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Big Brother fandom is split down the middle on the opinion of Paul. Fans either love his game or hate Paul. At week 4 with the most powerful temptation of the season (haulting hex) was handed to a Jessica some fans believed would be bold enough to take down the kingdom of Paul may have helped Paul as much as Cody did. The most significant change in this season over every other season before is that every single HG other than Paul is doing exactly the opposite of what we as fans have been conditioned to expect. In order to dissect Paul's magical hand in sustaining support and attention of so many of his own competitors in this game we need to go back to week one. The season begins with Paul doing exactly what he did last season. He integrates into the showmance alliance a large group who should have controlled the game for the first several weeks. The RealiTea is while Cody had the right idea-take out the biggest threat he failed to have the skills necessary to make it happen. Cody takes a huge shot without securing the votes. He expected all the sheep to follow him after 9 days in the house. He underestimated how his teammates felt about Paul assuming his own enemy meant that's everyone's enemy. While your enemy is my enemy is often true in BB, that isn't how week 1 works. Cody could have recruited Jess to help him make others as afraid of Paul as he is but his failure to rally the troups hands Paul the key to the castle. If you are a fan who loathes the fact that Paul that so many HG are blindly loyal to him there is an obvious element being overlooked. Cody handed Paul a complete alliance in tact with his attempt to BD Paul without any discussion. These same BB fans who wished and hoped for a Cody return convinced he would be the one with Jess and the Hex would make them easily come out guns blazing. I mean safety does often make people drunk with power. Once again Jess does exactly the opposite of what she should do (nominate Paul/Alex) partially because Cody is still against targeting Alex. She plays what she believes will be the safe move to gain some If you hate the fact so many have pledged their allegiance to Paul and easily buy his stock-You should be blaming Cody! Paul didn't run around and do crazy stuff putting a spell on Marlena, Maven, Dom, and Xmas. In fact, until that week 1 Veto Xmas was the only one aligned with Paul. While they both joined the showmance alliance when Paul and Xmas tried to sell explain to Cody and the others that Dom was a threat because of the pull she was developing with Mark they were completely ignored and dismissed by not just Cody but most of the couples as well. I replay some of these key issues because as we finally return to feeds after a pointless as 30+ hour blackout we learn Christmas is HOH, Jason/Matt are nominated (allegedly as pawns), and Paul, Christmas, and Raven are gathered in the HOH room. Now, although the Krumpus (a.k.a. Xmas) is HOH and many fans are already expressing frustration that this is yet again another rinse and repeat week, I would suggest of the 9 remaining HG she is the one player who is was most likely (besides Mark of course) make a move that is not Paul's. Unfortunately as with all the other weeks we will likely be left with an HOH doing exactly what Paul wants and not even aware of it. While I am not a fan of many of the questionable tactics applied this summer, fans cannot continue to blame Paul for the conscious decisions players like Xmas, Josh, Alex have chosen to make. We can also not blame the sheep for being willing to vote out players that truly had no equity in helping them as the weeks continue to pass. Someone had to go home every week and while you want to try and keep players that will benefit you at some point the fact remains...for many HG this season their reasoning has been the most basic instinct of a HG 'if they go I don't'. There is playing aggressively and there is just being a down right deplorable player relying on vile and shameful behaviors to achieve a reasonable goal. Fans have blurred lines where actions offend them. Some fans thrive on the attempts of people to achieve the villain status in this game. Others love the players that make strong impacts on the actual Game play over winning popularity contests for being the prettiest, Smartest, Funniest, bitchiest, most strategic, or simply just someone each fan can find themselves personally relating to on some level. That being said...those who we have watched follow Paul and execute 'his' targets week after week I don't have an issue with sending any of the players out they have sent out regardless of the reason. Cody and Jess made their BB beds through their own actions and at the end of the day those choices made them impossible to trust or feel comfortable working with. Cody was potential a huge competitor and winning comps as the weeks Go by is a very critical element to the game. Being inflexible and making clear their targets based on personal biases and 'emotional' responses are exactly what most of the players have done. At the end of each week someone has to Go. Cody and Jess were not viable options for anyone else in the game and they secluded themselves From the first week (following Cody's decisions to try and target Paul and when that failed throwing Xmas up). Despite having multiple chances in their BB lives, winning 2 HOH's and the most powerful den of temptation power of the season they couldn't change their approach. Dominique spent