There have been many articles written analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the Houseguests on Big Brother 14 from the outside perspective. I thought you might enjoy how I would grade out (much like I would do to my football players after a game) the Houseguests from a first hand, direct, and unedited perspective from someone who has played the game with all of them.
This article is the second of a two part series grading out the Houseguests. In this article you will find out what Houseguests I ranked from 7th to 1st most effective in the game.
Disclaimer: These are my game related thoughts from inside the house only. These rankings should be taken strictly from a game perspective and not a personal one.
Before we get into the grades, just know that I waited about a week or so to let the dust settle before I sat down to grade everyone out.
I wanted to give time for things to calm down, so if my fellow Houseguests read this post themselves they would know this is my honest and non-personal opinion on their games as individuals (as if they actually care).
Let’s get right into the grading criteria that I used.
To me the game of Big Brother has always been about several things, not just winning competitions, or making alliances, but a using wide range of skills and attributes that are a necessity to do well in the game.
Oh and for the record, I have a great disdain for the term “social game.” The ENTIRE game is social. As a player I focused on the attributes that makes someone succeed in a social environment as opposed to just lumping it all together in such a vague and weak description.
There are 9 criteria each Houseguest was graded on:
- Like-ability: Do people actually enjoy your company in the house?
- Awareness: Are you aware of how you are perceived in the house? Do you have any clue what is going on in the house?
- Knowledge of the Game: Do you understand the basics of the game? Can you anticipate what challenges are on the horizon?
- Physical Ability: How well can you compete in physical challenges? How well can you compete in endurance challenges?
- Mental Ability: How well can you compete in mental challenges? How well can you compete in memorization and logic challenges?
- Relationships: Are you able to build relationships with the majority of the Houseguests? Is your alliance game tight?
- Influence: Can you get someone to do something for you, when you need them to do it?
- Self control: Are you able to control your emotions to further yourself in the game? Can you avoid fighting? Can you fake a fight?
- Playmaking: Do you have the ability to get it done when it counts? Do you bring some intangibles to the game?
Each Houseguest was ranked 1-15 in each of the 9 criteria. The LOWER the number the BETTER.
Example: Scoring a 1 in Awareness means that Houseguest was the MOST aware in the house, a 15 means they were the LEAST aware in the house.
After each Houseguest was graded out, their total rankings from each of the 9 grading criteria were then added up to determine their overall ranking.
In Part 2 we will take a look at the Houseguests who ranked 7th through 1st place according to the grading criteria, not the order of eviction.
Rankings 7th – 1st
- Like-ability: 1
- Awareness: 6
- Knowledge of the Game: 14
- Physical Ability: 12
- Mental Ability: 7
- Relationships: 4
- Influence: 7
- Self control: 7
- Playmaking: 8
- Total: 66
- Overall: 7th
The thing I respected about Jenn was that she used the tools she was given to make the best of her game. Jenn was extremely well liked in the house, I’m not sure ANYONE had any sort of dislike for her as a person. She treated everyone with respect and was very cognizant of everything she was doing. The maturity level of Jenn really became one of her greatest assets. She could both fit in and rise above any pettiness in the house.
Jenn City was able to connect with people and see through a lot of the phoniness in the house. I heard she did not get a lot of CBS air time but contrary to her edit she was very present in the game.
She may have laid low a lot in the game, but it was the type of game that she was best suited to play. In a small handful of situations Jenn lost her cool and I saw Brooklyn come out, but it wasn’t overly detrimental to her game. Jenn competed well in mental competitions and even had a strong showing in one physical veto comp beating both Ian and Danielle.
Quick Pregame Coaching Speech: “Jenn, I know you are used to burning the house down with Kittie, but if we can keep Brooklyn in check and get you one hidden alliance you’ve got a shot! ”
- Like-ability: 9
- Awareness: 5
- Knowledge of the Game: 1
- Physical Ability: 5
- Mental Ability: 3
- Relationships: 9
- Influence: 4
- Self control: 9
- Playmaking: 7
- Total: 52
- Overall: 6th
Janelle was just as dangerous this season as she was during her previous seasons. The odd thing about Janelle was that she got BETTER in physical challenges (Pirate Ship) since having a baby. Her knowledge and passion for the game is something I respected, so much so that I wanted to work with her secretly. I was willing to give up a lot to work with her exclusively because I knew how great of a player she was.
