Big Brother 13: Breakdown and Analysis

As a whole, this has been a very strange season of Big Brother for me. In one way, it felt a bit like an All-Star season, with the focus on the vets being so strong for the majority of the season (I feel like Rachel and Brendon are eternally stuck in my television after two straight summers with them). On the other hand, we have a whole group of new people who we sadly did not get to see much of this summer (with the exception of Shelly, who I would have been perfectly fine to see much less of). Considering all of the events and power shifts that have been happening in the house this season, I’m more than a little disappointed that James and I did not get the opportunity to continue doing our weekly recaps, but such is life and since Mother Nature has decided to hate on us this summer, I will do my best to cram a month’s worth of thoughts into one expertly written post!

Rather than turning this into one long Meghan ramble (which, trust me, nobody wants to read), I think it best to break this down by houseguest, limiting myself to the Jury and the final 3, with a little Dominic and Lawon thrown in for good measure. Let’s start where we left off with our last podcast, shall we?

America’s Choice- Brendon vs. Dominic

It should be no secret to anyone following our blog that both James and I really wanted Dominic be voted back into the house, but would have been pretty happy with any of the options except for Brendon (yes, even Keith, because come on that would have been hilarious). And who does America decide to vote back into the house? Rachel’s fiancé ! Brendon!! *insert annoying Rachel laugh* While I understand the impulse to vote for Brendon because it would cause all kinds of drama, I think we would have been in for a much  more interesting second half to the season if Dominic had been able to reenter the house. His exit was premature to begin with and he was one of the few newbies who showed any kind of drive to really shake things up and compete, before the last 2 weeks (I’m looking at you Porsche…). Instead, we wound up with Brendon easily “fighting” his way back into the house, Dani winning HOH and a reset to 2 weeks before, with Brendon getting evicted again. The only difference? This time he’s on the jury and Rachel doesn’t implode in on herself.

The other part of this season’s America’s Vote twist that I wanted to mention was Lawon’s self eviction. Even after 13 seasons, the houseguests still don’t seem to have realized that offering yourself up as a pawn is never a good idea, no matter how sure you are that you are not the target. However, I’m pretty sure that even the worst past houseguest could tell you that offering yourself up to be evicted is an even worse idea. I’m not sure what Lawon was thinking, but in a game that’s tagline is always “Expect the Unexpected” why did Lawon think that when Julie said the evicted houseguest would have “a chance” of reentering the game that meant that he would automatically just get to turn around and walk back in? His “battle” against Brendon was just sad. Lawon didn’t stand a chance and looked completely lost the entire 3 minutes. Can’t say I was too sad to see Lawon go; with all of the talk about “Floaters” with season, Lawon was probably the biggest Floater in the house, despite all of his protests that he was gonna “Do Stuff.”

Big Players Make BIG Mistakes

Brendon’s second eviction started off a chain reaction of some of the season’s stronger players and competitors getting evicted, leaving us with a pretty pathetic final 3, given the potential that this season showed early on.  In fact, as much as she annoys me, I feel like out of the options left, Rachel is the only person who legitimately deserves to win BB13. Is she the best player to ever play the game, absolutely not. Is she even the best player this season? No. But she somehow made it to the final 3, and Brendon’s 1 week reentry, I believe, is almost entirely responsible for that.

So what happened to all of the strong players this season? Every single one of them made a HUGE mistake or simply wasn’t strong enough to win every competition. I break it down one by one, in order of elimination, starting with Dani:

Dani– The player who was clearly in the best position from the first week. Having the Golden Key kept her safe for 4 weeks and allowed her to keep her hands clean while playing a social game that by the beginning of week 3, had her in a position where she was in good with every single member of the house, vets and newbies alike. All she had to do was keep her head down until she could play in competitions again. Unfortunately, Dani got bored. And not only did she get bored, but she got REALLY bored. So bored, that she decided to attempt to backdoor one of her alliance members (Jeff) even before the Jury or before the duo twist was even over. While Dani may not have been evicted for several more weeks, and she did succeed in getting Brendon out of the house not once, but twice, her decision to turn on her original alliance essentially sealed her fate. I think Dani had the potential to go far again this season and I was very sad to see her go so early.

Jeff– From the second he and Jordan walked back into the house they had targets on their back. Not because, like Rachel and Brendon everyone feared them as competitors or loathed them as people, but precisely because they were so universally liked. Top that off with Jeff’s aggressive, competitive side now that he was no longer the underdog like in his season, and the target on his back continued to grow as the weeks went on. Brendon’s eviction pretty much removed the only other player with a bigger target, leaving Jeff extremely vulnerable. His HOH win that next week kept him safe, but his decision to backdoor Dani, coupled with the introduction of the double elimination that same night, offered the perfect storm for Jeff’s eviction. Unlike what seemed to be the entire studio audience, I was not completely crushed by his swift elimination, but do feel that losing two strong players in the same night was a bit of a blow to the season.

Shelly– I don’t even know what to say about Shelly. Her biggest mistake? Being completely delusional and going to the Harper’s Island school of lying. If you have no idea what that means, you need to watch Harper’s Island, but suffice to say that it means an individual will maintain a lie, even when ALONE. We have documented proof that Shelly made final 3 deals with several groups, but when confronted with her lie, she flips out. That by itself doesn’t seem so odd. Most people, especially when in a position where they stand to lose something if their lie is discovered, will react in a similar way when confronted in this manner, but Shelly’s outrage and complete indignation is carried over into her Diary Room sessions! Couple that with her insistence that she has always been on Jeff and Jordan’s side, and is simply acting as a mole when she goes to talk to the other side of the house, but then turning around and making deals that negatively impact Jeff or Jordan or putting ideas into motion herself, and we are left with one of the most ridiculous players I’ve seen in a long time. My intense annoyance with Shelly is not connected to her (I believe) premature and badly carried out betrayal of Jeff and Jordan, but rather on her delusional response to being a caught in the ginormous web of lies that she created. Hysterical fits in the Diary Room at someone questioning your loyalty only mean so  much when a week later you decide to turn on these same people. If you’re going to play a game based on deception and risky moves, you better come into the game with a strong spine and an even stronger competitive edge. Shelly lacked both of these and of everyone who was evicted post Jury, I was most happy to see her not make the finals.

Kalia & Jordan– I don’t really have too much to say about either player. Neither made a huge mistake and both played a pretty solid game, with Jordan actually being more aggressive in her game play this season and Kalia proving to be a pretty fierce competitor when she needed to be, winning two HOHs and using one of those to evict a strong player. Unfortunately, this is probably why both of them didn’t make the finals, since both stood a pretty fair chance of winning had they made it.

So that’s about it. I don’t agree with those people who’ve called this season boring. I think frustrating is a better description. I’m looking forward to the finale, if only to see what those houseguests who’ve been able to watch the whole season have to say, especially ED.

Finally, for anyone who hasn’t seen Jeff’s response to Dumbledoregate, I highly suggest you read it. It’s amazing.

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  1. November 20, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    Just found your article, and very much enjoyed it. Few seemed to get what Shelly is all about. I am relieved like you can not imagine you saw through the fog and wrote about it. This Harper’s Island Grad is still at it. I imagine that the deception is a lifestyle choice, because it continues in our dealings with her now that she has been unleashed from the house….and she’s still having fits. You are in the house who you are out of the house. I wish people got that.

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