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The Fred Flamingo Blog


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My name is Fred and I'm a flamingo. 

 

I figured I'd get that out there just in case it wasn't clear from the title of this blog. I'm here to offer up my observations and opinions for the 24th season of Big Brother USA! 

 

You humans are so strange, so I hope I won't ruffle your feathers as I dish dirt on this season's crop of houseguests.

 

This blog works best when it's interactive, so I hope you'll post your own comments as well!

 

But there's nothing for me to talk about yet, since we haven't gotten a peview of the Big Brother USA Season 24 House or a sneak peak at the HG bios.

 

I don't know about you but I'm standing on one foot in anticipation! How about you?

Fred (the Flamingo)

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 Being a flamingo, I don't get this whole "motel" thing. The whole outdoors is my home, though I do like a good pool (natural of course). But I was watching last night as a brand new crop of Houseguests moved into the latest incarnation of the Big Brother USA House. What a motley crew!

 

But first, as a bird whose likeness has come to represent kitsch, bad taste and cheapness, I have to say I like the design of the Big Brother house this season. The colors are soft and warm (compared to the pictures of the Big Brother Canada house sent to me by my friend Becky Beaver), and the theming is spot on to encourage the Houseguests to come together.

 

And the Houseguests themselves are a decent group. No one stands out as being a problem or causing conflict. Of course, that'll change as the season progresses, and just overnight, you could see trends beginning, at least if Jasmine and Paloma (mostly Jasmine) get their way.

 

So let's go through the house, one by one, and after just 12 hours of live feeds, offer up some first impressions.

 

First up is the "old man" of the house, Terrance. At 47, Terrance is the oldest Houseguest, and perhaps the most blue collar, as a city bus driver. Down to earth, humorous but fatherly and no-nonsense, he's working hard to fit in but already some Houseguests are targetig him as an outsider.

 

Joseph was a last minute replacement after Marvin Achi was originally announced as a Houseguest. But apparently, the fact Marvin was a contestant on the current season of NBC's America's Got Talent created a conflict. Presumably, if CBS knew he was still obligated to tapings or was going to be on the live shows while Big Brother was on, he never would have been cast. So my assumption is that his contract with NBC was exclusive and did not permit him to appear on CBS or Big Brother.  How that little detail eluded casting until the night before the live Season Premier, I don't know.

 

But Joseph is an interesting character. Born of Syrian/Palestinian descent, his father does not speak English and his family did not approve of his being on the show. He's on track to become a lawyer, but also believes in serving the indigent in South America. Volunteering to be a Have Not, he comes across as humble and a little introverted, but that may help him seem less threatening. He may have been a second choice, but he has the makings of a first-rate houseguest.

 

Many Houseguests have sought to use Big Brother to launch an entertainment career, but Daniel used his entertainment career to get on Big Brother. An Elvis impersonator, he knows how to work an audience and perhaps it was only natural that he knew how to assemble a drumset to win the first HoH competition of the summer. Spared of making any enemies from naming the first Have Nots by volunteers, he still has to face the season's first nominations.

 

Monte may be the luckiest Houseguest so far, having been spared the blue paint of the Porta-Potty competition. Given how badly he performed in the HoH competition, I have to wonder if his primary goal was coming out of the night clean, but not in power. He also volunteered to be a Have Not and is being pursued by Jasmine and Paloma to be one of the few guys on the edge of their mostly girls alliance. He's affable, but while his job as a personal trainer may help him with one-on-one relationships, how he performs in a group remains to be seen.

 

Ameerah is a true woman of the world, whose role with Google enables her to work from anywhere, except of course, in the Big Brother House. She has found her inner strength through struggle, but flying under the radar is harder than it seems. With a girls alliance struggling to come together, it will be interesting to see what side she falls on.

 

Jasmine hit the house hard and is playing harder. Along with Paloma, with whom she's already forged a F2 bond (Scorpio Sisters), she's the principle driver behind an all-girls alliance with expendable men on the side. But if you want to come across as a country bumpkin, maybe you don't wear a shiek pink pant/blouse. She has positioned herself in the open Golf Bedroom, where she can keep track of the comings and goings of all the other Houseguests. But we've seen what happens to Georgia Peaches who race too strong out of the gate - they get stuck in the Mississippi mud. 

 

Pooch works as a college football coach while he works to complete a MBA in Sports Management. He wants to be seen as the goofy Italian New Yorker from Staten Island, but his Dr. Will looks make him look more like a Gen Z preppie. As Backstage Boss (what luck that it was the second-to-last BBFest ticket), he tried to deflect responsibility for choosing Paloma, Alyssa and Brittany to recieve Backstage Passes because they came in last in their respective competitions. Besides kicking someone when they're down, he didn't think it through because the Piercing Tent competition had no last-place Houseguest, and picking Brittany because she was a belly dancer (when he didn't even know her name) was pretty shallow.

 

Turner is a fascinating Houseguest with a hippie vibe and a creative streak. And while he convincingly won the Piercing Tent competitoin, he totally flubbed the HoH competition. I have to wonder if he also threw the compeittion. If so, Daniel's HoH was not so much his dominance in the competition but Turner and Monte simply stepping backwards to let him volunteer. Turner reminds me of a gadfly, a Houseguest who wants to be everywhere at once, to soak in information without giving back much. He's the Houseguest that causes other Houseguests to stop talking when he enters a room.

 

Michael could be a wolf in sheeps' clothing. The babyfaced attorney comes off as young and innocent, though he is neither. We've seen Houseguests claim high intelligence before, but this would be Big Brother's first Mensa genius. Workign with criminals (innocent until proven guilty), he probably has a pretty good truth detector, but whether it serves him in the house remains to be seen. He dispelled any thoughts he might not be a physical threat hanging on to take 2nd in the Merch Stand competition. Having also volunteered to go on slop, he is self-confident, good natured and right in the thick of things. I wonder on what page that stragegy can be found in his Big Brother Bible.

