This week on Big Brother 13, Kalia went from a minor fly on the wall to a major player, and it wasn’t all good. The veterans have hurled a slew of insults at her and the sheer hatred they have for Kalia is astonishing. But I need to defend her, because to me, Kalia has stepped up as my favorite player in the game. She’s smart, she’s logical, and she’s on Big Brother 13 to win. She’s not a spineless jellyfish.

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains information about this week’s HoH competition.

While the hatred for Kalia was building, it hit a boiling point when Kalia and Daniele were the last two left in the endurance HoH competition and Daniele won it. The sour grapes from the veterans, particularly Brendon, were painful.

Following the HoH competition, Brendon called Kalia “the ultimate floater,” “stupid” and a “bitch.” He also joked around with Rachel and Porsche about Kalia’s weight, and her muffin top. Those intense and very personal attacks, by themselves, are enough to make me love Kalia, because no one deserves to be talked about that way. It’s rude, childish and immature. Yes, Kalia has mocked Brendon and Rachel, but the vast majority of her complaints are game-related about their arrogance and Rachel’s crying jags. It’s nowhere near the level of last season when jokes were regularly made about Rachel’s body and breasts.

However, my real problem isn’t with the juvenile insults about Kalia’s weight, it’s with calling her “the ultimate floater.” Sure, in the first two weeks, Kalia was trying to float by, quietly throwing competitions and trying to be nice to everyone so she’d stay safe. But in the last week Kalia has seen the error of her ways, atoned for the mistake of siding with the veterans in week one and joined forces with Daniele to dismantle the power couples.

Kalia may have been a floater before, but now she’s not. Now she’s 100 percent AGAINST the veterans. Jeff and the other veterans get made because they think Kalia talks to them and then runs back to tell everything to Daniele. If that makes someone a floater, then how about Shelly and Porsche? We all saw that it was Shelly’s two-faced betrayal of Dominic’s trust that caused all of the drama from the past week when she ratted out his plans to Jordan.

Rachel likes to use competitions as a measurement for whether someone is a floater, so let’s look at them. Dominic is the only non-veteran to win any competition in the house this season, and he was the runner-up to Jordan in the week 2 HoH golf game.  Yet he was sent home. Now there’s Kalia, who was the runner-up for the HoH competitions in week 2 and week 4, and who has NEVER played in a Power of Veto competition. Can you really call her out for not competing when she’s done quite well in half of the challenges she’s played in? Sure, there was the embarrassing “injury” from the ant food competition, but those are irrelevant to the actual game.

Jeff may have dismissed Dominic’s speech about spineless jellyfish, but he was right. The floaters like Shelly and Porsche are playing this game for the veterans and their only hope of winning is to make the final five or final six and then win a lot of competitions. The two power couples have made it abundantly clear in the last 24 hours that they will never turn on each other. Why on Earth would you actively play to keep a solid, unbreakable four-person alliance in this house?

If you wanted to win, you wouldn’t. Kalia and Daniele may be on the block next week and one of them may go home, but at least they’re trying to win. At least they’re not rolling over for the power couples and letting them walk away with the season. Kalia’s willingness to stand up to them, to pick a side, to stop being a floater, is what I admire about her. She wants to win, and it’s nothing personal, unlike with the veterans.

The veterans are bullies, and even when they’re not in power, their strategy is to bully Daniele into keeping them. Kalia, on the other hand, stands up to bullies. In the big house meeting fight, we saw Kalia get fed up with all of their B.S. and just go off on them. She said a lot of what I wanted to say to them, and, unlike the veterans, she has a heightened self-awareness (as exhibited by the fact that, one hour into the fight, she asked “Is any of this making a difference?”).

No, Kalia, it wasn’t making a difference in the house, but it did for me. That’s the moment when I realized Kalia is a smart, serious self-aware gameplayer, and the moment I decided to root for her to win Big Brother 13.

(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.