Is anyone else bored of Big Brother: All-Stars? No one is shaking up the game or trying something new. Four weeks in a row have yielded the same results: the large majority alliance holding power, two outsiders being nominated, and the players being too afraid to band together to overthrow the votes. The common answers these houseguests have said included “not now” or “in the next few weeks”, but at what point will they actually start playing and make big moves? We saw this with Keesha’s uneventful eviction, the reluctance of saving Nicole A., and the unwillingness to utilize Janelle. Now for the fourth week, the houseguests have played it safe by evicting the one player with no power AND no alliances. How thrilling!
Kaysar’s eviction was a slow and predictable outcome when Enzo won Head of Household. At every turn to target a much bigger target, the players balked at the idea to instead go for the “easy” decision. The problem with this move is that Kaysar had no one and didn’t have the aptitude to win necessary challenges (his Safety Suite win was against only one other person). Why not utilize Kaysar to build a loyal connection or help turn a future vote? The 12 other houseguests liked an easy week, but they all openly admitted that keeping Kaysar around would’ve helped their game (just like Janelle the week before). Only Cody, Nicole F., and maybe Dani benefited from Kaysar leaving since he openly targeted them, but they could’ve turned that around by offering him a protection deal. Instead, sacrificing a week for an easy vote only put everyone at a disadvantage for when it FINALLY comes time to make a move and evict one of the actual strong threats.
Enzo’s HOH week will go down as one of the most cowardly and wasteful HOH reigns. Let’s face it: Kaysar was not targeting Enzo. At all. Why waste your HOH week on someone who didn’t want you evicted?! (That common thread has been a troubling trend on Big Brother: All-Stars.) Enzo should’ve taken the opportunity to backdoor a bigger threat who would’ve gone for him, like Ian or Daniele. The move to get out Kaysar wasted a week and painted a bigger target on his back. Winning another competition made him a physical threat and his constant boasting of “getting blood on his hands” made him seem all talk since he didn’t follow-through. Enzo is all talk and no action.
His new boys’ alliance with Tyler and Cody will help him in the long-run. However, all three together are still talk and no action. Why keep saying that Daniele is a threat but not make the move to get her out? It’s never too early to execute a strategic plan that will benefit all aspects of your game. Daniele planted many seeds around the house, and while the others have noticed this, the scheming has shown itself effective by the doubt and mistrust that has fostered. If she wins HOH, Tyler will be her main target and Enzo could be a casualty if things don’t line-up to get him out. Enzo is going to regret not getting Daniele.
If you haven’t been watching the live-feeds, you may have missed the voice of a wall yeller outside of the house. This wall yeller announced “Cody and Nicole are controlling everyone.” This action caused a spark for houseguests like Ian, Kevin, Da’Vonne, and Bayleigh to question everything they knew about the season. Firstly, we don’t condone the actions of the wall yeller because it’s impacting the game from the outside – this instance tied to a positive uprising we wanted to see, but if someone had planted false information instead, the tune from fans would be different. Let’s keep out the wall yelling and banner planes. However, now that this piece of information was provided, the houseguests better open their eyes to the entire situation and not squander their new fire.
Finally, it’s great that the houseguests have started talking about their predicament and the urge to change things. Compare notes, compete hard for the competitions, try to sway players away from the large alliance, establish an even larger fake alliance to push a backdoor … do something. The game of “follow the leader” and putting things off they can do today will only drag out the inevitable: they’ll get evicted because they don’t have the numbers or power to do anything.
The challenges during Week #4 were fun and balanced, for the most part. The HOH competition could’ve been won by anyone who had landed their balls in first. It’s the type of carnival mini game you tended to play as a kid. The Power of Veto competition, on the other hand, required a lot of core strength and balance; those who tended to be lighter and had strong arms stuck around farther into the competition. Kevin did a great job winning his first POV of the season and this move will hopefully make him look less like an easy pawn in the future. (As an aside: Did David really not know that winning the POV would keep him safe as well?!)
Big Brother: All-Stars has unfortunately continued another downward trend for the series: cruel gameplay and microaggressions. Certain houseguests have made personal comments and exposed their unconscious bias against others. Firstly, Daniele and Nicole F. are the two cattiest players this season on Big Brother, and most of their conversations are either gossiping or tearing down another player (they’ve talked badly about Janelle, Da’Vonne, Bayleigh, and others; some since Day #1 in the game). Don’t let their episode edit fool you, Nicole F. is not the victim in her situation and Daniele has said A LOT worse about her houseguests than they’ve ever said about her. Her saying that she never talked badly about Kaysar and that his eviction speech was “classless and distasteful” was a big lie. If CBS aired the truthful edit about these best friends, both would clearly be shown as the villains.
The biggest concern, however, are the microaggressions directed toward the people of color in the house. Some of these instances include people saying Da’Vonne is “aggressive,” Daniele constantly telling the house that she believes Bayleigh stole Janelle’s clothes before her eviction (in actuality, Janelle lent her clothing to Bayleigh and Da’Vonne), and the players dismissing anything the POC say in the house. (There are more instances emerging during Week #5 of the season, but we’ll get into that during next week’s review.) Thankfully, Big Brother’s production implemented an unconscious bias training with the houseguests prior to the season and this has started to help. However, based on the continued instances, the training needs to be more in-depth, the houseguests need to be called out by production if they continue to do so, and casting needs to be better to ensure this won’t be tolerated for another season.
It’s a shame that Kaysar got evicted because he would have these types of thoughtful discussions in the house. He discussed racism, prejudice, and the treatment of players after the game by the fans. These dialogues are the type of meaningful conversations that used to happen a lot during Old School Big Brother. They’ve sporadically appeared in recent seasons, but they’re very few and far between. Kaysar’s Old School gameplay was a breath of fresh air, but there are strategic portions that he needed to update. Tell everyone in the house he was coming after the big alliance? Not a wise decision. Isolating himself and not choosing to work with bigger gameplayers like Tyler or Cody? That was a missed opportunity that came back to bite him. Cody planned to nominate Kaysar during Week #1, but Tyler wanted to work with him. If he had established that alliance early on, things could’ve been much more different than it was now. Also, his overt sense of trust with Memphis and Christmas didn’t help either.
Week #4 of Big Brother: All-Stars came and went at a lower place than where it started. Every time that a glimmer of hope emerged (i.e. the wall yeller, potentially backdooring a bigger target, etc.), the players backtracked and squashed any excitement. Week #4 was one bad move after another, and that tension negatively impacted the players. Something has got to change because three more months of this will be too much.