With just six days before next Wednesday’s finale, Big Brother is almost done blaring a spotlight on each player’s game. Remember early on, when we spent a good week inspecting Dominic, wondering if he was a social savant or a totally futile houseguest? Remember when we examined Brendon, the zombie with comeback zeal? Then Daniele, the self-possessed heroine of this season? Then Shelly — our beige-y, beige-tastic, Me’Shelly NBeigeOcello (see here)– the defiant troubadour who scorned not-so-big Jeff? Finally, we’re getting around to vivisecting the one player who never, ever seemed to matter: Adam. And we’re discovering more than we planned.
The long and short of last night’s turbulent episode goes like this: Adam won P.O.V. (under Rachel as HOH) in Otev the Shark’s pie retrieval game, opted not to save either Kalia or Porsche, and watched as Rachel voted a shattered Kalia out of the house in a tiebreaking eviction vote. Then, Adam miraculously won an H.O.H. memory game in which the remaining players had to recall “fortunes” proclaimed by the house’s mysterious, Zingbot-esque, fortune teller in the middle of the night. Did the ghastly puppet witch say that Jeff would be “last seen wandering the Chicago streets muttering only two words: ‘clown shoe’” or “last seen wandering the Chicago streets muttering only two words: ‘clown shoes.’ It’s about precise auditory recall, and Adam edged out Jordan and walloped Porsche. He’s our H.O.H, darn it. He controls who is eligible for tomorrow’s eviction, and he will no doubt select Porsche –- his only “adversary” left in the game — and either Rachel or Jordan, who won’t vote each other out. Porsche needs to win P.O.V. next episode to stay alive, but in the meantime, let’s move away from the bobbling, sweatpanted femmes of Big Brother and back to the guy who suddenly seems like a formidable hellbringer. Yes, it’s Adam. The one who thinks occasional facial hair can compensate for an entire personality.
I scoffed when that 40-year-old milquetoast didn’t use the P.O.V. to backdoor either Jordan or Rachel. The decision seemed obvious to me (and you, and everyone): Pull a Shelly, break up the alliance that will relegate you to third place, and set the stage for a Final 2 showdown starring you and a competitor you might win against, like Porsche. Kalia stated it herself using her self-proclaimed “gift of freaking gab” – which was perhaps her one standout trait in the game.
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And yet, Adam balked. That scared, phlegmatic lackey argued that he wanted to substantiate himself as “a man of his word” and maintained the Porsche/Kalia chopping block. Is this some sort of parable? An Aesopian tale? What lesson does Adam teach with this exercise in friendship? I thought we were playing Big Brother, the grudge match where “moves” are revered over motionlessness, and intuitive gamesmanship is God. It’s hard to believe Adam could be such a self-declared Big Brother fan when his “strategy” is so uninspired (at best) and nonexistent (at worst). But consider this: Would staying true to his alliance with Jordan and Rachel inspire members of the Jury House to like him? So much that they’d vote to give him $500,000 instead of Porsche? There’s no use trying to track the evolving opinions of Jury House members, but I personally think it’s not crazy to suggest that the veterans will always vote for veterans, and Daniele/Shelly/Kalia will always vote for either Porsche or the best remaining player. Adam can’t claim to be either of those things, in any circumstance. Perhaps he assumes that if Rachel and Jordan are both eliminated by Porsche’s vote, they’ll maintain their respect for Adam, expand their influence to their boyfriends, and earn Adam the win in a 4-3 vote. If that’s the case, he’s not doing enough to ensure that Jordan and Rachel will both lose. All I can say is Adam presents us with nothing – no true plan or conviction – and it’s a fascinatingly white canvas to observe. Ever read Yasmina Reza’s Art? Same dilemma. Maybe that blank picture is worth nothing. Or maybe it’s a half-million-dollar masterpiece that only a disturbed, faith-driven collector could appreciate. As a defender of Team Daniele’s righteous, rollicking gameplay, I’m betting on the former. Let’s invest six figures elsewhere.
What do you think? Is Adam on the verge of a breakdown or a breakthrough? Will Porsche nab tomorrow’s P.O.V. and earn major leverage? And who would she vote out? Is a Rachel-Jordan final two a major possibility? Did you find Jeff’s extreme hostility towards Shelly’s rational betrayal a little — well, extreme? Leave your take in the comments, follow me on Twitter at @louisvirtel, and read me regularly at Movieline.com!