Big Brother Week 5: My Enemy, My Ally

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What a week it’s been in the Big Brother household. As expected, with last week’s vote flip, it’s been quite the dramatic week. But who saw what was coming? Frank is now on high alert after feeling he was running the vote last week and anxious to learn who flipped on him. Meanwhile, the newly saved Tiffany has made an alliance most didn’t see coming and has bonded with her supposed enemy Frank. In fact, after talking to each other, both Frank and Tiffany uncovered how Da’Vonne had played both into going to war with each other.

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Frank may be a target, but once again he is safe because his “team,” led by Paulie, won the HoH competition at the end of last Thursday’s episode. Unlike previous weeks where Paul was an easy pawn to go up, Paulie kept him off the block and has now aligned with him as well. After a tricky first week, Paul finally appears to have won some trust. How he did it this week was being pulled in by Frank to discuss his and Tiffany’s alliance with Bridgette as well and then reporting back to Paulie and Corey about what was said. Paul offered to continue to use this connection moving forward as well.

When it came time for nominations, Paulie put up Tiffany, who he had initially hoped to get out last week, and Natalie, who is presumably a pawn this week. With her initial ties to Jozea early on, she’s viewed as someone who could be put up without causing too much drama. With Bronte gone and Bridgette aligning herself more closely with Frank, Natalie’s one true ally in the game appears to be James.

In the BB Roadkill competition this week, Tiffany won out and decided to throw a wrench into one of the showmances by putting Corey on the block alongside herself and Natalie, feeling that there might be enough votes to break up he and Nicole. But when Corey won the Power of Veto, that meant that it was time for Da’Vonne’s past treachery to come back to haunt her and she ended up on the block with Tiffany and Natalie.

But while Frank, Tiffany and Bridgette have aligned, Paulie is the HoH this week and still has Tiffany in his sights with the power and connections in the house to do something about it. However, Da’Vonne’s hard playing has put her on everyone’s radar as her manipulations have come to light this week. Plus, Da’Vonne did herself no favors by telling James that she’s targeting showmances, pointing out Zakiyah and Paulie. Lest we forget that James and Natalie seem to be cozying up, and her mention of Zakiyah/Paulie and Nicole/Corey, but not mentioning him and Natalie, didn’t sit well. But was it enough to sway the Paulie-led vote? The short answer is no, as Tiffany was voted out by a unanimous vote of 8-0.

Meanwhile, there was no Head of Household competition this week as the long-teased Battle Back competition has yet to take place. A special edition of Big Brother will take place Friday night on CBS with Glenn, Jozea, Victor, Bronte and now Tiffany will square off to see who gets to return to the game, after which the Head of Household competition will take place. So let’s see where the Big Brother rankings stand.

The Rankings

1. Paulie – He’s back in a familiar spot this week and with good reason. Even though he’s just completed a second Head of Household run, he’s not really in any danger of going home, even though he probably should be. But with veterans Frank and Da’Vonne foolishly feeling like they’re running the house, both appear more ready to pick each other off than to take a shot at Paulie. Da’Vonne has hinted that the showmances are on her radar, and no doubt she’d send Paulie packing before Zakiyah, but the chance to boot Frank would be too much for her to pass up. So Paulie, who’s even made an ally out of onetime foe Paul, is standing atop the rankings yet again.

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2. Zakiyah – Like Paulie, she’s allowed a veteran to assume they’re running things and let them burn the bridges. At this point, it’s safe to say that Zakiyah has sussed out that her long term prospects in the game are more closely aligned to Paulie than to Da’Vonne, and she’s played a low key game so far despite being involved in a lot of the action that has gone on. Who are her targets? Zakiyah wouldn’t be torn up if Frank or Bridgette went home, and while she would hate to see Da’Vonne go, she’s aware at this point that their friendship/partnership in the game has gone as far as it can without some blowback coming her way.

3. James – Like last year, James seems perfectly content to play pranks and flirt with the women in the house and he’s cozied up quite nicely to Natalie. As the members of her Spy Girls get picked off, Natalie and James seem partnered up, but just like James and Meg last year, they appear to be a party of two with no other real allies. James was initially aligned with the vets, but in almost every significant move that takes place in the house, he’s one of the last to find out about it. He’s more of a reactive player at this point rather than initiating any of the moves that happen. Because he’s a likable guy, he’s not high on anyone’s radar, but it remains to be seen if his Johnny-come-lately gameplay will be beneficial or hurt him down the homestretch.

