I think it's safe to call the Team America twist on Big Brother 16
an epic fail. Things were already bad when the first member of the
three-person alliance voted by America was Joey, who was evicted before
the other members were even chosen. After that, Donny, Frankie and
Derrick were selected for Team America.
Then came the second
mission, in which they declared Amber a "physical threat" and were able
to get $5,000 each for it. Finally, they completely declined their
fourth mission to cast two votes against the majority. Now things are
falling apart.SPOILER WARNING: This article contains Big Brother 16 spoilers.
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On Monday night, Frankie and Derrick had a very revealing conversation in the HoH room about Team America and this week's vote. First, it seems Derrick's primary mission was to convince Frankie that they need to vote out Zach this week, and I think it worked. Frankie revealed that Zach told him about Los Tres Amigos, the Final 3 deal with Zach, Derrick and Cody, though Frankie denied mentioning it to anyone, even though he absolutely told Christine about it.
Derrick planted the seed that Zach is hurting the Detonators by turning Frankie and Cody against each other, and that getting rid of him will solidify the existing Bomb Squad (which is the same thing they said when they voted out Devin and Amber). Sorry, Zankie fans, but it looks like Zach will be evicted and Frankie might not even vote to save him.
The more interesting part came when they discussed Team America. They agreed that they probably wouldn't be working together if not for TA, but they need to stick together because it's what America wants. They genuinely believe that America loves them and wants all of their missions to succeed. They promised never to nominate or vote out each other. But that's not true about everyone in Team America.
There's still a lot of hostility over Donny refusing to perform last week's mission. Donny claimed it would hurt his game and he's not willing to sacrifice it because of a mission. Frankie and Derrick, however, said they want America to love them, which is why they want to do all of the missions because it's what the viewers want.
They concluded that Donny has to go because he's not willing to commit to Team America. Derrick even said that he thinks America would not care if they voted Donny out since he refused the mission. Frankie agreed. Ironically, Derrick also said he'd never vote Frankie out because he thinks it would make America hate him.
Based on everything I've read and seen online, that could not be more wrong. My take is that America loves Donny and that Frankie and Derrick are viewed as the bad guys in this alliance. After all, they routinely decide how to proceed with a mission on their own, then tell Donny at the last minute and expect him to do whatever they say. They've never really respected Donny or treated him like an equal member of this alliance, even though he was voted in before them.
This all stems from the obvious flaw in how this twist was executed. The three members of Team America did not learn about each other until Day 17 in the house. That's way too late. By that time, Frankie and Derrick were already more than two whole weeks into the Bomb Squad, so their pre-existing alliance and gameplay strongly influenced their involvement with Team America. That's probably why it feels like they don't include Donny, because they see TA as a sub-alliance within the Bomb Squad and the Detonators.
The other problem is that America had to vote for the members of Team America after just one week of episodes and live feeds. That wasn't enough time for viewers to make informed decisions about who they love and hate. So while Derrick and Frankie assume that America loves them, that may not necessarily be true after viewers got to see their actions and strategies over the last month. And that doesn't even take into account the fact that Frankie being Ariana Grande's sister certainly helped him win the public vote.
The Team America twist was flawed from the start and became even more problematic when it tried to affect the vote last week. Instead of helping the viewers' favorite HGs, it has turned the members against each another.
Sooner or later, the Big Brother
producers need to realize that almost all of their twists backfire. The MVP last season was quickly used to control every week when the HGs figured out that Elissa Slater would always win it solely because she was Rachel Reilly's sister. The Battle of the Block this year was supposed to make HoHs unsafe, but an HoH was never backdoored and, instead, it just ensured that the strong alliance would dominate the early part of the game and continuously nominate the weak players. And Team America has quickly turned sour, with the members now trying to evict each other.
Julie Chen promised us that Big Brother 16 would be the most twisted season ever, but I don't think she intended for the twist itself to get so twisted.(Image courtesy of CBS)