United We Stand… For Now
by Drew, the Big Brother Cynic
There’s a lot going on in the house right now, with the Veterans seemingly guaranteed to be losing a member this week. I’ll
weigh in on that a bit later, but first this brief public service announcement.
As uneventful as the first few weeks of Big Brother have been, they have served as an exploration of just about every nook,
cranny and caveat to forming an alliance in the house. As I always mention, clearly there is no formula to win Big Brother, but
here are three simple rules that I have compiled throughout the years on how to form and maintain an effective alliance and
improve your chances in the game.
1. Start Small
An alliance doesn’t need to be a seven-member Legion of Doom to be effective. A three-person alliance essentially triples
your odds at winning Head of Household and/or Power of Veto (with some luck of the draw). Not to mention that you have two
votes in the bank. Don’t be fooled by the final vote numbers – a lot of people “vote with the house” once they realize that
they are on the losing side – most evictions really come down to one or two people.
Also, the more people you have in your alliance, the more people you to trust. And even if everybody in your alliance is in
it 100 percent, larger alliances will erode faster than smaller alliances. It’s just a numbers game.
2. Timing Is Everything
Alliances need to start from a point of mutual need. Don’t try to strike a deal with the Head of Household;
he/she doesn’t need you as much as you need him/her. Let’s take last night as an example. Kalia strikes a deal
with Dani that she will throw the HoH to Dani and, in return, Kalia is safe for the week. Twelve hours later, what’s
to stop Dani from nominating Kalia if she really wanted to? This is perhaps my biggest pet peeve about Big Brother.
Kalia struck a deal where she had to give up a lot of power with nothing but a (metaphorical) handshake in return.
This specific deal will probably pan out for Kalia – because she’s not a target, not because Dani is particularly
trustworthy – but Houseguests have made similar agreements in the past with far more at stake.
Alliances need to start with a select few deciding to vote together. Then one of you wins HoH. Then the ball starts rolling…
3. Don’t Get Greedy
Eventually, you will need a side alliance. Your main alliance will wear out its useful life (or run the table like the
Brigade somehow did), and you can’t be the one left alone when everybody goes their separate ways. But there’s a difference
between having a “side alliance” (which could be as simple as “a houseguest who became a genuine friend”) and “playing both sides”.
Remember Brian from Big Brother 11? Of course you don’t. And if you do, it’s just because of Jerry’s “not wearing any military gear”
speech as Brian got backdoored in Week 1. Brian had an alliance and/or side alliance with everybody in the house, and the walls
quickly came tumbling down.
But that’s enough proselytizing for one week; let’s briefly discuss the matters currently at hand. Dani pretty much has
to come out “guns blazing” at this point. As it stands right now, she is probably everybody’s target next week, so her best
chance at survival is to drive as big a wedge as possible through the Veterans alliance and hope for the best. The smartest
move in my eyes is to nominate Brendon and Jeff with Brendon as the target. Then you keep your mouth shut and let Rachel cause the
rift between the Vets. And should Brendon or Jeff win the Veto, you tell them: “If you use the PoV, your girlfriend goes up in your
At the moment, she is at least pretending to consider brokering a deal with her fellow Veterans, but I’m almost certain that this
is just for show. It would be a completely wasted HoH week for Dani to try and repair her alliance. Essentially, if she keeps the
Vets intact, she would just go back to be the fifth wheel, only with a bigger target on her back and no side alliance (Dom) to rely on.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. Tune in next time when I will undoubtedly be complaining about the “game-changing” America’s Vote
that is bound to give Jeff and Jordan an unfair advantage.