One of Janelle’s troubles this season was mixing it up too much, she jaded a few of her own players which ended up hurting her, thus her likability rating.
On top of that, her players went on further to hurt her exterior relationships in the game, making her seem untrustworthy.
I really enjoyed being around Janelle but others were intimidated by her. In the end, Janelle knew she was in trouble even though she had never been in that situation before (showing her awareness in the game). Had Janelle not got backdoored when she did, she would have made another run at the Final 3.
Quick Pregame Secret Talk: “Janelle you need to draft one player you can fully control and the other two draft weak, that way we can team up and run together if we get put in the game as players.”
- Like-ability: 11
- Awareness: 4
- Knowledge of the Game: 5
- Physical Ability: 1
- Mental Ability: 4
- Relationships: 11
- Influence: 6
- Self control: 8
- Playmaking: 1
- Total: 51
- Overall: 5th
Frank was a competition beast, ranking with the best of the best competition players from all seasons (Janelle & Rachel). Frank was great at both physical and mental competitions making him extremely difficult to beat head to head. He was the best at coming up with huge wins right when he needed them the (hence the #1 playmaking rating). His passion for the game was second to none.
The thing is, his competition skills and passion for the game made up his entire Big Brother arsenal, which was effective enough to get him to the jury, but not enough make a run at actually winning no matter what the scenario.
Diplomacy, influencing, reading people, and campaigning were not Frank’s strong suits. He brought his mental abilities to the challenges but not to the rest of the game, which is odd, because he is an intelligent guy.
Early on in the game Frank was a very likable (although physically threatening) player. When things started to turn sour for Mike Boogie, Frank clung to Boogie’s emotionally played game, in particular 24 hours of sourness.
One thing that always stood out to me was when Frank was doing upside down pushups inverted against the backyard wall on Day 2, which concerned a lot of people.
Frank’s loyalty to Boogie although admirable, was his downfall. Within the house his likability plummeted and his relationships suffered because of the isolated time he spent with Boogie trying to rally futile votes. He rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and was unable to regroup after he lost his main ally.
In the end, his inability to control both his emotion and passion sealed his fate. When he comes back to play for a 2nd time (he will get the invite), it will be interesting to see if he can improve upon that.
Quick Pregame Coaching Speech: “Frank, people are going to target you based on your physical stature alone, you need disarm people by acting non-threatening in EVERYTHING you do. If you put the ego aside you’ll make room for 500k in your bank account.”
- Like-ability: 8
- Awareness: 3
- Knowledge of the Game: 3
- Physical Ability: 4
- Mental Ability: 5
- Relationships: 6
- Influence: 2
- Self control: 13
- Playmaking: 6
- Total: 50
- Overall: 4th
Although I try to not play this game personally, or even rank the players personally, I was disappointed in how Mike’s game played out. From the start Mike and I felt we could have worked together, if for nothing else, because we knew each other outside of the house (a tremendous advantage that ended up never mattering). Taking my personal feelings out of it, Mike was an extremely smart player who had a solid beat on the house.
He was able to see things that most of the houseguest couldn’t see based on how shrewd he was. His ability to read situations combined with his impressive physical ability (for a 3rd time playing!) suited him to make a long run in the game, until his emotions took control.
As a coach, Mike saved Ian (and arguably his entire game) by winning a physical competition, and he built a strong (but obvious) alliance with Frank. Other than winning the Coaches’ key, Mike did not do much for his players in terms of coaching, in fact he did the opposite, he alienated them and made them feel second rate (sleeping during the all night burglar competition video messages, disregarding Jenn’s ability, and showing a lack of game respect to Ian).
On the flip side, Mike drafted an incredible and diverse team that would have won him 100k had he remained a coach. In the same regard one could argue he didn’t need to do much coaching. When the game was reset, how he treated his players came back to haunt him.