most of her time manipulating Mark and never truly made a connection with anyone else in the house. The whole talk show debacle was a huge miscalculation on her part and one small comment in this game can turn all eyes on you for something completely unintended but that's the game. Let us not forget that Cody threw Dom and Mark UTB at a moment when Dom herself made her a topic in the game and sending her out at the time hurt no one else but Mark. Paul certainly capitalized on the moves Cody and Dom made but they gave him the ammunition. A huge part of being successful is taking things that happen that are beyond your control and making them work for you. The greatest players in BB all have this ability in common. There was going to come a point where Mark had to choose between Dom's friendship and his feelings for Elena. As the weeks have gone by it's pretty clear where his loyalty would have landed. That was a terrible choice on Mark's behalf but at the end of the day it was his choice. Ramses, this player floated from room To room Obviously intending to disrupt convos or be a fly on the wall. While there is a more effective way to gather intel more inconspicuously he didn't have the ability to execute that strategy properly and it made him a questionable character in the house very early on. Again, choosing to lie and say there was a banner plane and attempted to create a target out of Mark and Dom was a terrible move in a house full of people that at the very least watch the show and know BB Would call for a Lockdown if there was a breach in the BY as he had claimed. When he found himself in trouble he didn't have emergency roads to players he had worked to develop strong relationships with and hit a dead end. Elena was really the only player Ramses had managed to make a connection with and at that point in this season her loyalty was first to Mark and then to the couples so he was never going to land in the middle of that list which is the spot you want to have in any larger alliance. You don't want to be the biggest target (front men like Cody, Alex, Paul) and you don't want to be the bottom Link which is most easily removed without causing any further fractures in the strength of the chain. As the weeks pass and players that remained got more and more comfortable with their place in the house (right or wrong) it became easy to allow others to be the ones who made the decisions because that's how hierarchies work. A dominant (Paul/Xmas/Alex) gives a submissive (Josh/Mark/Jason) a sense of empowerment to act in a certain way. Cameron was the only real innocent bystander this season. He never got through the first night and couldn't win his way back into the game when given the opportunity. He made a valiant effort but came up short through no fault of his own that was simply the hand he was dealt in the BB game. Cameron had a chance to plead His case on the first night and again fell short. I mean Xmas (healthy) was sitting next to him and people saw a strong physical intelligent accomplished woman and felt unthreatened by her over the nerd archetype he was cast to fulfill. He can probably thank Steve and Ian for that more than anything else. That and production for forcing him to wear those glasses. Now that we approach the last 5 weeks no one is sad that they sent anyone else out the door regardless of the reasons at this point. Cameron, Jillian, Cody, Dominique, Ramses, Jessica, Cody (again), and Elena were all in fact obstacles for each and every player to reach those final Two chairs on finale night. Yes, it was good for Paul but it was also good for Alex/Jason, Raven/Matt, Xmas/Josh, and perhaps to a lesser degree Kevin. Kevin is the only one left in the game that I can follow the map back and see where keeping a player or two and sending someone else out may be to his benefit now, but at the time they weren't the most beneficial to him in the moment it happened. Paul is great at reading people. He sniffs out what they need to make them feel liked, empowered, accepted, or just justified and uses that to gain their favor when he needs it. He spent a lot of time and efforts the first 3-4 weeks navigating all the personality types and blazing various paths so as the game got deeper into the season he would have choice if and when he found himself in trouble. No one else in the house has done that besides Kevin. The difference is Paul knows how to play the game (comps/stirring the pot/capitalizing on twists and turns). Kevin did invest time and energy into building a connection and accurately reading the players with everyone but Paul. He accepted the assessment he made of Paul week 2. Kevin did catch on to Paul and attempted to circled back around realizing he needed to begin creating a path to target Paul but by the time he did that others in the house were far too dependent on Paul and Paul had been actively blazing his own trails all along. Mark is likely to go home this week. Xmas is missing the best opportunity she will have to control the game and eliminate the one player everyone else is connected to and has the best chance at winning against every single one of them. Josh will never be enough to get Xmas into the finals with the possibility of winning against Paul. With her broken foot she needs to make a stronger impact on the house to gain enough equity for anyone to justify giving her $500k when she didn't even play in more than half the comps and verbally attacked, belittled, and isolated those who will be sitting in the jury at this