Watching the current season of Big Brother, I find myself in a state of forced optimism. I've seen comments from people across the internet complaining about this season being one of the series' worst. The racism controversy may have contributed to that at least a little bit, and some could argue that the MVP twist played a role. I also wouldn't argue against the theory that casting too many early-twenty-somethings turned Big Brother into The Real World in its earlier weeks when it seemed like half the house had paired up for showmances before the feeds had even come on. But I think Big Brother 15 can be salvaged. There's still game left to be played and more than enough time and houseguests for things to turn around. Heck, if Aaryn can find her inner "good witch" and show us her more likable side, there's no reason some of the other houseguests can't either.

I watch the feeds. My dedication to them has varied a bit over the past month due to other commitments, but I've been keeping up with what's going on behind the scenes, so this mini-rant comes from the full picture, not just the episodes. But in all fairness, I don't think Big Brother has skewed things all that much in the edit they've given of certain houseguests. Whether or not the conspiracies about Amanda having producer-connections are true, it's certainly not coming through in her edit. Granted, she's said some off-color things, mostly in jest from what I've seen, and the episodes haven't showcased that as they did with Aaryn, but the last couple of weeks haven't featured her favorably. In fact, Amanda is one of the two houseguests I have a big issue with. I like Amanda. Or I liked the Amanda that came into the house, speaking her mind, making people laugh and making game moves. The Amanda we've seen on the feeds and the one featured in the episodes seems to have lost her game.

I don't fault Amanda for feeling frustrated that she hasn't won any competitions or even for admitting her irritation that McCrae didn't throw her the last HoH - never mind that she might have lost it to Andy anyway. I can't blame her for being emotional at this point in the game. It's just really hard to watch. And that's pretty much the issue I have with Amanda. The human side of me sympathizes with her frustrations and moodiness, as I can only imagine what it would be like being trapped inside the Big Brother house for more than a month. But she's taking it out on everyone in the house, including McCrae. It seems like she's lost her energy or spark or whatever enjoyment of the game she had coming into the house. Whether or not that can be regained, I don't know, but it'd be great if it did.

Amanda's been playing one of the better games in the house, and the smart thing to do would be to play up the "I can't win anything" as strategy. It's her biggest selling point at this stage of the game. People are threatened by her because she has influence. She can offset that by playing up this frustration she's experiencing. The problem is, she isn't doing that. She's just being frustrated and wallowing. So instead of using her losses as strategy, it's being turned into segments that show her looking like a sore loser. So as much as I feel for Amanda and any other houseguest showing signs of emotional exhaustion, as a viewer, I'd really like to see her put her chin up and get her head back in the game.

I don't even know what to think about McCrae. On one hand, I think he genuinely likes Amanda, so I'm not going to suggest he's faking his showmance with her at this point because he has no other choice. But on the other hand, Amanda could end up wrecking his game if she doesn't get it together. And I don't think McCrae has the words to pep Amanda up and get her to turn around. He's tried talking to her and nothing's changed. So he may be better off if she goes home. But I'd much rather see Amanda have a turn-around, much in the way we've seen Aaryn turn around. With that in mind, it took losing her showmance and most of her allies for Aaryn to stand up and really start to playing for herself. Maybe McCrae has to leave for Amanda to do the same. As a McCrae fan, I really don't want to see that happen, but I do think showmances sometimes make players lazy in their game.

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