Mike played with his emotions, which was very shocking for me. I expected him to be a ninja assassin in this game, but he played like a vengeful and blinded soldier. His lack of self control over his emotions cost him his game, nothing more, nothing less.
He had the opportunity to move ahead in a strong alliance (with the coaches), but he couldn’t put aside personal feelings and the revenge factor for Janelle. On top of that, he couldn’t look past the fact I wanted Frank out of the house, and didn’t understand the value in me putting my neck on the line to save him. It would have been interesting to play the game with him as opposed to against him, but the style in which he played the game with his emotions so strongly, would not have worked well in the end (opposite of Memphis Garrett who lacked any feelings at all during his game).
Even while playing the game emotionally, Mike was able to rally and make a few moves, showing glimpses of his winning performance from seasons past. During this season he still proved himself as a physical threat with the ability to get people to do things for him.
Quick Pregame Secret Talk: “Mike, you want to Memphis’ it up? The key is for us to have a secret alliance, not an obvious one. If you are willing to cut your own players like I am, we can run this to make one of us a two-time winner.”
- Like-ability: 5
- Awareness: 2
- Knowledge of the Game: 6
- Physical Ability: 10
- Mental Ability: 6
- Relationships: 2
- Influence: 3
- Self control: 6
- Playmaking: 4
- Total: 44
- Overall: 3rd
Danielle was an interesting player inside the house. She had the perception of having great relationships with a lot of people in the house (most importantly with the jury members). As a result of her relationships a lot of people trusted her with a lot of information, which made her aware of what was going on in the game, except for a few blindsides. She had a good working knowledge of the game and was very sharp when it came to memorization type challenges.
In terms of play-making she won some huge competitions when it mattered most (Final 4 HoH, Final 4 Veto). Her biggest win was the improbably victory in a game that Ian was built for in the Final 4 Veto (chemistry). From a game standpoint she had all the tools to win the entire game except for her decision making and lack of emotional control.
Often times Danielle would get emotional over small things and rub people the wrong way. Over time it started to wear on some people, but from a strategy standpoint it made her seem weak, which is not all bad.
As a coach, I knew it would take a lot of upkeep and energy to keep Danielle occupied and happy within the house, but the payoff for the effort would be undying loyalty, well worth the patience.
Her level of trust in me was unlike anything I had ever seen in the game before. Anytime she had any power, she would defer to whatever decision I wanted to make. It was smart on her part to use me to get blood on my hands but not so smart to think that I would take her to the end no matter what.
Bottom line she would not make any moves without my approval, which ultimately led to her demise. She won a handful of competitions but didn’t know what to do with the power when she got it.
Ian proved that a sharp mind can overcome other shortcomings to win Big Brother. His greatest asset in the game was his remarkable photographic memory. Everyone in the game has advantages and Ian’s mental capability was his. It’s the equivalent of going against Mike Tyson (1990s version) in a boxing match, when houseguests would square off against Ian in a mental competition.
On top of that he was athletic enough to pull out skill challenges when he needed them most in both the arcade machine and shark fin challenges (thus the #2 playmaking ranking).
For the first half of the game Ian was given a pass to overcome his social stigma to position himself into the realm of the non-threatening. Once some bodies cleared from the house and he decided to actually start playing in competitions (smart strategy) his mental abilities shined through. Individually Ian was a good solid gamer, but outside of himself he struggled.
One of the areas that Ian struggled in this game was his ability to truly understand what was going on in the house. He had a tough time seeing through or even questioning why deceptive moves were going on in the house. Having a true awareness of what is really going on in the house is not something many people can do, but to Ian’s credit, it didn’t matter. He didn’t need to know, as long as someone who he was working with knew what was going on (Britney) because they could convey it to him in a way he would understand.
The ability for Ian to build relationships within the game was very tough for him because he seemed to miss out on almost every social cue people would throw his way, and he wasn’t very interested in the other houseguests besides Britney.
The best analogy for Ian is someone who lacks streets smarts but has a higher IQ and mental capacity than everyone on the streets combined.
