has always resembled a chess game, but this season
the board turned three-dimensional. The addition of four returning
players as coaches for Big Brother 14
adds a new dynamic to the game.
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While the coaches are not a part of the actual game (and hopefully they never will), they each have their teams and are playing their own game. In some cases their plans line up perfectly with the plans of their players, and in other cases they are at odds with one another.Premiere Recap: Welcome Back>>
After the first night of live feeds, we have a glimpse into the various strategies of each coach. And it seems like they're all playing exactly how they did the last time they were on the show. Let's see who's off to the best start.Team Britney (Willie, Shane and JoJo)
Britney's team won the first HoH (given to Willie, who needed it since he was a huge target), so they're off to a solid start. But the problem is that Britney seems to be using the same strategy she did last time, letting other alliances and power players push her around. Britney has already struck up a very solid alliance with Janelle, wanting to work together to get rid of Mike Boogie and Dan's teams. The problem is that Britney, easily the least successful of the coaches, doesn't have the respect of her team.Willie has nominated Frank and Kara this week
, and while Britney desperately wants Frank gone, Willie doesn't. Willie has spent lots of time talking to Frank and he trusts him. This creates a huge rift between coach and player, as Willie is basically ignoring Britney's advice and doing whatever he wants. Britney is off to a bad start if she can't even control her own team.
Her additional problem is that many people (including those on Janelle's team) are getting fed up with JoJo, which gives Britney two targets on her team.Team Janelle (Wil, Joe, Ashley)
Janelle has already formed an alliance with Britney and is basically controlling her every move. That's good for her because I'm not sure Janelle's team is going to offer much assistance. Ashley is in severe back pain already from being a Have-Not and Joe is generally regarded as a useless player (think Shelly from last season). That leaves Wil, but the problem is that Willie and Frank are eyeing Wil as an early target for them.
The biggest asset Janelle has is that everyone respects her for her accomplishments in the game, but while having Britney as her loyal minion is good, it only works if Britney is effective in the game, which she doesn't seem to be.Team Mike Boogie (Frank, Jenn, Ian)
Mike Boogie is doing what he does best: psychological warfare. As the winner of All-Stars
(who faked a showmance just to screw her over in the end), most people acknowledge him as a very dangerous player. And he's definitely using that to sway HoH Willie as best he can while also making sure Frank is his loyal disciple (it seems like Boogie doesn't even care about his other two team members). Boogie might be hated by the women, but he is very influential with the men, and if he can get Willie to defect away from Britney into his camp while keeping Frank alive for week 1, he could go far.Team Dan (Kara and Danielle)
Dan is off to a rough start, losing Jodi right away and now facing a potential eviction of Kara. But that seems to be Dan's strategy, identical to what he did when he won. His team already looks like the underdog, the weak, injured bird that can't fly. While other HGs may want to get rid of his team, they don't really see Kara or Danielle as huge threats, either mentally or physically, so there's no real point.
Do you see what's going on here? This is the same thing Dan did during season 10, acting like a loner with no allies and no hope of winning just to float through the early weeks before dominating the game with his secret partner, Memphis, in the end. Dan could be playing possum again, or maybe he really is that week this time around. Either way, his perceived weakness and the fact that everyone seems to genuinely like Dan as a person might be big assets.
The four coaches of Big Brother 14
represent four distinct ways to play the game. There's the follower (Britney), the leader (Janelle), the intimidator (Boogie) and the possum (Dan). How the rest of the season unfolds may finally reveal which of those strategies is the best.(Image courtesy of CBS)