Thursday, June 27, 2013

Big Brother Power Rankings: Week One

So the houseguests are in, we got a closer look at a lot of the players, and we've already crowned the first Head of Household. Plenty of spoilers for last night's show beyond the jump.

For clarity if you're a superfan who trips up on this and watches the After Dark show and live feeds: I generally do not. The rankings are based on what happens on the televised shows three nights a week, although I do tend to take a lookback after the shows have aired to get some back story. So the rankings will never factor in something that hasn't aired on television yet, but may later factor in things that don't get televised after the fact (example: if Aaryn and Jessie have an argument on the live feeds but not the show proper, that won't be factored until later).

Enough shop talk, let's get to how the show went.

The intro shows are always awkward for a variety of reasons. It is absolutely stunning to me that this is how a lot of these people want to present themselves - actually talking about how women can't keep their hands off of them, talking about how they want to find love in the Big Brother house, and so on. I really don't get it. If that's the type of game they plan to play (like the one girl who plans to effectively seduce everyone in the house to gain a manipulative advantage) that's one thing. But I don't know.

The big twists this season are that there will be three nominations for eviction this season: two from the Head of Household, one from an America-voted "MVP" who makes their nomination in secret before the veto competition. It's up to the MVP if they want to admit to being the MVP or not, but it really throws a lot of strategy into disarray, and could allow an early fan favorite (or, perhaps in the case of Season 13 winner Rachel Reilly's sister, someone with a large presence among Big Brother fans to advocate) an opportunity to control a lot of nominations. There was also speculation toward the end of the episode that the MVP could also be the HOH, which could put three nominations into the hands of one person. This will get interesting, for sure.

Random houseguest thoughts since we have had less than an hour with them so far:

* Aaryn looks to be a stronger player early than I gave her credit for. She's in a house with a lot of girls who seem hyperfocused on their looks and appearance, and while Aaryn is definitely one of the prettier girls in the house, she does not initially come off as consumed by it. This might work to her advantage with some of the men in the house.

* Spencer, the bearded wonder, came right out and said he'll say and do anything to win. That's a total Dan move, and one that could either pay dividends or cause him to flame out early.

* If you like breasts, you're going to love this season. There seems to be an undercurrent of "if you've got it, flaunt it" from many of the intro videos, including but not limited to Kaitlin and Amanda.

* Our resident older mom, Helen? Actually looks like someone who may be holding their own. I'm actually surprised by this early on, but you never know.

So here we go with the inaugural power rankings, which will include some recaps of the events of last night:

McCrae won Head of Household in an endurance competition where they had to hang onto large popsicles to remain the last person and get the key. McCrae comes off as even more of a stoner pizza guy in person than he does in print, and yet, in the House introductions once everyone entered the House, a lot of people don't seem to believe him. I have no idea, but if you can win a four-hour-plus endurance competition on your first day in the House, you're showing some bonafide skills. Assuming he doesn't put a target on his back with his nominations this week...

Spencer probably has the best game plan coming in and, more importantly, it's a game plan that fits his style of play and his personality. Plus, he's already in an alliance with a person who will be a constant target and someone in Howard that he can probably manipulate? Spencer is absolutely the most interesting houseguest at present, and I think he's in a solid position.

Dudebro Nick was second to last to fall in the HOH competition and probably could have won if he chose to. Instead, he worked out a deal with McCrae for safety this week, and if McCrae holds up his end of the deal? Nick is sitting in a good spot socially while still showing strength in the competitions. Another early surprise for me.

Aaryn seems to have a good head on her shoulders and may very well be a step ahead of most of the rest of the girls in the competition. If she can stay above the cattiness and stay in a good place socially, she has a good, long summer ahead of her.

Helen is impressive early, she's playing her cards close to her chest, and she's not being scared off by the younger, more attractive models. She scored points with being a mom, and may be able to navigate the political game better than most. I'm very interested to see how this goes.

GinaMarie did not impress me at all in the initial bios, but it turns out that pageant organizer = solid social game in a group of ladies obsessed with physical appearance. I may have underestimated her ability to play a good social game, and she was middle of the pack during the HOH competition, so this might work out for her.

Andy is an interesting case study in awkward, and as the token gay houseguest, he may align fairly well with a few different people. More to come on him, I think.

I'll come right out and say that I don't know what to make of Judd yet. This could literally go anywhere for him, and, depending on how he presents himself, he could be MVP a few times. Who knows?

Howard has aligned himself with Spencer and Jeremy early. While I fear Howard will be Spencer's puppet for a while, the fact that Jeremy may end up having his back for a while, combined with Spencer having someone in his pocket, may speak well to his longevity. It also means that he may not actually succeed in much of anything.

Something about Kaitlin is rubbing me the wrong way early, but she's another one of the girls who has a fine line to balance but may benefit from others getting more attention.

Not only does David come across as vain and vapid, but in the HOH competition, he threw the game toward the end in order to get a "Never Have Not" pass (which means he never eats slop and never gets cold showers and never ends up sleeping in the "Have Not" room that still needs to be revealed), and still doesn't get it. He's greedy and surface level, and while I don't expect him to be evicted early, I can't imagine him sticking around long.

Jessie thinks she's going to get by based on her being "prettier" than the others (she's not). Never a good sign when you think you're the hot girl when there are 8 other girls who believe the same thing, and a bunch of guys looking for some romance. If they need to cull the herd, they're going to go after the more unimpressive ladies before they get to the ones that they want to keep around otherwise. Jessie might be in trouble early even if she's in a fragile alliance.

Amanda was also unimpressive early, and, I'll be honest: I'm not sure how she fits in on this at all. She's showing all the signs of a classic floater.

In a competition where minority houseguests tend to struggle, Candace is doing nothing to set herself apart right now, nor do I think she has a chance to get in with a lot of the cliques that appear to be forming early. Candace actually impressed me with her intro and diary room clips on this episode, and I'm definitely rooting for her, but I don't know if this is the right mix for her to fit in with.

Elissa may be in trouble early, because people are already noticing that she resembles her sister and that could cause a lot of problems in the House for her, especially with MVP voting. I still don't know how Rachel ended up winning her season, and I can't see how this crew, especially with the way the women are acting early, will be okay with her in the long run.

Jeremy, within the first few minutes of being in the House, got himself into two alliances. In the HOH competition, he threw the game toward the end and secured the "Never Have Not" pass. Plus, all the girls are already into him, and he has some extremely stupid tattoos. Welcome to having a massive, massive target on your back. This is some outright terrible gameplay early on.

So there we go. We have episodes on Sunday and Tuesday that will surely shake things up, as well as nominations and an eviction on Wednesday. Looking forward to it!

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