After finishing in ninth place last season and becoming one of the biggest villains ever, Rachel Reilly won Big Brother 13 to claim the $500,000. It was a surprisingly close 4-3 with Brendon, Jeff, Jordan and newbie Shelly voting for Rachel to win over Porsche Briggs.
Recap: Rachel Wins Big Brother 13>>
It’s hard for me to argue that Porsche truly deserved to win. Yes, she did pretty well in competitions and her “sit back and play the social game” strategy was OK. But Rachel did win more competitions and she did fight harder to stay. Plus, Porsche pathetically miserable performance in the last two question competitions made me really doubt her ability to even tie her own shoes. She was given 11 questions, each with only two possible answers, and only got three right.
However, that doesn’t mean Rachel did it all by herself. She claimed at the end of Big Brother 13 that she had to fight harder than anyone else and she was a target from day one. I don’t think that’s true, and if you look back at how the season played out, you’ll see that it wasn’t Rachel who helped herself win, but the situation.
Here are five key moments in the game that helped Rachel win half a million dollars, none of which she had anything to do with.
Brendon Saves Rachel
In week 4 Daniele nominated Brendon and Rachel and Brendon won the Power of Veto. Instead of saving himself like anyone else would do, he saved Rachel. If not for that, she would’ve been evicted. Rachel might have complained about how being a returning player put a target on her back, but being in the house with someone who would use the PoV on you instead of themselves is the biggest advantage anyone could have.
The Twist Paranoia
After Brendon was evicted the first time, Rachel was nominated and seemed to be the target. But then, thanks to the arrival of a mysterious twist that would let the evicted HG have a chance to come back, Kalia screwed up big-time and nominated Lawon, sending him home. Kalia got frazzled by the twist, Lawon offered to go up and Shelly was going back-and-forth to manipulate Kalia and save Rachel, so basically, everyone EXCEPT Rachel was responsible for Rachel not being evicted in week 5. If it weren’t for the twist or Kalia’s mental weakness, Rachel would’ve been gone.
This twist gave Rachel a huge boost emotionally and in the game because it meant Daniele had to waste her second HoH getting rid of Brendon yet again. If the zombie had stayed dead and there was no returning twist, Daniele could’ve focused her attention on Rachel and/or Jeff and had solid control of the game.
Having Jeff and Jordan as Shields
Rachel was nominated with Jeff during the double eviction and with Jordan during the final 4, and both times she survived. If Rachel was really the “biggest target” she claimed to be, why were Jeff and Jordan evicted before her? Because of the returning duos twist at the start, it meant Rachel wasn’t the ONLY target and that she could easily hide behind other players, all of whom did better the first time around than she did.
Porsche’s Pandora’s Box
If it weren’t for Porsche opening Pandora’s Box and bringing back the duo twist, things would’ve been different. Yes, Rachel still would’ve won the Power of Veto, but Jordan would’ve stayed on the block and Porsche most likely would’ve nominated Adam. Regardless of who went, it would’ve been one of Rachel’s allies, and while she still would’ve won the next HoH, any scenario I have in my head leaves Rachel evicted fourth. Keeping Jordan safe kept an extra person for Rachel to count on in a vote and an extra shield for her to hide behind.
What it all boils down to is the fact that all of the twists, from the original duos to the way the returning player was announced to the Pandora’s Box all benefitted Rachel’s game. Heck, she even got to pick the order the HGs golfed in for the second HoH competition, and since then there hasn’t been a single week where the outgoing HoH got to have any role in the next competition.
She may have fought hard and won more competitions than anyone else in Big Brother 13, but Rachel Reilly did not fight an uphill battle. In fact, with all of the help the twists provided, it was pretty smooth sailing to the finale. You just couldn’t tell because she cried so much that it felt harder than it really was.
(Image courtesy of CBS)