 

Paloma is a self-made woman who promises to bring the hammer down on the competition. Sorry, couldn't resist. Sidekick to Jasmine, she's committed to the F2 and the all-girls alliance, but I have a feeling it's only until a better offer comes along. I would not be surprised to see her trade up. Ironically, her game plan was to flirt but she's latched onto Jasmine, who looks at anyone flirting with the guys (she's looking at you, Taylor) as a threat. It wouldn't surprise me if America voted to protect her from the Backstage Pass twist.

 

Kyle is a fascinating self-described work-in-progress. Having broken away from the Morman church after becoming an adult, he's spent the last decade as more of a free spirit, a mamma's boy who still lives at home making dancing videos. His youthful looks and hair may help him fit in with the younger group of Houseguests, as well as coming across as the house clown. His terror in the porta-john competition was memorable. He's being pursued by Jasmine and Paloma to be part of their alliance but time will tell if he has his own game to play.

 

Nicole is the house cook, and already the Have Nots are running slop recipes by her as if she hs some kind of magic to make the inedible edible. Her jet-setting stories cooking for the rich and fabulous could rub her fellow Houseguests the wrong way. Her age, second oldest, could also place a target on her back, and with her knives left back home, it will be interesting to see if the police skills she's packing help her fit in with the girls or gain footing with the guys. I'm skeptical.

 

Indy is a jet setter who also caters to the rich and famous, and there has always been a romanticism with being able to see the world as a flight attendnant. Her Brazilian background adds an aire of mystification. A go-getter, her background growing up outside of the USA and on Bring Brother Brazil bring a different perspective into the house. But those same factors may make it more difficult for her to relate with the others in the House.

 

Alyssa comes off as a beach beauty but you don't work two jobs successfully without having drive and talent. She wants to work with Paloma to start their own alliance with Kyle, Pooch and Jasmine, but leaves out Monte. This puts Paloma in a great spot, working multiple alliances. But as a Backstage Pass holder, her game could be in danger before it really gets started. If she survives, it will be interesting to see if she is able to bring anything unique to the game.

 

Lastly, Brittany is the oddball character of the season, a hypnotherapist belly dancer. I can understand how belly dancing could be hypnotic to some people, though we flamingos are unsceptable to her femine and mystic whiles - we arlready exist in a trance, standing on one foot all day long. Like Indy, she may struggle to fit in with the younger crowd and not want to be associated with the older crowd. She feels safe with Daniel and thus is not playing hard yet. With 30 pages of Big Brother notes, I wonder what her plan is to avoid having her Backstage Pass revoked.

 

By all appearances, the Houseguests are not aware that America is voting to grant one of the Backstage Pass holders safety. They seem to know there's going to be a competition between the three of them, but it doesn't seem to be impacting their games so far. 

 

On the nominations front, Daniel isn't in any hurry. Since nominations will not be until Friday, he's only had a couple of substantial game conversations, any game was temorarily put on hold when the BY opened up and the HG all jumped into the pool, playing pool or checking out the outdoor fitness equipement.


Who do you think Daniel will nominate? Who would you nominate if you were HoH? Would you go after a threat or look for the easy way out to avoid getting any blood on your hands? And just how long can YOU stand on one foot?


Fred the Flamingo wants to know!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know what you're thinking. This bird is flighty. He posts once at the start of the season then disappears for 3 weeks. In fairness, I've been dealing with a bad bird flu. I mean, you try standing on one foot in the outdoors in this heat! But there is so much to cover.

 

Starting with Paloma's exit. The last HG to DOR was Dog Walker Megan Lowder in the first week of BB19. Ironically, this was also the season that Chrismas Abbott broker her foot horsing around with Jason Dent. So many similarities!

 

Paloma left the house after having an anxiety attack. Whether it was brought on by the stress of the house, the deviousness of her game, guilt or some other factor, one thing Olympic Gymnast Simon Biles has taught is is that mental health is no joke. We will never know what went on inside the DR, or whether she self-evicted or was removed for her own good. But though she was only in the house for a short time, she set in motion events that would have repurcussions weeks later.

 

Which brings us to Pooch. Super Fan meets Super Fool.  Paloma's exit did not ease the notion of Taylor as an easy target. The HG were sure she had done something horrible to deserve being targeted, though they couldn't really put their finger on what. Pooch thought he could ride that wave of singling out the house's weakest link for the first eviction that was interrupted by Paloma's withdrawalm but he grossly misread the house.

 

Like Brent in BB23, Pooch was a little too casual with his fellow HG. Joseph showed tremendous patience as Pooch groped his arms and pecs, but the girls were less forgiving with his little quips and flirts. Perhaps he thought he was endeering, perhaps he thought putting his game on the line for the good of the house gave him a little grace, but ultimately, it did not. On the surface, all the HG like each other, but that's no protection against the cold reality of game strategy and Pooch and his posse were taken down a peg. 

 

Rule #5 - Pawns are not safe.

 

Taylor was saved that week by Pooch serving himself up on a silver platter to a girls' alliance all to happy to send a guy home. But the the obsession with her eviction was not tempered, so with Turner in HoH, the Girls' Girls went to work to put together a plan for Turner to follow to backdoor Taylor, with Nicole going as far as offering to go up as a pawn against her Festie Bestie. As she told us, she chose Taylor as her Festie Bestie specifically so that she could engineer her exit.

 

But you know the saying those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it? It didn't take long for Turner and the guys in the house to see the opportunity to flip the script on Nicole and plan to give her the Pooch. But a nasty attack on a clearly confused Taylor would turn the tide of the game.

 

Since Paloma's exit saved Taylor from a possible eviction, Daniel had been afraid she would target him, despite her never indicating any animous in his direction. It didn't help that Nicole, his ride-or-die, Alyssa and Jasmine had picked up Paloma's torch that Taylor was a bad apple and danger to their games and were in his ear.

