I watched #bbcan6, because I can’t help but watch Big Brother, especially the USA/Canadian version. I’ve tried multiple times to get into the UK and Australian version, but I just don’t like the popularity concept of it. I like the social and strategic aspect of Big Brother US and Canada. I like watching how people get themselves out of scrapes, off the block when they should be going home that week (either by winning a veto or having a veto used on them), or not being voted against when it’s clear they should be the one going home. I LOVE rooting for underdogs, for masterminds, and for the hated. My preference depends on the season, the dynamic of the house guests, and often the people on social media acting like butthurt fools.
This season I didn’t do any drafts, but I actually watched pre-jury videos, read interviews and going in, I was pretty confident in my picks of Paras and Kaela as making it far in the game. When they aligned in the Real Deal, I was pretty impressed and happy that my 2 pre-season faves were working together. When Kaela and Derek tried in that first week to cut Paras out of the real deal because she was pushing Jesse and Olivia into a showmance, I realized the Real Deal was in fact not real at all. At this point, I was kind of confused as to why Olivia/Kaela were convinced Jesse and Olivia would be a showmance, when it was obvious on feeds Jesse wasn’t into Olivia at all like that. (It’s now been cleared up post season by interviews with Olivia and Paras). At this point, I was glad that Paras had made a clear and solid alliance with Will and Maddy, the Secret Three (but became affectionately known as the Tragic Trio).
The Tragic Trio, were probably the most dysfunctional alliance we’ve ever seen in the history of Big Brother (outside of maybe Jessie/Lydia/Natalie from bb11). Will and Paras threw Maddy under the bus all the time. Will and Paras threw each other under the bus and even when they were told this by Ali, Johnny, Kaela, Derek, they still worked together. This worked to their advantage. Because none of the three could win any competitions, they needed to rely on each other for votes in the event they were ever nominated against someone else. What really helped, was Will and Paras’s social game. Will was well liked up until F5 and even then, he wasn’t disliked. Paras’s social game on the other hand was much more subtle and required her to put on an act.
In “Feel the Burn”, the first competition, we see that she nearly won that endurance competition, but instead threw it to Johnny to ensure her safety. This showed that Paras was not a weak competitor. In fact, many people early on on Reddit, Twitter, and Jokers thought she would be a comp beast. However, I don’t believe Paras’s game really started until “Right in the Kisser” when they had to guess who said what about which house guests. Paras learned that most of her cast mates thought she was the dumbest and easiest to manipulate. At this point, she goes into the red room and starts doing a wild and crazy dance, knowing she can snow these people into thinking she’s those things and will underestimate her all the way until F2. At this point she tells us, the viewing audience, this will be her strategy.
She proceeds to figure out how to talk to each person in the house. In Kaela/Derek she props them up as being her meat shields and massaging their egos. With Jesse, she starts a flirtmance. She acts like the little sister to Ali, she acts like Liv’s bff, she gets Erica to treat her like a therapist/client, she acts like Ryan’s daughter. She convinces Johnny she needs him to protect her. She lets Will act like the big, bad, in charge big brother who is protecting her and Maddy. Hamza also treated her like the little sister who needed to be protected. She even makes Veronica feel like she’s her bff when she clearly found her annoying. From what we saw in episode 1, even Rozina was in love with her and was almost like a mother/daughter relationship. Only Merron and Andrew didn’t have a great personal connection with her. However, Andrew left week 2, so I’m sure Paras would’ve been able to forge something with him. Only Merron saw through her and constantly tried to get her to be talked about or on the block, but only Hamza and Veronica were on his side, and even Veronica ditched him for Will.
Paras knew how to talk to people (i.e. telling Johnny she had no one and she needed him, or understanding how to talk to Veronica to get her to take her under her wing and treat her like she needed a mentor/therapist in the house). She knew how to portray herself (i.e. always hugging a stuffed animal and listening to the hoh’s music). She also knew how to throw both sides of the house under the bus and even when it got back to the sides, she was viewed as a waste of a nomination/vote, so she remained off the block. However, the seeds she planted with both sides, stuck (mainly because she figured out what people were selling to the hoh and would also sell it). This right here is evidence of a killer floater game. She literally played the game Jun and Andy did. (Although I think she played a much cleaner game than both of them, as in she was able to 3 votes flipped to her in the end, when they were bitter at her when leaving).
She did remain loyal to Will/Maddy, as in never voted against them, never put them up (because she never won), and barely threw Will under the bus. Unfortunately for Maddy, she was the scapegoat of the season, much like Zach Rance was in BB16. Maddy got blamed for nearly everything Paras did. Paras caused some of that herself, but I would argue that Maddy’s game and lack of social connection and awkwardness caused a lot of her by herself. Having an insulator like Maddy really helped Paras seem more genuine and authentic than she was at times. Case in point, Paras caused the rift in Ali/Liv/Erica’s relationship to Kaela. She got in their heads and convinced both sides, they were lying to each other. Paras didn’t even know that they had formed an alliance, but she did recognize that she was losing her grip on Kaela and on her connection with Ali. This caused distrust that was mended when Kaela went to the other girls and decided that it was Maddy who caused this and not Paras. Kaela knew that Paras was the one who told her these things, but she allowed the other girls to pin it on Maddy. This shows that despite how Kaela might want to rewrite history, she did consider Paras a number for her.
