Sunday, July 17, 2016

#bb18 Power Rankings(Week of July 15th)

While generally this blog is dedicated to discussing the happenings in the world of sports, a little diversity never hurt anyone and I felt it was appropriate to divulge into another strong passion of mine, that being the world of reality television, particularly Big Brother(Canada and U.S.A). With Big Brother 18 well into the swing of things, I've surmised that it would be enjoyable to dedicate a weekly posting to my thoughts on the game itself and how I would rank the positioning of each player in the house. These weekly rankings won't necessarily be notated based on who I like the most, but largely based who I think is in the best spot at the current time. With CBS going public pertaining to this summer's twist classified as the "Battleback", which who are kidding, it's code for "Redemption Island", I won't include the already evicted houseguests on full disclosure that one could conceivably come back after the special July 22nd episode. How I usually like to organize these lists are in descending order from least likely to win to which houseguest is controlling the dynamics presently.


12.Tiffany-As the great Alex Kidwell from RHAP has declared numerous times throughout the course of his podcast airings, it's never wise in the Big Brother game to exhaust this much strategical capital this early on in the game. We still find ourselves in the Pre-jury phase and Tiffany is nearly tripling the amount of confrontations/complicated strategy thar Vanessa partook in her season. I'm reading a lot on Social media, I've even caught a glimpse of Vanessa Rousso's twitter feed and she's publicly stated that it's not fair that because Vanessa played the game a certain way that Tiffany is getting pigeon holed. Such is life though. Is it fair that PGA Tour professional Sam Saunders is perceived to be in the midst of an underwhelming career because his grandfather is Arnold Palmer? Chaos, if you believe notorious Survivor villain Kass McQuillan can be beneficial to one's game but that's a sound strategy only if you're playing to reach the final two/three. I don't believe Tiffany has such timid goals so therefore her hardcore wheeling and dealing will end up catching up to here as the majority of the house aren't going to want to leave getting "Vanessa'd"

11.Da'Vonne-I just finished shouting out Alex Kidwell so in reference to Da'Vonne, it's only fair that Taran Armstrong deserve a plug. Taran on a recent podcast(there's so many that you lose track) rightfully disparaged Da'Vonne for not being more amicable to the "Showmances + 1 alliance" Being positioned between Nicole/Corey and Zakiyah/Paulie would've been glorious but her hesitation has literally found her on the chopping block. I'm not sure the arch type Da'Vonne is striving for, if it's a strategical mastermind she's failing miserably unless she's employed the principles of overrated strategical "mastermind", Survivor Nicaragua's Marty which if the latter's true then we have a huge problem on our hands. It's not the place to spew my feelings towards one's cultural beliefs but in a game where adaptability is everything, her abrasiveness to hold true to her political correctness will assuredly be her downfall.

10.Paulie- This ranking may surprise most. I was torn and have done a lot of contemplating this morning regarding the merits of Paulie's game. Our current Head of Household I fear is running himself into a corner that is going to close in quickly. Image is important for all houseguests leaving the house but you sense it holds greater importance to Mr.Calafiore. His adamancy to remain in the cool kids club has negated any chance he had to win. What Frank did that CBS aired last week was deplorable but in my mind Paulie needed to capitalize on the friction and re enhance the bond with Frank because let's face it, if in the next two weeks some of the girls succeed in the mission to yank Frank out of the house, who then becomes the most intimidating target in the house? The obvious answer is either Corey or Paulie. As I've reported a few times, I don't agree with the notion that a physical threat is a dangerous commodity in the game of Big Brother but it doesn't matter what I think, if the houseguests believe something, they'll put it into action. Paulie has to smell the  roses that while the "Zaulie" partnership greatly aids Zakiyah, it's putting a bigger target on a target that was already too big for it's bridges. I hate to say it,  but I foresee him being in imminent danger. Hopefully he doesn't disappoint his brother Cody.

9.Nicole-Similarly to some others in her cast, the chaotic nature of her game has and will likely continue to cause her havoc. In the past week, there's been too much wavering between whether the correct inclincation was to target Tiffany or do what ended up being devised when a split vote was initiated. The reasoning for wanting to split the vote was to allow all in this scheme to deny involvement in the presence of Frank but like I ascertained with the Paulie summarization for Nicole the decision to alienate her relationship with him puts a bigger target on her back because Frank has become target enemy number one house for the majority of competitors so it behooves me as to why Nicole hasn't attempted to re kindle the friendship because it's been clear that Frank is out for blood so why not hide behind the covers while Frank begins his rampage? The other issue, and more debilitating from my vantage point is the sheer ignorance she's displaying towards valuable voting blocks in Natalie and Bridgette, I referenced this in my week two power rankings but to willingly align herself with Da'Vonne, Zakiyah and Michelle, arguably three of the most conniving players in this house has put her in a vulnerable position to be exposed. Don't think for a second that if Da'vonne indeed becomes the target that she wouldn't start throwing people like Nicole under the bus because when backs are against the wall all stops must be pulled out. Nicole's path to tinkering the script is to strengthen the bond with the minority and solidify her final two aspirations with Corey,

