Big Brother 15 introduced a new twist that promised to change the game, the MVP. Each week America votes for who they think is playing the best game (at least that’s what they claim) and that person gets the power to anonymously name a third nominee. If their nominee is saved by the Power of Veto, the MVP also makes the replacement nomination.
This has undoubtedly changed the entire game. In the first two weeks of Big Brother 15, we’ve seen the MVP’s nominee go home both times, establishing the dominant power of this role.
But is it fair? Is the MVP twist a good idea? I don’t think so, for many reasons, and I also think there are a few ways the producers could and should tweak it to make it better. Here are five reasons why I don’t like the way the MVP twist is affecting Big Brother 15 and five suggestions for how to make it better, if the show ever uses it again in the future. Though I really hope they don’t.
Why the MVP Twist Is Bad
The Rachel Reilly Factor: The biggest con to doing the MVP twist this season is the fact that Big Brother 13 winner Rachel Reilly’s sister, Elissa Slater, is in the house. This gives her a huge advantage to winning the MVP every week because her sister has over 90,000 Twitter followers and is tirelessly campaigning for her. None of the other HGs this season have family members who are Big Brother All-Stars with 90,000 Twitter followers.
No Limits: Another problem with the MVP is that there are no limits on it. Houseguests are not allowed to compete for HoH two weeks in a row, yet there’s no such clause for the MVP, which could easily result in a boring season. If you don’t believe, just look at who won the first three MVP votes.
It Can Be Revealed: This might be my biggest problem with the twist, and one I don’t think a lot of people have noticed. In the past, special powers, whether awarded through Pandora’s Box or America’s Vote, could not be talked about. Eric wasn’t allowed to reveal that he was America’s Player in season 8. Annie and Ragan couldn’t tell anyone they were the Saboteurs on season 12. The Coup d’Etat and Diamond Power of Veto were also contingent on not telling anyone about the secret powers.
But the show is allowing the MVP winner to tell people about their special power. It would be more interesting if they weren’t allowed to tell anyone, and if they did, they would be stripped of the power. I’m sure people would try to find ways around it, but still, why is this different from every other special power America has voted for?
It Usurps the HoH: As we’ve seen in the first two weeks, the MVP’s nominee has gone home both times, effectively neutering any and all power the HoH might have. I’m sure when producers came up with the idea they imagined it would create a three-way battle and divide the house, but instead, it has ensured that the pawn is ALWAYS safe, the HoH doesn’t matter and, if you have the numbers on your side, competition wins and nominations are totally meaningless. Any alliance that doesn’t include the MVP is pointless, because suddenly winning HoH doesn’t mean your alliance is safe.
People Don’t Vote for Gameplay: On the official CBS website for the MVP Vote, they ask “Which Houseguest do you think is playing the best game?” Now I’m more critical of Elissa than most, but I think even her fans would agree she’s not playing the BEST game in the house. The twist would be good if the American public could be trusted to make decisions based on strategy and not just who they like the most (or, more accurately, the person being targeted by who they HATE the most), but that’s impossible.
How to Fix the MVP Twist
There are a few ways the MVP twist can be improved, though, unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any surefire way to make it foolproof.
No Favorites: To start with, all HGs should obviously be on an even playing field. It should only be instituted if all the HGs are new or All-Stars. And if you’re going to put the relative of an All-Star in the house, everyone should be a relative.
Limits: There needs to be a limit. Either someone can’t win MVP two weeks in a row (like HoH) or change it so each HG can only win it once. The second option would actually make people less likely to target MVPs, because they would no longer be a threat after winning it once.
Keep It a Secret: Like the Diamond Power of Veto or America’s Player, the MVP should have to stay a secret. If it was truly anonymous and no one in the house knew who it was, it would keep everyone on their toes and achieve what I think the original goal in the house was. Everyone would have to play, instead of creating a new class of Semi-Floaters, people who hop onto the MVP’s coattails and coast through without doing anything (see Jessie, Judd, Andy).
Or the MVP should have to name their nominee immediately after they learn they’ve been chosen. If Elissa couldn’t talk things through with others and just had to make a pick by herself, I’d probably respect her a lot more because then she’d be playing her own game instead of doing what the others want her to do.
No Replacements: The MVP should not get to make the replacement nomination if their choice wins the Power of Veto. The ability to nominate someone is more than enough power, but giving the MVP the ability to backdoor someone is way too much. By making it so that if the MVP nominee is saved with the PoV, the actual HoH gets to name the replacement, it would certainly even the playing field.
Change the Vote: Only people who subscribe to the live feeds should be allowed to vote. I know this would severely limit the total number of votes, but I think it’s the only way to ensure the people voting are firmly committed to respecting and following the game and not just casual viewers who vote for who they like the most.
What do you think? Are these good suggestions to change the MVP, or do you think it’s fine the way it is? Or do you think the MVP twist, like all of season 9, is something Big Brother and the fans should just collectively try to block from our memories?
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(Image courtesy of CBS)