 

Making everthing about herself, Nicole moped that she would have to throw the Veto comp with Taylor in order to keep the backdoor plan alive. After all, that's what she signed up for. Concerned that Nicole's dire state was the result of receiving bad news about her mother battling cancer, and cognizent of the emotional toll the game had taken on Paloma, the former Miss Congeniality tried to be a true Bestie and give Nicole the space to take care of herself first and not worry about the impact to Taylor. 

 

Of course, that was Nicole's plan all along, but she couldn't admit that. And instead of being gracious, Nicole blamed Taylor for her problems and chose to see her offer of solidarity for one of malicious manipulation. Daniel, already primed to think the worst of Taylor, quickly took his queue and verbally and mentally attacked Taylor, who thought she was doing a kindness, had no clue as to the narcisistic inner turmoiil Nicole was really enduring. 

 

We did not see how Turner came to learn what had happened downstairs while he was sleeping in HoH. What we do know is that the other HG said nothing and did nothing while Nicole and Daniel ripped into her character and filleted her soul. The look of confusion and the determination to not be broken in public demonstrated that Taylor's character was far above that of Nicole and Daniel. They do not know it yet, but there are likely to be repurcussions after the season. And apologies.

 

But Turner apparently did hear about the incident and that made him reticient to follow through with the original Backdoor Plan, even after Michael and Brittany came through by winning the Veto. Nicole may not have intentionally thrown the Veto comp, but their lack of communication and Nicole's disdain for Taylor was evident. So he was waivering even before Kyle and Joe brought up the idea of The Pound and The Leftovers.

 

Maybe it was guilt for not stepping in on Taylor's behalf as she was being torn apart by Nicole and Daniel, or maybe it was just seeing an opportunity to change the script for the season, but The Leftovers gave them the chance to change the tone of the game into a season they would be proud to be part of. I think it is a very Millennial attitude. 

 

From the moment Nicole & Taylor were spared the block as replacement besties, Ameerah know something was off. She correctly assumed Turner would not have made this decision absent support. But she just couldn't bring herelf to believe that her Girls' Girls, Old Skool and Po's Pack alliances wouldn't protect her. And The Leftovers did an Oscar-worthy job of selling their scheme and playing into her overconfidence. They even had a plan to spin the vote after Ameerah's eviction, which they have put in play tonight.

 

And I cannot leave out the terrific snow job Terrance delivered. Despite being repeatedly assured of his safety, he played his role of being resigned to his eviction to a Sweet T. Even just hours before the live eviction show, Ameerah & Nicole were saying goodbye and he was promising to watch the live feeds when he got home. He isn't even aware of The Leftovers, just that the house had his back. Now that the vote is over, his new Besties Joseph and Monte are making it clear who voted to evict him and who are were his secret friends. 

 

Now that Monte has won HoH, Joe and Terrance are safe and can relax for the week. But the Festie Bestie twist gives him limited options. If The Leftovers is to be more than a one week fling, then Besties Michael & Brittany are likely safe. And the Besties Turner/Jasmine, Kyle/Daniel and Nicole/ Taylor all put at least one Leftover at risk. So the easy and obvious bestie nomination is Alyssa & Indy, neither of whom are in the alliance.

If they come off the block, Monte's limited choices become even more difficult. He has said he doesn't want to target Jasmine while her foot renders her a neutral competitive threat. And he is unlikely to want to put Taylor back on the block after she finally experienced her first hope for the season. So that likely leaves Kyle & Daniel as the backdoor option, with Kyle being of strong enough character to handle the stress.

 

If Alyssa and Indy are nominated, I would not expect Indy to take it well. And it would likely cement for Jasmine and Nicole that their dream of a Girls' Girls sweep has crashed and burned, even if they don't know the cause of their demise. They will probably only see the guys working together, and not put all the pieces of the puzzle together. But even if they do, there's not much they can do about it. 

 

So my prediction is that come next eviction night, either Alyssa or Daniel will be evicted. I for one cannot wait to see how this plays out. How about you?

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Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to self-deceive.

 

With apologies to Sr Walter Scott, this season has been unprecident in that so many HG so far have self-evicted in one way or another. Whether Paloma was pulled or was DOR, she left without anyone pushing her out the door. Pooch volunteered to be a pawn and paid the price. Ameerah was genuinely and completely blindisded but if it hadn't been her, i would have been Nicole, who had suggested she and her Bestie Taylor be backdoored so Taylor could be evicted. 

 

Not learning any lessons, Nicole embraced the same plan this week. Even after Monte warned her and Daniel that if he used the Veto she would be nominated and could go home. Nicole could not conceive of a world in which the house would keep Taylor over her. She still can't. She thinks she's persuasive. The Leftovers think she's transparent. She's tryng to fight the paranoia but the closer we get to the live eviction, the more those doubts are going to creep in: maybe I'm not in as good a spot as I think I am...

 

Anyways, what I thought I'd do this week is take a look at the Festie Besties in the house, starting with Turner & Jasmine. This is a fake Bestie, as Taylor (a Leftover) is squarely on the other side from Jasmine (a Girls' Girl). From Turner's perspectve, as long as the house takes pity on Jasmine becaue of her injured foot, Turner should be safe. And from Jasmine's perspective, Turner is affable even if easily manipulated (how else to explain Ameerah's exit). For now, this is a Bestie of convenience.

 

Alyssa & Indy are not exactly Besties but they are aligned as Girls' Girls. Neither would miss a beat turning on the other, however. They have personalities that are just not compatible, but they do have one thing in common - they are both cultivating relationships with boys they think will benefit their game. Indy thinks she has a connection with Monte (who assured her that even if nominated, she'd be safe) and Alyssa has Kyle wrapped around her finger. In an I Can't Quit You moment, she and Kyle snogged last night while Indy slept.

 

Speaking of Kyle & Daniel, it's the clued-in and the clueless. As a Leftover, Kyle was in on the alliance's plan last week to first backdoor Nicole and ultimately evict Ameerah, and he was OK with the plan to use Alyssa & Indy as pawns to backdoor Nicole for real this week. I'm not sure where things went off track with Kyle & Monte deciding to evict Alyssa instead of backdooring Nicole, or if that was just a ploy to trick Daniel into using the Veto (because Monte looked like he was trying to trick him into not using it). For one thing, it took Kyle off the hook and second, the only one Nicole has to blame is herself, for insisiting Daniel use the Veto so she could take out Taylor.

