Tuesday, September 2, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies XV

Diane Henry-Season 5 & All Stars

Let’s not talk about her All Stars game haha. Her original season was quite good. Drew was correct to make the moves he did because Diane was in such a fantastic spot.  She was basically the closest person to everyone in her alliance. Her position in the house was so secure that she was the person that houseguests would nominate as a pawn to ensure that somebody else went home. She was not without enemies. She did not get along with Scott or Jase. But Drew was in a position that he could talk them out of nominating her.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies XIV

Britney Haynes-Season 12 & Season 14

She was smart, hilarious, and so aware of what was happening in the house that it was terrifying.(Except for that whole Brigade thing )  And if she needed details on what was happening she would make sure to obtain this information by pressing people until she had it. Nobody even faulted her for it. Many of the houseguests did not expect Britney to do well, so when she swooped in and proved she was able to win competitions in her second season it was a surprise. In season 12 she could only be taken down by one of the strongest alliances in Big Brother history. In season 14 it was Dan’s doing, one of the best players in Big Brother history. Her earlier exit here should not be viewed as a sign of the quality of her game. It can only speak to the quality of her competition.

^Oh and her DR sessions are highly appreciated.

Friday, August 29, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies XIII

Alison Irwin-Season 4 & All Stars

This is possibly another victim of a bitter jury. Alison didn’t have much of a chance once she made it to the final 2. But seeing her get there was quite a treat. It seemed like everyone would have been willing to take her once they got towards the end. She’s one of the greats and she played the game hard. In fact, both Alison and Jun of season 4 pioneered the floater method. Alison could do both strategy and competitions.  She maintained alliances with so many members of the house. Some were generally known such as the alliance to get out the exes. Others, like her side alliance with Justin were a secret.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies XII

Rachel Reilly-Season 12 & Season 13

Love her or hate her, Rachel fought harder than many to win. Or perhaps fought more vocally. It’s probably that she needed to fight harder because she was so vocal. Regardless, she is one of Big Brother’s most infamous contestants. Given that she has won the game she has had success and therefore earns a spot on this list. She certainly wasn't the most subtle player. But she didn't have to be. So often female contestants in particular have the “stay under the radar, please I am not threat strategy.” Or even a behind the scenes manipulator. It was nice to see her exploding that stereotype. Rachel would never buy into the throwing competition crap of season 16. She played to win. She also had a fair bs detector that is overlooked. When she targeted Kristen I think it was a great move. That’s someone who would certainly come after her(though Kristen claimed that she wasn't sure) and was in a showmance that had to be separated.

The manner in which she targeted Kristen probably wasn't so great though...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies XI

Natalie Martinez-Season 11

While lying about her age seemed pointless, it fit into a general strategy that was useful. Natalie’s goal was to be underestimated by her fellow competitors. She attached herself to people ruling the game. (until a producer shakeup with the coup de tat)When that fell through she proclaimed that she had no true allies. She had the people she was close to, but also went out of her way to ensure that everybody else would potentially have her back as well. Nominating Kevin in order to gain Jordan's trust while hiding the alliance between herself and Kevin was symbolic of her game play. Everyone was a potential path to victory. Nobody truly suspected that she was behind major plotting in the house.

She was more afraid of bugs than the other houseguests

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies X

Lisa Donahue-Season 3

I knew from the start that I wanted to do a write up about Lisa. Danielle is one of my favorite Big Brother contestants of all time. As fans, it seems as if we have come to a consensus that Danielle was robbed of a victory. I still maintain that’s true. But it would be foolish to jump to the conclusion that Lisa was not a good player. Did anyone have a reason to gun for Lisa? She never really gave them one. The main reason to target her was due to Eric. Knowing that, she made sure he did not reenter the house. She is a great example of how to do an under the radar game. Flashy game play is good for viewers, but not always for players. By staying out of the conflict and keeping a level head she got to the finale.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies IX

Daniele Donato-Season 8 & Season 13

And she’s back in the game, folks. Pity the fool who tries to count Daniele out.  Next on the list is someone who was not afraid to make big game moves. She was definitely better with her dad in the game to balance her out, but there was a world in which she would have done as well without him. I think it’s important to view her second season through the lens of an individual who wanted to prove herself to the fan base. That meant playing the game hard. There are so many players who could only do the competitions and so many who could only rely on strategy without official power. Daniele did both. She knew what had to go down, but not exactly how to go about it. That’s why she needed a close ally. Most would be lucky to have her in a partnership.

And here you can see Dani winning competitions

An Ode to the Ladies VIII

The Twins-Season 5

Adria and Natalie took turns entering the house. The goal was for everyone to think that they were one person. I'm certainly not defending their game play, but it took a lot of skill and strength to pull this one off. To be able to convey what was necessary in the short amount of time that they had without creating suspicion was badass. 


