One of the greatest players never to win the game was evicted in 12th place on Big Brother 14. Comp Queen Janelle Pierzina, who finished third in seasons 6 and 7, was sent home in a vote of 8-1, and while some fans (and even some HGs) are regretting the decision, I think it was the right move.
While Janelle may have been amazing six or seven years ago, she was not the same player this time around. She was scheming, manipulative and floated to power every single week, whether it was being BFFs with Britney or reuniting her tenuous alliance with Boogie from season 7.
Janelle’s downfall, however, was her complete and utter failure as a coach.
Sure, the reset button was pushed and the game presumably started over, but those first three weeks of Big Brother 14 weren’t entirely useless. They gave the four returning players a chance to form bonds and alliances with the newbies. Those three weeks were a time where the coaches could gain allies for the inevitable time when they would join the game (something Janelle was clearly aware of the entire time).
Instead, Janelle did none of this. Janelle browbeat her three players, giving them orders on what to do and basically acting like a puppet master. She even told Wil that she was largely responsible for him staying safe, a comment that started the giant chasm between those two.
Janelle didn’t respect the newbies. She was under the impression that, because she’s the great and powerful Janelle, that their opinions didn’t matter. Yes, playing the game once before gives her a leg up, but it doesn’t mean Joe, Ashley and Wil couldn’t bring anything to the table. Janelle was so stubborn about trying to play “the game” that she forgot about having to play the players as well.
Compare this strategy to those of the other three coaches. Dan used positive reinforcement with Danielle, making her feel like a part of the decision-making process. Like Abed in the Community video game episode, he maxed out her trust and affection levels so that he could literally program her any way he wanted to.
Britney, whether on purpose or it’s just her nature, took more of a backseat and let her players walk all over her, with Willie and Shane making most of the decisions while she just went along for the ride. Boogie, finally, may have completely ignored and dismissed Ian and Jenn, but he invested all of his money in Frank and its paying off nicely as he was a 100 percent loyal ally.
So when the coaches entered the game, Dan, Britney and Boogie all had totally loyal newbies willing to work with them, but Janelle did not. As soon as the button was pressed, she was eager to make it Coaches vs. Newbies. But that’s not a narrative the other coaches were willing to embrace.
If Janelle had treated the newbies with respect instead of acting like she was above them, perhaps she would’ve had loyal allies as well.
It’s easy to say the game needs to be Coaches vs. Newbies, and some of the remaining HGs still believe that (most notably Wil and Ashley), but it’s not. I genuinely believe that if any of three coaches were given a choice at the end of taking a newbie or a coach to the finale, they would all choose a newbie.
Boogie will vote out Dan or Britney before he goes after Frank. Dan will target Boogie and Britney before Danielle (and maybe Ian). And Britney would easily get rid of Dan and Boogie before Danielle (and maybe Shane and Ian).
The purpose of the first three weeks of Big Brother 14 was to ensure that this season would NOT become Coaches vs. Newbies like it did last year. Unfortunately, Janelle didn’t understand that. You get out of the game what you put in, and Janelle put in a complete and utter lack of respect for anyone else’s abilities. It’s no surprise that she got evicted so early because of it.
(Image courtesy of CBS)