 

The Nicole & Taylor Bestie pair was poison from the outset. Nicole chose Taylor specifically to take on the role of evicting her. After the pre-Veto fight last week, there's no reason for Taylor to trust anything Nicole or Daniel have to say. And while there's been a house truce at least on the surface, neither will sweat the other's departure. For Nicole, being on the block against Taylor is to have complete faith that the rest of the house sees her as she does. For Taylor, being on the block against Nicole is a test of her trust that The Leftovers really do have her back.

 

It is a fascinating dynamic, because essentially, half the house came together and said what Nicole & Daniel did to Taylor was simply unacceptable behavior, even in the BB House. Contrast that to Paul encouraging Josh to go after Cody & Jessica in BB19 and the house sitting back or joining in. The purpose of bullying is to gain power through intimidation. Nicole and Daniel wanted to defeat Taylor even before she was nominated, to take away any will she had to fight for herself in the game.

They failed miserably. Not only was Miss Congeniality stronger than they believed, but she won over the house (and many fans) by refusing to break. It's no surprise that 85% of those voting in the Morty's TV poll this week (https://mortystv.com/bb) want Nicole evicted. I don't know if it was strategy, getting caught up in the moment, or simply a character flaw, but the incident and the game play will haunt Nicole & Daniel long after the game is over.

 

Monte, Terrance & Joe are Festie Besties with the Mosties.  Terrance was looking for a place where he'd be welcome and they've gone out of their way to make him feel at home. He's not a Leftover but they work with him in a way that makes him feel like part of a team and contributing. And for his part, Terrance has done a good job pretending like he's going home, bringing info back to Joe & Monte, of being a team player. And for their part, Joe & Monte are always appreciative even when Terrance's info is either outdated or replicant.

 

And that leaves Michael & Brittany. The only Festie Besties who are indeed besties. In hindsight, it was a mistake for them to become Besties because it puts them at risk. In fact, the decision to not BD Nicole/Taylor was largely to protect Michael & Brittany. The idea was that they would work to get Indy to join them and then they would be protected. If they were nominated, they could take out Indy and keep The Leftovers safe. That fell through after Monte's gambit with Daniel failed.

 

Do you have a favorite Festie Bestie? What do you think about the twist and how the HG have adapted? How long do you think the Festie Besties will run? 

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The Festies Besties twist has largely overshadowed alliances. Yes, The Leftovers are running the show and potentially are positioned to run the game to Final 7.  Girl's Girls is down to Alyssa, Jasmine & Indy. But what about all those other smaller alliances and Final 2s? Let's take a look.

 

We'll start with The Leftovers. A solid 7 on the surface, but Kyle is already feeling like a 7th wheel after the alliance decided without him to shift plans and evict Alyssa instead of backdooring Nicole. He was brought in after the others had had the discussion, leaving him little choice but to go along. The flipside is that Michael/Brittany feel very exposed should the other side win - they are the only Besties in the alliance who don't have a HG from the other side that could be sacrificed. Ironically, these opposing needs have brought Kyle, Michael & Brittany together, forming a Final 3 called The Outsiders.

 

They are not the first, of course. Monte, Kyle, Joe and Turner had already formed The Pound. And while Taylor is planning to join Besties Alyssa & Indy after Nicole's expected eviction, her loyalty is with the two HG who have had her back from the beginning, Michael & Brittany. As long as The Leftovers have common enemies (Nicole, Daniel), they will stick together. But I can see fractures forming and if Alyssa is threatened, Kyle just might drive a stake down the middle.

 

Among the Girls' Girls, Alyssa, Ameerah and Jasmine were the Core 3. Nicole was with the girls but not really one of them, and Brittany was never trusted. And the girls didn't really know what to make of Indy who acted like she was outside the game when she wasn't acting above it. When Ameerah was blindsided, the remaining Girls's Grls were full of finger pointing, spin and distrust after learning Alyssa and Nicole had been in a secret alliance with Monte, Kyle & Michael.

 

Alyssa and Indy were uncomfortably Festie Besties, Brittany was cast to the side, Jasmine was on her own with Turner and Nicole put all her faith that the Girls would stick together. However, the damage has been done and none are truly with the others. Alyssa has latched onto Kyle (the poor boy has it bad). Jasmine has been milking her injured foot, but BB has forced her off her scooter. Indy is working Monte and Joe, though neither would risk their games for her. Nicole and Daniel are backed into a corner, and Brittany has found life and friendship with Michael. Nicole's eviction should put the nail in the coffin of the GIrls' Girls. with each remaining girl playing their own game.

 

As for Po's Pack, that's pretty much dead. After Nicole's eviction, Alyssa will be the only remaining, and while Michael and Kyle have a twosome and Monte and Kyle have a twosome, it's not clear how strong those are within the The Leftovers. It's more interesting to me that Kyle has two 3-level partnerships within The Leftovers. In addition to the big alliance, Kyle is part of The Pound with his twosome of Konte. And Kyle is also part of The Outsiders, with his twosome of Kychael. Plus, his showmance with Alyssa, thought the other side will likely realize she has no control over his vote if Nicole is evicted.

 

Which brings me to Old Skool, the only alliance of which Terrance is a member. Consisting of Jasmine, Ameerah, Alyssa, Nicole, Daniel and Tettance, this alliance is a shadow of its former self with Ameerah gone and Nicole heading out. Daniel has ostracized himself from Alyssa and Jasmine with his rabid evangalizing for Nicole, and Kyle is getting credit for saving Alyssa, not Daniel (which, of course, is the opposite of what happened but self-delusion is a key theme this season).

