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Big Brother 11 – A Strategic Overview of the End Game

So it’s all over. Tuesday night Jordan won part three of the final HOH competition, evicted Kevin, and easily defeated Natalie in a 5-2 vote. Early in the finale, after Jordan expressed her desire to take Natalie with her to the final two, it became clear that the final HOH was essentially going to decide the winner of the game. I’m not sure how Jordan came to the conclusion that Natalie would be easier to beat, but it definitely won her the game. And for Kevin, losing the final competition was his demise.

So is there anything the players could have done differently to change the outcome? And overall, how have they stood strategically?

She got lucky. Let’s face it, Jordan wasn’t the best strategist or the best competitor, but she won the competitions she needed to get to the end. And the key to her victory was evicting Kevin and going up against Natalie in the finals. Natalie was hated by the jury; they didn’t respect her game and she had virtually no chance of winning.

Jordan answered the jury questions the same way she played the game, honestly and with little thought. She rambled on and on, thinking that the more she spoke the more likely she was of convincing the jury that she should be the winner. While this wasn’t true, it was still very endearing. In the end, Jordan was voted the winner of Big Brother for her heart, not her strategic skills. It’s good to know that sometimes, that’s enough.

He played the best game in my opinion and he should be proud of his accomplishments. Sometimes the best man doesn’t win. He put himself in a position to win, but it was the final competition that cost him the game. It’s a shame when you play so well, and make it so close without winning.

It reminded me a little of Survivor: Amazon. Rob Cesternino made it to the final three, and only the final immunity challenge stood in between him and the million-dollar prize. Like Kevin and Jordan, it came down to Rob and Jenna Morasca. She won the challenge and, knowing she couldn’t beat Rob in the final jury vote, voted him out. Rob was the best player in his season of Survivor, and Kevin was the best player in this season of Big Brother. While he might not be walking away with half a million dollars, at least he knows he played a good game.

She really seemed to lose sight of her goals this last week. While she didn’t really seem to have a chance of winning, it didn’t mean it was hopeless. I honestly think she could have turned the whole vote around with her answers to the jury.

Lydia’s question about who her biggest threat was in the game would have been a perfect opportunity for her to take credit for the lie that took Russell out of the game. This was the moment in the game where she and Kevin were able to turn the tide. It would have been smart to mention this. Instead, Natalie proved with her answer that she is the same immature 18-year old she’s been pretending to be. She may claim that it’s all an act, but her jury responses proved otherwise. Responses to the jury need to be sincere and complimentary while, at the same time, still highlighting one’s own strategic moves. Neither Jordan nor Natalie were able to achieve this, and since Natalie is the one who needed to make up the most ground, she lost.

Question of the Week
If it was only Natalie’s strategy to be immature during the game, why didn’t she end it when confronting the jury? Something tells me she wasn’t pretending.

Thanks for reading these strategic overviews. It’s been a great season. I’ll be back next week with some more strategic musings on Survivor Samoa.

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