While the Big Brother 18 houseguests have been in the house for just over 5 weeks, the viewers are one third into this summer’s journey. So let’s take a step back from the showmances and strategy to take an overall look at how the season is shaping up as a  whole and what we have to look forward to. As we head into tonight’s special ‘Battle Back’ episode, let’s take a look back at our expectations and how the season has lived up to them so far.

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I think most would agree that the first few weeks of the season are among the most exciting. In the past three years we’ve been spoiled by erratic players who kept things interesting, namely Audrey Middleton (Big Brother 17), Devin Shepherd (Big Brother 16), Amanda Zuckerman (Big Brother 15), and Willie Hantz (Big Brother 14).

This year, there’s not really been one person who has caught fire in the same way. Jozea was certainly a foolish player who had potential, but he was gone before drama could really ignite. And while Paul had potential to make things interesting, he made the best move for his game in indoctrinating himself into the majority.

The big alliances as always come together and fall apart, but despite some fissures, things have remained remarkably status quo with non-Eight Pack members Jozea, Victor, and Bronte as the first three evictions after Glenn’s premature eviction. The first  couple weeks of feeds were virtually without drama besides a few spats between Frank and Tiffany, and the resulting Tiffany meltdowns.

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There’s no shortage of showmances, with Paulie and Zakiyah, Nicole and Corey, and  James and Natalie. For me, showmances don’t really hold my interest and they’ve been  more nauseating than ever this year with Nicole and Zakiyah falling for guys who have no real interest in them or remaining loyal to them. There was potential for the women to take control with the Fatal Five, but that’s completely fallen apart and Nicole would  probably pick Corey above anyone else and Zakiyah would likely do the same.

The twists haven’t really ruined too much, whereas the Battle of the Block really stifled gameplay, I think the Roadkill adds an interesting element that hasn’t really made things boring. What has been problematic is the team twist, which was obviously introduced to force the veterans to be intertwined with the newbies.

This means, however, that Frank, Michelle, Paulie, and Bridgette have been safe for three straight weeks with Paulie and Bridgette’s Head of Household wins. To me, that’s ridiculous and not even having to really play the game has made people too comfortable. I don’t like the idea of teams being safe ever, as people play more erratically when they do not feel safe. Fortunately, the teams and Roadkill were thrown out the window last night, though I do think Roadkill could have had potential to make things interesting, but I can understand the reason for ending it along with these teams, which is long overdue.

It hasn’t all been bad with some drama finally happening this week between Tiffany, Frank, and Da’Vonne. However, it feels like we’re constantly waiting for things to get really interesting, and that requires Frank being vulnerable, since he’s been a target for almost three weeks now, with no real chance to actually get him out.

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While the showmances dominating isn’t particularly enthralling, the Battle Back threatens to really shake things up, though it all depends on who comes back. I think Bronte or Glenn would be able to make it further, and Tiffany’s return would certainly stir things up, but Jozea and Victor would probably be sent right back out by a united house.

The fire is lit and things are going to get interesting, it’s a matter of starting the domino effect and things will eventually line up for a few epic, dramatic weeks. Perhaps this will go much like Big Brother 10, which remained dull and one-sided early on until things really heated up leading to some of the most incredible fights and drama in Big Brother history.

Here’s to hoping this season has upside that matches that of one of the best seasons of the show. I’m remaining optimistic, as we’ve still got two months to go and the Battle Back is likely to put a much needed spark back into the game.

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