 

The Femme Fatale sub-alliance will be down to Alyssa & Jasmine, but they're not exactly in a trusting space right now, with different versions of what Ameerah whispered on her way out the door (either they can or cannot trust Nicole & Daniel). There has been talk of Old Skool reforming, but I think is a pipe dream by Nicole under the anticipation she will survive this week's eviction vote. The real looser will be Terrance, who just cannot seem to find a reliable home. All he wants is someone to work with but he just can't seem to keep up with the pace of the game.

 

The last alliance to consider is the weakest and least real, The Night Shift. Consisting of Nicole, Daniel (Rogue Rats) and Terrance, the Rats have included Terrance for his vote but have ignored him when it comes to strategic thinking. I would say that's the problem with all of Nicole and Daniel's alliances. They are clearly and openly working together, so their Bestie pairings are a forced convenience at best, and they only talk in terms of what others can do for them.

 

It is a self-centered approach to the game, which stands in stark contrast to The Leftovers, where concern for others seems to be the driving bond. They don't want to put Jasmine in play while her foot is out of bounds. They don't want Taylor to feel pressured to go on the block (it was kismet that Daniel unilaterally decided to use the Veto, taking the decision out of the alliance's hands). And yes, the option of protecting Michael & Brittany was for the greater good, it was also another case of putting the interests of its individual members front and center.

 

So what do you think? Did I leave out any alliances, trios or Final 2s? Which HG do you think has the strongest alliance connections in the game?  Tell me what you're thinking - I promise you won't ruffle my feathers!

 

 

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Fred Flamingo here, talking about what's ruffling my feathers ahead of tonight's eviction and Jury starting Wall comp. 

 

First and foremost, if you don't have live feeds, you can subscribe at https://mortystv.com/to/feeds. It costs only $4.99 a month, and with 2 months left in the season, that's only $10 for the rest of the season. That's one Mocha Frappuccino® Grande per month. So do yourself a favor and get ready for an epic endurance comp. And join us live in Morty's TV Chat at https://bit.ly/BB24CHAT for all the fun!

 

Now, on to my main topic for today, and that's confidence. We all like to think we're confdent. Confident in ourselves, confident in others, confident in our leaders. But somewhere long the line, we all face a crisis of confidence. We lose trust in our leaders, our friends, our ability to make smart decisions. Second-guessing ourselves is second nature.  So I thought we could take a moment and look at the confidence levels of the HG.

 

The first group of HG we are going to look at are those who are struggling with self confidence, namely Kyle, Brittany, Terrance and Taylor. All four have taken the opportunity to speak directly to the camera to express self-doubt. Taylor and Brittany feel like they were unable to be themselves once they entered the house. In Brittany's case, she felt insecure in the company of the other women of the house, and further she was given a Backstage Pass for no apparent reason. In Taylor's case, she was ostracized for unknown reasons from the moment she entered the front door because the Girls' Girls needed an easy target.

 

The difference is that Taylor has newfound confidence courtesy of The Leftovers alliance. She went from all alone to a family that had the potential to dominate the game. And while she still had to go on the block to evict Nicole, she has been able to sit back and enjoy her revenge on Daniel this week. And yet, there is a nagging doubt in the back of her head that this can't last. If the other side of the house targets her, will her alliance have her back? Or would they sacrifice her for the good of the alliance? If she wins HoH, will they follow her lead? It is a running battle in her head - who can she trust or is she really still alone?

 

In Brittany's case, she's got a Final 2 with easily the smartest guy in the house, and a comp beast to boot, yet she is constantly questing her abilities and her place in the game. While Taylor wonders what she ever did to deserve the disdain of the other girls, Brittany sits in the HNR and names a littany of imagined faults. Paranoia is natural in this game, and Brittany has achieved a lot in her life and profession, but the BB House has a way of stripping away all your defenses and returning you to that awkward state we all go through where we wonder what our place is in the world.

 

And then you've got Kyle. He entered the case full of confidence but found himself drawn into an unexpected showmance. Watching him succomb was twistedly entertaining. But guys will undoubtedly find familiarity in his struggle to manage his game with his personal life. Kyle's monologs expressing angst at the danger he's putting himself in game-wise by falling for Alyssa are comical in their sincerity. But she's so hot, he would say as if he were weighing the pro's and cons. The deeper he falls for Alyssa, the less confident he is in his own game play. 

 

Which brings me to Terrance. At the start fo the game, Terrance was the old man who admitted on more than one occasion that he was trying but didn't really fit in. He didn't say up until the wee hours of the morning like the other HG, he couldn't keep pace with them in comps (though he excelled in OTEV), and his life experience could sometimes sound like the cautionary stories our parents would tell. 

 

But something happened when Nicole was evicted. Even though he was in on the blindside through his Festie Besties Monte and Joseph, he was not part of The Leftovers or clued in on the real power flowing through the house. And yet, something was awakened in Terrance that week. He played his part in The Leftovers disinformation and misdirection plan to perfection, and that sparked newfound confidence in him to believe he could be a seed planter, sprink a little fertilizer and then letting others run with the idea.

 

Now I'm not saying that Terrance's idea of convincing Michael to not use the Veto and let them evict Monte was rocket science, but it showed a level of confidence in his ability to get down and dirty and play the game that we hadn't yet seen. He roped in Jasmine, then let her need to be the mama bear lead to her talking with Indy, Alyssa, Kyle and Joe. Unfortunately for Terrance, it was too little too late. He wasn't playing with all the facts, but his confidence in the facts he did have breathed energy into his step and a new embrace of the game.

 

The next group of HG I want to explore are the opposite of the first group. Rather than lacking confidence in themselves, they are extremely self-confident, even to the point of overconfidence.

 

The king of confidence, perhaps, is Joseph. Strong, smart, empathetic, and quick to be supportive, Joseph is having the time of his life playing double-agent, having a fauxmance with Taylor and bickering like a married couple with Indy. He walks boldly wherever he goes. He's proven himself to be a pretty good actor, but as Michael noted, maybe too good. If he's able to pull the wool over the other side's eyes, what can he do to them?

