Is this the fastest fall ever seen in Big Brother history? I would think it ranks up there. The second week of Big Brother 19 saw one of their strongest houseguests walk out the door in an emotionally challenging shift in power. I called it last week that something like this would happen – serious power trips have a way of destroying anyone’s game. Though, in this case, it didn’t simply hurt one person’s game, it shook up the entire house.
Cody is gone, and based on the alliance numbers, he didn’t have much of a chance. A backdoor move is what did him in, and after not winning the Power of Veto, he didn’t have the votes to stay regardless. Paul and his allies banded together to plot Cody’s demise ever since he tried to backdoor Paul (and subsequently nominated Christmas) back in Week #1. It worked. Sure, it’s a little dull watching this type of gameplay on TV be executed as things worked out smoothly for Paul’s alliance. However, we need to applaud their alliance for accomplishing their goal – Cody did get evicted, after all.
Don’t get me wrong, Cody is one of my least favorite houseguests. What I will miss, however, is that he posed a big challenge to Paul and his alliance members. Big Brother (and also by extension Survivor) has a tendency to do “house rule” votes where the majority of people in a large alliance dictate who will be leaving. And those on the outskirts agree to vote with the alliance to not be the person getting voted out. Suffice it to say, this is incredibly boring. Paul is easily running the majority alliance and without Cody around, there isn’t someone who’s ready to go toe-to-toe with the Big Brother veteran. The BattleBack competition might change this – it’s all up in the air now.
Speaking of the BattleBack, who do you want to return? I’m leaning toward Cody or Cameron at the moment. Cody because I fully expect he and Paul will fight it out again if he returned, and Cameron because he was evicted on the first night. Nobody deserves to be “Jodi’d” after doing so much to even get on the show. (Though, can we give Jodi another chance to compete?! I would support this immediately.) Let’s hope this isn’t a Big Brother 18 situation with two BattleBack challenges in one season. I miss the days of the returning player twist being an “every-third-season” twist (i.e. Amy on Big Brother 3, Kaysar on Big Brother 6 and James on Big Brother 9).
The mentality around Paul by the other houseguests is disappointing to see. I would never willingly give up my game to help another houseguest win, or trust someone without a shadow of a doubt after two weeks. These houseguests are clearly starstruck – this happens EVERY TIME a veteran returns to the game. Part of the reason I think it’s more effective now, however, is because of Paul’s 3-week protection. Nobody is looking at him as a threat. And why would they? He can’t be evicted for a few weeks, so he’s not competition. He’s slipping through the cracks, making alliances and pushing himself into a comfortable position unless someone stops him. If Paul walks to the finale, I’m blaming the Den of Temptation for getting him there.
Christmas getting injured and still being allowed to compete creates an interesting Big Brother precedent. Players in the past have been removed for medical reasons, but they’ve returned within the next day or so based on severity (i.e. Amanda and Alison’s allergic reactions in Big Brother 9). In this case, Christmas requires surgery and a cast…she’s still in the game. The question now is at what point does someone get medically evacuated? Christmas’s injury is a big one and if someone in the future gets removed for something less, it’s completely unfair. We need to keep this as precedent for future seasons, if this is the way to go.
The Den of Temptation had another relatively uneventful week. I’m on the fence about Christmas winning the ring of replacement power – I’m glad she won, and I would love for her to use the power to shake up the game. However, my gut feeling is that it might be used to help the majority alliance in some way. But my real issue was the associated punishment of wearing the toad costumes. This wasn’t random! She chose which three would be wearing the costumes and of course, she’d choose people who aren’t her allies. These punishments aren’t tempting. Ramses got shafted the week before!
Speaking of Ramses, I couldn’t believe that he put his punishment in effect this week. You normally would want a punishment like this kept until the final possible week to use it. The house is already against him and if Cody had not been the target, he most likely would’ve been the one to go. This was sloppy gameplay, and surviving the vote doesn’t excuse that.
I LOVED the Power of Veto competition this week. It’s something completely new that they haven’t tried in the past, and these houseguests didn’t know what to expect. We need more challenges like these in the future. The Head of Household competition was clearly product placement for the Candy Crush show airing this summer. It had an interesting style to it, but as I mentioned above, I was surprised that people were giving all the tickets to Paul. This is not a smart move to win Big Brother – you NEED things on your resume to convince the jury, and HOH wins/big moves are par for the course.
Big Brother 19 has taken an unexpected turn…and it’s only the second week. I applaud the take down of a powerful threat – this was a big game move for Paul’s alliance and it’s always an accomplishment when a plan succeeds. Cody would’ve proven to be a competition threat later on. However, it’s troubling to see houseguests making sloppy and confusing game moves this early on. Regardless of being a super-fan or not, these houseguests should know better by now.