Welcome folks to our fourth week of Big Brother Analysis for Season 10. This weekly article is not a recap of the episodes, live feeds, BBAD or any other “play by play” of the action, but rather a discussion about the show and its wacky characters. Unlike pretty much every other reality show, success or failure on Big Brother is almost always a result of interpersonal relationships between the houseguests as it is really just a “popularity contest” or is often the case, an unpopularity contest. Each week we’ll look at different strategies houseguests are using in their “social game,” evaluate its effectiveness in the house, and sometimes ponder how that strategy would work in real life.

One common theme over various seasons of Big Brother is that old familiar story. Two people form a strong relationship, one of them gets evicted, and the other vows revenge in a manner reminiscent of Michael Palin’s character Kenneth in A Fish Called Wanda. Animal lover Kenneth sought revenge against Kevin Kline for eating his pet fish by running him over with a steamroller in a hilarious low speed attack. Kenneth’s over-reaction to the situation and the fact that he drove an extremely slow vehicle while screaming “Revenge! Revenge!” seems par for the course on this show.

Ever since Dr. Evil Will sought revenge against Nicole and Hardy for evicting his first showmance Shannon, the housemates know that splitting up a close-knit couple can come with hurt feelings and possible repercussions. Last summer Eric vowed to avenge Jessica’s ouster, but fell quite short as he joined her in the jury house the very next week. Sure wildly indignant rage is fun viewing, but does it make sense in a reality show where the point is to vote people out, and is it ever useful game strategy? How dare you, other player, do something that is in your best interest rather than do something to further my best interest? The nerve of some people.

My Name is Inigo Montoya. You Killed My Father. Prepare To Die!

This week Michelle is Head of Household, and she won the HOH contest while still reeling from losing out on her chance to spend more time with Jessie. Michelle and Jessie had one very important thing in common: They are both in love with Jessie. Michelle doesn’t realize it yet, but having Jessie evicted probably spared her the future embarrassment of being a doormat Natalie, mooning over a completely indifferent Matt, as we witnessed and cringed last winter. Michelle’s mooning and unreciprocated crush on completely self-absorbed Jessie was cut mercifully short by the rest of the house. Does she thank them for saving her from herself? No, but I hear that the entire state of Rhode Island is chipping in for a thank-you note for Libra and Keesha. Actually, the residents of the Rhode Island and Michelle’s large family were probably responsible for the majority of the “America’s Choice” votes to evict Jessie, just hoping to save face for her.

Michelle seems to get inappropriately mad during the game, and that level of emotional gameplay isn’t usually effective in the long term. Michelle vented in the diary room that Libra should lose custody of her kids because she preferred winning a Hawaiian vacation rather than a wearing a red leotard for a week. Have you ever played “sneaky Santa” before, Michelle? Or watched this show either of the past two seasons? Or watched the episode of The Office where they did this same thing with holiday presents and the I-pod that Jim got for Pam was passed around to everyone.

The fact that April nominated Jessie after she promised Michelle that he would be “safe” in the HOH challenge the prior week is more of a reason to be angry. But who exactly should Michelle be angry with? April for the nomination (and Ollie, because he’s boinking April)? Libra and Keesha, for their campaign to keep Memphis at Jessie’s expense? Renny, for being old and not apologizing to Jessie more than 100 times for waking him up one night. Memphis, for not getting evicted. Dan, for being America’s Player (as interviews with Jessie indicate he illogically still blames Dan for America’s vote to evict him). Or Jerry for breathing. You can’t target everyone. Well, you can. And then you won’t miss. But what are you going to do next week then when you can’t be HOH?

Ok, We Get It, You’re Mad. What Next?

What is Michelle’s short term goal as HOH? Jessie thinks it is to nominate Libra and Keesha, with Dan and Renny as extra cannon fodder as needed. Her goal this week is likely to take out someone “responsible” for Jessie’s eviction. Unless she rethinks the strategy and starts making deals with people, this is not a strategy that can carry her to the end of the game.

What are her long-term goals that will help her win the whole show? I hope she has one, but I’ve yet to get a glimpse of it. Perhaps it is hiding behind all of that hair.

That is one of the biggest strategy problems with letting the whole house know that you are motivated by revenge – your fellow housemates will remember what a pain you are, and choose to take YOU out next rather than one of your friends the next time you’re not in the power positions in the house.

You can’t win the game if you’re evicted, but if you stay in the house, you’re still in it. Just like Dan, who sure seemed like a goner after Brian’s eviction in Week 1. But Dan made a shrewd move and rather than getting angry and vowing revenge, he picked another path. That path just happened to be groveling for a chance to every HOH and appearing pathetically weak in every challenge, but it has worked for him thus far.

If anyone can think of an instance where vowing revenge and targeting “those responsible” for their friend’s eviction actually worked out as a long-term strategy, please post and let us know. Otherwise, what the heck, remember it’s a game and other people aren’t there to help you win.