Written By Eric Stein
Source: Reality Wanted
Andddddddddddd, I’ve returned from my mini hiatus to bring the goods. I’m back where I belong?ass firmly planted in couch. And I’m acting like any good reality star would?I’m currently drinking a beer, because I don’t have any other type of beverage in my fridge at the moment. I’d actually love to talk Bachelorette, Here Come the Newlyweds, Real World, Top Chef Masters, The Fashion Show, Charm School, New Food Network Star, and So You Think You Can Dance?but alas, today is a day for Big brother goodness, so those will have to wait. So let’s get down to the analysis.
Believe it or not, I like them all. The HS clique deal brings an interesting new dynamic to the game. People come into the game with preconceived notions of how they are going to play the game and this rattles their cage right off the get go. I believe that this puts a huge burden on two of the groups. Big Brother is a game of scape-goating and dog piling, meaning you find any asinine reason to target someone and then everyone jumps on the pile to bury them for good. Obviously, this makes the athletes easy marks in this scenario. If the cliques are going to select an easy early target, who better than the physical threats? Ironically, a physical threat has never once won the game, yet they are targeted early every season. The other clique that gets screwed here is the brains. Why, might you ask? Well, the athletes can’t hide their muscles, and the offbeats were never going to hide their tattoos?but the brains could have chosen to hide their intellect. Instead, they are having their skill set identified for them whether they like it or not. Also, what’s to say that a popular or offbeat person isn’t also intelligent or athletic?opinion
The have/have not scenario is a fun one. Why leave it at just slop? Why not torture them with cold water, a freezing cold room, and keeping the lights on all night as well? The good thing here is that it forces people to play hard in these competitions. I wish that the 3 last place finishers in the HoH comp would be subjected to this room, as an incentive for people to stop throwing those contests. If you don’t show up to Big Brother expecting some unusual conditions, then you simply should not be there in the first place. A real player will simply embrace and ignore this, but it’s a fun new spin on the food comps, which were starting to feel a little dated.
And the returning houseguest. First, let’s get the obvious out of the way. I was whole-heartedly, tremendously pulling for Jessica to get into the house. What she said on the show was 100% correct?without America’s Player, she would have had a GREAT chance of winning the game on season 8. She was a two time HoH, always in the dominant alliance, and the last person to be nominated in our season. She deserved a second chance and I am certain should would have done amazing. While everyone’s gut instinct is to assume that the returning player is a hopeless, walking human target – don’t be so sure. Keep in mind that Steph made the final 2 when she returned to Survivor on back to back seasons and the returning favorites dominated the fans on Survivor: Micronesia. The problem is that in order to pull it off, it requires that the returning player be humble, appreciative, and endear themselves to the new HGs. Jessie will do none of those things. However, what he lacks in gameplay, he makes up for in being a fantastic character. He is a hilarious addition to the show and I hope he represents us past HGs (at least for the 3 weeks that he’s there).
Props to BB8 Nick for writing a better version of this article earlier today. I am ripping him off entirely. I have zero originality. Also, please note that I am solely evaluating their gameplay to this point. In no way is this a reflection of my personal feelings towards them; rather simply an analysis of how I view their chances of winning the game at this point. Keep in mind that week 1 means virtually nothing in the BB house. I didn’t talk strategy or truly align with anyone til almost day 20, yet when I finally did, I was an influential part of those groups. Week 1 is a far better indicator of who is hopeless than who is going to be victorious.
* Absolutely No Chance of Winning BB11 *
Braden – SPOILER ALERT. Wait, should I have put that spoiler alert before his name? Oh well. Braden has no chance of winning the game because this philosophical, word-making-up, surfer is joining the rarified air of such past luminaries as Carol and Jacob; he’s going to be the first person to leave the Big Brother house. Seems to me like that limits his chances of winning, haha. He probably could have been an interesting character if he stayed around and is likely getting a raw deal by going out first, but he’s done for nonetheless.
Natalie – Far and away the worst player in the house this season! She’s lied about her age, her athletic background, and her knowledge of the game all within the first 3 hours. Great, nothing wrong with lying. However, she has done a piss poor job of substantiating her lies and sustaining them. She is a compulsive liar, but a bad liar. She has contradicted herself numerous times?had a huge tantrum at the HoH competition?and has played uber aggressively, while stating that her intention was to be under the radar. Plus, she has worn sweatpants for two weeks running. She has negative chance of winning.
Jessie – As much as I’d like to see him do well, the same mistakes that plagued him last season will haunt him again. He is too aggressive, too emotional, and too upfront. I wonder, how do people make the same mistakes season after season? Don’t they know that the first power alliance of the summer never goes anywhere? Ask Jase and Scott, the Mrs. Robinson alliance, and so many others. Asserting dominance early in the game just paints a huge target on your back. He has additionally made three cardinal BB mistakes already. Using the veto in week 1 is insane. Arbitrarily switching your target midweek is sloppy playing. And he nominated members of all three cliques – why would you want to create enemies of all 3 groups? Oy. Unfortunately for Jessie, he never really stood a chance in this format. He’ll be great TV while he lasts.
Russell – He’s playing a decent social game, but see above for why he won’t win the game. Not only should he have lied about his occupation, but if you’re going to state that you are a professional fighter by trade, then you can not come out of the gates and win the first HoH and the first PoV. He has publicly announced what a huge threat he is?hence he’s hopeless. After watching the episode, his PoV win was far from intimidating though. SHOTGUN?!? You mean to tell me that none of them could come up with a word that was longer than seven letters? That was flabbergasting. See, I just used a 14-letter word without even trying. I happen to think he has potential otherwise and may last for a while; but he can’t overcome the target he’s put on himself to make it all the way. Can’t wait to grab a beer with him afterwards and talk MMA.
