Every Big Brother player has different strategies going into the game. Some rely on their physical strength or social skills, or they simply float to the end by not being perceived as a threat.
Some of the strongest, most memorable players are the ones that are intelligent, calculated, and conniving, without getting caught.
Vanessa Rousso (Season 17)
Vanessa Rousso is considered one of the best players who did not win the reality show but should have. Fans agree that if she had won the final HoH, she probably would have won the whole game.
Vanessa managed to stay under the radar throughout the season. Everyone went to her for support, which made everyone trust her and want to take her all the way. A poker player, Vanessa was able to bluff her way to the semi-final, without ruffling too many feathers. She even survived an attempted backdoor elimination, which is a tough feat.
Dan Gheesling (Seasons 10 & 14)
Dan Gheesling was one of the strongest players when it came to developing and executing plans. When it seemed like he was going home, he staged a fake funeral, convincing everyone he’d given up, only to convince one of his rivals into using the PoV on him so that he could backdoor a former ally. When he was in the final four with a couple, he was still able to make it to the final two, and took the win.
Dan came back as a coach for Season 14 and found himself back in the game with the other coaches after a twist. Dan made it to the finale with his “Quack Pack” ally, Ian Terry, where the two turned on each other to convince the jury who should win. Most of the jury wasn’t happy with Dan, ShaneMeaney even calling him “Satan”. Ian ended up winning the vote 6-1, likely due to the fact that the jury thought Dan’s backstabbing had gone too far.
Ian Terry (Seasons 14 & 22)
To outplay a conniving competitor like Dan, as well as the other returning players and some really strong houseguests, it would take Season 14 winner, Ian Terry. The resilient, strategic player with a photographic memory, orchestrated four evictions and secured multiple PoV wins to get himself off the block.
Despite starting out as an underdog, Ian not only secured several wins but also formed his own alliance, the “Quack Pack” that took him to the finale. He put the nail in Dan’s coffin when he revealed that Dan had given him his Grandfather’s gold cross as collateral to take him to the finale, but had Ian not won HoH, Dan would have gone back on his word. Ian returned for Season 22, but was marked as a huge threat. He placed 11th and became the first member of the jury.
Nakomis Dedmon (Seasons 5 & 7)
Nakomis Dedmon may have placed 4th in Season 5, but she forever changed how Big Brother was played. Nakomis and fellow teammate Marvin Latimer came up with the famous “backdoor” move that quickly became commonplace in every season of the show going forward.
Nakomis put the “Six-Finger Plan” in motion by nominating two pawns from her alliance, Danielle Lloyd and Marvin, so that everyone in their alliance could compete in the PoV, and actually evict their true target, Jayce Wirey, without giving him the chance to take himself off the block. Due to this move, future seasons of Big Brother assured that players for PoV challenges were picked at random. This caused her to be seen as such a threat during Season 7 that she was evicted week two.
Derrick Levasseur (Season 16)
Derrick Levasseur used his experience as an undercover cop to win by sitting back and observing the other houseguests. He always seemed to know exactly what was going on with everyone, because he joined every alliance that came his way. He planted seeds of doubt and gave information only when needed, then watched as everyone did the work for him, and his hands stayed clean.
This strategy was able to keep him from being put on the block the entire season, as well as lead to 7/9 members of the jury voting for him to win. He did not have bad blood with anyone who was eliminated, in fact, everyone considered him an ally. He strategically paired up with Cody Calafiore, who dominated physical challenges and was a trustworthy ally.
Will Kirby (Seasons 2 & 7)
Many fans of the show consider Dr. Will Kirby to be the best Big Brother player ever. He knew how to align himself with the right people and manipulate players to dominate the game. He is no stranger to lying with ease, but his charm seems to make people forgive his conniving nature. He was able to convince the contestants to do pretty much anything he said in Season 2, where he secured the win.
Will and his “Chilltown” ally, Mike “Boogie” Malin, returned for Season 7, and Will had a huge target on his back, being the only former winner playing the game. Despite this, he almost made it to the finale again, but his “showmance” Janelle Pierzina, as well as Ericka Landincaught onto their scheming and eliminated Will, earning him fourth place.
Tiffany Mitchell (Season 23)
Tiffany Mitchell, a member of the “Cookout Alliance”, was a smart and calculated player. She suggested to her alliance that each member have one single person outside the alliance to become close with and sit on the block with as a pawn when they had the power. She was also very detail-oriented, and able to figure out that Xavier Prather was not really a bartender.
Ultimately, her own alliance saw her as too much of a threat and her ally, Kyland Youngdecided that it would be best for him to go to the end with Xavier rather than with Tiffany. She placed 6th overall, but won the title of America’s Favorite Houseguest.
Danielle Reyes (Seasons 3 & 7)
Danielle Reyes was also considered one of the best players to never win the game. She lost due to the fact that she played before they began to sequester the jury. They were bitter after seeing her diary room confessions where she explained her gameplay, and they felt she came across as cocky. This changed the show going forward, as the jury is now sequestered before the finale.
Although she did not win, Danielle was a fiercely intelligent and ruthless player. She secretly partnered with a member of a rival alliance to share information, a strategy that she made popular in the show. She returned in Season 7 and played a strategic game once again, but was eventually eliminated by her ally, Ericka, after Mike and Will convinced her to get rid of Danielle.
Tyler Crispen (Season 20 & 22)
Tyler Crispen not only dominated challenges but was able to infiltrate and take down a strong alliance. Season 20 had two main alliances, “FOUTTE” and “Level Six”, while Tyler’s loyalty was with “Level Six”, he gained the trust of other alliances, to their ultimate demise. There was a blindside almost every week for the first half of the game that Tyler was behind.
Despite his strategic game, Tyler lost by one vote to Kaycee Clark, as the jury members felt bitter toward him. He did, however, win the title of America’s Favorite Houseguest. He returned in Season 22, and was eliminated in week 9 in a unanimous 3-0 vote due to being percieved as too much of a threat. He placed 6th overall.
Janelle Pierzina (Seasons 6, 7,14, & 22)
Janelle is another player that excelled at physical challenges, as well as the social, and strategic side of the game. Unfortunately, she also never won, but Janelle is considered one of the best players ever. She set the record for most individual competition wins in a single season, with 9 wins overall, (4 HoH’s & 5 PoV’s). She also proved that you do not have to be manipulative to make it far in the game.
She almost won Season 6 by staying loyal to her alliance the whole time. In Season 7, she made it to the end again by outplaying Dr.Will. If she had only won the final HoH, fans have no doubt that she would have won Season 6 & Season 7. She came back as a coach in Season 14, but Mike and Dan convinced HoH Danielle Murphree to backdoor her in week 4. She came back for a fourth time in Season 22, becoming the first houseguest to do so. However, her reputation made her an immediate target, and she finished 14th overall.
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