RNO Roundtable: Who Should Win ‘Big Brother 4’?by RealityNewsOnline Staff -- 09/22/2003
We’re down to the final two – Alison and Jun. Neither is exactly the favorite person for most fans (though each do have a few people rooting for them), but one of them has to win. The questions now: Who should it be? Who will it be? There are a number of ways to address this issue, whether strategy or who is nastier or more arrogant or what have you. So the writers of RealityNewsOnline gathered together once again to put forth their views. Let’s see what Sting7, Ken Kellam III, Jeffrey D. Sadow, David Bloomberg, Brian James, and Paris Cosby think:
Sting7: In terms this season of Big Brother, it may as well have been called "This One's For You Danielle!" For the first time, only the seven prior evicted HouseGuests will vote as a jury between the final two. And, for the first time, the evicted HouseGuests are sequestered. The only parts of the show they will get to see are the competitions and the evictions themselves. No Diary Room confessionals. Had they done that last year, Danielle Reyes might have been $500,000 richer.
Neither Jun nor Ali have exactly been hothouse flowers in the Diary Room. Both outspoken women were extremely outspoken in there. But, Ali's comments eclipsed even Danielle's bravura. "Yeah, I lied," she'd snort. Her face showing as much remorse as it did green spots. All those tears when her savior Nathan got axed, false. Was she sorry to see Jack go? Not at all. Her tears when evicting Erika? Just acting. Not even a test of her range, she'd say. Alison may go down as the most despised player in BB history, and that is saying something.
But even her biggest detractors have to admit, she played a hell of a game. Off the top of my head, Alison has won three or four HOHs, two POVs, survived two nominations, and is in fact the only contestant to be pulled from the eviction block! Besides that, she has masterfully managed to slither from the Stooges to the Alliance, without actually joining either. Both camps knew she was slithering and neither was able to do anything about it. Just when it looked like her game would catch up to her, she'd win something. Seemingly effortlessly.
Jun played a good game as well. She cooked every meal (unless it was already prepared as a luxury prize) every day in the house. She's stirred up some trouble and slithered for a while, but ultimately banded with the Alliance to oust the Stooges. But, her résumé is nowhere near as sparkling as Alison's.
I get the sense the jury's sequestration (playing in paradise for weeks) has soothed the bruises they felt from losing the game and all of them, even Alison's fiercest rivals, appear ready to make a sound, gameplay-based decision.
And that is why Alison will win BB4. Then, when they see her Diary Room commentary, they will kill her.
Ken: At least we know this couldn't have been scripted: Why would any writer in his right mind have such disgusting characters in his final two? Choosing between Alison and Jun is like choosing whether to have a thumbtack driven in your eye or a nail hammered into your ear: Which one would be less painful? Alison comes across, to me at least, as being far more cocky then Jun, and I hope she doesn't win, if only to see her put in her place. However, the choice is the jury's, and most likely, they'll vote for Alison, based on the way she played the game, and then kick themselves after they see her snide comments about everyone, as Sting7 noted above. It's a little like the first season of Survivor, where Rich Hatch was voted the winner, and then everyone saw the way he trashed them in confessionals.
Jeffrey: While nobody deserves to win, Jun deserves not to lose. Up against mostly strategic zeroes, she had the guile to figure these people were easily manipulable, did so, and then she allied with Alison, the woman who will do anything to run in front and (maybe) could have only beaten Dana or Scott, just at the right time. She would not have had a prayer against the likes of Danielle from BB3, but against this group, it's more than enough. I don't consider schmoozing and being attracted to the hot group or person like a moth to a flame much of a strategy, but it is a good way for a player like Jun to use you for her own purposes, so that's why Alison definitely does deserve to lose.
David: I’m going to have to disagree with a couple of my esteemed colleagues about who will win. Let’s take a look vote-by-vote:
Jun automatically gets Dana’s vote because there is simply no way in Hell Dana would ever vote for Alison. Since she’s been sleeping with Justin, I’m going to say that Justin will also vote for Jun – he doesn’t want to piss off Dana! So that’s two for Jun. None of the rest are so easy to read.