 

Still, Joe has reason to be confident. He is well liked, he's underestimated and despite the size of his biceps, he hasn't had to lean on his muscles. He also is very preceptive, being the first to realize there may be a secret plot to send Pooch out the door. The question will be whether he is so confident that he doesn't see the blindside coming, because it when it does, he probably won't be expecting it. Unless he takes steps to protect himself.

 

Monte is another HG who has an abundance of self-confidence. He was nominated and didn't even blink an eye, confident The Leftovers had his back. And when he came out of a 2hr DR session to learn about Terrance, Jasmine, Daniel, Alyssa and Indy all pitching to evict him, he just laughed it of. When you get too comfortable facing the game head-on, you tend to not see the attack coming from the side.

 

And it may be coming. The idea that maybe they should take out Monte before Monte takes them out came originally from Kyle, who throught Monte already was considering splitting up him and Alyssa. Michael ran with the paranoia and the four of them (Michael, Kyle, Brittany, Alyssa) might yet come together to take out Monte before he gets the chance take them out. Monte may think that the other side doesn't have the resources to take him out, but  it may be a side attack he should be watching out for.

 

Let's talk about Jasmine. She's the type of woman who has faced adversity so many times she's just not phased when something goes wrong. She's a Big Brother Survivalist. If a strategic plan doesn't pan out, she doesn't hesitate to deny it ever happend and to pivot. When she ealized Michael was going to use the Veto and not entertain the idea of evicting Monte, she went straight to Monte and said she's been working with Michael to protect him. Of course, she didn't know that Monte and Michael were working closely together and knew her flip had flopped.

 

And that's the sad part of Jasmine's game. She's playing so hard and is so sure that she's playing smart and strategic, she doesn't realize that the other side sees her game coming from a mile away. They know that she doesn't mean anything she says and will say anything depending on which way the wind is shifting. But that doesn't mean she won't blow with total confidence in what she's doing. It's why she's so effective at getting others to follow. If you totally believe in yourself, you'll be able to get others to believe in you too.

 

Another HG whose self-confidence could be their downfall is Michael. This certified genious has played a terrific game, winning 4 Vetos and one HoH. He's won every Veto in which he's played, and a comp every week in the game. He's got a huge target on his back and that knowledge is eating into the confidence in his abillties as a SuperFan with which he entered the house. His choice of Brittany as his ride-or-die may have been more emotional and instictual than strategic and reasoned. His big risk is that he's so confident he can see every aspect of the game that he starts to see threats that aren't there, assassines in the shadows. When you see threats everywhere, you might just conjur up the real thing.

 

You've also got HG who may not be confident in their games but they are confident enough in themselves that the game just doesn't phase them. It's hard to tell where Turner's head is at gamewise because it seems to mostly be in the clouds. Turner's strategy is to get in with a big alliance and then just go with the flow. Agree with the consensus and don't cause waives, dude. Each week that you surive is Fire! I've yet to see Turner initiate game convo or constructively contribute to any strategic planning. It takes a confident person to be a loyal soldier but it also reflects a lack of confidence that you could be the general.

 

Indy is also a self-confident woman who came from Brazil and conquered America. She's a self-starter who is used to depending on herself to realize her dreams. But that confidence in herself leads her to be less trusting of others. She has high standardsfo herself and expects everyone else to tow her line, and that can get on the nerves of the other HG. It also means she's not going to initiate any strategizing, and whle she might play the role of a loyal footsoldier, her heart isn't in it.

 

For example, when Jasmine sent Indy up to pursuade Micahael to not use the Veto, she basically forgot all the details of what she was supposed to say. May be it's a lanugage barrier or maybe she's just not interested in mastering the details of strategy, but her confidence in being herself doesn't mean your playing the game confidently. Just cluelessly.

And that brings me to Alyssa. She's also one who excudes confidence in herself, in her game, in every aspect except her relationship with Kyle. Now I don't believe she bought into Daniel's efforts to suggest Kyle was playing her in their showmance, but I do think her connectoin to Kyle caused her to waiver in her allegience to the Girls' Girls or eventually to the other side's strategy to save Daniel. She wanted to be loyal to Jasmine but her heart wasn't in putting Kyle at risk. 

 

When you don't have confidence in your game strategy, it leads to your being seen as waffling in your decisions and questionable in your trust. You can't serve multiple alliances and friendships in the BB House for very long - someone is going to expect you to hold to your word, to prove yourself to them. When your true allegience is not apparent, you put yourself in danger of being targeted in lieu of those HG whose positions are well known, even if they are oppositional.

 

Kyle will fight to keep her in as long as possible, and to be sure, their showmance has gone a lot further than BB has implied on the broadast show edits. But while is angst has been on display in his live feeder monologs, his actions have remained true to his alliance. And he may yet rope her into helping him take a swing against his fellow Leftovers like Monte or Joe, but without the ability to effect a game strategy of her own, she's probably going to just ride Kyle's coattails as long as she can.

 

Do you have enough confidence to comment on this blog? You won't ruffle my feathers if you tell me where I'm wrong or where I'm right. So let me have it. Which HG are you confident will win Big Brother USA Season 24?

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Fred here. Your friendly television flamingo. 

 

I wanted to pop in here with a quick post before the Veto meeting this morning because I have no idea what is going to happen today.

 

Here's the situation.

 

Since before Daniel was evicted, The Leftovers had already listed Jasmine as their next target. She has managed to aggravate pretty much everyone in the BB House with her complaints, verbal slights and being demanding. 

 

But this was turned on its end when Taylor decided she would not nominate another Black woman, een Jasmine. Now I've heard some complaints that Taylor is bringing race into the BB House. I have news for you. It was always there. Flamingos can display a broad range of pink, salmon, red and crimson colors based on their diet, and it would be nice to think they are color blind but they aren't. 

