You can never guarantee when the balance of power shifts on Big Brother. Sometimes we endure a season where the majority holds onto control each week (Big Brother 19) while others can shift back-and-forth (Big Brother 6). The jury is still out on Big Brother 21, but if Week #7 is a good indicator, there’s potential for the balancing to happen pretty soon. What’s left of the Six Shooters alliance reclaimed the authority and took out one of the outsiders for a cookie-cutter week. The game didn’t get shaken up, but the pieces were placed that could affect the players later on. Basically, we experienced a standard and typical round of Big Brother.
The biggest hindrance right now for a colossal game shift is Tommy. The current front-runner is set in the best position since everyone has a good relationship with him; it’s understandable why he doesn’t want to shake things up when he has it so good. For Tommy’s game, being surrounded by a powerful alliance, like the Six Shooters, Gr8ful or Unde9able, would protect him with shields and provide him vote security. And by being surrounded by threats like Jack or Christie, no one would turn their attention to him. It’s a smart strategy for anyone playing Big Brother – it’s why he (and to an equal extent Nicole) are in the best spots to win.
The problem, however, is that he’s thinking too much about the team and not about himself. He spent a lot of time trying to repair Six Shooters and form a new majority alliance when he should’ve realized when certain avenues weren’t the best for him. Jackson/Holly don’t want to work with Christie, so that’s a big hurdle he shouldn’t push, and Nick wants Cliff and Nicole in the alliance when Tommy doesn’t have the strongest relationship with them; these are all moves that could lead to his eviction if the power shifts. Tommy has to start reinventing his strategy and adapt to the current landscape – if he sticks too much to his old plan, he’ll eventually get exposed and looped out of the group.
Tommy’s unshakable alliance with Christie is a well-known fact. If there were any doubts to anyone, the houseguests now know that he’ll take her to the Final 2. Saving an ally from the block is a smart move, especially when they’re placed there by a twist and they’re the obvious target for eviction. Tommy had to protect Christie and ensure that his alliance with Analyse, Nick, and Christie didn’t lose another number after previously losing Jack. Tommy’s challenge, on the other hand, is proving to people that he is open to bringing anyone else to the finals. No one knows his connection to Christie outside of the house, so he has some leeway to lie, but he can’t make it seem like it’s a 100% guarantee. The houseguests have recognized their closeness; an alliance like that is too dangerous to keep around.
Some have argued that it isn’t fair for a pair to enter the game with a secret connection. I’ve gone back-and-forth with this because twists play an essential role in the gameplay of the new Big Brother era and this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. For example, Alex and Morgan (sisters) came into Big Brother: Over The Top with a secret connection to see how they would interact in the group. This twist isn’t the most frustrating, especially since the producers/Big Brother 21 owned up to it in the first episode. However, the connection between Kat/Holly/Jackson is wholeheartedly unfair – that oversight should’ve been addressed and avoided.
The Roadtrip twist had so much potential to shake the game up in Week #7. Christie losing the challenge and nearly getting evicted during Tommy’s HOH week would’ve been a shocking and strangely devious turn of events; it would’ve mimicked the feeling of Rockstar getting the boot during Haleigh’s HOH week on Big Brother 20. You have to give Jackson credit for being self-aware enough to recognize the meaning of America’s Vote – there’s no way the audience would’ve voted people they liked into a punishment challenge like that. Analyse and Christie were kidding themselves if they thought otherwise. Even though this twist flopped, this could have an impact in another season.
With that knowledge at hand, Jackson’s personality and edit has slightly shifted. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still an egotistical and frustrating person, but he’s slowly toned things down to the point that he isn’t unbearable to watch. Maybe it’s because Jack got evicted or the Diary Room said something, but Jackson is more self-aware of what he says and how he acts. Jack leaving might be the best thing that has happened to him.
The return of OTEV is a challenge that many people look forward to all summer. It’s a simple one to run and a lot of drama typically happens, like when Rockstar spilled the truth to Tyler on Big Brother 20 or when Janelle “hurt” James on Big Brother All-Stars. The same drama happened this time between Cliff and Kathryn, when she accidentally bumped into him and hurt him in the challenge. What casual fans weren’t aware of was that Cliff got injured more during the challenge in other areas – this pain has impacted his ability to compete in physical games. Kat’s sadness is understandable; however, she’s not the cause of his pain and her tears weren’t necessary. Cliff should be fine in a week or so.
Kat’s final few days in the Big Brother 21 house were a disappointing turn from her previous gameplay. Firstly, her main campaign strategy involved convincing everyone that she wanted to get Jackson out; however, it’s painfully obvious that she was in a close alliance with Holly and Jackson. She spent A LOT of her time with them. Plus, there are the rumors that she knew them from the outside. No one believed her; she should’ve changed her approached.
Secondly, she is more physically fit than Cliff. As the season nears its end, there are more endurance challenges that take part – Kat is a more dangerous threat to have in there than Cliff. And finally, Kat lashed out at her own teammates for doing the one thing they’re all supposed to do: play Big Brother. She can’t fault Nicole and Cliff for making an alliance that protect them; they have to look out for themselves to ensure their safety. If given the opportunity, Kat would’ve done the same thing to avoid eviction. Cliff got there first and her game sunk.
Week #7 of Big Brother 21 brought the season back to where it started with someone from the Six Shooters in power. We experienced a glimmer of hope with a potential shocking blindside, but Christie manifested that change into reality. Kat’s eviction kept the progression of knocking out one of the outsiders; it’s a shame to lose her because she is funny and great TV. Let’s hope that her loss will mean something dramatic will happen in the coming week.