When the cast of Big Brother 14 was first announced, I wrote that I hated Ashley “with the fiery passion of 1,000 suns.” She seemed like a total airhead, claiming she would win the game with her “super love energy.” So color me shocked that, after watching Big Brother After Dark Monday night, Ashley has become one of my favorite HGs so far.
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains details from the Big Brother 14 live feeds.
I’m loving Ashley because she’s playing the role of the weak, indecisive female to a tee, causing chaos and uncertainty while also making people think she’s unhinged, emotional and weak. Is any of this true? Maybe, but I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt.
On Sunday’s show she revealed in a diary room session that she voted Kara out because Kara was going to play that weak female role this season, and that’s something Ashley wanted to do. So I started to assume that things she does are intentional, even if everyone else doesn’t think they are.
On Monday’s live feeds Ashley had a mini-meltdown, crying over evicting Kara. She claimed to regret that choice, and she was also suspicious of Ian and Frank having a Final 2 deal. She said this in front of Shane and JoJo and Jenn.
Is Ashley really that stupid to voice her problems with her own six-person alliance (Boogie and Janelle’s teams) in front of the opposition, as well as a member of her own alliance? Surely Ashley knew Jenn would run and tell the rest of their alliance all about it and it would cause doubt and confusion and potential cracks in their group.
Ashley then spent most of the night bonding with Shane and JoJo. Shane did a great job of speaking his mind, talking about how he’s obviously the next target and the six-person alliance is gonna stick together because their coaches are telling them what to do. More importantly, he connected with Ashley.
Of course the night ended with Ashley offering a pseudo-mea culpa to Frank and Wil, though it was mostly her venting about how lame it is that she’s not allowed to talk to Shane without her alliance getting suspicious. Ashley also did a great job planting seeds of doubt about Jenn’s worthiness to them. And, to top it all off, Ashley spent the night assuring Danielle that she’s safe and JoJo is going home.
So what do I make of Ashley’s emotional night? She seemed to have cracked mostly because she is sick and tired of Janelle’s constant negativity (Janelle takes a disturbing level of glee in mocking Willie long after he’s gone and she’s generally regarded as an emotionless robot).
But was Ashley’s meltdown and apparent new potential alliance with Shane just an example of a weak-minded, overly emotional girl having a bad day, or was she playing the long con, trying to get on Shane’s good side in case he wins the next HoH while also trying to create a few cracks in the Boogie-Janelle alliance so it might turn on itself?
I choose to believe the latter. I think Ashley is playing the role of the overly emotional, unreliably unstable HG. I think she’s planting seeds of doubt wherever she can, and doing it so effortlessly that no one even notices because they just assume she’s having a bad day.
I hope it works. I hope Ashley does break away from Janelle, align with Shane and turn on this whole “team” structure. Shane even told her that he wants a Final 4 with Ashley, Danielle and Jenn, one lady from each team (even Shane knows JoJo is gone this week). Since the other side of the house is so dominant, that kind of turnabout, giving the power to the newbies not in charge as opposed to the coaches leading the pack, would be just the kind of move I’d love to see.
What do you think of Ashley? Is she a ditzy, overly emotional, untrustworthy floater? Or is she playing a complicate and advanced psychological game?
(Image courtesy of CBS)