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I can’t in all honesty say that when the eleventh season of Big Brother premiered in early July that I could’ve pictured Jordan, Kevin and Natalie being the last three houseguests standing. It wasn’t that I had particularly negative opinions of any of them (though I did note Natalie’s cockiness during the first endurance competition), I guess I just didn’t see any of them as stand-out players. Then again, so much happens during a season of Big Brother that it’s never really easy to predict who’s going to emerge on top. Even looking back, if I could have my pick of this season’s final three, I’m not sure I would choose the ones we have. I think the most interesting trio might have been Kevin, Jeff and Michele with Jordan and Russell tied for fourth. That’s not to be the case though so we have to look toward tomorrow’s finale with hopes that whoever wins, we’ll feel satisfied with the conclusion of the season.
Tomorrow night Kevin and Jordan will face off as the final part of the Head of Household competition takes place. Whoever wins will have to choose who they want to take to the final two. While Kevin has talked a lot about taking Jordan, there’s no guarantee that he’ll do that and we don’t really know who Jordan’s going to take if she wins it, so the whole thing is up in there air. With that, I’m trying to prepare myself for all possible outcomes. So let’s take a look at the final three contestants and I’ll share some thoughts that I have on how I think they played, whether or not I think they “deserve” to win and how I’ll feel if they do.
Game strengths - Loyalty, kindness and graciousness. Sure, she threw down with Russell, giving him a chest-bump after he threw a few insults her way but for the most part, the adorable blonde was more passive when it came to the drama. She wasn’t a pushover but she wasn’t unnecessarily mean either. As far as I can tell, she stayed true to herself. That’s a game strength as I think everyone in the house pretty much knew where she was coming from. She could be counted on to vote whichever way she said she was going to vote. Being unpredictable didn’t help Russell or Ronnie, so Jordan gets kudos not only for her kindness but also for her loyalty to her friends and her honest approach to the game.
Game weaknesses - Some of her closest friends and allies were picked off early in the game, putting her and Jeff at a disadvantage when the competition started to get steeper. Jordan and Jeff may have made a mistake in getting Russell out too soon. Many would argue that I’m sure, however since we don’t really know how things would’ve turned out if Russell stayed, there’s no way to know for sure how big of a mistake that was to them. Jordan also seemed to put more trust in Natalie and Kevin than she should have. She wasn’t the greatest at competitions but I think if she had been, she might not have been kept around as long as she was. I don’t credit this as strategy though, so it counts as a weakness.
Why she deserves to win - Eh, I’d be happy on a personal level if Jordan won because she’s so sweet. This especially applies if she’s up against Natalie. While I can’t say she’s a stronger competitor than Kevin or a better strategist than Natalie, she played the game honestly and if the jury decides to reward her for that, I’d say she’s earned it.
Game Strengths - Lying and making friends with the right people. Natalie had a way of hiding behind bigger targets like Jessie, Russell, Chima and Lydia. Her deceitfulness, which I don’t count against her because lying is a classic BB game-playing tactic, helped save herself and Kevin from eviction when Jeff was Head of Household. That was a key game move and while it was Kevin that told the lie, it was Natalie pulling the strings. Little did she know that she was merely fanning the flames of Jeff and Jordan’s paranoia (which really wasn’t all that baseless). All the same, it was a crucial game move that pushed herself and Kevin further in the game not only by avoiding eviction but also by eliminating Russell.
Game Weaknesses - The unnecessary lie about her age and the stupid final-two reversal lie after she opened Pandora’s box. While lying might be one of Natalie’s strengths in the game, she may have cost herself the win either by lying about her real age or else, by admitting the truth to Jessie. I’m not sure the lie was even necessary as I don’t really think anyone underestimated her for her age as much as they did because she wasn’t winning anything. That’s another weakness that, much like Jordan, I can’t consider strategy as she wasn’t throwing competitions. She should’ve either told the truth about her age from the beginning or else kept the secret to herself. Telling Jessie was a bad play as he’s told everyone on the jury and some don’t appear to be very happy about it. Whether or not they change their minds and decide it was a good game move, remains to be seen.
The final-two reversal lie was just over the top. Not only did she not admit to getting any kind of incentive for opening Pandora’s box, but she told a lie that was so unbelievable that she was forced to admit the truth when she realized no one, including her ally Kevin believed her. Had she just admitted to getting a few minutes with her boyfriend, she could’ve added that it cost her the chance to play for Veto. She could have even said she didn’t know that was going to happen and washed her hands of the issue (which Kevin didn’t appreciate). And if she wanted to take it a smidge-further, she could have said she was going to lose one jury vote. That might have been believable. In the end, Kevin’s suspicion of her got worse and that could make it easier for him to turn his back on her if he decides to do that, should he win the final HoH.
Why she deserves to win - The lies, I guess. I really don’t want her to win either way though. I have no problem with villains in this game as long as they’re entertaining villains. Natalie’s cockiness and sore loser/winner attitude was never fun to witness. If she wins against Kevin or Jordan, I’ll be disappointed. But if she gets taken to the end and she wins, technically she “deserves” it because that’s how the game goes.
Game Strengths - Never losing sight of the game or reality. I have to say, watching Kevin in the episodes and occasionally on the feeds, it was hard to say where he was coming from but his diary room sessions revealed a lot. From what he said in private, it seems he was always playing the game and was ever observant of how people reacted to things. He chose not to use the Veto to save his pal Lydia earlier in the season and somehow that didn’t come back to bite him. His comments on the girls grieving the loss of Jessie were not only hilarious but they also showed that while they were all devastated, he was remembering the times Jessie burned them in the game. His alliance with Natalie seemed more strategic than anything and he never got too comfortable with her, nor did he blindly trust her, which I think will work in his favor no matter who he chooses to bring to the finals with him tomorrow night, if he wins the last HoH competition.
Game Weaknesses - I won’t lie and say I fell in love with Kevin from the start but in truth, right now I’m having a hard time thinking of any real weaknesses. Even when it came to the drama, with the exception of his fight with Braden, he stayed in the shadows, not abandoning his friends/allies while also not putting himself in the position to be remembered as a bad-guy when all was said and done. Memphis used a similar approach last season (I recall him actually leaving the room when fights broke out). I think out of all three final contestants, Kevin’s big weakness will be revealed if he loses the final HoH and isn’t taken to the final two or if he does make it to the final two and somehow botches his answers during the jury questioning. Whether he realizes it or not, he’s probably got the best chances of winning as it stands right now.
Why he deserves to win - See above. I wouldn’t have pegged Kevin as being BB winner material for the start, though maybe I should have. He seemed to have most of the houseguests pegged from the beginning and he used his intuition and observational skills to slip through the cracks when necessary and rise up and win when he needed to. Like Jordan and Natalie, he could’ve won more competitions but like both of the girls, if he had, he might not have made it as far as he did. If he wins against Jordan or Natalie, I definitely wouldn’t be surprised or disappointed.
So what do you think? I know Jordan’s probably the favorite among most viewers. She’s adorable, nice and her showmance with America’s favorite (and likely candidate for the America’s Choice prize) Jeff was as sweet as candy but I think there’s a good argument for Kevin to deserve the prize and a decent one for Natalie, even if it means having to watch her win (and gloat).
Big Brother 11: Who Deserves To Win