I have watched and followed every season and episode of “Big Brother” since its inception. Now don’t judge me. It’s one of my guilty pleasures. I don’t get on you about some of that shit you watch! But if you, too, are a fan of this particular reality TV show, maybe you will understand and appreciate my comments about it. Anyway, due to my devotion, I have learned a few things about how to play the game.
First of all, let me tell you that I would not go on the show myself, if given the opportunity. So this is merely a theoretical assessment. I don’t relish that kind of exposure to so many people. Although I am an exhibitionist (but not so much anymore, since I‘ve gotten fat), and whereas I love interacting with people and sharing my wit and wisdom, I don’t want everybody seeing and knowing all my business. I need my alone time. I would consider it, however, if it were an unmonitored situation, without the cameras everywhere, but that would defeat their purpose, wouldn’t it? Instead, I would like to be able to talk to the contestants directly and give them my unsolicited advice and offer my opinions.
But if I were a contestant/houseguest on the show, I would attempt to use the unheard-of tactic of complete honesty with the other players. On the very first day in the House, I would lay out my game plan and tell the others exactly what to expect from me. I would never intentionally lie to anybody, and when they are convinced that I am always truthful, then they might tend to believe everything I say. Truth and honestly could be contagious if given the chance, but I suppose that would be too much to hope for.
Every season the new contestants come on claiming that they are big fans of the show and have watched it every season. Then why don’t they learn from past seasons how to play the game? The players are always forming alliances and promising each other that they will protect them and never nominate them for eviction. Then they feel all betrayed when somebody that they trusted eventually turns on them, as they always do. As there can be only one winner, everyone will be put out eventually. They never seem to get that little fact. They act surprised and hurt when they catch somebody in a lie or when they go against their word. “He lied right to my face!“ Well, duh! You chose to believe him, so don’t blame him for telling you what you wanted to hear.
I would not want to be in any alliances with anybody. They’re only temporary anyway. Season before last the boys tried to establish an alliance with each other against the girls, but by the second week, a couple guys wanted out of it already. And last season, with only 15 people in the house, they tried to form an eight-person alliance. Now with two Heads of Household, who are both exempt, and four players being nominated each week for eviction (that‘s already six), that didn’t leave any extras to choose from. So, of course, that alliance didn’t last very long.
They will criticize and judge harshly the person who is playing only for themself and to hell with everybody else, when that is what they all should be doing. I’m not making any deals with anyone, and I don’t trust anyone. That way I can’t be disappointed. You can be betrayed only by someone you trust. I have no loyalty to anybody either. Whenever a player goes against another’s wishes, they will immediately turn on you. So, you are my friend and on my side only as long as I do what you tell me to do? Some will get mad when they learn that a player is coming after them. Well, that’s the game, to go after each other. Don’t take it personally. Aren’t you doing the same thing, or should be if you’re not?
Invariably, most houseguests will team up with another player (a “showmance” or whatever) and then swear to each other that they will protect each other and never put them up on the eviction block or vote them out. Don’t be telling anybody that. That’s a promise that you can’t possibly keep, for it will eventually come the time when you won’t have a choice. They might be the only one left to nominate for eviction. Maybe these two “best friends” have to face off in a one-on-one competition. So now they will have to decide whether to honor their pact, sacrifice themselves by throwing the competition and letting the other one win, or decide that all bets are off, to hell with you, I want to stay. That has happened, in fact, more than a few times.
One trusting idiot one season had the opportunity to take himself off the eviction block, but instead decided not to do it, thinking that his “friends” would all save him. Of course, he was promptly dispatched. I guess he learned his lesson.
Players are always boasting or making the claim that they alone was responsible for getting somebody evicted or saved. No one can do that all by themself. Both of those are a group effort. You are only one vote out of many. Just because the Head of Household nominates somebody, doesn’t mean that they will be evicted right away. They have opportunities to save themselves. The HoH does not get a player evicted. All they did was nominate them. Then it’s out of their hands. They‘ve even been known to boast, “I‘m getting rid of her ass this week.” But that’s not up to you. You don’t get to vote. Or you are only one vote.