 

In any case, Taylor told Jasmine, Indy, Alyssa, Brittany, Michael and Monte they were all safe. But then after talking with the other Leftovers, she realized she would have to go back on her word to someone, and she decided it would have to be Indy. She told Indy and Terrance that they were just pawns to get out Monte, which is who Joe said continues to be the Five Swatter's target (being the alliance of Jasmine, Indy, Alyssa, Kyle and Joseph, with Kyle and Joseph being spies).

 

Before the Veto comp on Saturday, Joe had offered to go up as a pawn against Indy. The idea was that the Veto would be used to take Terrance down (Joe, Monte and Turner think he is loyal to them vs. Michael, Kyle and Brittany) and then the house could evict Indy without Joe having any responsibility. The Leftovers would have the numbers to keep Joe and send Indy to the Jury House.

 

But after Kyle won the Veto, Joe had second thoughts and started suggesting that instead of targeting Indy, they should consider targeting Alyssa. Joe claimed Alyssa was a threat to The Leftovers, but you have to wonder if his goal wasn't protecting Indy, whom he counts as a number while in the game. Joe claimed that Alyssa was a social threat despite the fact that she mostly socializes with Kyle. Joe claimed she could be a comp threat, despite the fact that she threw her back out Sunday morning lifting weights with Monte (Terrance also says his back hurts).

 

Joe found a friendly ear with Taylor, who brought some pretty think reasons of her own to agree with his plan. First, after the HoH comp, Alyssa joked "that's enough" to Kyle when he was hugging Taylor. She thinks that means Alyssa wasn't happy she won HoH. Taylor also said that Alyssa insulted her by taking the trip instead of the Veto during the Veto comp. Everyone knows that the last person in the Prize/Punishment comp gets to choose between any prize or the Veto, so Alyssa was never going to get the Veto or the trip. But she avoided a punishment (Taylor and Joe will be chained for 48hrs). Taylor believes Alyssa should have taken the punishment for her.

 

But the biggest problem with this plan is that Taylor and Joe did not share it with Kyle, leaving him to believe that Joe was still the planned replacement nominee. Maybe they would have, but in the BB House, it's hard to keep a secret and Kyle quickly found out. Remember, Kyle was blindided once already by Monte when The Leftovers met without him and decided to convince Daniel to not use the Veto and leave Alyssa or Indy instead. When he found out last minute, they claimed the target as Indy but he suspected it was actually Alyssa.

 

Now it seemed like The Leftovers were trying to steamroll him again. In swoops Michael and Brittany who claim they want to keep Alyssa and would support his not using the Veto. Turner, who never met a direction he wouldn't face, also said he had no reason to evict Alyssa (though none of them said they wouldn't). But they did say they would support Kyle not using the Veto. And then they told Taylor that Kyle found about about the plan the backdoor Alyssa and is now refusing to use the Veto.

In HoH, Taylor and Joe made the case for why it was necessary to get Alyssa out now, and Kyle made point by point counter arguments, also noting that Jasmine also took the trip prize over the Veto and Taylor isn't upset about that enough to target her. Taylor has said she would not nominate another Black woman for eviction, which is ironic because Jasmine has said it wouldn't bother her. Taylor has every right to set her own moral standards, but then again, so does Kyle. Throughout, Kyle remained adamant that he thought Indy should be the next to go.

 

In fact, prior to Taylor winning HoH, The Leftovers had agreed that the priority order for eviction would be Jasmine, Terrance, Indy and Alyssa. Kyle claims he just wants to stick that agreement and will be willing to evict her when her time comes, but we all know that he's trying to keep her in the house as long as possible. Alyssa confessed to Turner that she and Kyle consumated their relationship in the Have Not Room Saturday (on a floatie, how romantic). Turner told Kyle that he knows because Alyssa felt guilty he had messed up Kyle's game (among other things). As as far as I know, nobody else knows, but that would only put a bigger target on her and Kyle's back.

 

Seeing her plan fall apart, Taylor brought up Jasmine, Indy and Alyssa to HoH and told them that Kyle was preventing their plan to backdoor Monte by not using the Veto and they should pressure Kyle to use the Veto to get the plan back on track. Jasmine and Indy buy this story hook, line and stinker. However, earlier in the afternoon, Kyle had told Alyssa to trust him, that he was not going to use the Veto and was working on a plan to keep them safe through a Double Eviction. Kyle also said that Taylor would likely pressure her to get him to use the Veto and she should just play dumb. 

 

The argument between Kyle, Joe and Taylor began again in the BY (there were only Leftovers present) the same positions were repeated, while Turner remained Switzerland (neutral). Kyle would not back down and by the end of the day, Taylor was resigned to having to evict Indy. At this point, it is unlikely that Kyle will change his mind as Taylor and Joe have used every argument they could invent, even desperately telling Kyle that his game would improve without Alyssa because he could attend more Leftovers meetings.

 

Instead, Taylor has made sure that Jasmine, Indy and Terrance know it will be Kyle's fault that Monte wasn't backdoored (which was never the plan). That way, if any of them win HoH, they'll target Kyle and Monte and The Leftovers can vote out Kyle. 

 

Also, Michael and Brittany have positioned themselves to be willing to go either way. It was Michael told Taylor/Joe that Kyle wasn't using the Veto, but it was also Michael who told Kyle that Alyssa was being targeted. Michael and Brittany claim to want to work with Kyle and Alyssa and maybe Turner to flip on Monte, Joe and Taylor. But they also have a Final 3 with Taylor and are claiming to support her as well.

 

Tensions are raw in the Big Brother house, just in time for Jasmine's birthday. Joe said that his birthday, the day Nicole and Daniel verbally attacked Taylor and Jasmine feignted during the Veto comp, was his worst ever. Maybe today the HG will find a way to top it.

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Hi BB Fans, Fred Flamingo back again for a quick update. I wanted to wait until the Veto episode aired so I could see what actually happened before airing my own thoughts on the Veto competition.

