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“You Played Yourself” by Mel

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We don’t know if they played themselves or not but each of them could have. Paul with his handling of the jury, Christmas for staying after breaking her foot and Josh with his pots and pans.  I want to give Steve a huge thanks for giving me the opportunity to discuss my thoughts and obsession with Big Brother. I’ve seen every season but the only things I typically write are my monthly P&L statements and my weekly grocery list so this part of BB was new. I appreciate everyone’s patience while getting my feet wet and I know I tend to ramble. If Steve has me contribute in the future, I promise to work on that. I want to thank Steve for letting me write them and you guys for being willing to read them.           One last time this season for my BBJ ride or die Gerardo: #RavenSTFU


Sometimes we’re surprised who makes it to the final 3. Remember season 15?  Who the hell saw that one coming? I don’t think we’re surprised this year. Xmas & Josh were in similar situations even though one broke their foot and the other broke the pans.  Once they got over the hump of people “needing to evict them,” their chances of people keeping them for strategy grew by the day.  Some wanted Xmas out to avoid her getting sympathy votes and felt Josh should leave out of pure annoyance. Cody, Jessica, and others being targets bought them time. During those weeks, Xmas become less sympathetic and fighting with a few people didn’t hurt while remaining someone who is easier to beat in comps. People started to become immune to the annoying things Josh did and realize he may be a great person to have in the end because he’d pissed off so many people.

No one should be surprised at Paul being here. Along with watching him control almost every move in the house, we had the statistical odds to go by as well. Including OTT and this year, 6 seasons have had returning players. 5 out of those 6, a vet made it to the F3. If Paul makes it to the F2, it will also be 5 out of 6 times a vet is in the F2. The only time it didn’t happen was Jesse in season 11 and America had a hand it that. (Jesse must hate America voting since he was evicted on both his seasons because of it) Had that not happened, who knows how far he would have gone? Regardless, 5 out of 6 are good odds even without Jesse. (I didn’t factor in All-Stars)


I think Paul can win if he’s in the F2 no matter who he sits beside. We don’t know how a jury will vote and I’m guessing like everyone else.  I usually don’t want a bitter jury but Paul was the leader of the personal attacks and taking things below the belt. Now, he wants them to forget all that and vote for who played the best game. If they vote because of personal feelings, it’s because he set it up that way. All three need to do different things in order to sway the jury and they’ve all made mistakes. These are the hurdles I think each one has to get over. Not everything I’m saying below is completely accurate but it’s what I think they need to sell the jury whether its true or not.

Josh–  He went from public enemy #1 to knowing every decision made in the game and he needs the jury to see it. It was smart of him to out his alliance in his goodbye msgs. (Alex got her msgs after she was evicted and Josh told her too) He needs to move past that if he makes it to the end. They won’t be that impressed by it after the initial surprise since they all had a F3 with Paul. They’ll see it as Paul choosing them because Josh & Xmas were the weakest ones. He needs to focus more on his alliance with Xmas rather than Paul. He should talk about comps he won and how it moved him forward in the game, especially if he’s with Xmas. His obstacle will be getting them to see him as a player with a real strategy. If he’s against Paul, (and I think he will be) he has to convince them he fought with people because he wasn’t afraid to fight his own battles and tell them the strategy behind it. (good luck with that) His craziness needs to seem intentional and he should throw Paul under the bus HARD for being too afraid of losing jury votes to do anything himself. He’s already taken the blame so it’s time to take the credit too for the things Paul didn’t want to own. He should tell them he only played dumb, saw through Pauls game weeks ago but used him to get to the end. He can’t be seen as Pauls puppet. That’s a tall order for someone who doesn’t get his point across well at times. They may not give Josh credit for the things he actually did do because they don’t take him seriously. If he has the opportunity and decides to evict Paul, he could get some respect from the jury but he’s afraid he’ll lose to Xmas because he thinks most of them still like her. If he’s against Xmas, he should point out they may like her better but he made the biggest move of the season by getting out Paul.  Tell the jury they gave her the only comps she won. Josh did a lot of damage to his game with the fighting and he’ll have to work for it.


