Last night’s episode was very telling. I’m left rooting for Maggie still, though. She’s the last one left not to flip her lid and act like an immature punk. Of all the houseguests this season, she’s the one who’s actively played the game, played it well, and done so without making an idiot of herself in front of all the houseguests. I’d be willing to give Janelle more credit if she didn’t go through her whiney immature phase, best represented in her rantings against the “bitches” and the frequent flipped fingers, punctuated with the delightful glee and smiles when Howie went postal with ad hominem invective against other houseguests’ spouses and pets. I’ll never forget that, nor forgive it.
April is, above all, a stupid player. Never in the Big Brother game should you speak out loud to someone, “I know you’re going to hate me for saying it, but –” Guess what? This is a game of social standing. If you’re going to hurt someone or make them hate you for saying something, then don’t say it. If April stood any chance of making it into the final three, she killed it right then and there.
That’s not to say that Ivette is above reproach. Her continuous proclamations of her own piety and family-oriented game play are laughable. Getting herself into arguments that people like April pick with her — willingly or not — is not a sound strategy. She had one chance to play the game, when she and Jennifer considered switching sides that one week. She didn’t take it. She continued to play the easy game of hanging out with the “right” people and listening to them. She’s more a follower than a “flying under the radar” type, but it works out all the same for her in the end. Buh bye.
Meanwhile, Maggie stays quiet, effectively playing both sides by “yes”ing them to death. Unlike James, this version of playing both sides works well because she’s not pitting one against the other behind their backs. Maggie doesn’t pick fights. Maggie sticks with her alliance. Maggie convinced Howie to go after James and Sarah. She’s played the game, she’s been a target, she’s survived it all. She knew when to shift her game play. She saw what was happening around her and played the game as it was, instead of what her idealized version of it might have been.
Janelle did a good job in pitting houseguests against each other this week, and she’s always been strong at the challenges. After that, she’s a bubbleheaded blonde cliche. Not nearly in the same league as Holly, mind you, but just as often as annoying to watch.
If Maggie gets to choose who to take with her to the final, she’s going to have a tough choice. Ivette’s specious argument about her family and who needs the money more — which is one I loathe in reality shows — could sway jury members. Janelle will just point out how well she’s played the game and how much America likes her. That might sway jurors. And she played April beautifully, like a Stradivarius. I just don’t think, in the end, that April would vote for Janelle over Maggie. I think April still respects her alliance too much for that, as fractured as it might have been.
And when will these alliances learn? They’re only going to go so far. At some point, they have to break up, or subdivide. The Friendship is lucky they got down to the final four. With the way the game is structured, the alliance couldn’t maintain itself any further. I think Maggie is the only one to recognize that.
Only two shows to go, and then this ugliness will be off TV for another nine months. The world will likely be a better place.