The battle back has wrapped up, as on July 22nd which was a special Friday episode that aired on CBS, we bore witness to the Louisiana 'legend' himself Victor outlast Glenn,Jozea,Bronte, and Tiffany to regain entrance into the Big Brother house. I have a few opinions on this "Battle Back" twist before I indulge into the weekly rankings. First and foremost, am I the only one that shares the concern that most if not all of these challenges were heavily male oriented. With the exception of the trampoline tennis competition between Jozea and Victor, I felt as if Bronte and Tiffany stood little chance of surviving when accounting the physical nature of these games. Sure,the argument could be made that I don't buy that the Bronte-Victor duel was mental based which on it's premise holds validation but quickness going from the respective station to the visual board involves a great deal of endurance, in other words advantage Victor. And yes again, a puzzle isn't a test of sheer strength but the setup most certainly was. Tiffany is a Rousso, a school teacher and incredibly astute to working her way through intellectual matters. So why you ask did Victor flourish and come out on top? At least the way they were editing the final battle both made the error in beginning their puzzle on the wrong level however due to the strength required Victor corrected his transgressions quicker then Ms.Rousso ever could which created an inequality. As well on the surface if production had any appetite to partially interfere,one would surmise that aiding Tiffany would be the side of the ledger they'd be on as Tiffany re entering immediately would've been the recipe for the most drama, so it just adds to my perplexion as to why they setup the event the way they did. Big Brother fourteen winner Ian Terry went on Twitter after the Battle Back had consummated commending the production even going as far awarding it a 10/10. With all due respect to Ian, the concept of the twist I can most definitely endorse but pertaining to execution, it gets a meager 2/10 from me.
Additionally, I have a theory regarding the continuance of the Battle Back. The live feed correspondents on RHAP, particularly Brent and Rob Cesternino ventured into this angle already but I am extremely confident that this isn't the last we'll see of this twist and when I crunched the numbers, if my mathematician skills are better than Bronte's(who's aren't?) then we'll likely see unless CBS throws another innovative twist our way the next five houseguests will bustle in an additional set of four challenges. For what it's worth I also maintain their's a high probability that Grodner and company will mimic Big Brother Canada Season three and introduce the triple eviction. Not many on social media seem to be discussing the Triple theory but this is Big Brother, and they'll do anything to certify the catchphrase of "Expect the Unexpected". Onwards and upwards to the rankings we go.
12.Frank-Full disclosure that the spoilers that have seeped through this week have heavily influenced my rankings.****Michelle won the Veto***,however if you're choosing to read a Big Brother blog entry,it's likely you already know this. It now comes down to either Frank or Bridgette. If I was fortunate to be cast on Big Brother Canada, the bigger threat is emphatically Bridgette. Players that follow an arch type such as Frank simply put don't win. You don't showcase yourself as a challenge dominator as he showcased himself to be way back in Big Brother fourteen and expect not to be targeted early on. I'm not naive enough to realize that diary room entries can be manipulated in such a way to further develop a story line, but I sincerely doubt Frank could've genuinely been surprised? The house turned on him with the Tiffany vote and then wouldn't join his side when he attempted to save Tiffany last week,so with all that being said it sure amounts to him believing he all of a sudden was again part of the majority? Either he's delusional which I don't believe for a second or like aforementioned we've all(some of us) fallen victim to unfortunate DR maneuvering. Frank's going home but for some this may amount to their undoing. For the immediate, a Frank ouster benefits Nicole, Da'Vonne, Corey and Zakiyah. Michelle is the interesting case. Although willing to be subjected to a different train of thought, I'm not convinced pushing to evict Frank or Bridgette is her best play at this juncture. Michelle is a comfy spot as I've spoken about in the past being cushioned in this what I'm calling "Showmances + 1" alliance but at some point Michelle will be expendable to the aforementioned four. In reference, being as how I just indicated that Nicole is helped by Frank going home, don't be surprised to see where I have Nicole, as their are deficiencies in her game that are greater then Steve Wheatcroft's bunker efficiency(google Wheatcroft bunker).
