There’s a lot of talk in the Big Brother house about past HGs and who played the game the best. What really annoys me about this week is that Adam and Jordan are getting yet another free ride and complaining about how Porsche and Kalia are just acting like puppets for Daniele and how Daniele wasn’t that great to begin with.

I take serious issue with this because, as far as I’m concerned, Daniele Donato is the best HG to ever play this game. Sure, she didn’t win either of the two seasons she played, but I think there’s more to playing the game than winning.

First, Adam and Jordan have no right to whine because they were just puppets for Jeff and they didn’t do anything on their own. At least Kalia freaking contributed by winning the HoH between Daniele’s two wins. What did Adam or Jordan ever do for Jeff? Hearing them complain about Daniele’s acolytes is the epitome of hypocrisy.

Second, I’m sick and tired of people claiming that Evel Dick carried Daniele during their season and he’s the only reason she made it as far as she did. People need to stop misremembering Big Brother 8. Dick and Daniele were nominated together three times during that season, and two of those times, Daniele won the Power of Veto. Dick only saved her once. Also, Daniele won two HoHs and five PoVs during that season. Dick only had one PoV win and three HoHs (and one of those was the last one against Daniele). Daniele is an amazing competitor and a brilliant strategist in her own right who plays a smart game where she makes calculated risks (like nominating Adam and Shelly her second time as HoH).

Daniele can separate personal feelings from game decisions better than anyone, as proven by the fact that she can laugh in the jury house while Brendon and Jeff were both depressed. Daniele cares more about this game than they did, but she left it in the house and moved on once it was over.

The only flaw to Daniele’s game is that she doesn’t know how to adapt to playing with people who make emotional or irrational decisions. It’s like me and math. I’m exceptionally good at math and got a perfect score on my AP Calculus test in high school. But when I had to tutor summer school kids studying simple algebra, I couldn’t do it. I could not wrap my brain around how bad those students were and I was confused by how they couldn’t understand concepts that were so simple to me. That’s how Daniele was in the house. She could make the most logical, rational argument to Adam about why voting to keep her over Kalia was beneficial to his game, and she could be right, but he still wouldn’t listen because he was loyal to Jeff, and that loyalty was more important than reason and logic. You can’t play a rational game against irrational people, and that’s what Daniele was up against.

So for those reasons, I have nothing but respect for the way Daniele played Big Brother both times and it’s why I consider her the greatest player ever.

To round it out, here are the rest of my top five Big Brother players ever.

#2 Janelle Pierzina: Sure, she finished third both times, but the girl won more competitions than anyone, six HoHs and seven PoVs (including nine wins during the All-Stars season). She will forever be the ultimate competitor.

#3 Dr. Will Kirby: The anti-Janelle, Will won season 2 and finished fourth during season 7, all without winning a single competition. No one has ever or will ever play the social game better than him.

#4 Dan Gheesling: The season 10 winner is perhaps the most underrated player ever. He tried to create a powerful alliance with Brian right away, but they got targeted and Brian was the first HG evicted. Dan then proceeded to play one of the shrewdest games ever by acting like a weak, pathetic loner who had no one and who wasn’t a threat to anyone. It worked beautifully and he was allowed to skate by for the rest of the season under everyone’s radar until he teamed up with Memphis and the two of them won eight of the last 10 competitions.

#5 Hayden Moss: The season 12 winner was the de facto head of the Brigade, and as a result deserves recognition. Love them or hate them, the Brigade was the most successful alliance ever, making it all the way to the final three. Hayden was able to command the loyalty of his teammates despite the fact that he was an obvious threat. When Matt and Lane were nominated, Hayden told Matt they were evicting him, but when Matt used the Diamond Power of Veto, he still remained loyal to the alliance that he knew wanted to vote him out. Anyone who can do that definitely played a great game.

Honorable Mentions

Jordan: I may hate the fact that she does nothing, but you can’t deny that her nice, sweet girl attitude is successful.

Evel Dick: He made everyone hate him, and it worked.

Mike Boogie: The Bert to Dr. Will’s Ernie (or vice versa), he became every bit at good at manipulating people (like Erika during season 7).

Rachel: Sure, everyone hates her, but she has won five HoHs, encompassing questions, endurance and strength.

Nakomis: She wasn’t very good, but her Six-Finger Plan was.

So which great players from the past or present did I leave off? I’m not talking about your favorites, I’m talking about who you think played the best game. Who’s in your top five?

(Image courtesy of CBS)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.