter. Daniele’s playing as a legacy in multiple ways, and as the only houseguest who is also the daughter of a previous winner, there is a LOT to have to live up to. Combined with perceived “floating to the finals” in her previous season, Daniele’s playing in overdrive and that appears to have cost her two alliances in three days. her strong friendships with newbies has hurt her as well, as her relaxed time at night with Lawon and Dom is seen as time spent strategizing.

5) Porsche

– Partnered with Keith. Given Golden Key in Day 12.
– Porsche is playing the Sleeper/Floater strategy, allowing people seen as stronger threats than her take the bullet. Additionally, she is playing a Reverse Social game by allying with only a very small group (in this case, Rachel mostly) rather than forming friendships with the rest of the house. Mostly she is off-camera, spending time in bed or eating (as her unfortunately shrinking wardrobe can attest.)
– Callouts: Porsche is playing as a sleeper player, meaning that she isn’t getting her hands dirty by strategizing or being a power player. It’s not that she isn’t influential- in fact, her issues with Cassi changed the course of the game. Instead, she sort of instigates the issues that others take on for her. She acts as the person whispering in others’ ears, others who are more than happy to take on the battle for her. In this case, this is rather strong for her favor since she can outlast the major players. her major flaw, however, is her attitude. Porsche, for lack of a better term, is a bit bitchy. Not as bad as BB8’s Jen or BB12’s Monet, she still manages to exemplify the “pretty girl who knows it” personality. her attitude would be the major cause of her departure, should she leave early.

6) Shelly

– Partnered with Cassi. Given golden Key on Day 19.
– Shelly is playing a variation of the “Doctor Will” strategy, but to far greater success. She is not seen as a threat as Will was at times, but rather is seen as an ally to have. This is in conflict with her not winning any competitions prior to her being given the Key. Shelly is seen as a strong source of advice and support, as she is often seen bolstering the mental health of many players including those outside of her own alliance.
– Callouts: Shelly may be playing the perfect “Strong Social/Weak Competitor” game, better than the Master himself. Dr. Will Kirby was still seen as a pest and annoyance despite never winning an HoH competition in his initial season. Shelly’s seen as an ally and a source of strength, even by those she is stabbing in the back. Shelly was the source of the Hinky Vote, managed to subtly influence her partner on the chopping block to the point where she skated through unharmed, keeps being seen as a source of strength and honesty despite lying to many of the people in the house and in general has played a flawless game. At this point there is little to be seen as a weakness, but her one flaw at this point in the game may be her strong alliance towards the Veterans. Her adoration of Jeff and Jordan in particular could be used as a reason to get her out once the Golden Key period is over.

Nominated Houseguests:

7) Adam

– Partnered with Dominic.
– Adam’s playing a True Floater strategy combined with an Observer role. His lack of a clear alliance has separated him from his Newbie cohorts, and he is essentially the purest representation of a player moving forward in the best interests of themselves only. Currently working with the Veterans alliance, He is mostly known for his booming “metal” voice, his high level of BB knowledge and love for all things bacon and Beverley Hills 90210.
– Callouts: Adam’s is a far safer place than he has been in weeks past, and has the probability of being on-screen all season by making it to Jury House. His strength is in being seen as “a vote.” this means that he’s not seen as a real threat gamewise, and in some respects that is true- physically he’s not very strong, and his willingness to dally between the two main alliances in the house is useful in the beginning of the game but costly in the long run. Underneath this, however, is a very keen observer who has not missed the details of what has happened around him. Adam is being underestimated as a player, but he does have several weaknesses that will likely cost him the game.

8) Dominic

– Partnered with Adam.
– Nominated Weeks 2,3. Winner of Veto Week 2.
– Dominic was initially playing a Mastermind type of game, having been the creator of the Regulators alliance. Additionally, he was keenly aware of how weak this initial alliance was and his reaching out to Daniele has been a major influence on the game afterwards. Following this, he became a sidekick of sorts by becoming the subordinate to Dani. He was influential in the failed plot to get Jeff/Jordan nominated in Week 3. Dominic is known as “PT” for being a “part-time” model, and his perceived youth and “skills” with women (notably his friendship with Dani) have been the butt of many jokes.
– Callouts: Dom’s strength in the game has been the ability to read the shifting winds and the willingness to adjust accordingly. He saw the tide turning against Cassi and latched onto Dani’s coattails afterwards. His initial alliance crumbled, and he attempted to glom onto the Veterans alliance. Unfortunately, this led to his greatest weakness: his lack of loyalty and the perception that he is a threat to the Veterans in the long run. His relationship with Dani has cost him greatest, as his nomination and expected eviction is seen as a direct attack on Dani’s burgeoning strength in the house.

Heads of Household (To Date):

9) Rachel

– Previously played in Big Brother 12. Partnered with Brendon.
– Winner of HoH Weeks 1, 3. Winner of Veto weeks 1,3.
– Rachel is playing a combination of Competitive Strength and Emotional Manipulation, with the new addition of a weak Social game. Her greatest asset is her ability to compete and win- as has been pointed out, she has only lost one HoH competition she has ever been able to compete in. Additionally, she has the second strongest alliance in the house in her relationship with fiancee Brendon. She has clearly been the strongest influence in this season’s game so far, either through directly nominating players or influencing the nomination when she was not directly in power.
– Callouts: Rachel’s strongest asset is also her greatest weakness- her relationship with Brendon. It is the strongest influence on her game, either as a source of strength (The two when partnered together are incredibly difficult to defeat in competition) or a cause of weakness (their interpersonal relationship is heavily dramatic, with small issues causing large fights that create stress and lack of clear thought). Additionally, she is seen as the greater threat in her Duo- the rest of the houseguests are afraid to death of what would happen if she remained in the house and Brendon were voted out. Once again, Rachel is a polarizing force in the house and in fandom- but her attempts to play and BE better in the house have not gone entirely unnoticed.