4. Nicole – She’s been caught in a couple of lies, but only with warring vets Frank and Da’Vonne. So far she’s stayed pretty true to Paulie, who really has been running the house this season. And her teammate/showmance Corey is also tight with Paulie, which could lead to a final four pact among two of the power couples. At this point, all foes appear to be targeting the more physically imposing Corey in attempts to break them up, so Nicole is in a pretty decent position in the house. Things will even be better for her once Frank or Da’Vonne is sent packing, which should end the flip-flopping she’s been doing with the pair.

5. Corey – By pairing up with Nicole, he’s found himself benefitting from her gameplay. Corey hasn’t won any competitions, with the exception of the Power of Veto when he needed it. He seems to have a good relationship with Corey and while seeming to appear ready to turn on Frank when the opportunity presents itself, he’s kept up a good relationship there too. At this point, he’s in good with the people that seem to be taking the lead in the house and that’s a good place to be.

6. Paul – Did you ever think you’d see Paul this high on the list? But the motormouth rocker/designer played the pawn a few weeks while building trust and this past week made his first significant game move to ensure a future alliance — and with Paulie, who he lobbied hard to get booted in the first week. Welcome Paul, you are officially in the mix now.

7. Michelle – This one’s a sneaky pick. She appears to be staying under the radar, but has dropped key pieces of info where need be. Frank feels that she’s on his side, but she would turn on him in a second. She’s fully aware of Nicole’s duplicity and her showmance with Corey. Yet, she’s not made any major game moves and has been an outlier on most of the actions taken into the game. This feels like a female Steve Moses in the making, where midway through the season you wonder who she is, and the next thing you know she’s involved in everything. Michelle appears to be sizing everyone up and waiting to make her move in terms of declaring true loyalties.

8. Natalie – Natalie is the true definition of a floater. At this point, the only reason she’s this high on the list is because there are bigger targets in play. Her real true ally is James. Bronte’s gone. Paul and Bridgette have started making moves to help ensure their safety, while Natalie hasn’t really done much in terms of securing other relationships. She’ll continue to be used as a pawn until the point where all the bigger targets are out.

9. Bridgette – Like Natalie, look for her to be used as a pawn or potentially a target depending on how the HoH plays out. Bridgette allowed Frank to make her moves during her HoH week and is now aligned with the vet. But her “sneaking” during the Jozea eviction week hasn’t been forgotten either. She’s not got enough allies to keep her safe for long and if Frank is ousted, her game is all but done.

10. Frank – He’s now well aware that there is a faction of the house gunning for him. Tiffany revealed most of the plans to get rid of him and most of the names involved. But as we saw in past years, Frank is a competition beast. He’s already won a pair of Road Kill competitions this year, and of the four teams, his team has been the strongest and kept him safe for several weeks. He’ll be a tough out no matter who is after him.

11. Da’Vonne – All of her maneuvering has come back to backfire on her. The only reason she wasn’t evicted this week was because Tiffany’s ability to blow up games was deemed to much to allow to continue. Mama Day has made it known that she’s got the showmances in her sights, which means there are six people now aware of her intent down the road. And while not as much of a future threat as Frank, most of the houseguests are ready for her to go.

Battle Back Competitors

1. Victor – Victor was the third evicted houseguest and would have to best two others in competitions before returning to the game, but with Bronte and Tiffany going after, we like his chances if the challenges are physical in nature. But if he were to return, where would his allegiances lie? His previous allies are only marginally in better places than they were when he left.

2. Tiffany – The newly evicted houseguest would just have to defeat one opponent in order to return to the game, and we like her chances in a mental challenge. She would likely align with Frank again, and all the effort to eliminate her would go for naught.

3. Bronte – She has a shorter road to return as well, and seems fairly athletic and smart. If things fell right, she could find herself back in the game. If she returned, we could see her partnered with James and Natalie, but would she be able to hop on the good will that Paul has generated and become a key player in the game?

4. Jozea – The odds are against Jozea, as he would have to have advanced multiple times before returning. Plus, he would probably be at a disadvantage against some of the other opponents in both physical and mental challenges.

5. Glenn – Glenn, we hardly knew you. The 50-year-old seemed almost set up to lose in the first week, and the Battle Back competition would have plenty of obstacles in order for Glenn to make it all the way back into the game. If he does so, more power to him. It would also prove that there is something to be said for Glenn’s gameplay that could make him formidable moving forward.

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