Christmas– She’s done the least to win but people may like her more than Josh and Paul and that could be enough. Her comp wins may annoy the jury unless she spins it that they agreed to throw it to her because she wasn’t afraid to take the shot at Jason & Alex but Paul and Josh were. She can say she survived the block the first night and got to the end by being loyal to 2 people. She can tell them how she plucked Josh from BB ruin, saved and molded him to do her bidding on command. She needs them to focus on Josh being her puppet rather than her being Pauls. Tell them she was left with only a social game while recuperating from major surgery but it was good enough to get her to the end. She needs to make Paul the guy that Xmas and her meatball used. She won’t do that because everyone wants bragging rights as Pauls bestie so she’ll probably just campaign for Paul to win. I think the jury will see her as someone who didn’t do anything especially if they keep that image in their minds of her winning a foot race while wearing a tutu and a boot. Although I think she should have left, I give her props for breaking 10 bones in her foot and fighting through it. I don’t think I could have done that.

Paul– He’s controlled the game from beginning to end and the jury won’t need convincing of that so he’s ahead of the other two in that area. His mistake was jury management which is surprising since that’s what he came into the house focused on but he did exactly what he did last year. He thinks he’s done a great job because he blamed others for his moves and he did get people out the door still liking him but then what? He needed to do what Josh did in the goodbye msgs. They’re going to be mad anyway so why not have it happen earlier to give them more time to get over it and show them a little respect. That was the time to apologize and stroke egos. You want that mostly out of the way when you start pleading your case on finale night. The goodbye msgs are when you tell them it’s just a game and not personal, you couldn’t win against them and you can’t wait to hang out after it’s over blah, blah. Don’t waste the finale time apologizing and having to explain why you did it. At F2, you want to focus on why you should win. Maybe he plans to do it during the jury questions because if the speech he’s rehearsing is any indication, he’s planning on skipping over it and I think that’s a mistake. He tricked them in the house and insulted them again when they left. Alex is the only one he told because he had no choice and guess what? It may have worked. She’s still mad but she knows why he did it, even if she doesn’t like it. Saying he couldn’t beat her was the main thing she took away from it too. It stroked her ego and she didn’t waste any time repeating it. Paul will focus on never being on the block, having to play alone as a vet and having to use a different strategy as last year. He needs to be careful with “never touched the block” because I think he can get Cody’s vote if that doesn’t rub him the wrong way. Paul stopped saying “never nominated” to “never touched the block” after he was called out for it a couple of times. His ego won’t allow him to say “once the safety was over, I went the entire season without being nominated” but he should. He also needs to tread carefully with “I was all alone in the game.” Every juror except Cody knows they had Pauls back. He could win no matter what he says and these mistakes would be bigger if he was sitting by someone stronger. They may give him the win simply to avoid giving it to Josh or Xmas even if they’re bitter.

Andy Herron, who won BB15 said something that made me realize Raven & Matt could be the key to who wins this year. It’s obvious the jury has no respect for their games and are sick to death of Raven in general. (used death and Raven in a sentence and it wasn’t even on purpose-haha) Andy talked about how hard Amanda was pushing the jury for McCrae to win in BB15 if he made it to the end (he didn’t). She was so annoying about it, the rest of the jury said they’d vote anyone but him out of spite. Could we see a jury thats bitter, starts to move past it and comes back to bitter again, in part to take the opposite position as Raven and Matt? You never know. (I intentionally used this picture of Raven because I don’t want to look at her anymore)





Final thoughts:

Paul played the game very well but here’s why I don’t really care.  As I said earlier, one of his talking points is he played a different game this year. I just don’t see it that way. He played from a different position but how was his actual strategy different? In BB18, Paul was cocky, rude and arrogant. (this pic is from BB18) He bragged about his life experiences, wanted to be the center of attention and bounced from group to group lying and stirring up shit. He talked about confronting people behind their backs but rarely did it.  He was the ringleader of “we need to call them out” last year which involved a group of people singling someone out and starting a fight with them before competitions to rattle them. (this year they “checked them”) Personal insults were greatly encouraged by Paul and he suggested more than once to get someone to fight so they would be ejected. Paul wore people down with his words, never stopped talking and the results were often impressive. Some of what I just listed is what a good BB player should be doing. I’m very anti-Paul this year so I thought I should clarify that but doesn’t that game sound familiar?