The other Stooges might go the way of Justin, depending on how strongly he wants to push the issue. We know Rob didn’t like Alison, but he was never terribly fond of Jun, either. Still, Alison was the one to say she would 99% probably take him to the final two, and then not do it. Is he mad or does he realize he was outplayed? I don’t know for sure, but I think if he’s leaning towards voting for Jun and talks at all with Justin, he will go full over to Jun. If so, that’s three for Jun – she only needs one more.
Jee still looks up to Jun as his caretaker. Even though he has made it clear that he doesn’t want to see her again, some feelings are still there. He might not vote for her because he felt they were allies and she voted him out, but on the other hand, he may realize it was good gameplay. I honestly think in the end, Jee will vote for Jun. If so and all my other predictions are correct, Jun wins.
But in case I’m not right, let’s keep going. Nathan. Wow. Where to begin? He knows he was stabbed in the back by Alison, but after being voted out, he kept wanting to see her so he could snuggle with her. Ew. Every fiber of my being is saying he will vote against her, but I still think he might ignore rational thought and vote for her. We’ll call his vote up in the air.
Erika seems to be the type who understands it was all a game. Same with Jack. It would not surprise me at all if both of them vote for Alison because of gameplay. On the other hand, it would not surprise me at all if both of them felt betrayed enough by her to go with Jun. On the third hand, both Alison and Jun betrayed the Originals alliance, so who knows. I give up!
So I can’t give a specific vote-by-vote breakdown. But based on what I’ve laid out here, I do think the jury will vote Jun the big prize.
Should they? That’s another tough question. While Sting7 is right in saying that Alison played the hell out of the game, there are different ways to play. Jun and Alison were both floaters, but while Alison drew attention to herself, Jun tried to stay under the radar. A perfect example is when Nathan came into the HOH room while Jun was there (not HOH, but in the room) and started slamming her for being two-faced, etc. If that had been Alison, she would have cried, screamed, stomped, pouted, etc. Jun just looked at him and basically said, “Oh, really?” And it worked. She didn’t respond to him and his claims fell on deaf ears. In the meantime, she made a secret alliance with Jee that was never really discovered, and plunged the knife into his back when the time was right. She made sure that Alison knew she was the only person Alison could possibly beat at the end, thus making it to the final two without having to be the one to boot Robert.
Both women are nasty and said a number of horrible things both in private and to other HouseGuests, so I won’t even consider that aspect. But in the end, I think that it could be argued that Jun should win. She played the game similar too Alison in some ways, but very different in others. By allowing Alison to be the focus of attention, she has put herself into a situation very similar to Dr. Will of Big Brother 2. Sure, she lied and played both sides, but she’s up against a psycho, just as Will was up against Nicole. It might just work for Jun, too.
Brian: As far as the game itself, this was a pretty decent season. There were lots of shake-ups and shifts in the power bases - it never devolved into the Big Brother equivalent of Pagonging. It definitely wasn’t predictable. The TV shows themselves overall were quite good; furthermore, you almost needed to watch them because the Diary Room confessionals were the only way you could figure out what was going on inside some of the players’ heads.
The problem? Well, the charitable way to put it would be that by and large, most of these people just weren’t all that likable. The blunt way: what the hell kind of rock did they find most of these people under? I found it hard to like or root for anybody beyond David, Jack, and Erika - one of whom left all the way back in the third week. (I also liked Amanda and Michelle, but they left way too early to really develop any sort of rooting value; honestly, I barely remember them at this point.)
The best I could say for any of the others was that they were OK. And the ignorance, prejudice, homophobia, and just general ugliness that came flying out of the majority of the players’ mouths on the live feeds was completely appalling. (I’m not counting Erika’s apparent slur against Jee because for one, it seems completely incongruous with the rest of her behavior in the house, where in general she was one of the most compassionate people there, and for another, there’s a school of thought that she was just imitating something Jee said about himself in a joking manner or something along those lines. But even if it was meant in the worst possible light - again, what does that say about this season that with only one ignorant comment as opposed to tons, she was still one of the most likable people in the big picture? This isn’t open to an email debate or rehash, by the way - this is all I care to say or hear on the subject.)
Therefore, this year had a much different feel to it than the two previous seasons. I’ve watched shows like Love Cruise and Paradise Hotel where there are one or two decent people, but by and large I just wanted to throw the whole lot overboard, so I’m not unfamiliar with that sort of dynamic; nor do I have a problem with it if I know going in that’s what to expect. But to have the same thing coming from Big Brother, where the past two seasons have been a great, balanced mix of people I loved, people I hated, and people in between? Was just extremely jarring and disappointing.
