Paul’s majority alliance has struck again on Big Brother 19. Did anyone expect anything different? The eighth week of the season followed a by-the-book motion of events to take out the remaining enemy outsider. Usually a week like this would be filled with joy eliminating a powerful threat; however, the predictability of it all made this a dull week. There were no big surprises. No big moves in gameplay. Suffice it to say, there was nothing that shook up the game. The only benefits were a surprise guest and the tiny early plots targeting each other in the majority alliance.
Let’s get this out of the way up front: No one in Paul’s big alliance has officially turned on each other yet. We saw initial thoughts of turning on Alex or Jason, but the group kept to the original thinking of Mark. With only a few rounds of Big Brother 19 left, Christmas should’ve considered the possibility of turning against Alex or Matt. The season is heavy with pairs still left in the house; these people want to head to the finals with their pair (and Paul). Why would you want to keep any of them together?! Sure, she heavily considered Jason until he won Power of Veto, and that would’ve been a smart move since he is a major threat. But she missed the opportunity to strike against two threats that could stand in her way: Alex for being a HUGE physical threat and partnership with Jason, and Matt for his relationship with Raven.
I like Christmas’s alliance with Josh. They balance each other as they have more in common than we originally thought; both are hotheads but also remorseful sweethearts. Josh stills annoys me with his antics, but it was great to see a new side to him and Christmas this week. Both treated Mark with some respect for a time and were open to his ideas of turning against Matt or Alex. We haven’t seen those qualities in a while (you know…houseguests actually playing the game) – I wish they would’ve been able to make a decision on their own. If this were any other season, Christmas and Josh seem like the types who would’ve taken Mark up on his deal to work together.
The “Paul effect” is still clouding the players – no one is willing to turn against him. He has everyone’s ear and they’re listening to him with such trust and blind loyalty. He wanted Mark gone, so Mark was gone. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good testament to his game; he’s controlling everyone and has the easiest path to the prize money. Big Brother 19 is his game to lose. As frustrating as this is to watch, his relationship management with the Christmas/Josh, Raven/Matt and Alex/Jason pairs is spot on. He successfully played all the alliances this week to get his way and keep himself off the block.
Both Zingbot and Derrick (Big Brother 16 winner) made appearances this week, and they were sorely missed. Derrick had a masterful game during his season where he didn’t end up on the block ever. Sure, there are a lot of similarities between Paul’s and Derrick’s game since they have the control of the house; however, Derrick had a tougher road to win since he wasn’t playing with houseguests who were content with only a jury spot. And we can’t forget about Zingbot! He delivered with the zingers and added some much-needed fun to the week. We haven’t seen these houseguests smile and be happy this much in a long time.
Why did they have the slip ‘n’ slide competition for the POV? It made sense to do the hot dog competition for the HOH, but usually the slippery endurance competition is held for HOH as well. It feels like they ran out of ideas to tie-in Zingbot’s return for the season and production resulted to a tried-and-true competition. The challenge designers were doing so well before this – we didn’t need to have this game return!
A new twist was added to the house that brings temptation back into the mix. The “Tree of Temptation” sounds good in theory and on any other season, it would shake up the game and cause lots of drama. However, Big Brother 19 is not like them. My prediction is that Mark will be the only person to pick an apple from the tree for a while. The discussions within the majority alliance have already started about not picking the apples, so now basically the tree will just stand there until someone is finally tempted. Why are these houseguests so against playing the game? (And let’s not even get into Mark WASTING his apple power in saving Paul – it made no difference.)
I will give Mark some credit for trying to stay. He fought the good fight and made a lot of good reasons for why certain alliances should work with him. Christmas and Josh were so close to giving in and if he had sat beside someone like Jason or Alex, he could’ve stuck around. As compared to houseguests who give up in the end, he at least tried. It’s sad to see him go – he’s one of the few left who was genuinely nice to people and didn’t always resort to mean girl tactics.
The eighth week of Big Brother 19 felt like a filler week. A lot was added to spice up the round and give us something to enjoy as the majority alliance chipped away at the outsiders. We got the shiny distractions, but we didn’t get exactly what we needed: Strong, strategic gameplay. The players are still content with keeping it quiet and sliding to the Final 3 (with Paul essentially taking the prize). Big Brother is a changing game, but this isn’t how it should be won/played.