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Eric Stein Sizes Up The Big Brother 11 HouseGuests - Week 4

Posted on 08/06/2009 by RealityWanted in Big Brother and Reality Wrap

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Eric Stien Big Brother 10

By Eric Stein for RealityWanted.com

Goodbye cliques twist, we hardly knew ye.  As predicted, last week’s live show put the kibosh on the HS format, but not before it had a MAJOR impact on the game.  The cliques, combined with the returning houseguest twist, have shaped the entire game this season.  Let’s enter our BB time warp and paint a picture of what could have been.  Remember during the first HoH competition, Laura was shown in the DR proudly stating that she threw the competition to not appear too strong?  Well, I bet she regrets that now.  For argument’s sake, let’s just imagine that Laura held on and won the game for the Populars…

Everyone close your eyes and chant “LAURA, LAURA, LAURA”…now count backwards from ten….do the hokey pokey…wait for it….wait for it…okay, annnnnnnnnd there it is.  Laura is now the week one HoH…

Where’s Jessie?  Oh yeah, he never entered the house.  In fact, is that Natalie on the block?  Yup!  Her and her telegraphed first night lies are firmly planted in the nomination seat.  And having just asserted his strength in the HoH comp, Russell is right there next to her.  And since the Athletes are clearly not in control, only have 3 votes (2 of which are nominated and one of whom hates them), things aren’t looking too hot in Athleteville.  What’s that I hear coming from the HoH room?  Is that a song?

I love the sun and the sun loves me, I love slop in my tummy
They thought I was another Holly, and Zach was voted sexiest bunny
Booyah, booyah, booyah, booyah, booyah, booyah, booyah

Oh right!  If Jessie isn’t there, that means we have a new HoH…Jessica is in charge!  In turn, the Populars have an extra vote.  Braden is surfing on a lawn chair in the pool.  After all, he’s protected and can’t go home.  In fact, not even one slur has come out of his mouth, because he’s a very happy and safe BBer.  Feeling safe, Jess/Jordan/Laura spend much of the first week praying to the sun gods, while tanning in the backyard.  The live feeders rejoice.  And what the heck is Ronnie doing?  Is he feeding the three popular girls grapes and fanning them?  Sure is!  After all, Jessie isn’t there so he doesn’t need to worship him and the Athlete army is already depleting, so he needs to crawl up somebody’s butt.  Since Lydia can’t perform sex acts on Jessie, it appears as if she’s been forced to spread the love…Russell is on the block, so he’s not worth a hand job…looks like it’s Braden’s lucky day!  Wow, the Populars are just loving life right now.  With this momentum, there’s no way that Laura is going home next week, so they are settling in and making long term plans.  Everything is different.  Well, wait…not everything.  Natalie still doesn’t shower.  

(Snaps out of my trance)