point. It was in fact the perfect time for her to win and completely blindside a big target like Alex or Paul and she just doesn't understand that feeling sorry for heralds because she can't beast through comps is far less valuable than actually having the power to make a move that could actually justify a win. At this point anyone that takes out Paul and happens to sit in one of those two chairs is as close to being guaranteed a win as any player can get. EVERY single player in the jury would happily reward the player who dethroned Paul. Jason has won Veto, so he is safe for the week. That's great for him but he needs to put his foot in Alex's a$$ if he is going to be able to capitalize on his pardon this week. Alex/Jason have worked really hard this season and have the ability to take over the game from a competitive standpoint but this means they have to pull back the curtain on the all powerful Oz! The RealiTea is Kevin, Jason, and Alex have the most ammunition against King Paul but that is only valuable if you know when to fire a shot at the right time. That time is now! Paul has his himself layered between three pairs in the house with each believing he is their 3rd. If Alex isn't woken up soon the opportunity to blow up Paul's game will come and go and so will all 3 of their chances at winning $500k.
It's DE night this week and the house as well as LF’s have been confident Cody will leave. Is there any chance Cody can survive? Up until last night I would have said there's zero possibility Cody isn't voted out. The beauty of this game is that at times the smallest thing can change the entire trajectory of the game. We all know that in this game the smallest move to make someone mad (accidental or purposefully). One innocuous event can make the house change on a dime. Late night's antics just may be the moment BB fans have been pleading for all season. Paul has been playing the dominant game and no one can deny by far the best game so far. It's not pretty. His game strategy certainly isn't going to maki him a fan favorite this season nor many of his 'allies'. There is certainly an argument to be be made that there's plenty of bad players making it easy for him. Buckle up though! Last night in the wheeeeeeee hours of the morning Elena makes a petty move against the pettiest girl in the house. I mean we’ve watched Alex throw on her tutu all summer and gaslight the most ridiculous spiraling chaos over absolutely nothing for no other reason than this HG just loves chaos. If you haven't watched last night's late night feeds then it's important for you to know that Elena’s decision to directly take a shot at Alex is sure to have Alex go full tutu mode today heading into the live show. At 1:39 am Elena leaves Mark in the BA and heads do the kitchen to dump out all the ice in the freezer. Elena has decided, like Alex, she is going to be petty just for the sake of being petty. So how is ice going to lead to a huge explosion on a live show day you ask? If you don't have the LF you don't realize that Alex has an obsession with ice. I've sat and watched her literally fill her pockets with ice at 5 am when the bugle sounded and she had to go set up camp and look hot dogs. Alex is methodical about refilling the trays and like her food she is one to be very obsessive compulsive when it comes to having ice at the ready any time she reaches in the freezer. Let's not forget there's been hug blow ups over her coke being dumped out (by Raven but blamed on Jess), her things being eaten or drank from her HOH basket and most recently started an absurd fight with Cody over him eating her entire box of Chex cereal after she had just told him he could have it she didn't want it. She wasn't even really mad about the cereal she just wanted to start a fight for the sake of starting a fight. For those without feeds I've watched Alex tell HG she once but a waitress' arm at a restaurant when she reached for Alex's plate. It was so severe she was banned from going back. This chick is more territorial over her food than Kris Jenner is over her kids. The only thing that makes watching Elena poor out the ice so OTT is that Alex is standing in the HOH watching her do it! (1:39 am) If you have the feeds go FB on quad view and watch the entire event unfold. Alex is standing in the HOH watching Elena dump the ice on the spy cam and you can see the cartoon like smoke coming out of Alex’s ears! I made sure to clear my day for feeds watch today because we can expect full tutu mode from Alex! The irony of it all is that while Alex will make this into a federal offense just 20 min earlier Alex pours the sugar into a baggy and replaces the sugar with salt. Like the rest of the season Alex will see what she’s doing as funny and justifiable prank and Elena dumping the ice as a targeted act of war on her. The good news for fans is this could actually be one of those random moments that results in an exciting change in tonight's outcome. While it's still more likely Cody can go…for the first time all week there's a small chance Elena just saved Cody! As most of us know Alex has been livid that Elena left Alex with a punishment during the Veto this week. As we saw last night Elena struck a deal with Alex that they wouldn't punish each other. Elena goes back on the deal, takes the $5k and Alex is left with camp guide punishment all week. It was great watching Cody set Elena up encouraging her to take the 5k and while it didn't prevent him from hitting the block it was a strategic move I was thrilled to