Big Brother 4: Why Alison Lostby David Bloomberg -- 09/25/2003
Hmmm. Where to begin.
Well, by now youíve certainly seen the final episode and/or read the recap. So you know that Jun won in a landslide vote of 6-1 with only Nathan Ė Nathan! Ė voting for Alison and nobody being terribly interested in or excited by the outcome. So letís take a look at what Alison did to deserve such a whipping.
At the end of Big Brother 4, the finalists were both ďfloatersĒ Ė players who had jumped between alliances rather than being loyal to an alliance of their own. It served them well to get to that point but didnít exactly make lots of friends. Because of this maneuvering, the only choice each had at the end was to take the other to the finals.
Alison played a more active game. She won competitions, made promises she never intended to uphold, and went through many knives to stab people in the back. But she went beyond that. Alison also used, as Jun called them, ďpowers of persuasion.Ē She flirted. She made out. She hopped into bed with almost every guy (literally, not in the usual ďwink winkĒ meaning Ė though in bed there was definitely some of that flirting and making out). Itís one thing to make an alliance and stab somebody in the back. Itís taking it to another level to make out and then stab them in the back!
Yes, I know, the one she made out with the most was Nathan and he voted for her. I think he felt like he had been outplayed and should give credit where credit is due. Or something. Iím not really sure what was running through his mind. But in any event, even though Nathan voted for her, everybody else thought that what she did was, to steal a term from Michelle, ďdisgusting.Ē She didnít just beat them all, she was unnecessarily nasty on top of it.
But this is really where we see that Alison didnít understand how the jury felt. In their questions to her, she emphasized how hard she worked, how she won competitions, etc. That was fine Ė it was pretty much the only strategy she could have employed at that point to set her apart from Jun. But at other points in her answers, she just screwed up. For example, telling Erika that she rode on Alisonís coattails? Ugh. Itís one thing to say that Erika would obviously have beaten her on a jury vote, but that answer was over the top and definitely did not secure Erikaís vote, which should have been her goal. Then she talked about how superior she was to Jun in response to Robís question. Ugh again.
While neither of these answers would have changed the game, it shows what she was thinking. She was thinking of herself as Dr. Will from Big Brother 2. In fact, she was more like Nicole from that same series. Will brought along Nicole because she was the only one he could beat. She had alienated so many people that even Willís lying and backstabbing would seem tame by comparison. And he was right. The same held true here. The simple fact is that Alison did not consider the jury aspect of the game until it was far too late. Jun even told her as much in their final week in the house. Alison made a comment about hoping that everybody doesnít hate her and Jun said itís a little late to be worrying about that now. And it was.
Alison could probably have gotten to where she did without all the nastiness. Most people who go into the Big Brother house (maybe excepting Michelle) expect some lying and some backstabbing and alliance-shifting. They donít expect the level of nastiness that Alison brought or the way she simply used people. Many of the things she did seemed to have less to do with the game than just with her own personality.
For example: Why did she hop into bed with and make out with David shortly before David would be voted out? There was simply no good reason. She tried to justify it, but it made no sense, and it only added to her reputation as a, well, slut/whore/whatever you want to call her. Several of the jurors commented on how she used her body and hopped into various beds.
Did she really have to make out with Nathan and engage in all the other activity with him? Was that necessary to secure his Veto? I dunno. Maybe she thought it was. But I have to think that he could have been convinced in other ways Ė ways that would have made him feel like it was more an alliance that shifted and less a personal betrayal when he got the boot.
Beyond that, she flat-out lied to people when she didnít need to. When Robert asked her, in the first part of the final HOH competition, if they could strike a deal, she said she was 99% certain she would take him. Baloney. She was 100% certain that she would not take him and tried to hedge. She knew she could outlast him, so why not just tell him that they should let it play out and see how it goes?
Situations and lies like this pervaded her entire game. By always telling people she was on their side, somebody was always getting stabbed in the back Ė and they remembered.
Letís look at the votes. We all knew that there was no way Dana would vote for Alison. Alison could have been up against Atilla the Hun and Dana would still not have voted for her. To some extent, thatís Alisonís fault for making it personal. She ignored the fact that she would need the jurorsí votes at the end, and only concentrated on what was good for her at that time (or what she thought was good for her at that time). It was also pretty obvious that Justin wouldnít vote for Alison Ė not just because he is sleeping with Dana now, but also because she kissed up to him (literally, in some cases) and then stabbed him in the back.
It was fairly obvious that Jee would vote for Jun as well, because he still seems to have some feelings towards her and also because she kept instilling in him that she was protecting him in the game. Alison, of course, was just plain nasty and helped thwart him at almost every turn.
Iím honestly not sure why Jack voted for Jun. We didnít see enough of his thought process, because the producers were intent on making us think he would be casting his vote for Alison, as we saw him defend her gameplay. I do think that if you go based solely on gameplay, Alison deserved a vote, but obviously Jack saw things differently. Certainly, Alison did nothing while he was in the house to indicate she was thinking about keeping his vote on her side at the end.
Iím similarly confused about Erikaís vote. Alison really did have no choice at the end but to evict her. Keeping her around would have likely led to a 7-0 vote and no chance to convince the jury otherwise. But, once again, Alison had flat-out promised Erika that she would be keeping her around. Then she broke that promise. Itís another case of Alison making too many promises to too many people when it wasnít necessary.
And, as discussed earlier, the same is true of Rob.
To put it in terms of my regular article on what Survivor contestants should have learned, Alison simply plotted and schemed too much. Thatís not the only rule she violated, of course. She also let her emotions become visible by not pretending to be nice. When you put these two together in a package like Alison, it spells doom.
The jury was not happy with the choice they had to make. Alison was the greater of two evils. She played in a manner that got her to the final two, but at the same time lost her the respect of the jury. They didnít need to see her Diary Room sessions to know how nasty she had been (although they did get to see them after voting and it only served to magnify their feelings). Alison played for the final two Ė cutting down everybody who stood in her path and not being shy about it. She indeed did make it to the final two, but thatís as far as she got Ė second place. When you play for the final two without any regard for how the jury will see you, itís unlikely that you will make it to #1. That is why Alison lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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