8.Natalie-In deference to the game of Natalie, she came in with a sparse knowledge base and it's showing with how she's attempting to maneuver herself. You get the impression that Natalie is perfectly content with just sliding through each week and frolicking around with James Analyzing solely from a game perspective, the intriguing question is how does James view Natalie in a game sense and how far will he go to protect his lady and thus creating a human shield. The "spy girls" are a dying breed and what needs to materialize for her is to begin laying the groundwork with Paul as surprisingly Paul is exuding efficiency and can probably steer her in a better direction then James could. Any time you're number eight on this list this early into the game, you're either playing recklessly(which she is not) or are playing for second place(which she certainly is). A competition win, preferably a H.O.H victory would shake up the dynamic in the house.

7.James-I can't believe I'm spewing this out as I held great angst for the Big Brother seventeen version, but is the Big Brother eighteen version actually causing me to pull a 180 when suggesting that he's becoming an endearing character? Say it ain't so Joe but I think deep down this is how I feel! From the conversational clips that I've been privy too, I'm noticing an individual who's more reasoned in his arguments and someone that's taking in valuable information and using it to his advantage. Throwing competitions, lying to his closest partner in the house to protect his core alliance and willing to twist and turn mid week hense the Bronte vote flip, a player that cares more about committing pranks and capitalizing on T.V time is emerging.  Although the team twist, let's hope this week is the last we see of it has weakened the backlash that throwing a competition could normally find, James' propensity to do as such has constituted goodwill amongst the people he's handed his trust to and literally is a target for no one. All of the above is just reason to rank him higher then seven but then again this is James after all, and I'm anticipating the facade will wear off shortly.

6.Frank-Season eighteen's "villain" has awoken and it's about time. While no one in their right mind would express condoning the behavior for which he has displayed,it's obvious to me anyway that he means no malice behind the actions and simply has taken his goof-ball image too far in certain areas. How quickly the game can turn though. At this time last week, the entire house including Tiffany was gunning for Frank and low and behold the two have formed a secret(not exactly sure how secret they're keeping it) alliance. This type of synopsis writes itself quite often in the world of reality television and if I was playing I'd institute a similar trajectory, sans the inappropriate touching because in Big Brother or Survivor, when you're perceived as everyone's number one enemy the target becomes so large that before you know it the target becomes minuscule. We saw this with Dan Gheesling in essentially both of his seasons where his initial premise breaks down and is viewed as the outsider and the easy target so much so that all of a sudden they put you to the backburner until you eventually find yourself in the power position.. Just off the top of my head, similar examples also include Judd from Survivor Nicaragua, Danni from Guatemala and Jordan from Big Brother 11 and I'm sure there are numerous others. While I'm not prognosticating Frank as our winner, if I was he'd be number one in this subjective ranking but I don't think contrary to popular belief he's in any imminent danger. As mentioned earlier in this paragraph, Tiffany has already identified Frank as someone she can work with for the forseeable future and unless Nicole is hell bent on ruining her own game it wouldn't surprise me if Nicole and Frank find themselves in each other's good graces.

5.Michelle-Without  detailed updates from the likes of the reputable RHAP crew, you would have no idea Michelle was still on the program. Astute observers that understand the intricacies of the game can appreciate her excellent position she finds herself in. Granted, she was one of my pre-season favourites to win the game for the first couple weeks I was having difficulty dissecting what Michelle was actually bringing to this game as were most fans as with her receiving little air time/notoriety, her personality wasn't shining through. After careful observation, the best way to describe her game would be to compare her to Willow MacDonald from Big Brother Canada 3. Apologies to those who find the comparison insulting but when you reckon the merits of both, both come across as goofy, naive young adults who didn't do enough in peak game changing conversations to be rewarded with tangible T.V time but had the incorrect assessment that acting wild during non peak periods, Willow along with Jordan Parhar going to bat with fictional podcasts or Michelle attempting to win the crowd over with her "Big Mich" persona but don't understand that trying to engage in quiet humor isn't enough for producers to give you the benefit of the doubt. To elaborate a tad further on what I mean by quiet humor, it's one thing to do what James does and ensure that when he speaks, the cameras are all over him but when you conduct yourself in the manner of Michelle and Willow and don't have the same level of infatuation for the camera which I certainly appreciate(T.V networks necessarily don't) it's harder for a story to be told. I like Michelle, won't be the last time I say that but sadly I think she's heading for a Adam Poch-esque arch type and she will be quickly forgotten once this season concludes.