11.Nicole-Her game constantly continues to implode. This alliance of four that she has essentially hand picked will end up being her demise. The showmances that are currently constructed in the house are painfully obvious and because Nicole is widely viewed as a polarizing player and the leader of the group,she'll likely be the one to take the first bullet when her alliance is zeroed in on. Chances that Paulie could be the first one is not out of the realm but I just think the reason why Nicole will be soon to go over Paulie is due to the rest of the house's perception of her. Paulie is a guy's guy, Nicole has taken her good friend from Chicago Andy Herren's approach of being a rat,on twitter known as a "rat floater" is causing some to take her gameplay. I could be way off base here, but I think when push comes to shove here someone like Natalie will sway James into turning on Nicole because at least on camera, Nicole's behavior exudes cattiness and that alienates her with some of the girls outside of her core four. Here's my opinion about her strategy. As mentioned earlier, Nicole has employed the floater strategy whilst reporting side deals to individuals not privy to the inner details and yes it did work for Andy but there's one, likely more, but one glaring reason why it won't work this time around is because unlike the controversial season fifteen, there are more savvy game players that have already sniffed her out which is why I foresee her evicted very soon, dependent on the new H.O.H, as early as next week. In real life, seems like a wonderful person to chill with but inside the confines of the house, her game has deteriorated since two summers ago.
10.Victor-Did Victor really just say in the Diary Room that one of the main reasons for being ecstatic about re-entering the house was that he won the belt provided in the "Battle Back" competition? If so,and I'm positive I didn't mishear that then it speaks to exactly why Victor wasn't the ideal returnee to this game. I haven't vocalized this yet on the blog but when I internally skimmed through the cast when it was first announced and watched the brief interviews conducted by Jeff Schroeder via CBS.com, I had two immediate thoughts. One, Corey's lack of knowledge towards the Big Brother game had me believing he was a late cut for the upcoming Survivor:Gen X season and two, ditto with Victor as his persona screamed of someone narrowly missing out on getting cast for the Bachelor. Common knowledge or not,to me it's not but the point is that when I see someone like Victor it's abundantly clear that he doesn't share a considerable passion to strategize, he covets television time and paving the way for an aspiring model career. I can't respect these type of players but understand it's par for the course when casting for a reality television show. I will say this about Victor and it's part of the reason why he's ahead of Nicole is by listening to Paul, who's cleverly positioned himself nicely in the house he's getting honest advice which at the very least should allow him to survive a couple more weeks. There's one particular scenario where I can envision Mr.Arroyo finding himself in a final four position and that's if Paulie, and I don't care what Taran Armstrong from RHAP might opine about this, but Paulie is leaps and bounds a better strategist than his brother Cody chooses to 'bro' down with Paul, Victor and Corey especially if Nicole is an early causality, we could be gearing up for Brigade Volume two. Victor, no chance to win this game but there are a dearth amount of circumstances that could find himself presenting to a jury on finale night. The Gregg Carey of Big Brother.
9.James-Not to continually pound this lovestruck rhetoric, but c'mon.....what show does James think he's on? FOX's "Coupled"? He fell on his sword for a girl that ventured into the Survivor dating pool last summer in Meg and now he's falling for a gal who, I'm sorry, but I don't see any sustainable compatibility at all in Natalie. Natalie is the cheerleader type who's smart enough to realize even though she possesses a limited knowledge of the game that involving yourself in the showmance is guaranteed exposure. I'm not for a second suggesting that Natalie will ever turn on James, what I am insinuating however is that the "precocious prankster" a term I coined him with a couple of weeks will not definitely turn his back to a more advantageous game move to protect Natalie. This is Drew and Diane(Big Brother 5) all over again except that James is the Diane. I have to keep reassuring myself that I haven't ranked James too high because after seeing slight signs of improvement a week ago, his brief H.O.H reign has been nothing short of cataclysmal. Sending a player in Frank out the door does nothing to benefit him. To verify this claim,let's work our way through a brief check list:
-Frank's a bigger physical threat then himself=
-James is not in the "Showmances +1"and could use Frank down the line=
-He claims that the reason he nominated Frank was because he finds himself in the middle of all the scrums, however does that not benefit those not involved in the confrontation=
I know for a fact I rated James too high but it just publicizes the major flaws those before him have.