10) Jordan

– Previous winner of Big Brother 11. Partnered with Jeff.
– Winner of HoH Week 2.
– Jordan is playing the same game that won her season previously- a combination of a strong Social strategy, Observer and nicely timed Competitive Strength. Seen as the nicest player in the game, she is also rarely seen as a threat despite being the only remaining winner in the game. Jordan is well-liked by everyone in the house, but small cracks are forming due to Dani’s influence and her relationship with Jeff.
– Callouts: If Jordan manages to make it to the end again, there’s no question she deserves first place. Her strongest asset is in being completely underestimated as a player once more. She is the strongest Social game player in the history of the game, when combined with her uncanny ability to win when necessary. Additionally, although Jordan herself admits to being ditzy she is not stupid. She puts together information well and can see the truth behind a lot of fakery. She has a strong analytical mind, though how she gets there doesn’t always make sense (witness her ability to use a bar of soap and binoculars to figure out David Hasselhoff was visiting). her biggest weakness, like Rachel, is in her relationship with her partner Jeff. While the duo work together with FAR less drama, her partnership with a perceived strong competitive player is seen as a reason to put her up.

The Remaining Houseguests:

11) Brendon

– Previously played in Big Brother 12. Partnered with Rachel.
– Brendon is playing a combination of Competitive Strength and Emotional Manipulation. Much like his partner, Brendon is heavily competitive and has won at important points. His personality is not as gregarious as his fiancee, but he is willing to be goofy to entertain. His sense of humor, unfortunately, doesn’t always quite jibe with societal norms for humor. He is also heavily concerned with being seen as less than professional in the outside world. That being said, he is still somewhat willing to be in on the joke and is somewhat liked in the house.
– Callouts: Brendon has an interesting confluence of opposite factors in his life. He has a strong physical presence but does poorly in endurance competitions. He wants to be seen as professional and yet finds ways to dress as a superhero on the live feeds and show. He loves his fiancee but finds ways to instigate the worst fights between them. This is the mystery of Brendon- he is a walking contradiction, and maddeningly so in the eyes of feedsters. However, this doesn’t have the same effect to those in the game- he is mostly liked in the house. His biggest weakness is perception based- because of his strength with Rachel, he is seen as a much more dangerous player than he actually is. He’s seen as the pants-wearer of the two, and while this is true in their interpersonal relationship it is not the case in-game.

12) Jeff

– Previously played in Big Brother 11. Partnered with Jordan.
– Jeff has a combination of Competitive Strength and a moderately successful Social game. He is seen as the stronger player between he and his partner, and is somewhat seen as the “Golden Boy” for his strong popularity outside the house. Beneath this lies a quick temper and an occasional ability to hold grudges, but this is mitigated by an affable personality and an overall likability factor that rates higher than almost any previous player in the house. (That this is helped by a favorable CBS edit doesn’t hurt.)
– Callouts: Jeff is a strong physical player, and has a strong commanding presence that works well when rallying the troops. That he is partnered with the most beloved winner of the game doesn’t hurt, but the perception that he is the dominant player of the two does. Jeff is seen as the greater threat, and in terms of leadership this is definitely true. However, people forget what led him to eviction in the previous season- he lets things get to him too easily. Just as he has a quick temper that can occasionally bite him in the rear, he also has the ability to get a big head at times. This overconfidence can and likely will hurt him once more.

13) Lawon

– Partnered with Kalia.
– Lawon is playing a Lurker strategy combined with a strong Social game. Never seen as a real threat, he is mostly seen as a source for humor and good conversation. Behind this is a fairly strong code of honor and ethics, and his life experiences have led to an enjoyable person to watch on the feeds.
– Callouts: Lawon is a fairly strong social player, seen as one of the lives of the party. This works especially well for him as he comes across as a nonthreat. The only person who sees him as someone to be evicted, in fact, is his partner Kalia (more on that later). With strong friendships developing with most of the Houseguests, this works very well for him as a shield against nomination- only Shelly plays a better social game this year. Lawon can go far in the game, if he can pull the right strings and remain seen as a nonthreat to the major players while they pick each other off.

14) Kalia

– Partnered with Lawon
– Kalia is playing a pure Social game. Rarely seen as a competitive threat, her ability to be part of most conversations is still not going unnoticed. Kalia has been there and done that- according to herself, anyways. Mostly known for her widening waistline rather than any real strategy by Feedsters, Kalia’s attempts at actually playing the game has been mixed in terms of results. Additionally, she has shown an odd paranoid streak when after trying to get herself and Lawon nominated (to get him out, of course) she suddenly showed a fear of it actually working.
– Callouts: Kalia isn’t a bad person. She seems like a fairly nice person in the house, and a social butterfly that would be nice to hang out with outside the house. This, however, is not a strong way to play the Big Brother game. As noted before, Kalia finds a way to be involved in almost every conversation. This actually works against her as she’s not seen as a strong physical player and adds the “always lurking” aspect to her gameplay. She’s also seen as a nonthreat but not in the same way as Lawon- between the two, he would remain and she would go home.

So, that’s the game as it stands now. this amy become a weekly update afterwards with a (MUCH) briefer analysis of how the remaining houseguests are doing. Let’s enjoy the game for what it is, and make sure to get up and go outside once in a while too!

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