4.Corey- Came into the game not knowing a thing about how to proceed, sits quietly, listens and absorbs information and becomes a force in the later stage. Hmm...where have I heard that before, Jordan Lloyd come to mind? Different players and if Corey was to reign victorious will have done so in different ways but this is a classic case of a player getting a terrible rap from the viewing audience but has genuinely endeared himself to the fellow houseguests.I truly don't believe Corey is trying to capitalize on fifteen minutes of fame and will be gratified just by making it all the way to the end with minimal diary room confessionals. His understanding of the game has exponentially grown, CBS is straying away from you finding out but he has a firm grasp on who he chooses to align with, has already engaged in the charade that was the vote flip. The best way(my best way) to describe this when accounting for my sporting background is the plight of golfer Henrik Stenson who coincidentally(not coincidentally at all) took home this Sunday's British Open. Stenson at forty years of age has never been one to open up for the cameras and for that reason among most golf experts he hasn't been met with the proper amount of affinity. Stenson just goes about his business and is constantly in contention to win golf tournaments and I feel the same way about Corey. Corey could play this game one hundred times and in each of those outcomes would find himself in a contending environment. The quiet assassin.

3.Paul- The unequivocal front runner to win America's favourite player and if he keeps up his complimentary game play could pull off the rare AF/game winning double.  The outstanding element to Paul's game is his knowledge how to work the cameras. Unlike James where at times it comes across as forced, his television presence is completely natural which as a viewer we covet. I love his underdog demeanour and the best part is most if not all the houseguests feel for the fact that week after week Paul has lost prudent members of the "Friendship" and are emphatic and legitimately don't want to send him home anytime soon. The most rewarding facet I think is that Paul sees right through this and is using this perplexing sympathy to his advantage.  Paul doesn't have a ride or die alliance member remaining which I proceed to suggest is a beautiful spot to be in because Big Brother 101 states it's too early to attach to one person solely or for that matter one alliance solely. This going back and forth between different factions will work masterfully unless he falls victim to the gossip game that has become increasingly notable. Spying from side to side is a dangerous water to be swimming in and he's got to minimize this propensity in order to remain a winning threat.

2.Bridgette-Let me get this straight, fans rag on Bridgette for being attached to the Donald Trump of the Big Brother house??? Not taking a shot at U.S politics or anything like that as I want as little association with that mess but to put into words most will understand, Bridgette is playing the game with somebody that the house doesn't respect so when someone who actually is lined up to take a shot, Bridgette will never be the recipient of the strike as Frank will always bare to take the heat. I'm aggravated by the lack of respect she receives quite honestly. Being soft spoken is not a crutch, not the best television I concede but when purely discussing strategy it's an amazing disposition to find yourself in. Aside from the obvious that the people choosing to ignore Bridgette will eventually require her services, she's done nothing to disable any relationship. She seems likable and upbeat and this positivity is contagious. In fact, when the team twist ceases, it will work to her advantage because I think part of the reason why no one is gaming with the travelling nurse is because of the association with Frank. She'll be the Dwayne Wade of free agents after July 22nd.

1.Zakiyah-This weeks best position belongs to.......Zakiyah. She's clearly perspicacious enough to the game of Big Brother and it's evident with how she's electing to enhance her social relationships. The "showmance" with Paulie, while most may disagree which is admirable I believe she is using to advance her own game. She's observant enough to know that Paulie at the end of the day, something he clarified in pre-season interviews has the intention of bro-ing it down to the end, whether that's Corey or Frank remains to be seen but it's irrelevant as I maintain Zakiyah is using the relationship as much as Paulie is. Da'Vonne can be a firecracker but it's amazing the calming influence Zakiyah can be to her and others. She's only twenty four years of age but the motherly influence she's exuding over the house goes well beyond her years and it's abundantly clear she has a hefty future in media relations to look forward to. Zakiyah is doing what a good Big Brother player should do and that's keep quiet, blossom the relationships with other and at all costs, avoid confrontations. She's doing all of these things and if she continues, we won't be remembering Zakiyah the "good" Big Brother player, we'll be reminiscing on Zaikyah, the great Big Brother player.

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