8.Da'Vonne-The reason for the advancement in these rankings is because she's won the mini war between herself and Frank. Was the war a battle Da'Vonne needed to win this early, no but for the time being it's one less player threatening to nominate her. Da'vonne can't seem to wrap her head around the notion that she's playing too aggressively and should've used this rift with Frank more conveniently. In reference to how they were editing the rift on the show and to what I've read and heard about the feeds, although it can be confirmed that when this week began Frank had his eyes solely lazered at the lady they affectionately call"Mamma Day" but truth to be told and I'm construing agreement over recent social media posting is that Frank wanted to pull her on his side and has repeatedly warned her against the showmance alliance that isn't looking out for her best interests. Having a smokescreen within the house can benefit all parties and it's due to sheer ignorance on her part that Frank's game is about to cease and her game is slowly getting flushed down the toilet., Ironically, the blinded loyalty she's handed to her best pal Zakiyah is why she has such limited potential now. Da'Vonne foolishly thinks Z has her best interests at heart when in reality Zakiyah has inherited a ride or die with Paulie. As of late night on July 24th, reports are indicating that she's slowly gravitating back to Da'Vonne which may enable her to last a little longer then I currently maintain and also will equip Zakiyah, who absolutely has what it takes to win more options down the road. The rocky road relationship between these two may prove to determine both of there fates. When they're cordial with one another, they're power players but when invoking the silent treatment it puts them in an unrealized amount of danger.
7.Natalie-The comparison to Victoria from BB16 has been made multiple times and while the comparison has merit I think, and forgive me if I've shared this exact thought previously, her game is following an eery semblance to that of Jordan Lloyd........with the exception of having a shot to win. Natalie, if we're comparing her plight to the game of football(can't go an entire entry without throwing in a few sporting analogies) she's like the NFL's version of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. To familiarize those unaware with my thoughts about Ryan, Matt Ryan to me is a quarterback who has long been expected to individually lead the Falcons to steady playoff success but at the end of the day says all the right things to the media which causes scouts and player personnel departments to drool over what could be but uses his stoic demeanour to no use, and is just a pretty face that provides no substance. He's nickamed "Matty Ice" for his propensity to play well under pressure. From my perspective, to play well under pressure one must first lead his team to a high pressured environment game, which has yet to happen. Circling this comparison back to Natalie, she may as well be nicknamed "Natty Ice" because similarly to Matt she says all the right things but does nothing to have you believe she's on the brink of Big Brother royalty. Her lack of fight for Bridgette was actually disheartening to see because even though her best pal Bronte was sent home under Bridgette's watch, her intentions to protect the two were genuine and thus far I've seen nothing that instills confidence that in any way shape or form Natalie has any will to protect Bridgette. I find this disheartening because I like Bridgette and although she's soft spoken, she' s a game player which is heaps more than I can say about Natalie.