Chima – As Nick very accurately noted in his column, the person who comes off the block in week 1 almost always settles in for a long stay into the house. People shift their focus and said person often doesn’t go back on the block for quite some time. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see her around for a little while. However, she has a mouth on her that she can’t contain. It took her all of 5 minutes upon move-in to start talking trash, she’s sassy, and she’s a chronic complainer. Outspoken players rarely excel in this game. BB requires the finesse of knowing when to shut your mouth and I don’t believe she possesses that quality.
* Middle of the Pack *
Lydia – She was VERY close to being put in the no chance group, but she showcased pretty nifty manipulative skills to get herself off the block this week. As a player (NOT as a person), she reminds me a lot of BB8’s Amber. She knows how to prey on people’s emotions. She is kissing people’s butts with compliments, crying on cue, and tugging at other people’s heartstrings. Being manipulative in real life often translates into a dangerous BB player. However, eventually not only do people see through it, but they resent you for using them. It will ultimately bite her in the butt. I do like alterna-chicks though and bet we get along great in real life.
Jeff – My very initial thought was that he could pull a BB5 Drew and “nice guy” himself to the end of the game. Boy, was that wrong. He’s already been a part of several week one blowups. Ya wanna know what happens when you get into a fight in week one? You see a player like me sitting in the background (probably in the hot tub) grinning ear to ear, because your antics mean one more person who is ahead of me on the pecking order. Plus, he stated prior to the game that he would love to find true love in the BB house. He is a candidate to get steamrolled by an opportunistic girl. The only reason he’s not in the “no chance” group is because he’s separated himself from the athletes. You never know what sort of deck reshuffling may occur later in the game.
Ronnie – I’ll give him some credit?he said I was his favorite player on BB8 – so the man has good taste. I had very high hopes for Ronnie?he may be the biggest student of the game to ever step foot into the BB house. He is vastly knowledgeable about all things BB. That’s why I’m so disappointed in his gameplay thus far. Joining the ranks of BB8 Joe and BB10 Brian before him, Ronnie has opted to play 6 months of game during week 1. Your week 1 strategy should be this simple?if it’s not me, I don’t care who it is. However, in addition to actively campaigning, he has “secret” alliances with at least 75% of the house. He has what I refer to as the kitchen sink approach?i.e., he aligns with everything and the kitchen sink (he’s promised the sink, the toaster, and the counter top to go to the final 4 with them). The only reason he earns middle ground status is because he’s smart and a debate champion. If he realizes the error of his ways at some point, he could have a chance of undoing the damage. Unlikely though.
Kevin – As my boy Nick mentioned, the move-in day rap on Kevin was that he was going to be beyond outspoken and flamboyant. Yet somehow, he has managed to stay mostly under the radar thus far. The question is, can he keep it up or will his true personality ultimately shine through? And can he win competitions when he needs to? If things stay the course, Kevin is jury bound at bare minimum. However, he is prone to show his true colors at any time.
Laura – She has the potential to be a very interesting character. She is your typical LA model recruit type, but she doubles as a student of the game. If I were her, I would have shut my mouth about being an uber fan and said, “Oh, they found me in a bar.” By staying out of the week 1 drama though, she’s on to something. However, ultimately she strikes me as a little too self-involved to make it all the way to the end.
* The Front Runners *
Casey – Mike Boogie 2.0. Even one week ago, I would have never thought I’d be including him in this section. And truthfully, he really rests more in the top of the middle of the pack than as a true front runner for me. However, Casey has done a rock solid job of not creating enemies during week 1. And he’s getting the BB super edit to try to make him look like the house comedian to get the fans on his side (always a good sign). The truth is though that Casey is an aggressive guy?on move in day, he outright told other players, “I don’t think we’ll be getting along or aligning this season.” I’m inclined to think his mouth will sink him eventually, but with other players higher up on the target list, if he can last close enough to the end, he stands the chance of a competition run to get him to the finish line.
Jordan – Do not sleep on Jordan. She doesn’t know the game well at all, she is too trusting, she is not cutthroat, etc.?yet in this dynamic, that may be just what the doctor ordered. Who is going to spend their HoH week on eliminating Jordan? She is a sweetheart and she’s not a threat. She very well may watch people fight right over her head for weeks before they ever look her way. She is a very likely candidate to be the last person nominated this season if she continues to build more social relationships. By simply skating that far into the game, anything can happen. Do I expect her to win? No. But do I expect her to be around to a long time? Absolutely.
Michele – Let me become the 3rd BB8 houseguest to declare Michele as their front-runner. My boys Nick and Joe have previously gone on record with this very prediction and I am jumping right on the bandwagon as well. In her pre-show interviews, Michele described herself as a female me. Need I say more? She combines intelligence with a goofiness that will help disarm her opponents. While she’s busy bonding with them over sex talk, they will underestimate her game. She hasn’t made any early moves, isn’t over aggressive, is under the radar, and is very capable of making a move when the time comes. Plus, the “have not” lifestyle resulted in Chima having a meltdown and Ronnie was also on the fritz, whereas Michele didn’t show a single sign of wear and tear. She is my definitive selection for this season’s best player to date.
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