“Everybody is against me and are lying to me. I can’t trust anybody in this house.“ Oh, boo-hoo! Get over yourself! Nobody, me especially, is impressed by your crying and feeling sorry for yourself. You just reveal your weakness by doing that. As Tom Hanks’ character says in A League of Their Own (1992), “There is no crying in baseball!“ My advice is to get it together, and don’t let the other players get your goat. Be strong. Just play the game!
If I find out a secret about somebody, I won’t volunteer the information unless I am asked directly about it. So if you have a secret, keep it to yourself, because once you divulge it, it‘s not a secret anymore. “I’ll tell you something, if you promise not to tell anybody.“ The problem with that is, that’s the same thing that they say to everybody that they tell, until everybody knows about it! One season when a player figured out that a fellow houseguest had a secret twin sister in the house, and they were both playing unbeknownst to the other players, instead of keeping that knowledge to herself and using it to her advantage, like blackmail maybe, she went and told other people, which did not help her game at all.
In the event that I get to be Head of Household and have to nominate somebody for eviction, don’t think that any of you are exempt. Don’t take it personally, because somebody has to go up, so why not you? As everyone gets the chance to save themselves every week, it does not necessarily mean the end of the line for them. So if you want to stay in the house, do what is required to guarantee your safety. There have been players who were nominated almost every time but managed to stay in the game until the very end.
So far, it was this season, in fact, there has been only one player who did what I would do. When she got HoH, she made this announcement to the entire house. “None of you will be coming to my room to discuss who to nominate or who you want to leave. I am not sharing my strategy with anybody. I am the Head of Household and I am making my own decisions. You will know who I have chosen when the time comes.” I love her for that. There was nothing they could say, because she wasn’t doing anything wrong or unethical. That’s what they all should do.
There is a player every season who tries to run and control the game. They will tell the HoH who to nominate and then tell the other players who to vote out. I don’t understand why so many of them go along with this guy and tend to do whatever they are told. Then when this “puppet master” eventually turns on one or more of them, they feel all betrayed and taken advantage of, when they are the ones who allowed themselves to be taken in by this person.
“I thought we all agreed to vote Ian out, but you went against the House.” ‘Well, first of all, I never agreed, and besides, I like Ian. I don’t want him to go yet.’ Don’t tell me who to nominate or who to vote for eviction. Whom I vote out is my decision alone. If you want a certain person to go up, then win HoH and you can nominate them yourself. Don’t ask me to do your dirty work for you. I would tend to nominate those whom I like the least, so to quote “Talking Tina” (the killer doll from a “Twilight Zone” episode), “You’d better be nice to me!”
I have heard players tell each other, “Everybody likes him, and he is a really good player. If we make it to the Final Two, I know that the Jury would pick him over me. So he has to go.” Well, if he is a good player and well-liked, I would think that he deserves to stay. If all of the better players are evicted, then that leaves only the tired ones there. So they would rather have a floater or someone who never wins any competitions to be a finalist instead of the better player whom everybody likes? If that’s their criterion, why even bother to play the game? Just sit around and bide your time until everybody else is voted out.
A case in point. There was one woman on there last season who merely coasted along the whole summer. She won no competitions and was put up for eviction almost every week, primarily as a pawn. But the other player up with her was the one that would get voted off every time. She was deemed as no threat to anybody, you see. So ironically the deemed worst player ended up in the Final Three and could possibly have won the game!
Looking at it another way, though, maybe that is a good strategy in itself. Just lay low for the whole game and don’t do anything. So the mere fact that they are not considered a threat by anybody is how they manage to stay in the game until the end, while all the other stronger players are being voted out around them. If they make to the end, by whatever means, that makes them a good player, doesn’t it? I’ve heard evicted houseguests complain, “She has floated through the entire game.“ Yeah, but she’s still there, isn’t she? And you’re not. She must be doing something right. My methods probably won’t get me to the end (but then again, they might), but I can leave the House with my head held high.