Ah, what could have been.  It’s nice to daydream sometimes, isn’t it?  The producers know that the fans would be loving life right now if that had happened, but alas, they don’t have a time machine (at least not that I know of…they could be saving it for AS2).  However, what they do have is the ability to manipulate the game to “gently” nudge it in the right direction.  Sure, they can’t bring the likable players back, but they sure can protect the ones they still have now!  And just like that, poof, we have our third majorly game-altering twist of the season - the magical wizard coup de tat.  Let me state up front…I hate the concept of the coup de tat in general.  It compromises the existing structure of the game and it’s waaaaaaaaaaaaay too great of a power.  First of all, it’s a get out of jail free card for your entire alliance.  That is amazing.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to feel safety in the BB house.  Armed with the knowledge that you and your alliance are safe for the week, you can relax and spend the week planning for the future without fear of repercussions.  That alone would be an immense power.  Yet, on top of that, you also get to essentially evict any other player from the house.  A lot of people have asked me how an alliance will have the time to coordinate their vote if the Coup nominees are only revealed mere seconds before the vote?  Simple, when you use the Coup, just state in your speech which person you want your cronies to vote out.  Without time to debate and think, your alliance will be subtly strong-armed into voting the way that you want, and that person will be a goner.  And voila, just like that you’ve zapped YOUR biggest obstacle towards winning the game.  It’s such a huuuuuge swing in power.  Completely demoralizing to the HoH (whose plans will go up in flames), totally tragic for the alliance that is on the receiving end of it, and worst of all, it is life-ruining for the houseguest who goes home.  The person who gets taken out by the Coup doesn’t even have a fair chance to play the game to defend themselves, which means for the rest of their lives they will have to wonder what could have been if they didn’t get hosed. 
    I sincerely don’t believe in such game-breaking power.  But I really, really, really hate that it’s a fan vote.  If you are going to give out an epic power, it should not only have to be earned but each HG needs to have a fair chance to earn it.  See, the producers can easily argue that everyone has an equal chance to win the power this way, but we all know that’s just not true.  So in essence, Jeff & Jordan have been handed a game-changing gift horse.  Luckily, it just so happens that the majority of viewers are pulling for them, so the fans will be pleased with the ensuing trickle down effect.  Happy viewers = happy producers.  They say all’s fair in love, war, and reality TV – but this really isn’t fair.  I will be sending a sympathy card and flowers to the jury house for the person who ultimately gets wronged by this twist (whether I’m rooting for them or not).   
    So aside from massively impactful twists, what else is going on over in our favorite nut house?  Well, as I’ve predicted, Ronnie is done for.  He played a BRUTALLY bad game.  There is a huge difference between possessing the ability to play a good game and actually doing it.  I don’t even see how he can be called a master manipulator when his manipulations did nothing other than get him evicted.  That doesn’t sound too masterful to me.  Otherwise, everyone is still lying, everyone is still paranoid, everyone is still completely crazed – eh, seems like a pretty average week in the life of a BB houseguest.  I must say...it’s been another bust of an HoH week.  Yet again, the HoH will leave office is worse standing and power than they entered it.  Early in the week, Russ was just about ready to orchestrate the game-changing alliance reshuffle that I’ve been speaking about.  Russ/Jeff/Jordan/Michele/Kevin could have taken it to the end.  Russ let his paranoia and ego get in the way though and once again we are left with a jumbled mess of things. This house seems to be incapable of making a decision and sticking with it.  To me, that is a fatal flaw in BB strategy.  You NEVER should change your targets midweek.  If they were the person you wanted out when you made your nominations, NOTHING that anybody does during the week should change that.  People get too caught up in the excitement of the moment and lose their heads.  The first 4-5 people who can pull their heads out of their butts long enough to form a new solid alliance will produce the winner of this game.  The question is - who out of Kevin, Lydia, Chima, and Michele will be capable enough to orchestrate it and properly latch onto or bust up the existing power alliances. 
    The problem is that this upcoming week is meaningless.  They will continue to overplay and scramble and just when they think they have it figured out, the coup will be used and blow it all up again.  On the positive side, the constant reshuffling should lead to an exciting season.  Keep in mind, only 4 people will have gone home as of tonight…that still leaves 9 other playing – there’s lots of game to go.  My ideal scenario for this week would be Jessie winning his 3rd HoH in 3 chances, self-righteously doing whatever the heck he wants all week long, and then J&J using the Coup to oust Natalie at the week’s end.  Nat goes and Jessie stays (although he’s stripped of all his power in the process) and is forced to reevaluate his game.  Wouldn’t it be intriguing if Jessie/Russ/Jeff were the Final 3.  It’ll never happen though.  BB has ever been an alpha athletes game and it never will be, but how awesome would those final few comps be?
    So who do I think is playing the best game currently?  Jeff…by a mile.  He stays out of fights, has a solid alliance mate to the end, and is gaining favor as the summer goes on, rather than losing it.  If he can lock in some additional alliance members, he has a chance to take this to the end.  He is just far more level-headed than most of the house.  His biggest obstacle is that eventually he will be sitting on the block next to Jordan and he will always go home before her.  PoV will be very important to him later in this game.  My girl Michele has disappointed this week, but she will be protected by the Coup and by the time all is said and done, nobody will ever remember that she was public enemy of the week once upon a time.  There’s very little point in analyzing the house standing until the Coup comes and goes.  Next week’s HoH will be the biggie, not this one.
    So, last week I signed off my e-mail with the following (which still holds true, by the way): “If you wanna tell me what an idiot I am, how ugly I am, that I was the worst player in BB history, ask me out on a date, buy me gifts, or offer any other comments on my article, leave me a comment here or you can hit me up at: www.myspace.com/ericstein”

Would you believe that somebody actually e-mailed me and asked me out?  I kid you not.  And, amazingly enough…it wasn’t a guy, she wasn’t 73, she wasn’t a contestant on More To Love…and, she was actually hot.  Man, I love reality TV.

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