With each new episode of Big Brother, we get a better look at how this season will be played and what the various houseguests’ strategies are. In the first two episodes, we were introduced to new twists while also seeing the beginning signs of some alliances being formed. Last night, the nature of these twists was further revealed as we also saw more solid bonds, and even alliances, starting to take shape. One thing’s for sure: Big Brother isn’t a game that any one can play and win by themselves, and they’re going to need each other if they want to make it all the way.
Two HOHs, James and Jason, were crowned in the first episodes, setting the stage for the continuation of the Battle of the Block. But there were two other contestants who were forced to volunteer to not play in the first HOH of the season, without knowing what the possible consequences or benefits of that might be. Da’Vonne and Vanessa both sat out, hoping that it would result in something positive for their game. And that it did. Part of the Big Brother Takeover twist this week is that these two are automatically safe from nomination and eviction. Not only that, but they were told to each chose one other person whose safety this week would also be guaranteed.
This twist resulted in the first real display of strategy in the game so far, as houseguests went to the two ladies and asked for safety. At the same time, Da’Vonne and Vanessa had to be smart about who they saved because doing someone a favor could lead to some reciprocation in the future. While Da’Vonne chose Liz, who promised that if she won HOH next week Da’Vonne would be safe, Vanessa went with Austin, who is a big physical threat and could be a beneficial ally in the future. The only possible mistake Da’Vonne made was not saving Audrey or Shelli, the two who she formed an alliance with the first episode. A divide with Shelli is already being formed despite both girls knowing they will probably be safe anyway.
This divide between Da’Vonne and Shelli grew further as Da’Vonne started worrying about all the time Shelli has been spending with Clay. From Da’Vonne’s perspective, it looks like Shelli is more concerned with starting a showmance than with playing the game, and she isn’t quite sure that Shelli is someone she’ll be able to trust and work with in the future. With Shelli also questioning Da’Vonne’s loyalty, things aren’t looking good for this hastily formed all girls alliance. Audrey and Da’Vonne still seem to be on board with working together, though, with the possibility of adding a few men to their alliance.
Because James and Jason became the first HOH’s, they were automatically positioned to work together during this first week when making nominations. This gave them their first chance to talk game together and they quickly realized they were on the same page about who they wanted out: Jace. They’re concerned that not only is Jace a physical threat, but he’s also playing a great social game. It’s obvious he’s already in an alliance with his ‘bro’ Austin and almost all the other houseguests like him too. With this common target in place, it was pretty easy for Jason and James to work together in making nominations, planning to put up four pawns to ensure that Jace doesn’t have too many chances to take himself off the block.
While James and Jason were discussing who to put up, a very interesting conversation ended up taking place between them and Da’Vonne and Audrey. These four may very well be in the starting phases of forming an alliance, one that none of the other houseguests will suspect. They are a diverse foursome who on the outside appear extremely different, but could end up working well together in the game. All four are smart players and appear to know the game well, and if they can pull off their plan this first week, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them continue working together in the future.
Of course, with this plan in place, the difficult task of recruiting pawns had to occur. Some players, like Becky, John, and Jackie, went along with being put up, knowing that protesting would only place an even bigger target on their back. They also knew they’d have the chance to fight in Battle of the Block and had been reassured that they were merely pawns. Steve, on the other hand, was less agreeable about being put on the block, worried that pawns sometimes end up going home. While it’s understandable that he would be nervous, it only hurt his game to not go along with what the HOHs were saying. Lucky for him, their main target is still Jace, but he’ll have to be more careful in the future.
As it stands now, John and Becky went up against Jackie and Steve in the Battle of the Block, with John and Becky winning themselves safety for the week. Wednesday’s episode will give us a better idea of what James is thinking, as he is now the sole HOH. We’ll see the first Veto Competition of the season and learn whether or not the plan to backdoor Jace will be successful. These houseguests are already playing hard, and I’m loving every second of it.
[Photo credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS]