With the game quickly winding down, players are beginning to put into motion the final strategic moves that will propel them to the end. With the finale only a few weeks away, I thought it would fun to examine each player's strategy this week and what they need to focus on moving forward if they hope to win. Spoiler alert, the ladder pretty much consists of targeting Cody. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.
Let's start with Memphis, whose game came to an end this week. After losing in his original season to one of the greatest of time, Memphis came into Big Brother All-Stars with hopes of breaking out of Dan Gheesling's shadow. Suffice it to say, Memphis did show his strategic chops throughout the season, even if he misplayed some of his hand later in the game.
Memphis came on strong this season, forming a final two with the other houseguest whose Big Brother legacy was losing the game as part of a dynamic duo, Cody. From this alliance, he was able to build The Committee, which controlled the house every week of the season. On top of all of this, Memphis won several competitions, cementing himself as a front runner to win this season.
With that said, Memphis's game isn't without its warts. His unrelenting desire to target David was a mistake, especially during the triple eviction when larger targets such as Cody, Tyler, and Dani remained off the block. Memphis, fearful of angering his alliance, choose to stay loyal to The Committee instead of making a move that would benefit his game.
The David vote proved to be a turning point in Memphis's game. Quite frankly, his game awareness was lacking from that point on. He made two alliances named the Wise Guys, consisting of Enzo in both along with Cody in one and Christmas in the other. On the surface, this is a smart strategy that would have positioned Memphis well in the end.
Unfortunately for him, he didn't account for Enzo's relationship with Cody. Immediately after forming these alliances, Enzo used this information to turn Cody against Memphis. Similarly, he wasn't fully aware of the relationship between Cody and Nicole, and Nicole went straight to Cody to let him know Memphis was trying to hop on the back door Cody plan that Christmas was pushing with Nicole. This sealed Memphis's fate, even if Enzo did prefer Christmas to go home.
In the end, it was Cody's clout with the rest of the house that got him sent packing. Perhaps that will be his biggest regret, letting Cody have too much power in The Committee. Then again, much of the house will probably feel a similar way.
And with that, Memphis is off to the jury. He set out this season to prove he was just as strategic as Dan Gheelsing. While he made a few blunders along the way, Memphis demonstrated a keen strategic mind, confirming the Renegades were more than just the Dan Gheesling show.
Nicole had a good week overall. She won head of household, the veto, and was able to evict the one houseguests she doesn't have a working relationship with, Memphis. If the jury segments have illustrated anything, it's that the evicted houseguests don't think Nicole is playing a great game. I think this week will go a long way in dispelling that idea, even if she has a lot of work left to do if she wants to win.
Her best move this week was strengthening her relationship with Christmas. At this point in the game, Nicole has limited options if she wants to sit in the finale chairs. While Nicole does have a final two deal with Cody, she is starting to realize she cannot win against him. Forming a partnership with Christmas, who has made it know she intends to target Cody, provides another avenue for Nicole to finale night.
With all of that said, Nicole has a lot of work left to do. Whether she likes it or not, she is going to have to vote out Cody if she wants to win. More importantly, she has to be the one to do it. If Christmas or Enzo vote him, they get the credit and respect from the jury. People see her riding Cody's coattails, so she has to make some big moves and win a few more competitions over the next few weeks if she hopes to win Big Brother a second time.
Christmas spent time on the block for the second week in a row. Honestly, I am not sure if she has a good shot at winning at this point in the game. She doesn't have any big moves on her resume, and she's lost an ally in back to back weeks. Still, Christmas is a fighter and won't give up easily.
What I think Christmas is doing well is making her intentions to target Cody well known. She doesn't have much strategic power in the house, but Enzo and Nicole need Cody to go home if they want to win. Working over Nicole this week opened up a new door thought previously closed. While I still struggle to see her making it out of the final four, she is more than capable of winning a competition. Perhaps she can secure herself with a timely HOH or veto win.
Either way, her path to the end game isn't abundantly clear, making her road a difficult one to traverse.
Enzo had a relatively quiet week overall. Despite coming into the game determined to perform well in challenges, Enzo sucked it up in the HOH again this week and didn't fare much better in the veto competition. Plus, his comic cover is by far the most terrifying in the shows history.
While Enzo hasn't been physically dominating competition like he hoped, he has been a social force throughout the season. Enzo has a working relationship with everyone left in the house and wasn't even a consideration for the nomination this week. Unlike Christmas, it is hard to envision a finale night that doesn't include Enzo.
Where there is a concern for Enzo is his likelihood of actually winning. The jury views him as a follower, a lackey of Cody who just did his bidding. I also think he will get a bad rap for walking around, espousing his desire to make a big move and then failing to do so when given the opportunities. I could easily see Christmas and Tyler holding the Nicole vote against Enzo.
If Enzo has any shot at winning, he needs to, well, start winning. He can no longer sit back and wait for big moves to happen. He needs to win some of the competitions in these final weeks if he wants to make the moves that will get him to the end.
And much like the rest of the house, the move he needs to make is to vote out Cody.
Finally, this brings us to the man everyone should target, Cody. Cody once again dictated the vote this week, a reoccurring trend this season. How no one has even considered targeting him at this point is astounding.
Much like Enzo, it's debatable if Cody made the right move this week. Memphis was adamant he was voting Cody out when he got the chance, but I believe he would have waited until the final three. You may not like Memphis, but he is a straight shooter who, on several occasions, indicated he wanted to keep the Wise Guys alliance to the end. Plus, a final three eviction is a chance to make a big game move on your own. Evicting Cody would have pretty much guaranteed a victory. So it's safe to assume Cody wouldn't have been Memphis's target in the final four.
With all of that said, it was probably the right move to vote out Memphis. While Christmas is coming after him, she hasn't done much this season. Memphis, on the other hand, was a real threat to win the game overall. So in picking between two people coming after him, Cody chose to evict the person with the better shot of beating him in the end.
Cody stands with the best chance of winning Big Brother: All-Stars. He has yet to see the nomination block and has won numerous competitions while seemingly staying under the radar somehow. His game may be boring, but it has allowed him to control the house this whole season.
However, this week is going to be the most difficult for him to navigate. With only four houseguests remaining, the veto winner cast the sole vote to evict. If he doesn't win the HOH competition or the veto, Cody could find himself in real danger of getting evicted. If he manages to make it through this week, though, Cody will probably be back in a finale chair. Only this time, Julie will be handing him the check for half a million dollars.