6.Zakiyah-I've admittedly done a 360 regarding the game of Zakiyah. Last week, and primarily since the start of the game I rationalized that Zakiyah was in full fledged game mode but her actions of the past week have me deeply concerned. By no means do I wish to compare the obsession she has with Paulie to the kinship between James and Natalie but it's the courtship that is hindering her long term game plan. The reason why I consistently had Zakiyah at or near the top of the rankings was because I was convinced that she was content with cutting Paulie at the appropriate time and her and Nicole would ride shotgun together all the way to the finale. Judging from where I listed Nicole, it's not difficult to ascertain that I misinterpreted the end game for both. Sadly, and I know this will surely offend some, I'm starting to deem that all this is for her is one extended summer vacation where she can flirt with the boys(boy) and capitalize on her fifteen minutes of fame. I have a very large ego, and get incredibly flustered when I have to refute a proclamation I made but for someone who I enlisted as our winner a week, it upsets me her game has taken this turn. So how does she right this sinking ship? I already touched on that she needs to reinvigor the relationship with Da'vonne but another avenue worth exploring is strengthening with Corey. Corey is the most overlooked player in this game and my future ranking will reflect that but this essentially is why a more devout bond between the two will assist her. Corey is getting the "Are you Smarter then a 5th grader" edit but the truth is EVERYBODY in that house enjoys socializing with him so with these two sharing a core alliance why not solidify some type of final two agreement because if I'm correct in projecting Nicole as an early boot, who is Corey going to turn to? If he at all believes some of the guys were behind her demise who better to turn to than someone that he's previously entrusted his loyalty in. Corey's in a fantastic position so while the partnership won't hurt him, it has more payoff for Zakiyah.
5.Paulie-Simply put, Paulie is the ringleader as we currently assess the inner workings of the Big Brother house. Unless you're Dr.Will Kirby, being the ringleader while still immersed in the pre jury phase isn't an enviable position to be in. Paulie doesn't have Chilltown upside, although he's not beneath quoting Chilltown catch phrases. Paulie has completely discarded Frank and it's hilarious watching Frank speak because he somehow still believes Frank has his back when in reality it was senor Calafiore that figuratively sent him to the hospital in the first place. It'll make for memorable television on Thursday and I'll make sure I tune in to Frank's social media when he finally realizes it was Paulie who served the knockout punch but I'm not satisfied that this is Paulie's best play by dumping Frank. The show, the edited television version anyway didn't do a great job detailing where the relationship went south although I'm subscribing to the theory that the antics of Frank and what he was accused off forced him to back away because like I eluded to last week, Paulie has a great affinity for remaining in the "cool kids" club. Paulie's in no danger for the next couple weeks but the tell tale sign for me falls in the hands of Michelle and Natalie. Two participants in this game that haven't visibly enamored over Paulie's charm and how soon I wonder if these two are fortunate to gain power would they consider making a move on him? Makes for great water cooler conversation anyway.
4.Bridgette-Remember when, okay so you probably don't, but I remember the time touching base with the cult classic film Mighty Ducks when Peter Mark was befuddled to find out that his coach Gordon Bombay was once a Hawk? I have a sneaky suspicion that when Bridgette leaves the house she's going to be left jaw dropped by how poorly Frank's presence has left her. First it was the secret Roadkill nomination that Frank finally admitted and that she took surprisingly well. Secondly, it was the ill timed shoulder bump that ended up injuring her ankle and third and most important pertaining to her expected disappointment with Frank outside of the house will be how Frank talked about her behind her back. All conversations Frank had when discussing Bridgette inferred that he was pulling all the strings and was principally a puppet for him. I got news for you buddy, the jokes on you as you're all but gone barring a miraculous twist and Bridgette ain't going anywhere anytime soon. What's a world without Frank look like for her? I wholeheartedly expect her to strengthen the friendship with her sole remaining "Spy Girl" Natalie but will need more to prosper. I would advise Bridgette to get in snug with Paul, because Paul very much like Corey is viewed as a social butterfly and if he can be convinced that you're good for his game, he'll roll with you. A Paul, Natalie and Bridgette final three would be ideal. I'd also advise if she stumbled into power next week to target James right off the hop. I know that may sound strange considering the dynamics of Natalie/James but by cutting James, she can take full control of Natalie which she desperately needs.