see him make. I've not been a Cody fan and don't have sympathy for his downfall because the reality is it was his own horrible game play that put him in the hot seat all season. However, all I've wanted is to see him actually play the game versus punching his victim noises sound board for 7 weeks! He didn't disappoint when Jess finally exits! My hope was that us seeing Cody in the house playing without Jess anchoring him down would allow him to actually clear the mist and show us he can play the game! Now let me say this…Alex was just as responsible for her punishment as Elena. Alex could have taken the Veto from Matt and left Matt with the punishment. It's actually what she should have done. Alex also could have snatched the vacation from Mark. Instead Alex chooses to hold onto a punishment when she didn't have to. This became a catalyst for Alex to widen the target on Elena and Elena walked right into it. My first thought as I heard what happened on feeds was that Cody set Elena up! That's exactly what we hear Cody admit. Elena was foolish no matter how painful it's been to watch Paul/Alex and the minions behave the last three weeks from a game perspective Elena made a terrible ‘game’ move. I get it, why not take $5k, she's a target at the top of the pecking order, Cody was a bigger one….blah blah blah. The bottom line you're playing a game and every single move counts. Elena didn't check the Vanessa guidelines to making decisions in the game. I would have certainly considered what's Cody’s in incentives for telling me to take the money. Now back to the bigger news. All week we've seen zero chance of Cody surviving this week. Even with the horrible game move by Elena to snatch the $5k going back on her word in front of the entire house. Even more importantly against the most petty antagonistic player in the game who happens to also be HOH. However, last night's ice queen move by Elena has at least shifted the percentage that Alex could be mad enough to send the house into complete chaos and give Cody a 10% chance of staying in the house. For Paul this little tit for tat dynamic is real trouble. He is becoming more and more vulnerable as things continue to blow up. I've also seen him lying so much over the last few weeks he's forgetting what he has and hasn't said to people and begin to make some errors that do have HG realizing Paul is controlling way too much of this game. In the last two weeks we've seen Xmas/Josh, Jason/Kevin, Kevin/Cody, Mark/Jason, Mark/Elena, Josh/Jason all having conversations about Paul which had not happened very often early in the game and when someone like Dom did begin to put pieces together Paul was able to sniff it out quickly and extinguish the smoke before there was fire by sending them out the door. The problem with lying and manipulating so much is that the truth is a lot easier to remember. Paul has been tying so many nots in so many directions all at the same time he doesn't know where he began and where the end of the rope is anymore. Paul is aware that as the numbers begin to dwindle and his name keeps being brought up as players are voted out each week that he is actually becoming a front line target earlier than he anticipated. So much so that's he now spent a good portion of the week moving Kevin up on the hit list. The fact of the matter is Kevin is now a huge liability for Paul because one little spec of dust from Kevin could send the house spiraling with a well timed slip by Kevin who knows where all the bodies are buried. Kevin began branching out a week ago and Jason of course spills the tea. Paul knows that the longer Kevin stays the more likely Kevin can let something slip that Paul can't trouble shoot. This is BB and the right thing happening, at just the right moment, in front of the right people can flip the house upside down. It happens every season and in order for Paul to prevent this Kevin now has to be made into a victim of Paul’s control of the game. Sadly, I can see Kevin going out on the DE because Paul needs to cur Kev off before he can spill all his dirty little secrets. So what can we hope for today? Alex blows up and this could (by even the slightest of odds) be the one shot that Elena goes tonight instead of Cody. Alex is almost guaranteed to go full tutu battle mode over the ice. Jason, Josh, Alex all want Elena out (more than Cody) and this could be the deep freeze that results in a major crack in the game! Wouldn't it be amazing if ice actually ends up being what saves the ice man on DE night? It's early and HG's are just beginning to stir and the longer I see Alex hold off telling Paul about what happened with the ice the better the odds are that she will continue to build up steam and explode without time for Paul to extinguish the flames. While I wouldn't advise getting your hopes up too much…this is the first time all week I can see a clear path for Cody to survive the first eviction tonight. If that happens…just imagine Cody winning DE HOH and we could have a huge dominant player go out! I like a 10% chance over zero! This is BB and it only takes one small thing to change the entire game. Considering how petty and ridiculous the power group in the game has been the last 3 weeks the universe could actually repay them with one of the greatest upsets in BB history all over ice! The RealiTea is I may enjoy a nice pitcher of iced tea today and watch closely as Alex potentially undoes all the knots Paul has spent the entire season tying up his leashes on every other player in the house!