A very chaotic premiere week of Big Brother 23 has come to a surprising close. No one could’ve guessed that Frenchie would’ve spiraled into chaos and destroyed his game beyond repair. Week #1 will go down as a prime example of playing “too-hard-too-fast.” If he had taken a step back and not overanalyzed every little detail (or made countless alliances), Week #1 could’ve played out swimmingly for him as Head of Household (HOH). Instead, the pieces have been laid for an eventful season that could easily see him as one of the next upcoming boots.
Big Brother 23 has gone through a few updates. The house was slightly redesigned to make certain rooms bigger and more private, but in the process, the separate alcove room was removed. This change was for the best because past Big Brother players used the room as a way to listen in and spy on conversations. Now, the players can focus on their scheming and not have to worry that someone is standing behind that door—it doesn’t prevent them from spying on other rooms, but the biggest culprit is gone. Also, the house was designed as a casino; it’s not as lavish as the Big Brother Canada 4 casino house, but the nods are fun, seamless, and less in your face than the Canada house.
The big season twist focused on teams where the winning HOH would have every member of their team saved from eviction. Teams are a common twist in Big Brother; the biggest examples are the cliques from Big Brother 11 and the coaches from Big Brother 14/Big Brother 18. The rules for Big Brother 23 are pretty much the same layout, so there aren’t any surprises with how the strategy could form. If the houseguests watched previous seasons, they should have a good idea of how to navigate the teams and work together for safety. Hopefully, the season stays unpredictable because it could lead to more chaos with the houseguests having different motives than their various teams.
Plus, the introduction of the Wildcard competition will throw wrenches into their plans and change up targets. Christian would’ve been the guaranteed first boot had he not won the competition. Instead, the win led to more chaos as the targets shifted from Alyssa to Derek X to Travis. You couldn’t plan for an exciting drama like that!
As mentioned above, Frenchie was the cause of lots of chaos. What was going through his head throughout the week? Frenchie would spill secrets to everyone, have the same conversations with the houseguests, form alliances and then betray them, invite everyone into a majority alliance, and then awkwardly join conversations or try to listen from behind doors. Frenchie singlehandedly did many moves you’re not supposed to do as HOH or in the first few weeks, let alone simply as a houseguest playing Big Brother.
The majority of the house has already secretly turned against Frenchie and made jokes about his unpredictable behavior. When it got to the moment that the houseguests were having strategy sessions or altering their behavior when they were around Frenchie, it sealed his fate that his days are numbered. And if he does get evicted soon, his effect will still be felt (arguably, not all positive).
Christian and Alyssa are forming a tight bond between them, not because they organically were starting a showmance, but because Frenchie’s accusations brought them closer together. Frenchie’s connections with the women have been fractured because (1) he nominated a woman after publicly stating he wouldn’t and (2) he formed a women’s alliance just to betray them and paint them as “having a women’s alliance in the house.” And, let’s not forget he publicly promised he wouldn’t nominate a person of color—which he broke too by nominating both Kyle and Alyssa for eviction. Frenchie needed to breathe, regroup, and not control everything so soon. Winning HOH in Week #1 is a great move as it allows a houseguest to form the needed alliances to go further in the season, but Frenchie should’ve reined himself in to only make alliances and not overplay his hand. He let the paranoia takeover too quickly.
The Slaughterhouse, which Frenchie created, is the current majority alliance; however, the foundation is shaky at best. Xavier put it best during his diary room segment: the members have their own agendas and they want to target each other. Once someone outside the alliance wins HOH, it wouldn’t be surprising if the group breaks apart—either into smaller factions or broken as a complete unit.
This includes Frenchie’s shaky friendship with Brent. The alliance forming between Claire and Tiffany, on the other hand, looks quite promising. Both houseguests are strategically strong, they complement their gameplay styles, and they have missions that align. Claire and Tiffany could become huge targets, but if they can set up a strong group, there’s a chance they could maneuver the hurdles.
Derek X is an interesting case in Big Brother because he didn’t do anything to warrant the backlash against him. Frenchie was the one who spread the story that Derek wanted Christian and Alyssa on the block; it was hypothetical, but Derek X wasn’t campaigning against them. He’s lucky that he won the Power of Veto (POV) because he would’ve been evicted since Christian was safe. Derek X’s best strategy is to keep building relationships and form alliances; he needs the numbers to protect him or else he’ll be targeted pre-jury. Shaking off the title of “easy target” is hard in the early weeks when everyone is looking for any excuse to evict someone.
Out of all three competitions, the POV and Wildcard challenges were the most interesting and fun. Creating the ball path for the POV was an intricate game that required problem-solving and timing; it pushed the players to think logically of how to move the ball. And, moving around the Wildcard room without making noise brought out all the fun agile spy vibes. These types of games are balanced and give every player a fair shot–these two should return again in the future.
Travis’s eviction wasn’t shocking based on how he played Week #1. Did he even realize that he was on Big Brother? Once he got nominated, he sort of threw in the emotional and physical towel. Travis needed to campaign harder and explain why the house should’ve kept him over Alyssa, who was in the early phase of a showcase. By being too relaxed and not caring about his position, he gave everyone an easy out. Travis’s world wouldn’t end if he left the house, so he was fine to leave and get back to his waves, his money, and his life. It’s good for him since he knows what makes him complete, but now the game players can get down to business and play the game.
Big Brother 23 airs on CBS on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 8/7c.