3.Paul-The "Muffin Man" is a shoe in to win America'a favourite player, and if he continues these charades, may be a shoe-in for the winner of the season as well. I'm not quite ready to anoint him as the games biggest threat just yet but there a lot of things working in his favour. As discussed on RHAP, the re-emergence of Victor on paper seems like a Home Run for Paul but logistically may create more problems then solutions. Let's examine the strengths of his game, on the positive ledger we have likability. I harken back to to the now infamous Rap battle that commenced between himself and "Big Meesh". To go on a minor tangent, it's a travesty that the segment wasn't put to air as it would've shone a light on Michelle's glowing personality. Back to Paul, aside from likability, it's his insistence of speaking his mind that depending on the person could be viewed as a crutch but for Paul it's a blessing. He's not afraid to speak up to the vets which is a welcome change as evidenced by his confrontation(if that's what they're calling that these days) with Frank. It shows loyalty, leadership and a willingness to go to battle for those he's aligned with. Paul understands the intricacies of what makes an entertaining Big Brother player, unlike some(Nicole and Zakiyah) the North American viewing audience doesn't like to watch conversations that are verbalized in utter silence, we support someone like Paul who's out in the open and shares his thoughts on all subjects. If America influences the game at all this summer, Paul will be reaping the rewards,
2.Michelle-Is getting the cold shoulder from production but that doesn't dictate a good Big Brother player. She had a slow start to this season not just referring to her lack of television time. I was having trouble attempting to figure out the game of Michelle but after a few weeks, I finally understand. Michelle is a player who's very observant and calculating on who she reveals information to. I LOVE how she handled the interrogation from Frank last week, never once denying what Frank wanted to hear but then going to right to her alliance explaining the essence of the conversation. Too many times, and we've seen this with Da'vonne this week is that when you receive pertinent information, it's best to be straightforward with it because when you withhold valuable data from your alliance, this is Big Brother after all and word gets around ultimately destroying your own game in the process. I know after reading this the consensus will be, "Frank doesn't trust Michelle", which all true but really irrelevant as for Michelle the only thing that matters is that she retained loyalty with Paulie, Nicole, and Zakiyah. Brutal honesty can be viewed as a detriment but this blogger opines that the way Michelle is using what she knows is how a real "rat floater" should position herself. *cough, Nicole, cough*.
1.Corey-As a fan of sport, don't construe this as I'm favouring Corey due to his A& M baseball background. In fact, I cheer for Texas Tech when it pertains to Big twelve sports so by no means do I have an infatuation with Aggie alumni, I mean let's face it, the backdrop recently of Aggies athletics hasn't been real strong with two trainwrecks for two different reasons coming out of the program in Clay Honeycutt and Johnny Manziel. Michelle is getting a horrendous but it's debatable it's any worse than Corey's. This whole dumber than a bag of rocks display has become tiresome for me. It's improper that in the episode that aired this Sunday that when broadcasting the conversation between Nicole and Corey, they made it seem like Nicole was the one pushing for Frank's head. Newsflash CBS, if you're going to tell a story do the honorable thing and divulge both sides. Corey was the one who spearheaded the idea of turning on Frank when it came to him and Nicole as Nicole had initial reservations. Corey isn't great T.V, I get that but his acumen for how the game is played is complimentary. Corey is blunt with his beliefs on a game level but the fact is every week thusfar, it's primarily been Corey's doing, don't let the T.V show fool you. He's the master, and this is cause for the misperception I think of engaging in a conversation and subtly share a thought but then twist it to make it seem like it's your idea. Case in point, reverting all the way to week one when Nicole thought she pulled a fast one on Corey when handed the H.O.H, the truth of the matter is Corey knew he was coming in as physical threat, he didn't want to elaborate on his athleticism so he was perfectly content not winning the H.O.H. Too often we focus on the personalities and not enough do we ponder the ones who do their work behind the curtains.Bridgette was my winner's pick pre-season and as I implied earlier, I loath making corrections but Corey Brooks is winning this game ladies and gentlemen.