With these solid social connections around her, her seeming incompetence at strategy and competitions, she proceeded to throw nearly every competition she competed in up until the triple eviction. She didn’t have to win competitions to be safe and in fact winning them would’ve made her facade of weakness crumble. She let her meat shields win and take out the other competition beasts. When it came down to F4 when she would’ve assuredly gone home had she not won that hoh. Derek and Kaela wanted Will with them in the F3. She also won the pt. 1 of the hoh ( a physical and strategic comp btw) against the supposed comp beasts of the season in Kaela and Derek and won the mental comp versus Kaela in the final part. She won the most important competitions of the season.
Now that being said, Paras talked to the cameras ALL. THE. TIME. Like incessantly so. She often said things that made even me, a supporter go, “uhhh not so much, Paras.” I had a look of a lot during the season. However, I came to realize that she was thinking out loud. A lot of what she was a stream of thought that she was verbalizing. So while people like to absolutely drag her through the mud, call her delusional, dumb, or a bad player, they fail to recognize that her stream of thinking doesn’t really mean anything other than the fact that Paras is a human being who questions herself. We all do it. She just verbalized it. A LOT. She’s even confessed this and would probably not do that if she were to ever play again.
Kaela played a good game. She was great at competitions, she got in a showmance with another comp beast with a good social game. They saved each other and Derek was able to smooth things over with people Kaela would piss off with her brashness and abrasiveness. She stayed off the block because she intimidated her other house guests and they wanted to work with her to get Daela’s protection. However, she individually wasn’t well liked even Ali and Olivia constantly talked about going back on their deal with Daela because they didn’t like her. Johnny certainly didn’t and even Paras was over her by the triple. Kaela got to F4 because she was a comp beast and a fairly strategic player. However her social game, on her own, was almost non existent and her jury game definitely didn’t exist. She actually went out of her to way to burn a jury vote in Maddy and Ryan, both, even if she was trying to get Maddy’s jury vote . OOPS. In fact, it was her conversation with Maddy about her game that got back to the jury house and cost her the game. This coupled with her refusing to accept the help of the former winners and deciding she could win on her own, really solidified her loss. Paras on the other hand, took the advice to heart and switched up her final speech tactic.
What everyone thought Paras would lost a F2 vote on, was actually Kaela’s downfall. Kaela owned her game, it’s true. She tried to the exact opposite of what Paul and Ross did, but she ended up also trying to own other people’s moves and games in the process. She also lost her cool and yelled at the jury and called them names, which while it may not have cost her extra votes, didn’t exactly make the jury want to give her a vote. (Although I do believe Ali/Liv when they said they switched their votes to Paras because of Kaela’s F2 speech performance).
Paras’s final 2 included the jury in her win (i.e. Ali), talked about how she got herself to the final and wasn’t dragged there, and how she tricked them into believing she was dumber and more easy to manipulate than she actually was. She also had three guaranteed votes going in to finale. Will and Maddy were always voting for her, and Kaela sealed her fate with her goodbye message to Ryan. Paras only needed one vote. She got it when Maddy went to jury and sunk Kaela’s game by revealing her speech to them. Maddy can try and downplay this all she wants, but Paras sat her down and told Maddy to do this when they knew for a fact Maddy was going to jury. She told Maddy to downplay Kaela’s game, to let the jury know Kaela was saying and how she was being manipulated by Derek and how she would never cut her showmance. (Which in the end turns out to be true, because she admitted in an interview she was never cutting Derek).
That being said, Paras played a masterful floater game. No, she wasn’t a mastermind, no she didn’t have much say in other people’s moves (but then that would’ve blown her cover of being dumb and easy to manipulate), but she did have the right moves at the right moments. Her social game wasn’t dumb luck though and her competition wins both strategic/physical and mental weren’t dumb luck either. She studied her ass for the F4 hoh and won easily. She was absolutely the right winner for this season. As I’ve always said and will continue to say, winnings comps can get you to the end, but a solid social and strategic game will get you the votes. Paras had the better and more well rounded game. The jury got it right. Kaela fans are going to remain bitter about this and it’s fine, people are still mad that Jun won over Alison in bb4 and that Andy even made the F2 in bb15.
In the end, Paras played a phenomenal game that was subtle and sneaky and had her laying low until the end when she pulled out the comp wins she needed. It’s time to stop punishing her for winning a game that would’ve easily won another season of Big Brother, just because she up against another strong player.