Saturday, August 23, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies VII

Jun-Season 4

This list would be woefully incomplete without Jun. The fear of floaters in Big Brother 16 is so overblown. Maybe they just don’t do anything. Some of these people are just weak players. Coasters, if you will. Just like alliance members, there are strong floaters and weak floaters. Jun is undoubtedly the former. She practically invented the strategy. As is proven by besting the doubters her season. Her and Alison both, as a matter of fact. She was going to go in there, lay low, and cook for people. That did not mean that she was unaware. She went where the power was and it worked. If it was exes she was with them. If not then she bounced back. Her diary room sessions proved that she had a good grasp on what was happening in terms of relationships in the house. I’m glad that years later the general rhetoric surrounding Jun has changed from what a bitch to what a good player. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

An Ode Hiatus

Every day I have been posting about a woman in Big Brother that has had success in the game. I don't have time to write up a profile for today so I will give a nod to a woman that does not belong on this list.

Shannon Dragoo-Season 2

Can anyone say toothbrush incident? I presume if you are reading this blog you know who she is. If not, or if you want a good laugh be sure to click!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpypDcAgHBc

I do think there is something to say about the fact that few consider her to be a part of the Chilltown alliance. She certainly was.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies VI

Maggie Auburn-Season 6

I knew I had to write about Maggie and Janelle one after the other haha. It is absurd to me that Maggie is ranked around the same in some Big Brother winner polls as Adam who went to prison. Come on now.  

This was the season of a house divided. A smooth strategist, she owned her alliance. And ultimately it was her group that reigned supreme. The members were pawns to do her bidding as she planned ahead. When her group was targeted it was not her specifically. 

She was not particularly close with the other side and instead was strictly business. She convinced others that what was best for her game was best for their game. And who can forget when Maggie got Howie who was in the other alliance to put up two of his allies. Both her general and end game were good. She convinced the members of The Friendship that if they broke the alliance then no one would vote for them in jury. She won a fantastically difficult season. Props.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies V

This is my 5th post in a series about women in the Big Brother house! Any recommendations for who I cover next?

Janelle Pierzina-Season 6, All Stars, & Season 14

Janelle has appeared in 3 seasons of Big Brother. 2 of those 3 games were very good on her part. The other it just seemed like her heart was not in it. Fans can’t get enough. She won every single America's Choice during Big Brother 6.

She was nominated a gazillion times, but survived most of them. And she won a gazillion competitions! Most certainly not a floater, she was an integral member of the Soverign Six, one of the most popular alliances in Big Brother history.


^All dah winning. And while she never won the entire show, she is widely regarded as one of the best players out there. Not only for her fierce performance in competitions, but for her vast knowledge of the game and for her ability to get what she needs from other houseguests. Janelle was able to stay safe despite being one of the biggest targets in the game. That is a testament
 to her will(um, both the trait and the player)and determination. Her form of manipulation was through her strategic alliances. She knew that she was not the best strategist(though she was obviously still good) so she aligned herself with people that could fill that role. She was actually very straightforward for a Big Brother contestant.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies IV

Nicole Nilson- Season 2

The chef! Many newer fans to the show don’t know Nicole and it’s a shame. While her season crowned Will Kirby as the champion and puppet master, she was also an integral part of the development of the Big Brother game.  She was just as sly in her own way and engineered the eviction of half her season. She knew when to speak her mind and when to keep her(numerous, opinionated) thoughts to herself. After a shaky start week 1 where her fellow houseguests viewed her as coming on too strong, she turned the situation around and quickly gained control of the house. Nicole saw the importance of staying close to Chill Town and played the fence. In the meantime she maintained a strong alliance with Hardy. Her position in the house afforded her a myriad of paths she could have taken to get to the end. I’m a fan.

The Queen of the House

Monday, August 18, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies III

Nakomis Dedmon-Season 5 & All Stars

Nakomis created the backdoor(The six finger plan). This was groundbreaking. To think this up and then be in a position to trust your alliance enough to carry it out indicates skill. Respect. The producers had to change how the veto players were chosen because of her. More than that, she was good at competitions. Nakomis won HOH 3 times and veto once. And her “social game"? Through the roof. Everyone generally liked her. Lastly, she had cool hair. Move aside Frankie.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

An Ode to the Ladies II

Jordan Lloyd-Season 11 & Season 13

Crazy fandom? Check. Producer Bias? Check. Good game play? Also check. There is no denying that Jordan is severely overrated as a player. This is particularly true among casual BB fans who believe she is among the best of the best to step foot in the the house. With that said, hear me out. There is no one way to play this game. Jordan played it by being likable. It worked for her. 

