This is where I admit that I watch Big Brother, the reality TV/social deduction game, and I have to get something off my chest this morning. I witnessed what has to be the single dumbest strategy move in a history of the show filled with dumb moves. Plenty of prior contestants have employed a bad overall strategy in how they approached the game, and found themselves out. Plenty have been “backdoored” or caught off guard by the actions of their housemates. But I’ve never seen someone with Head of Household (HoH) control be so oblivious to the clear situation facing him.
Faysal Shafaat, a former college football tight end at Chattanooga, and his partner in the game, Hayleigh, are basically alone at this point. Basically, except for Scottie, who, while not always being perfectly aligned with their group, has generally been going along with their side of the house. Faysal and Hayleigh’s side of the house has won 4 of the last 6 HoH competitions, but has seen their numbers get decimated. That’s hard to do, and yet just when you thought things couldn’t get any more stupid, Faysal put the cherry on top of this crap sundae by deciding to put the only other houseguest that could help him up for eviction. He did so because he is really dumb, and was convinced (by J.C.) that Scottie had a thing for Hayleigh and thus should be a target. (When all the people who didn’t vote with you are telling you who the target should be, you should maybe consider that they aren’t doing what’s in your interest.)
So let’s talk some basics about Big Brother, something that anyone with an ounce of a brain should know. People lie, as part of the game strategy, to hide true intentions and alliances. They will lie about how they voted in the secret eviction ceremony, they will lie about whether you are safe, and whether they will do what you want. The only thing you can trust is their actions in terms of the game play moves they choose to make. Who did they choose to nominate when acting as HoH? Who did they pick to play in the Veto competition if they had a choice? How did they choose to use the Power of Veto if they had it? Did they make other game decisions that indicate their true alliances?
Well, in just the previous three weeks, we know all of the following. Houseguest Kaycee was pulled off the block by the anonymous hacker during Hayleigh’s HoH (it was of course, Kaycee herself, though Faysal would not know that for sure). Tyler was selected by the hacker, acting opposite his partner Hayleigh’s wishes, to play in the veto competition, won that veto, and then used it to pull the other nominee in his group, Angela, off the block. The week before, Angela was head of household and put Rock Star and Scottie up for eviction, two houseguests more closely aligned with Faysal, on the block. When Hayleigh hacked her competition and put Tyler up, Angela convinced Tyler that he did not need to steal the veto from her (houseguests that think they are at risk ALWAYS take the veto if available). She then used it on Tyler, and nominated and evicted Bayleigh, also from Faysal’s group.
So, if you are keeping score at home, all you really know as a contestant (if you aren’t privy to the conversations that the TV audience gets to see) is that Tyler and Angela have used the veto on each other in consecutive weeks, and someone that wanted Tyler to have that power also wanted to save Kaycee.
In addition, Faysal’s group has been repeatedly pantsed by the anonymous voting for eviction, expecting one result based on what people were telling them publicly, only to be surprised. Brett, also in an alliance with Tyler, Angela, and Kaycee, was the frequent beneficiary of being saved from eviction by those surprise voting results. Thus, two steps of just thinking about this should lead a reasonable person to the right answers.
Instead, Faysal didn’t know who to believe when there was a public dispute over who cast the lone vote to save Rock Star the week before. Scottie said it was him (and it was) since Faysal couldn’t vote and Hayleigh was HoH. Brett then, with sufficient time to craft his lie after Faysal repeatedly asked if anyone else cast the lone dissenting vote, claimed it was him.
So you have a situation where, let’s just say Scottie has a 50% chance of lying and Brett has a 50% chance of lying (being generous). You know that everyone else voted AGAINST your interests the last time out. What should you do?
Well, Faysal pulled a move that is the complete intellectual opposite of King Solomon offering to split the baby to find out the true mother. He put both of them up.
That’s right, rather than seek to evict someone who was clearly on the opposite side based on their voting behavior and usage of game powers (see Tyler, Angela, and Kaycee), he put the two possibilities up. AND LET THE PEOPLE WHO HE KNOWS ALWAYS VOTE AGAINST HIM DECIDE WHO GETS TO GO HOME ON HIS OWN HOH!
I can’t even.
It’s an insult to game play and strategy and so you can go ahead and book that Scottie is gone this week, and that his teammate Hayleigh, who is actually smart and tried to talk sense to him, is going home next week just as she told him. They’ll keep Faysal around beyond Hayleigh because he can probably be talked into anything if he’s going to do something this monumentally stupid. At this point, I’m thinking he might be the first player to successfully evict himself if he wins another HoH.