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What I Learned on My Big Brother Vacation
by Drew, the Big Brother Cynic

Welcome back everybody to Season 14 of Big Brother and, more importantly, Season 3 of the Cynic. I’m happy to be on board for another
go-round and even happier to be checking in before I learn too much about the upcoming season and inevitably spiral downward into a
three-month abyss of shouting “that is SOOOO rigged!” and “why would you possibly do that?” at my television. So, while I’ve still
got a smile on my face and a spring in my step, let’s get it on.

As you may recall, I started last season with a list of advice for incoming houseguests (
Here’s the 2012 update featuring three more lessons that I learned from Big Brother 13.

1. Float If You Can, Not If You Must

While I feel that Rachel was ultimately a deserving winner last season, I still maintain that Adam and Porsche played two of the best games
in the house – certainly not deserving of the “floater” label that is thrown around far too liberally. I see nothing wrong with both
houseguests flying under the radar, building relationships and remaining (generally) liked by everyone.

But, the obvious $50,000 (almost $500,000) difference between their games was this: Porsche won when she had to. “Floating” is fine – and
has proven to be a great strategy – but you have to be able to win when the chips are down.

So, perhaps a better name for this lesson is float if you can…but you’re screwed if it’s all you’ve got.

2. Align, Stay and Pray

Sticking with your first alliance is definitely the way to survive… except for the Regulators. More notable than that band of misfits
last season were Dani and Shelly, who both dug their own graves by turning on an alliance far too soon. Best I can figure, the only
reasons to turn on your alliance are when you are individually in danger of eviction or in matters of “voting with the house”.

Despite the fact that only one or two houseguests per season actually do play an honest game (for those counting at home, that’s
roughly 10 percent of those who CLAIM to “play an honest game”), jurors seem to value it. The roof will eventually cave in on
houseguests in multiple alliances, so choose once, choose wisely and then try like Hell to make it work.

3. Play the Game in Front of You

I’ve said this before, but it’s my personal favorite rule, and last season did nothing to change my mind. Every houseguest should
have one goal: win the week. Your level of cynicism will dictate whether you think this is bad luck or network tomfoolery or whatever
else, but the fact is that Big Brother is going to do things that you can’t anticipate and can’t control. Play with the information
you have in front of you and win the week.

Nobody was trying to win the week when they evicted Lawon instead of Rachel – and ended up with Brendon back in the house – and Dani
and Shelly didn’t try to win the week when they turned on their alliances.

“Win the Week” means different things for different players. For some, it means sending home a specific person. For others, it means
making sure that you live to play another day. I understand that sometimes you have to look ahead, but as long as you’re playing to
win the week, everything else will fall into place.

(For the sake of brevity, I’ve decided to omit Lesson #4: “Be a returning player in a house with a bunch of newbies… and bring your
fiancée with you”.)

Looking Forward

One more “preseason” blog to go before we get into the nitty gritty of Big Brother 14… stay tuned for the Big Brother drinking game!


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