 

Simply put, I'm on Team Michael on this one. Taylor was being petty and emotional and putting her need for revenge ahead of the interests of The Leftovers. Michael has been wondering when the alliance was going to fracture and Taylor took the first swing. If you're going to swing, though, you better not miss and she lost track of the fact that being HoH is not all powerful - holding the Golden Power of Veto is.

 

The term is called HoHitis, and it's an emotional illness that can aflict those in positions of power who think it entitles them to all sorts of things, such as respect, loyalty, obedience, favors and even prizes. Let's be clear - nobody in the Big Brother house is entitled to anything. 

 

Let's explore what happened during the comp. The so-called SuperFans said you always go for the Veto. Strategically, that's not always true. In this case, no matter what Taylor thinks, she was never going to London and deep down, she knows it. Jasmine was always going to claim it over the Veto because that is who she is. She made it clear before the comp that if there were prizes, she was going after the prize. Maybe if Taylor hadn't holed up in HoH and stopped socializing with the other HG, she'd have known that. Instead, she stayed in HoH and waited for others to come see her.

 

If she were game aware, Taylor would know that Jasmine has been using her birthday to demand all sorts of favors from her fellow HG. She even has called it her Birthday Week to make sure everyone knew to wait on her hand and foot. She even told Terrance to go exchange her mic for her when BB asked. It would be his second birthday present. All the HG find her annoying and Taylor has even said if she wasn't a Black woman, she'd put her up herelf. But Taylor made a promise to herself that she would not nominate a Black woman. Even though she knows Jasmine has said she would have no compuntion putting up Taylor.

 

Whether you agree with her decision or not, it's her right to set a values threshold for herself. Some have carelessly used the word racist, and that shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the meaning of the word. Further, it lessens the impact when used to describe a truly horrible and deserving recipient. It is not a question of equivilence - white people cannot decide not to nominate white people. White people also do not have a shared history of centuries of enslavement, predjudice and discrimination. Until a white person has walked in a Black person's shoes, seen the world through their eyes, they cannot fully understand how different their life experience is and how it influences their values and decsions.

 

But I digress. Back to the Veto comp, Jasmine made it clear she wanted the prize and didn't care about the Veto. She going to take it from Taylor if Alyssa hadn't taken it first. And like Alyssa, she assumed Taylor would honor her promises to protect the women. Why they would expect that, I don't know, considering they had shunned her from day one in the BB House. I also don't know why Taylor would have made such a promise when she knew that they would all have to go if she were to be loyal to The Leftovers. It was a fundamentally flawed strategy to initially target Terrance without having a backup plan. Taylor put herself in that position.

 

Once Kyle found out what Taylor, Joe and Monte were planning (thanks to Michael who has been sneakily sowing seeds of distrust), there was no chance he was going to use the Veto. As I mentioned above, this is the second time that the alliance met without him and then tried to blindside him with a target change to Alyssa. While Kyle has been in a showmance, he has never acted against the alliance. And in this case, I would argue he still hasn't because he was keeping the alliance focused on their original target. As I said above, Taylor took the first swing, but Kyle saw it coming and was able to dodge it.

 

I've seen some comments on Social Media (yes, I get WiFi here in the pond) that Kyle took the first shot by refusing the go along with the Alliance, but the alliance wasn't even going along with its own plan, so his refusal to allow himself to be victimized mean he took a shot. As my good friend Sylvester Flamingo once said, they drew first blood.

 

Neither do I believe Kyle's description of Monte, Joe and Taylor coming after him as anything more that recognition that twice now, they have taken actions that put his own game at risk by eliminating somone he feels he can count on. yes, that's part of the game, but that doesn't mean he's supposed to roll over and let his supposed alliance walk over him on their way to the Final 6 or Final 5. That Monte, Joe and Taylor are persons of color is coincidence.

 

The truth is that within the BB House, Kyle has never said or done anything that could be described as predjudiced or discriminatory. To the contrary, it was Kyle who first came to Taylor's defense and handed her a safety vest in the form of The Leftovers. It was also Kyle who spoke against using Taylor as a pawn right away to get out Nicole (she had to be used at some point because of the Festie Bestie twist, but he wanted to make sure it was by her choice). Yes, he grew up Morman and was sheltered for the first 2 decades of his life, but he's spent the last decade making up for lost time by embracing life experiences. 

 

How this will play out going forward, I have no idea. In a regular season, Kyle winning HoH would give him the opportunity to demonstrate his loyalty to The Leftovers by winning HoH and proceeding with nominating Jasmine and Terrance. And yes, if necessary, Alyssa as a backup nom. Of course, if he could coldly follow through with that, it would paint an even bigger target on his back because if he could do that to his Showmance, he wouldn't hesitate to do it to anyone in his alliance.

On the other hand, Kyle could decide that the other side of the alliance took the first shot and put up Joe and Taylor, with Monte as a backup option. They took a swing and missed, giving him the opportunity to take a retaliatory shot. A reasonable argument could be made that Jasmine and Terrance can wait - they have not been demonstrated to be strategic or social threat. But if The Leftovers spoil, they could also be valuable votes in a new alliance. Which is why Michael, Kyle and Brittany have been talking about possibly bringing in Alyssa before the Final 7.

 

Taylor, of course, cannot compete for HoH this week, so the question then becomes whether Joe or Monte see Kyle's refusal to bend over to their will as an unforgivable act of defiance or or whether their claims of loyalty to the alliance meant only loyalty to them. If they want to stick to The Leftovers, they will also target Jasmine and Terrance, with Alyssa as the back up option as was the original plan. If not, they'll seek to take a second swipe at Kyle. But even that has risks, because if they do, they may lose the power of numbers to control the vote.

 

Of course, as we know and they do not, Big Brother has a new twist that will be unveiled during tonight's 2 hour live eviction show in which the remaining 10 HG will be divided in half, with each playing what we think will be a Final 5 game, complete with HoH and Veto comps, nominations and a Veto ceremony, culminating in a doubel eviction a week later. How that will actually work, I don't know.

 

What I do know is that the next week of Big Brother USA is not to be missed!


What do you know? I'd love to hear your comments.

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