Wow… I’m not sure where to start! It has been a rollercoaster this week, but, by far, the best part was being able to hear from my girlfriend Mel!!!! This game is excruciatingly difficult and it has a way of making you feel like you are all alone in the world at times, so reading her letter and seeing pictures of my family was just what the doctor ordered!!! :)
As far as strategy goes, so much went down this week and I want to let you all into what I was thinking along the way, so here goes:
To begin with, I’ll break down a “helicopter view” of how I perceive the house to be organized in terms of strategic alliances. (You may have seen me make a model out of gummy bears at various points in my HoH room in an attempt to visualize these dynamics.)
Coming into this week, the house was divided into five interconnected subgroups: In one corner, you had the remnants of the Old Insider Alliance—these aren’t real alliance names, just my descriptions for ease of explanation—with Jason, James, and Meg. Across the house, you had The Go-To Pawns with Jon, Steve, and Becky. Between them was the Power Couple with Shelly and Clay. In another group was “JJ” with Jeff and Jackie ,who were loosely aligned with the Old Insiders and also had ties with The Power Couple, as well as The Pawns. And, finally, you had “3.5,” alluding to the fact that we are 3.5 people since Liz’s twin was half-way into being allowed into the house, with myself, Austin, and Liz.
That leaves Audrey, who—through our Sleeper Cell alliance, which includes Audrey, Shelly, Clay, myself, and Austin—was sitting between 3.5 and The Power Couple. Oh, yeah. And I have a budding alliance with Steve called SOS, which I want to note here for completeness.
After Austin and I won HoH, we decided to initially take a shot at the Old Insiders—specifically James, since I felt that he was the strongest player of the three. (Not to mention he had lied to me about his motivations for evicting Jace, so I didn’t trust him.) This was because our corner had the least ties to the Old Insiders and JJ—and since JJ was only comprised of two people and the Old Insiders was made up of three, we decided to launch a missile in their direction.
We set it up so that Meg and Jason would be on the block on Austin’s side and James and John (as our pawn) would sit on mine. We really wanted John and James to lose the BOB so that I would remain in power because Austin already has a target on his back. (He’s a beast and he’s in an obvious duo with Liz.) Plus, I was confident that I could make the moves that needed to be made this week without creating too big of a target for myself.
Luckily for us, things worked out for us with the BOB, and John and James remained on the block, leaving me as the sole HoH for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, the POV didn’t go as well. And while Austin had a shot to win in the finals against John, he decided in the moment to let John take it and minimize the blood on his hands.
Austin agreed that morning if it came down to him and John, he would give it 100-percent because he knew it was best if the POV remained in our hands and allowed us to keep nominations the same—and minimize the blood that I was getting on my hands this week. So, when Austin throws the final round to John, I began to doubt my alliance with Austin for the first time. We had been going strong since day two when we made a final two deal, but now I was forced to wonder if Austin was really willing to work as a team or if we was just going to look out for himself.
Once John won the POV, the whole house was expecting me to backdoor Audrey, but I had other plans. I preferred to put up another pawn next to James or appease my allies Clay, Shelly, and Austin, who were all gunning for Jeff to go up as a backdoor target. While Clay, Shelly, and Austin all had reasons for wanting Jeff gone—he had lied to all of them and thrown each of them under the bus repeatedly—I didn’t have any reason personally to put him up. I mean, yes, he was on the other side of the house so I wouldn’t mind it if he left, but I didn’t have any reason that would make sense to the house for putting him up instead of Audrey.
This is where “Operation Expose Jeff” comes into play. Basically, I needed Clay, Shelly, and Austin to confront Jeff about his lies in public. I believed that if this happened, the rest of the house would begin to wonder about Jeff being some kind of manipulative mastermind, and with all the paranoia in the house, I could somehow spin it that he was a bigger threat to everyone than Audrey.
This was the plan….
But what I got ended up being even better! In the middle of Operation Expose Jeff, he decides to make one of the worst strategic moves I could have imagined. He turns to me—the HoH, who is looking for a replacement nominee, no less—and tries to make me the fall guy for his manipulations!!
Unfortunately for him, I think he underestimated my ability to defend myself and by the end of the night, he publicly admitted that he had lied. After that, his fate was pretty much sealed, and the decision to put him up next to James was an easy one.