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Big Brother 6: Why Maggie Wonby David Bloomberg -- 09/21/2005
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We already know Why Ivette Lost, but that does not completely explain why Maggie won. While Ivette did essentially hand Maggie the game, it was not a random action that came out of the blue. In fact, the way Ivette acted was set up over the entire game by the way Maggie played. She earned her way into the winner’s circle. Let’s take a look at why Maggie won.
Over the course of the season, we have examined why each player lost by looking back at What Big Brother 6 Houseguests Should Have Learned. Now it’s time to look at it one final time, but for the opposite reason. While Maggie certainly didn’t do everything right, she did enough.
The first rule, and the one most ignored all season long, is to scheme and plot. Throughout the summer, Maggie encouraged everybody else in her alliance to not scheme and plot. Indeed, when she saw somebody doing it – namely James – she made it her goal to evict him from the house.
But was her stance against scheming a form of scheming in itself? While we can never be entirely certain what is going on in somebody’s head, it does seem to me that Maggie had a plan. Indeed, in front of the jury she said that she had a strategy to create strong bonds – and she did. She created such strong bonds that people were willing to throw themselves on their swords for the good of the Friendship (for example, Jennifer). Those strong bonds helped bring Maggie to the finals.
Sure, the final paragraph of this rule notes that people should make alliances, not friends, and most of the Friendship failed in that regard. But Maggie managed to use those friendships as her alliance. What’s more, she used the bonds of friendship and some not-so-subtle threats to manipulate people into making sure they stayed with the Friendship. Everybody was told that if they went against the Friendship, the whole group would vote against them. Do I think that was true? No. In the end, the friends of whomever was left would have sucked it up and voted for them anyway. But Maggie put that fear into them, which partially accounts for Ivette making the fatal last eviction decision. (It doesn’t absolve her of blame, of course – I don’t go by the April method of blaming other people for the decisions made by somebody.)
Maggie also made an interesting statement during the jury questioning. She noted that she did not break anyone’s trust that she cared about. In other words, she was loyal to the Friendship, but anybody else was fair game. For example, she was the one who convinced Howie to go against his own alliancemates by targeting James and Sarah (which also earned Howie a Reality TV Hall of Shame Moment). That, my friends, is some definite scheming.
But Maggie knew where to draw the line. She stayed in the background, pulling strings here and there, directing traffic, manipulating people just a bit. She never contemplated any actions other than a straight ride to the end with the Friendship. So she certainly didn’t fail the part of the second rule that warns against scheming and plotting too much.
She did fail a bit in the second rule by having an openly known alliance, though. Then again, everybody did this season, so it really didn’t hurt her at all.
Perhaps Maggie’s greatest success was in the third rule, which says to pretend to be nice. At the end of the game, Maggie told us that she acted differently in the Big Brother house than she does in real life; meanwhile, Ivette was herself. In other words, Maggie understood that this was a game, and behaved accordingly. She was quiet, she didn’t open her mouth unless it was absolutely necessary, she bit her tongue, she played it smart. Everybody in the house was always complaining, whining, bitching, moaning. Maggie was usually the listener, nodding along but not generally launching into tirades of her own. Even when caught between two people in her own alliance, she did her best to remain neutral, always knowing the game was ongoing.
Did this make Maggie a rather boring person to watch? Yeah. But that was our problem, not hers. She was there to play the game, not to get mad at people and yell at them.
The fourth rule says to not let emotions control you. See above. Just as Maggie played nice, she did not allow herself to become overly emotional to the point that she lost sight of the game. Instead, she did just the opposite – she used emotions as part of her strategy.1 2 Next-->
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