What was going on with this week?! I’ve watched many first weeks on Big Brother and usually I’ve come to expect some common storylines. Most times it is a quiet week with either an annoying houseguest or someone playing too-hard-too-fast being sent out the door in an (almost) unanimous vote. It doesn’t happen all the time (there are exceptions to the rule), but it normally follows this way. However, there has never been such a destructive power trip to happen in the first week alone that destroyed someone’s game more than what we’ve seen in Big Brother 19. Already this season has provided a first.
Cody (and by extension, his game) has gone off the rails. I’m not even joking here – he has consistently made one bad move after the other. Fans and houseguests have joked about the HOH curse and seeing these players go on a power trip, but to watch it happen is another thing. His lack of social game and archaic alliance preferences ruined any chance of saving him (he favored tough guys and hot girls vs. the “outcasts”), he made BIG decisions without telling any of his alliance members, he turned on his alliance members, and he threw a competition openly to someone the house considered a potential eviction target. This was just bad all around.
Don’t get me wrong, Cody is one of my least favorite houseguests. I wanted him gone since the first night after his lack of presence became crystal clear. And him winning HOH didn’t change any of that. However, as a fan, it hurts to see someone destroy their game so epically and not realize it. Cody thought he was controlling everyone and people would follow him blindly, but they turned on him and it showed in the eviction results.
Shy Jillian got the boot after being on the block for the second round in a row. Her eviction stemmed from two things: (1) she was on the outside of the majority alliance and didn’t have strong connections to many of the players, and (2) Cody wanted Christmas gone and everyone hated Cody. This was not Jillian’s week. If she was sitting next to Ramses, or if Megan had stuck around, things might’ve been different and she could’ve stayed. It didn’t happen, and now she’s gone.
Speaking of Megan, I hope she’s feeling better and doing well after her panic attack. Big Brother has only had a few quitters throughout its series run and nobody takes this decision lightly; this is such a big opportunity that I would never give it up if I was the one playing it. Megan had a rough week in the game and, let’s be real here, she was going to be the second person evicted from Big Brother 19 if she had stayed. She played too-hard-too-fast and burned a lot of bridges; Megan should have clarified with Jessica first what she said before telling Alex those comments. Regardless, Megan quit the game and she’s back in the real world.
The challenges during Week #1 were fun. The HOH challenge felt a tad overdone by using the same set from the Premiere night challenge – I was hoping for a new look. Though, I’m glad we got the twist with the golden egg. Josh made a terrible move by being selfish! This will come back to haunt him; no one will forget how he treated Megan after it ended. My favorite of the week was the Power of Veto game. It’s so simple, but it takes a lot of patience and placement to keep all the starfishes balanced. The designers did a good job with the beach theme.
The Den of Temptation, however, needs a bit of work. It feels like no effort was put into this twist to make it look menacing or truly dangerous. The door to enter inside is a simple black door with simple wallpaper covering the mini-hallway walls while the inside is a small room filled with tacky trinkets. (I’m not even going to start on the terrible fake giant snake with the glowing eyes.) My biggest problem with this twist is the reward and punishment system.
Of course Paul was going to win the Pendant of Protection (he won safety for three evictions). He’s a returning veteran with an established fan base. After the twist events of Big Brother 15, it was plain to see what was going to happen – Paul was a shoe-in to get the first prize. I detest rigging and blatant manipulation in the game. Sure, the viewers had the power to determine the vote, but to pretend like you didn’t expect your most recognized and outspoken houseguest in the house wouldn’t get the BEST power off the bat (one which you planned) then that is a major side-eye moment. Why even bother with the twist charade?! Just openly give him safety and drop the mic.
And the punishment system is worse! Instead of the person who accepts the temptation, it is someone at RANDOM who is cursed. Ramses got majorly screwed because of this; his cursed nomination will come back to haunt him and he didn’t even get a choice in the matter. Why isn’t the person who accepts the temptation being the one punished?! It makes no sense at all. It gives no worry or debate whether or not to go with this twist – simply accept it and take your chances. Paul had a 1 in 15 shot of getting cursed as it’s determined by “random”. So far, this season’s twist probably ranks as one of my least favorite Big Brother twists of all time, ranking above the lackluster BB Takeover of Big Brother 17 and just below the dreadful Battle of the Block twist started in Big Brother 16. (Let’s hope BotB never sees the light of day again…)
Big Brother 19 started off well enough, and it has the potential to get better. This first week alone was so good based on the gameplay moves alone (both good and bad). Cody went off the rails and there will be a serious power struggle between him and Paul. The lines have been drawn in the sand – this could be a dramatic season. However, the Den of Temptation could ruin it all. All it needs is another bad twist to destroy any potential.