There IS one big difference from last year to this but it stems from him being a returning player and playing from a different position, not a different strategy.  Last year he had to play defense and this year he was able to play offense. That’s basically the only difference and can he take all of the credit for that?  He started out on offense at tip off, remained there most of the game, and will be until the buzzer sounds and they head to the locker room. Any moment he’s ever played defense in either season, it was always zone and never man to man- that’s not important, just an observation while I’m stuck on the basketball analogy.

He was only safe for 3 weeks and after that he was fair game. I can and do respect how much he did. However, as a returning player with 8 friendship/safety bracelets that people needed to impress him to get, a star struck cast who’d just seen him on TV, the same comps he’d played before and the knowledge he had coming in, 3 weeks was really all he needed. I’m much more impressed with him making it to the F2 last summer because he started out clueless. My opinion may not be fair to Paul because some of us will never fully give him the credit that maybe he deserves but it’s the “maybe” that stops me.  I believe many returning players, as long as it’s someone who was remembered on their season and had a little charisma could do what Paul did. Can someone who’s ran a marathon beat someone who’s never even jogged? Of course they can and we’d expect them to. Paul played everyone beautifully but I’d be shocked if he didn’t because it’s what I expected.  5 out of 6 remember?  Since I expected it, I can’t be as impressed by it.

I’ve taken the word and information given from past players above all other sources and opinions for all things related to the game. Below is Paul’s opinion on returning players and if he had an advantage or disadvantage. Since the debate has been about Paul this summer, it’s fair to let him weigh in too. I saw this in the beginning of the season but had forgotten about it. It’s a quote from Paul while he was alone talking to the camera. It was on June 30th.  There’s a few places where I’ve skipped a couple words or a sentence but only because it was repetitive. I didn’t skip anything that would be a contradiction or take anything out of context. Paul will soon be telling the jury what he’s been rehearsing on the feeds which is he played alone because he was the only vet, half the house wanted him out and the deck was stacked against him. It’s what he’s supposed to convince the jury of and I dont blame him but the quote below is Pauls real view of things only 10 days into game. Paul’s thoughts:


“because I’m offering my knowledge as a vet and own experience, the people are starting to trust and beleive everything that I tell them, everything and because of that, based on my experience….hey, do XYZ and then XYZ happens or based on my experience, take my advice and trust me to do XYZ & they do XYZ and it works out in their best interest so it’s pretty much like training dogs. Action, reaction. Action, reaction. After a certain amount of time they all just trust me and now I’ve gotten to a point where everybody is just giving me information for no reason…..They’ll just start spilling the f*cking beans to me. I don’t know why….. The concept of like moths to a flame is literally happening which is insane to me. The more I provide them with a sense of comfort and a sense of security, because I know how bad the paranoia eats you in this house and I know what to say. I know how these new players feel because it was me last season. I had the same paranoia, the same anxiety……and these are all the things I would have wanted to hear last season that none of those asshole vets told me. Coming back a second time is waaay different. Now I get it Nicole, now I get it. Um, you just have the upper hand. I don’t know how you vets f*cked up so much last season, three of you, two of you. I don’t know what the f*ck your guys problem was but you have suuuch an upper hand coming back in this game a second time, mentally you have such an upper hand, it’s insane, it’s insane. I’m so calm, I have no paranoia, I have no anxiety… because now I know that big brother is not a sprint, it’s a f*cking marathon so you just gotta play it cool, don’t panic, don’t be paranoid and I think a combination of what I’ve learned last season which is that and a combination of just being the silly, f*cking idiot that I am, having a genuinely good time, that combination is going to get me far…”

Regardless of who wins and why, I think for many of us, BB19 will be one we roll our eyes at when it’s mentioned. We’ve had a few of them and are used to bouncing back and moving on to the next. We didn’t have a competitive cast but they were unique. I’d never seen anyone play like Cody, lie like Raven or cry like Mark and Josh. I also don’t think we’ll ever have another Kevin and he was a pleasure.  I’ll remember BB19 as a season that the BBJ family had to make our own fun because the gameplay was lacking….and we did.             Mel (l)


Steve’s Notes – Thank you, Mel, for your fabulous contributions this season! You are certainly more than welcome back any time you want and I look forward to reading your thoughts on the celebs who enter the house this winter

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