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Big Brother 11 – A Strategic Overview of Week Two

Another week of Big Brother is over, but the game has only really just begun.
This week we saw Ronnie go on a power trip. He continued to play both sides, telling the athletes he wanted to get rid of Laura while telling the rest of the house he planned to backdoor Russell. And while Ronnie was contemplating which option to actually go through with, Jessie came in and convinced Ronnie not to backdoor Russell. However, soon after Ronnie decided to target Laura instead of Russell, he was discovered as a liar and a rat. The entire house seemed to turn against him in just a matter of minutes with Russell leading the attack.

After a week of craziness, where do the players stand strategically? Are all of them truly united against Ronnie?

Casey – Offbeat
He seems to be doing a good job of slowly building relationships. He’s going to have to start making moves soon, though, because I have a feeling that the Offbeats are next on the hit list.

Chima – Brain
She continues to get on people’s nerves, ensuring that she has no chance at winning. Although, it would be smart for the houseguests to keep her around for a while for this reason alone.

Jeff – Athlete
Not great at spelling, but surprisingly good at counting. I still love Jeff’s position in the game. If it’s the Athletes versus the rest of the house and Jeff, then he is sitting pretty because the Athletes can’t nominate him and the rest of the house doesn’t want to. He should be pretty safe until the cliques are separated and it becomes every man for himself.

Jessie – Athlete
I can’t believe it, but Jessie’s actually playing a pretty solid game. He is staying out of trouble and subtly making an impact on the game. Maybe he has learned a thing or two from last season. He noticed Russell’s downward spiral and has quickly taken advantage. It was very impressive to see Jessie convince Ronnie not to backdoor Russell. Jessie knows that as soon as Russell is evicted the target moves to him. Was this all just a fluke, or is Jessie starting to get the hang of this game?

Jordan – Popular
She is all that’s left of the Populars. She probably has quite a few more weeks left in the Big Brother house because no one sees her as a threat. Do you know why? Because she isn’t one. That’s why she’s the perfect pawn. Expect her to be around until the other houseguests remember that she’s still there.

Kevin – Offbeat
He’s playing a really good game right now. He’s managed to stay out of trouble, and he has friends on both sides of the house. Right now, he just seems to be waiting for the right time to make a move. Hopefully, it will be a move worth making.

Laura – Popular
She was a smart player who made some poor decisions. You should never talk trash about the HOH, especially right before the nomination ceremony. It is never smart to give them an excuse to nominate you. And as exciting as it was to see her “out” Ronnie in front of the entire house, it would have been much better for her to focus on getting the votes to stay.

Lydia – Offbeat
Similar to Kevin, I’m not sure where her allegiance lies. I’m sure for this week it will be with the Athletes, but what will happen if she gets HOH? Certainly the Athletes are the biggest threats in the house, so it will be interesting to see what she does.

Michele – Brain
Michele has done an adequate job of laying low for the past few weeks, but sooner or later she is going to have to form an alliance if she plans to be in this game for the long haul. And as much as Michele can say she wants Ronnie out, strategically it’s still better for her if he stays. In fact, a secret alliance with Ronnie would be a smart move for her right now.

Natalie – Athlete
Her alliance with Jessie is a strong one. She has not done a lot to stay under the radar, but the aggressive players are keeping the focus away from her. Her rogue vote for Jordan is another example of how she is playing this game: carelessly. Every move should be calculated, but Natalie is just trying to mix things up. It is completely unnecessary to mix things up this early. Things have been mixed up enough already. In Big Brother history rogue votes have usually ended poorly for the person casting them. However, like every other poor decision Natalie has made, it will most likely be overshadowed, and I don’t think it will make much of a difference. If anything, it’s good for Ronnie because everyone seemed to be under the misconception that he was the only “rat” in the house. This vote proves otherwise.

Ronnie – Brain
He dug his own grave this week. I never thought I would ever see such a horrible HOH week. Usually the HOH is worried about making some enemies with his nominations, but never has the HOH successfully turned the entire house against him like Ronnie did. And like I said last week, he didn’t even have to win HOH to be safe. He could have just thrown it to Michele. For a student of the game, Ronnie seems to be breaking all the rules, and he will spend the rest of the game trying to make up for the mistakes of these past two weeks; but he’s not dead yet. His best play right now is to make the argument that he has no chance at winning. Stay low the next few weeks, and try to keep the focus on the bigger threats. Show people that you’re not the only rat in the house, and stay out of trouble for the first time in the entire game.

Russell – Athlete
I take back what I said about Russell. He showed signs of intelligence the first week, but I think he’s lost it. He is no longer playing smart. He is playing an emotional game that, in the end, will get the best of him. Torturing Ronnie like that; what was he trying to do? Psyche him out for the HOH competition? Oh wait, he’s not playing. Russell has turned into a big bully, and this big bully has somehow managed to pull Jessie’s target off his back and put it on himself. Jessie’s been HOH twice now, and I still think Russell is perceived as a bigger threat.

So how will these strategies pan out? Stay tuned to find out. I’ll be back next week with some more strategic musings.

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