The bottom line is Ian had a passion for the game, an off the charts mental capacity for brain challenges, and had play making ability to win when he had to.
This season was the ultimate irony, someone who lacked social skills ended up winning the ultimate social game!
Although his win may not rank any style points or put him among the top winners of all time, the kid won with a solid game, and now has his name at the bottom of the Big Brother Wikipedia page.
Quick Pregame Coaching Speech: “Ian every night we are going to work on building your social skills, by simply asking people questions about themselves. This will make you more likable and will help to fill the gaps in your game very quickly. Keep your glasses on and your mouth shut and this thing is yours to lose.”
- Like-ability: 4
- Awareness: 1
- Knowledge of the Game: 4
- Physical Ability: 3
- Mental Ability: 2
- Relationships: 1
- Influence: 1
- Self control: 2
- Playmaking: 5
- Total: 23
- Overall: 1st
Britney was flat out scary in this game. As a player I completely underestimated her when she walked through the door. Britney was very scary to my game because she was extremely aware of everything that was going on in the house at all times and had a very unique way of pressing people for information without seeming like she was.
For as good as Britney was understanding the inner workings of the house, she was equally as good at the challenges. She had the ability and skill to win ANY type of challenge. There was no type of challenge that you could rule Britney out of, she could have won an endurance, skill, or mental competition at any time.
As if the combination of being able to win challenges and having a pulse on the entire house wasn’t enough, she was able to wrap people around her (tiny) fingers. Britney had Shane locked down until his showmance got in the way. She also had Ian on a very tight leash (pun intended) and what was more impressive, is that Ian seemed to enjoy doing her bidding at any time.
It is one thing to get someone to do something for you, it is another to get them to sit down, roll over, and fetch things in the game for you with a big smile on their face while also willing to run in front of a car for you. Britney did this to people in the game without them realizing it.
My only knock against Britney was her ability as a coach, not as a player. Her and Willie were not a good combination to start with, but she did have it in her to put the clamps down on people (as seen with Ian). She just never did that with Willie when he needed it most.
I fully believe this was Britney’s game to win because she was the lowest on the coach’s totem pole (by being underestimated) and had the best relationships, understanding of the game, and overall skill in the house. Because of all these reasons is why she scared me most in this game and earned the #1 ranking amongst all the houseguests this season.
Quick Pregame Secret Talk: “Britney when you enter the house no one will respect your game, let them underestimate you. Throw all of the early challenges and then act like the blonde Arkansas ninja that you are and start slicing people while your epic stink-eye is exposed, just don’t slice me, please.”
This wraps up the ranking of all of the Big Brother Houseguests! I hope it shed a different light on the houseguests as true players from within the walls of the house and outside the realm of the editing abilities of the producers.
While you may not agree with how the final rankings shook out, it is my honest inside perspective on each of them.
I will have one more blog post at some point regarding Season 14(relating it to The Dark Knight Rises) but other than that my future blog posts will be shifting away from what happened in the Big Brother 14 house and more to how I can help you, and what is going on in my daily life.
Is This Really The End of Big Brother on this Blog?
No, of course not.
Like I mentioned in the the first set of rankings, I will now begin to watch each episode for the first time while recording my commentary…
The reason I will continue to post articles, video blogs, and podcasts on this website is for you.
If there is something you want me to write about or cover in particular, take a second and send me a tweet with what you want me to write about! I am here for you!
Coach Dan’s Commentary: Big Brother 14
I am recording my commentary for you to listen along as I watch each episode of Big Brother 14 for the first time.
Much like Director’s Commentary included with DVD movies, you will be able to hear my first reactions to every Diary Room, edit, and unknown event right along with me.
Finally thank you so much for reading the blog. It’s your feedback, insight, and support that allow me to write articles like these.
The best way to stay connected to me and the blog (for exclusive updates not even found on this site) you’re going to want to join the mailing list.
I appreciate you guys more than you know! If you haven’t got a response back to your tweet or e-mail yet, thanks for being patient, I’m working on them!
Until next time…