The pairs have taken over the Big Brother 18 house. A game where it is SUPPOSED to be every person for themselves has now seen the house mentality shift to couple vs. couple. Showmances. Bromances. Friendships (and everything in between). Big Brother 18 has done the unlikely and whittled itself down to a collection of pairs that are each vying for the coveted Final 2 spot. Will any of them do it? That is still yet to be seen. But with the finale coming up on Sept. 21, the couples will no doubt turn on each other soon.
This isn’t the first time Big Brother has seen a pair or couple work their way far into the game. Danielle and Jason tried their hardest before being broken up at Final 3 in Big Brother 3–they unfortunately both lost to Lisa. Though, there have been some success stories, like Dick/Daniele (Big Brother 8), Dan/Memphis (Big Brother 10) and Cody/Derrick (Big Brother 16), to name a few. Each pair worked closely together to eliminate the competition and assure victory for one of them, with the other guaranteeing some prize money with second place. However, Big Brother 18 isn’t like many of these previous seasons–with the houseguests still remaining essentially in couples and working together, the drama and competition is all but nonexistent.
Nicole has fallen into the same trap as her previous season: she’s blinded by her showmance. She is still a powerful threat, but her focus and confidence is relying heavily on her relationship with Corey. Her showmance partner, meanwhile, is focusing more on HIS future. Although, he’s not knowledgeable enough of the game to truly make a move and stand apart. During the round Michelle was evicted, there was a perfect example of their dynamic–Nicole making the moves and taking the heat while Corey made back deals and deflected the blame. It’s all well and good at first, but their decisions together will cloud their future success. Especially now since Nicole and Corey have chosen to side with the bromance instead of the other showmance.
Victor and Paul might be the most surprising pairing to still be around. Victor has been evicted TWICE and is still around to see another Big Brother day (he won the second BattleBack competition after being evicted again). The two have a friendship, so their position is the shakiest, but they’re still relying on each other for safety.
For Round #13, Victor pulled out a Head of Household (HOH) win and he used his position to go after Natalie and James. Whenever a majority of the house is working together, the drama and excitement for the week subsides. The weekly events slowly go through the motions until the expected someone gets evicted: in this case, James or Natalie. That’s the best way to describe Round #13. Unless a blindside were to occur, nothing was going to change the outcome–it was set in stone. The fish weren’t biting and it delivered a dull week.
The only REAL bit of in-game excitement came from Natalie’s campaigning. She tried to save herself before the Power of Veto (POV) competition by apologizing to the guys (Paul and Victor) and throwing James under the bus. While her tactic didn’t work (they spilled everything to James), she shouldn’t be faulted for making a ploy to stay. Getting the chance to compete on Big Brother is a HUGE opportunity for anyone, and sometimes you only get one chance to compete for the title and money. She saw that her days were numbered and she went for it. Post-season romance is never guaranteed; she played the odds and lost. Natalie got evicted when it came down to the votes. Her only hope would’ve been from a challenge win.
Speaking of the challenges… can we ask for all new games?! As a Big Brother fan, I have seen PLENTY of challenges competed on Big Brother series around the world. However, particularly for the U.S. edition, the same challenges are being played over and over again; only simply with a new look. The shaking wall, the eggs and chicken wire, and the counting objects challenges are all games that have been played to death. And it’s not every few seasons–it’s EVERY season for all three. OTEV, Zingbot, the spelling letters, and the slippery floor are just some challenges that get used repeatedly. Even the MacGyver challenge is the token CBS Fall TV tie-in to promote one of their upcoming shows.
Having so many repeated challenges is boring to watch. Viewers are wise to reused games and seeing them being played over and over loses its thrill. And the houseguests are getting wise to this! They’re prepared for these games and have learned what to do when they occur. Even the recruits know when the games are coming up, or when a twist might happen–in this case, Victor’s second return. While the season is nearly over, let’s hope this change is seen in the next season. Something new and fresh can keep everyone on their toes.
Only five players are still left: Nicole, Corey, Victor, Paul and James. The season is winding down and the jury house is growing with each new eviction, as well as the hilarious jury house segments (I miss Da’Vonne!). With the dwindling numbers, I wouldn’t be surprised if none of the pairs makes it to Final 2 together. Corey and Nicole have the best shot, but the others would be stupid to let that happen. However, with the way the season is turning out, it’s looking like a possibility.
Power of Veto: 4/10
Power of Veto: 6/10