And as far as the much-ballyhooed X Factor - while it made for some occasional unlikely alliances, overall I much preferred watching a group of complete strangers develop bonds organically before our eyes, so it didn’t really work for me.
So basically, I feel like this season got half of a winning formula right, but the other half failed abysmally - so while it wasn’t horrible overall, I do think that it was the worst out of the three seasons (I don’t count the first season because the premise got so radically changed that it’s like comparing apples and oranges).
So who do I want to see win? Well, if there were a checkbox for “none of the above,” “do-over,” or “eject,” that’s what I and from what I can tell most of America would choose, for the reasons I’ve described above.
Basically, this is my philosophy on gameplay and strategy in these types of games. I realize that in order to make an omelet, you must break a few eggs. I realize that it’s pretty much impossible to make it to the end without someone feeling slighted or betrayed along the way. I don’t have a problem with that at all.
However, just because you make bold gameplay moves that could alienate people, that doesn’t give you a free pass to be a completely ugly and loathsome individual while doing so. It is possible to still come across as a basically decent and likable person who’s just doing what they have to do to win. Even Will from the second season falls into that category - yeah, he lied to everybody, but he said he was going to lie to everybody, and was just such a genuinely funny individual that he kept viewers in stitches. That’s a lot different than saying absolutely vicious things about fellow competitors for no valid reason and/or spewing a lot of prejudiced, hateful statements in general. When it comes to things like that, I don’t believe in just shrugging it off by saying, “Yeah, but they played a great game!” Because in no way, shape, or form do things like that have anything to do with the game or strategy. It’s just general ugliness, and I believe very strongly that negative behavior like that should not be rewarded - it’s rewarded enough, unfortunately, in real life.
So basically, we’re looking at a final two comprised of individuals who, among other things, think “gay” is an acceptable negative descriptive adjective, combine ethnic slurring and homophobia in charming descriptive phrases like “Cuban cocksucker,” and refer to blameless 7-year-old children as “little bitch[es].” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And we’re somehow supposed to be psyched about this or actively root for one of them to win. Joy!
Alison and Jun accomplished the impossible - they made me actively root for Robert. Robert! But at that point, he was spewing the least amount of hateful claptrap out of the three, and at least I knew his redeeming quality off the top of my head - he loved his daughter. I had to dig a little deeper to find Jun’s at this point, but all around, she looks like the lesser of the two evils. She’s the more intelligent of the two. While both fancy themselves complete cards and aren’t, comparatively, she’s the funnier of the two. For most of the game, I had a grudging respect for her - it’s only been recently that her stock has completely plummeted with me based on a lot of negative comments she’s made. At least Jun gave things back to the others - she cooked, cleaned, gave manicures and pedicures, etc. - so at least she was somewhat productive and proactive instead of being a complete slug. I have yet to come up with a single redeeming quality for Alison. OK, I lied - she was the house’s chief exterminator. Whoopee.
I think the jury will see things the same way. Basically, Jun and Alison played the exact same kind of game - floating back and forth between the two factions - but Jun managed to do so without being as obnoxious or ruffling as many feathers. And in the grand scheme of things, if the jury takes a look at two people who strategically are comparatively equal, they’re going to reward the more likable of the two. At this point, that would seem to be Jun.
Paris: At this point of BB4, I'd like to see Alison win. I know I've said some nasty things about her but I have to give her credit. She has played one hell of a game. Not only has she avoided eviction numerous times, she's won a number of competitions, as mentioned by Sting7 already. She hasn't skated through on cooking the way Jun has. As far as personality goes, I think Jun (as nasty as she is as well) has an edge over Alison. But she hasn't played a proactive game the way Alison has.
Hate her or love her, the girl has been the star of the show since the get-go. It's almost as if it was scripted for her. Big Brother 4 has been Alison's game and I think she deseves to win it (at least more than Jun anyway).
Conclusion: So, out of the RealityNewsOnline writers, we have three who vote for Alison and three who vote for Jun. But almost everybody (both here and in every house where somebody watches the show) agrees that if they could pick somebody other than those two, they would!
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