Time for our annual deep dive into the final three Big Brother players’ games. Holly Allen, Jackson Michie, and Nicole Anthony have all traveled very different roads to reach this point in the game. One relied on her social prowess in the beginning, but then fizzled out as more of a supporting role player, one started building the foundation for a strong social game at the start of Big Brother 21, but then played more scared when she became too much a topic of discussion, only to really pick it up towards the end, and one lacked a strong social game but made up for it with his competition wins.
Big Brother is a constant evolving game with no clear set forth playbook. Everyone has an opinion on what a deserving winner looks like, what their Big Brother legacy and strategy entails, but at the end of the day, it’s just an opinion. By definition, if you win the season, then you’re technically the person who deserved to win the game the most, so make of that what you will. For the next couple of days, we’re going to give each of the final three a fair examination of their game strengths, weaknesses and what skills and strategies make them a deserving winner of the Big Brother 21 title.
Up first is Holly Allen, 31, Wyoming.
In our weekly Big Brother Power Rankings, we have had Holly in the number one or two spot most of the season. At the start of the season, she nicely integrated herself into the Gr8ful alliance as a key member, while still remaining friendly and likable to the outsiders. Throughout most of the early half of the game, Holly wasn’t mentioned as a target by either side of the house (only brief mentions by Nick Maccarone). Not because they didn’t see her as a threat, but because they genuinely liked her and saw her as an ally, or a potential ally. Holly’s social game helped keep Holly and Jackson in the fold of numerous early conversations and game decisions. Additionally, when houseguests discussed possibly going after Jackson, they would then add but I love Holly, or but I don’t want to go against Holly. They saw her as a vital tool to further their games, and they didn’t want risk losing her allegiance by taking out Jackson. Christie Murphy especially discussed going after Jackson early in the game, but her close relationship with Holly, at the start, hindered on also keeping Jackson on her team.
Holly was able to be the calm, cool, collected person to Jackson’s hot temper, which helped Jackson’s target remain small until the major blow up within the Six Shooters. One of Holly’s best game moments was during her first Head of Household week, and the house was about to flip and vote out Kathryn Dunn over her target Sam Smith. Holly was able to act as mediator between the group to keep them focused on staying together, and keeping Kat in the game.
When Christie was ready to flip and get out Jackson, Tommy Bracco was most hesitant because he didn’t want to abandon Holly. He wanted to also keep Jackson on his side, but it was mainly because of his loyalty to Holly. She was Jackson’s anchor to the Gr8ful alliance, which dominant the game in the early stages, but he became more of the social player when it came to their final deal with Cliff Hogg III and Nicole.
Whereas the jury house may think Jackson didn’t take big enough shots, by only getting out Analyse Talavera and Jessica Milagros during his first two HoHs, the same can’t be said for Holly. She had two Head of Household reigns and both times, she got out her main targets. Holly’s targets were also two players that the house had mentioned as major threats to win the game in the end. Also, both players had no real loyalty to Holly, and they would have likely taken a shot at her. Additionally, Nick Maccarone was very pro-Jackson, she could have kept him to benefit Jackson’s game, but she knew that she had to make a move that was best for her game only.
On the flip side, Holly was the one with closer ties to most members of Gr8ful, so the Gr8ful jury members may feel most burned by her lack of actions on their behalf. Analyse and Holly were best friends early on, and Holly did nothing to stop Jackson from evicting her best friend. Tommy was one of Holly’s close allies, and Holly did nothing to stop Jackson from making that big lie about him. Holly also didn’t even give Kat a sympathy vote when she walked out the Big Brother doors. The jurors may feel burned by Holly not saving them when necessary, but they also may respect her for being able to separate her emotions from the game.
What will hurt Holly’s game most is the thing that may have also helped her stay in it so long: Jackson. Despite Holly’s strong game start and middle, she really faltered towards the end. Her impressive endurance wins faded away as she seemed to lack the skills to win more of the end ones. Then she became too complacent and dependent on Jackson, both game and personally. The jurors are likely to forget Holly’s strong game start and just see her as someone who coast by while Jackson did all the work to get them to the finals, even though she did a lot of social work to even get them far enough for Jackson to win all these competitions.
Holly also didn’t face much adversary, especially compared to Jackson who wore a a major target on his back most of the season, and Nicole who had to navigate a tank of sharks while being a single goldfish. In Big Brother, fans and contestants seem to favor the flasher games over the more subtle ones, especially if their game fire starts to die towards the end.
One end game thing that might work in Holly’s favor is that she played a more honorable game by sticking to her word, unlike Jackson. The jurors might reward someone who played a more honest game than a dishonest one. We can definitely see a few players throwing her their vote in the end, but will it be enough to beat the giant or the underdog?
What do you think of Holly’s game? Let us know by commenting below. Join us tomorrow for our game assessment of Nicole.
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