Admittedly, I wonder if she would have been in this position with a better cast. That’s another question for another day. She kept under the radar and decided to be nice to people. She did not give them a reason to vote her out of the house. That's enormously difficult in a game designed to get other people to want to vote you out. They viewed her as sweet, nonthreatening Jordan who was presumably shielded by Jeff. If anyone wanted to go after her it was because of Jeff and he would take the fall for it. She had her alliance, but also talked to everyone else in the house.

Her end game was great because either Kevin or Natalie would have taken her to the finale. Instead, it was up to her. She knew not to take Kevin to the final 2 and was able to win the jury over. All without help from Jeff, thank you very much. In fact, Jeff's advice to Jordan after he was eliminated was to stick with Michelle. While that was great advice, it was not of any use as Michelle was the next to go. She proceeded to try the same thing in her next season. She attempted to be nobody's enemy. And with a lot of success I might add.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Where are the Badass Female Competitors?

At the start of Big Brother 16 we saw what might have become an all-female alliance. Outgoing feminist Joey came into the house with some big plans. She wanted to form this elusive group as it’s a rarity in the house. Suffice to say she bit off more than she could chew. Moreso than usual, this season of Big Brother has been divided by sex. The bomb squad and the detonators were mostly male alliances. There was a week when every single woman in the game had been nominated.Many of the female players this season are weak players. Victoria barely gets any view time. Paola and Jocasta were all but useless. Christine is easily intimidated.With all of the shuffle it got me wondering about the success of women in the game as a whole and the show’s portrayal of women.

There are a lot of stereotypes involving the lack of all-female alliances. “Too gossipy or too bitchy” Well that's obviously not it. There have been so many strong women in this game. How come so few have managed to work together? Can you think of any that have been truly successful? Not to say that there haven’t been attempts. We saw this in season 5, for example. In Big Brother 16, what Joey attempted was doomed to fail. It was too early to act and she wasn't exactly discreet. But I remain hopeful for the years to come. Maybe Joey’s all girl alliance didn't work out and the duo of Christine and Nicole crumbled, but that does not mean that women are incapable of this achievement. They can do it.

While I have seen mostly dedicated and accepting Big Brother fans, the accomplishments of women are too often discounted or swept under the rug. It is an issue when their achievements are brushed off due to a showmance, for example. It’s clear that systematic biases are shaping the way that we view these contestants as opposed to their male counterparts.I think that it’s telling that only 5 of out 15 of the winners so far have been women.  

Why do you think that is?

This season may have a few duds, but Big Brother history is brimming with remarkable female contestants. The guys get a lot of attention with Will and Dan being regarded as the best players of all time. And they certainly deserve it. But from now until the finale I plan on posting about some of the amazing women that have been on the show.

Here is the first of many in an ode to the ladies

Danielle Reyes- Season 3 & All Stars

Not particularly scandalous. In my mind there is no better person to start with. Danielle was a competitor. She came to win and is widely regarded as one of the best players to never win the game. She probably deserved to win her season too, but a bitter jury voted for Lisa instead. The show literally CREATED A SEQUESTERD JURY BECAUSE OF THIS GIRL. While her All Stars game was good, it was her original season that showed what she was made of. Danielle was intelligent and unwavering in what she set out to do. She knew which buttons to push and when to push them. She was also able to maintain a loyal secret alliance with Jason Guy throughout the game. Plus she has some of the best DR sessions we've seen.

Unfortunately, eliminated contestants could also see these DR sessions. While revealing her scheming and impressions to the audience was great for viewers, it was not as fun for evicted contestants. That was likely the reason she lost.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Most Memorable BB Hair

You'll notice that there is plenty of pink

 Brittany-The Original

Dr Will-The Fluff




Jase-Spent so much time on it that I felt obligated to include him on this list


 Rachel-As famous as she is


 Jenn-Cool City


 Joey-Blue Pony


 Frankie-Pink Pony

Personality Quizzes

I'm happy with this result!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Totally Twisted Summer

With the same core group in power all summer, fans are wondering what will propel the season forward.  One component of the show under review is the HOH twist. When will it come to an end? Soon there will be too few contestants to continue without nominating half the house.

The twist certainly shook things up. It forced nominees to work together who would potentially have to campaign against each other. It also had the potential to create double the enemies for the dethroned HOH. Neither of those things has happened to the extent they could have. Instead, contestants have talked about throwing the BOB competition left and right. The HOH is more willing to put up allies in hopes of losing and getting the other set of contestants out. So far we have only seen the two HOH’s work together. While this is sensible, it would be interesting to see what happened when two enemies who disagreed both had the position. And while the back door isn’t the only door, it has remained a topic of discussion to a larger degree. Those who can take themselves off the block have two chances to do so. This forces the HOH to be more careful.