Sunday, July 28, 2013

Strategy is Everything

The name of the game in Big Brother is strategy. There have been several successful strategies used in the past to carry players to the end. There have also been some unsuccessful strategies that have sent people home.

There's the floater strategy, that Jun used in BB4.  Its core characteristic is the ability to remain fluid in alliances and to choose which competitions to win or not. It's the ability to stay under the radar while manipulating situations to one's benefit, behind the scenes.

There's the social game strategy most successfully used by Dr. Will Kirby in season 2. He won the game based on sheer manipulation and personality, as he is the only winner to have never won an HoH or PoV competition.

There's the ninja strategy (Dan's term) which is a combination of social game, winning competitions when necessary  and relying on a small, solid, often secret, alliance. This strategy was successfully used by Dan Gheesling in BB10, Hayden Moss in BB12 and Ian Terry in BB14.

There's the goon strategy (my term) which is one of intimidation used successfully by Evel Dick in BB8. It's aggressively social and competitive game play that involves a lot of risky moves (such as using the veto on someone else) that pay off.

Finally, there's the production assisted win that is the use of any of the above strategies but with the winner being helped by production via the twists and/or favorable show edits that sway fan voting . The twists alone did not win them the game, but the twists did save them when they or their alliance was in danger. This is most notable with Jordan Llyod in BB11 and Rachel Reilly in BB13.

Who are the strategic players this season? Who is production favoring via the twists and edits?

Though many believe Amanda is the only strategic player this season, it's not accurate. She's been using a combination of the social game and intimidation thus far. She's been able to manipulate some situations and people to get her way, mainly getting Kaitlyn evicted over the more game-vulnerable Aaryn. However, her main goal for 3 weeks now has been to take out Howard and she's failed. Will her plan be foiled again this week; will she succeed; or will her game end?

Helen, though I don't care with some of her waffling tactics and her tendency to say too much, is also a key strategic player this season. She's been using a fusion between the floater and ninja strategies, being the main force behind David's, Nick's and Jeremy's evictions. She gets very close to taking the ultimate steps but she second-guesses herself which might be her demise.

Production has had their hand in the game via the MVP twist and the show editing. The first 3 weeks, the MVP twist has been a huge factor in helping Elissa not only stay in the game but with her allies' ability to get key threats to them evicted. Largely due to fan protests of rigging, production switched it up making fans the MVP. The main goal for this was to get Aaryn, who has become the representative of bigoted statements made by several house guests this season, evicted. (more on this in tomorrow's blog) This backfired when Kaitlyn was evicted instead, as a result of Amanda's and Helen's campaigning.

This week, the fans voted for Amanda as the third nominee, mostly because they crave to see a shift in the power, and have been disillusioned by her tactics. This has happened despite production's attempt to manipulate the voting via their edits which have been showing Elissa in a negative light while giving Amanda the hero's edit.

The other cast this season have placed themselves in supporting roles thus far, helping to further either Amanda's or Helen's agendas. Unless these people step up their games, they will find themselves watching the show from home or from the edited DvDs in jury.

Stay tuned.