The king has been dethroned! A person who once was defined as a “sure thing” to win Big Brother 18 has now become a jury member. If you can believe it, the season has pulled together an enjoyable shift in power. The remaining houseguests finally caught some sense of their surroundings and thoroughly surprised the viewers–the person who had the most potential to win the game is now gone. No amount of power can save him. It’s weeks like these that truly are a highlight of the competition series.
After the lackluster double eviction in the previous week, the season needed to deliver a big target. Zakiyah and Bridgette, while nice people, weren’t exactly burning up television screens with challenge prowess or small screen personality. The former became relegated as Paulie’s showmance while the latter was too afraid to make a move on her own. And, if we’re being truly honest, neither had a real shot to win the season. The double eviction essentially eliminated two floaters from the game and sometimes that needs to happen, especially when it leads to a dramatic week like this.
Paulie, the competition threat and brother of Big Brother 16’s Cody, got the eviction axe. He dominated most of the season with challenge wins, alliances, and big moves that secured his safety. However, the game had reached the halfway point where the players start to focus on the jury members and who could potentially win. Someone put two-and-two together, aligned the pieces and secured the votes to kick him out. It is a move that was long overdue–he was the BIGGEST target walking around the house…with the BIGGEST ego to match it.
His attitude near the end of his Big Brother tenure is a classic case of the abundance of power. A person once said, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely,” and this fits Paulie’s game to a T. Being unchallenged and consistently winning everything started to get to his head, which in turn affected his attitude and the things he said. Big Brother is a marathon, not a race, and as compared to other games like Survivor or The Amazing Race; Big Brother is a highly emotional and relationship-heavy competition taking place over a three-month span. The game FEELS longer being cooped up together in a studio house. He thought he already had the game in the bag; it turns out he didn’t and now he’s in the jury house.
With Paulie’s recent eviction, it means that the BB Roundtrip twist is over. The odds of the card actually being used were slim-to-none, but it would’ve been a dramatic moment to see it happen. Featuring twists like this where it is based solely on luck can be a hit or miss scenario. As previously discussed in a Big Brother review weeks ago, the BB Roundtrip had no discernible way to affect the game unless someone grabbed the right envelope by chance. In hindsight, a good update to this twist would’ve been adding another layer to the mystery that offered up a clue as to which envelope from the batch might have included the power. This would become a strategic power instead of simply being “luck” and getting a free pass.
Now that the power player is gone, the bigger question left is: Who will win Big Brother 18? A majority of the players still remaining in the house are ones who have tried to make strategic moves or obtain challenge wins. Nicole and James, being the only veterans left now that Da’Vonne and Frank are gone, will continue to have an uphill battle to win over the newbies; though, James edges Nicole out (based on his personality) to maybe win a few votes.
Natalie might be the one with the best shot to win. She’s likable and could pull a few of the newbies and veterans over to her side when the time comes. Paul is also another player to watch–he started the game a bit rough and eventually his attitude could rub people the wrong way, but it’s working for him at the moment. Michelle, however, still needs to prove herself–she’s one of the remaining floaters who hasn’t stood out to take charge of the game.
The season is more than half over, but I don’t expect it to quiet down just yet. Another major twist must be brewing; it’s most likely one that could change the game and shift expectations. But still, I’m looking forward to how these houseguests will play the game in the latter half. They finally took a stand against a big player and made a strategic move that increased their chances of winning. Let’s cross our fingers that this is the spark that fans the flames!
Power of Veto: 8/10