It’s time for day two of the look back at each player’s game. Yesterday, we discussed Enzo Palumbo‘s game and how he may have the most difficult road to win Big Brother 22, but his social game may have been strong enough to make him the second winner of Big Brother: All-Stars. Today we’re looking at Nicole Franzel‘s game. Nicole has played a game similar to what got her the win in Big Brother 18. She’s taken a laidback approach the first half and then ramped up her game in the second half. She’s won allies, betrayed people, and peed her pants again all in the quest for another Big Brother win.
No matter how you feel about Nicole, it will be impressive if she takes home the win a second time. Let’s explore what Nicole did well this season and how it may get her another Big Brother winner title.
I think Nicole’s biggest strength is her natural ability to seem unthreatening. Nicole has betrayed a few people on her road to victory in Big Brother 18 and Big Brother 22, but players are still surprised when she has a hand in their demise. It’s because people want to trust Nicole. It also means that they kind of underestimate her ability as a player, and she plays up to that. We saw that this season when she chose to throw a few competitions to seem like less of a competitive threat, only to turn it on at the end of the Big Brother: All-Stars game. Janelle Pierzina warned the houseguests not to trust Nicole, but no one took Janelle seriously.
The fact that they only saw Nicole as this innocent, small-town girl is a flaw in their games and not Nicole’s game. Nicole didn’t have anywhere near as good of a social game as Enzo, but she had one enough for her to gain trust outside her Committee alliance. Ian Terry was willing to go to bat for Nicole at every corner, and even Da’Vonne Rogers felt enough loyalty with Nicole to try to trust and work with her. Cody never made any true allies beyond his Committee members, besides Enzo, who was basically Committee without the official induction.
Nicole also had some influence on the game. Originally, many players wanted to see Da’Vonne leave before Bayleigh Dayton, but Nicole saw the potential of having Da’vonne around as a jury vote or a possible ally. However, Nicole didn’t have anywhere near as much influence as Cody, because Nicole should have always kept Ian over Tyler Crispen. She should have also fought harder to keep Da’Vonne over Kevin Campbell, who had no loyalty to Nicole, but the guilt of her vote against Ian may have contributed to her not trying to save Da’Vonne.
I think the most important factor in if Nicole wins or loses Big Brother 22 is Da’Vonne. Da’Vonne gave Nicole the winning vote in Big Brother 18, and she may be who decides if she wins again. Nicole gave Da’Vonne $5,000 kind of as a “thank you” for the half-million dollars, which should have earned her a lot of goodwill with Da’Vonne, but later, she lied to Da’Vonne about voting out Ian, and that made Da’Vonne not trust David Alexander. Da’Vonne has stated that she understands the move on a game level but on a personal one, she didn’t like it. However, Cody and Da’Vonne had no bond in the game. She’s friends with his brother Paulie Calafiore outside the game, but other than that, she has no reason to reward Cody the prize, except if she truly believes he played the best game.
Da’Vonne also likes to go against the white straight male status-quo, so she could give it to Nicole just to see a woman win again, but Da’Vonne has also stated that she didn’t think the jury would ever let a winner win again, basically implying that she was against repeat winners. I think Da’Vonne votes fair, so if she truly believes Nicole played a better game than Enzo or Cody, she will give her the win. I also think Da’Vonne may be able to influence Kevin and David’s votes, so that might be a three-person voting block to watch out for on finale night. It also comes down to if Nicole wins the final Head of Household and who she takes to the finals. If she wins and takes Enzo, I think the jury rewards her the win for cutting Cody the biggest game threat all season.
Many will argue that Cody played a better game than Nicole, and I can’t say they’re right or wrong. It all depends on what the jury values in a player, and the fact that Nicole may make it to the final two with a huge target on her back from the beginning as a former winner says a lot about her as a player and her ability to navigate Big Brother.
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