What Did I Learn from Watching Big Brother This Year?
There were two distinct alliances in the Big Brother house this year, polar opposites. There was the Hive; there was Level 6. Let's take a quick look at each.
The Hive: These people seemed confused. Sometimes I wondered if they even knew they were playing Big Brother. They were entertaining though. I'll never forget the shocked looks on their face when the vote was the exact opposite of what they were sure was going to happen. This happened week after week. I couldn't believe it when they didn't seem to get it. Also, they would talk about the other side of the house, the other alliance, but they didn't seem to understand who was in that alliance. Several times I heard them say this one or that one is all alone, calling them floaters, when those were the people on the other team.
The Hive did not work well together. Every time the vote went wonky on them, they started pointing fingers at each other. They were paranoid to the extreme. Funny thing is, they were in control more often than the other side. They would have picked off Level 6. Instead, they lost their own allies (either by targeting them on purpose or losing them to things like the Hacker).
Level 6: These people bonded well. I didn't see any craziness with them or paranoia, at least not till towards the end. They each had a part to play and understood it. They knew who the enemy was and targeted them. I loved watching how well they got along with each other. They made plans and stuck to them. It didn't start falling apart until Brett turned on them a little too early and got evicted (which was the dumbest mistake they made, but we'll get to that later).
I honestly think this was the best season to watch if you are studying the game. Anyone wanting to play Big Brother in the future should watch season 20 and learn from their many, many mistakes.
What did I learn?
1. Keep Your Mouth Shut: There were three special power apps given out this season. Sam (the floater) got one that could save an evicted person; Tyler (Level 6) got one that could keep him safe from nominations once; and Bayleigh (the Hive) got one that would let her take over HOH and nominate her own targets.
These three handled their powers very differently.
Sam saved hers until she was HOH. She didn't want to be looked on as a bad guy or have anybody mad at her. (Does she know she's on Big Brother?) So she told her nominees before eviction that one of them would have a chance to get back into the house.
Bayleigh told someone from the other alliance, someone she had just nominated for eviction about her power. Wow. I'm sorry, but that was not smart... and it got her evicted.
Tyler kept his mouth shut. He didn't even tell his closest alliance members. Now he did eventually tell Sam-- which I thought was dumb-- but she kept her mouth shut.
Level 6 avoided each other for a while, especially certain members. Maybe that was why the Hive couldn't figure out who they were up against.
2. Be Loyal (until you don't have to be loyal): The Hive continuously turned on each other, while Level 6 members were pledging their loyalty to the end. I can't state enough how much I loved seeing this group getting along. Some members pretended to be with the others to gather information. I kept expecting other members to get nervous and paranoid. They didn't. So good for them. Trust was a main theme in this group. Loved it.
This is how you make it to the final 4, and they would have if Brett hadn't started targeting two of the members a little early. He made the mistake of telling another member, Tyler, and that was it for Brett.
3. Too Many Final Twos Can Make Life Difficult: Tyler made WAY too many F2 deals. Problem is, I don't see any other way he could have done it. I was paying close attention to his game, and he was not offering deals. People were coming to him. What was he supposed to say? Sorry, I already have a F2 in place? That's how you get sent home. I think he did the only thing he could do under the circumstances.
4. Don't Ask the Other Side If Your Answer is Right: I think this will go down as one of the biggest mistakes in Big Brother history and will be talked about for years to come. Rockstar saw Tyler's answer while playing OTEV, and she was worried she had it wrong. So she showed him her answer and asked if it was wrong. A little light went off over Tyler's head. He had gotten the wrong answer. Thanks to her, he was able to run down and get the right answer. She still could have won at that point, but she got the wrong answer on the last one.
Which brings us to my next point...
5. Don't Celebrate Too Early: When Rockstar made it back first, Haleigh and the rest of her team started jumping up and down and screaming. Then they found out she was wrong. Oops. Egg on faces here. Tyler wound up winning that one, and his side kept quiet. They did not jump around, yell, and celebrate when a team member won. This is probably another reason the Hive had no idea who the other alliance actually was. They didn't broadcast it.
Level 6 was not perfect, however. They did get caught celebrating in one of the bedrooms by Haleigh. She then ran to Fess and told him they were in big trouble. She had finally figured out Tyler, Angela, Kaycee, and Brett made up the other alliance. Fess didn't believe her.
6. Do Not Target Your Own Side: One of the floaters, JC, went to Fess when he was the HOH and convinced him to target one of his own guys. This lesson could also fall into the showmance category. They are bad for your game. Anyway, Fess liked Haleigh and so did Scottie (one of their allies). So when Fess got the chance to put Scottie on the block, he did. It also didn't help that Scottie said he loved Haleigh right in front of Fess. Not smart. This would be part of the keep-your-mouth-shut lesson.
Scottie went home, and Fess got labeled one of the dumbest players in BB history.
7. Do NOT Have a Showmance: Some people might like watching them, but it ruins a players game. Tyler said he knew this when he entered the house. He stated again and again and again that he was not going to have a showmance. So what did he do? He fell for Angela.
Tyler went from being one of the smartest players there, someone bound for legendary status: then he fell for Angela and lost half his brain cell. Seriously, this proves to me that people who fall in love get dumb. At least for a while. We watched Tyler go from a genius player to someone who made dumb moves like all the others in the house.
8. Play Nice: Another thing I liked about Level 6 members (most of them) is that they understand it's a game. They don't get crazy and go off on people for playing the game. (you know who I'm talking about). It might make for interesting TV, but people are going to remember you for being a psycho.
9. If You Have to Leave, Leave with Class: We had a lot of sore losers this year. They said nasty things in their final speeches, and Rachel stomped out without saying goodbye to anyone. I remember thinking as I was watching that this is a person who would flip the checker board or Monopoly board or whatever game you're playing if she was losing. The people who say goodbye and hug their former opponents are the ones with class. I appreciate it when they leave with smiles on their faces and even joke about their blunders (Brett, I see you there). That's class.
10. Do NOT Target Your Own Side: I know, I know. I already listed this, but it bears repeating. This time I want to talk about Level 6 backdooring Brett. Sure, he was turning on them too early. Sure, he went to Tyler and told him they should get rid of the girls, but this was JC's influence on Brett. They should have gotten rid of JC and stuck to the plan. If they had, JC wouldn't have been there to win an important HOH and get Angela sent out. Level 6 would have made Final 4 intact.
It is NEVER a good idea to target your own side... not until the other side is gone.
I was really looking forward to seeing Tyler, Angela, Kaycee, and Brett turn on each other in Final 4. Now, thanks to their dumb move, I never will see it.
That brings me to who I think will win.
Tyler or Kaycee
Kaycee: In my opinion, she played the best game. She had a great social game. People liked her, and she hardly got any blood on her hands. She coasted for a while, throwing comps so she wouldn't look like a threat. Then she started winning veto after veto after veto and it would have been next to impossible to get rid of her at that point.
Tyler: On the other hand, Kaycee couldn't have played the game she had without Tyler's help. He won a lot of comps and kept their alliance mostly intact. He made a lot of side deals and got a LOT of blood on his hands. His social game was good... for a while. You can't make that many promises without pissing people off.
I'm fine with either of them winning.