They can not get rid of Rachel. And oh, dear god, they have tried. Rachel has been in perpetual danger of eviction since the moment she stepped into the Big Brother house — much more danger, certainly, than her fellow Veterans. Even the most skeptical Newbies could fall in love with Jeff or Jordan, or try to work with Daniele and Evel Dick, or convince themselves that Brendon was a sane contestant whenever his red-headed darling wasn’t in the same room. But Rachel is a force of nature. Anyone who saw the last season of Big Brother witnessed her descent into lovesick cabin-fever insanity, and also knew about her uncanny knack for winning challenges with her back against the wall. An alliance with Rachel? Better to ally yourself with a hurricane, or an island that walks like a man.
This season, Rachel has been nominated for eviction four times. She has seen her beloved Bukie walk out the Doorway of Shame twice in two weeks. She drove her only non-Veteran ally, Porsche, straight into the arms of the enemy. She spent the better part of a month wandering the house impotently like an angry ghost; she was only saved from eviction because Jeff wanted to keep her around as a sacrifice bunt, and because the Daniele Sorority no longer considered her a major threat. This week, the newly-reformed Newbie Alliance had plans to rectify their earlier mistakes. They had Rachel in their sniper-scopes. She was surrounded by Claymore mines. They were prepared to backstab her, frontstab her, anything. And Rachel did not let them. They can not get rid of her.
You would have though that, with Jeff gone, Rachel would have continued her downward spiral. But no; instead, Rachel seemed positively energized by the departure of the last man in the house. (No, I’m not counting Adam as “male,” because I checked with a scientist friend, and he confirmed that useless lumps of half-formed clay do not have a gender.) “There is nothing we can do about the past,” she told Jordan, “But we do have a future.”
Rachel’s renewed energy proved infectious. Jordan won one season (and has coasted through this one) using a strategy of Aggressive Flotation: She has always been an undoubtedly important figure, but only because she was the cuter second head on Jeff’s shoulders. But now Big Jeff is gone, and Jordan is proving herself to be a canny gameplayer. She brought Rachel into the HoH throne room for a sitdown with Porsche and Kalia. She did not plead the Veterans’ case. Instead, she simply noted that Jorchel (sorry) was in the same position as Ka$che (so, so sorry): Both are essentially two-person operations that helped to drag a third wheel into the final six.
Now, that’s not entirely a fair assessment. Yes, as Rachel likes to point out, Shelly hasn’t won any big competitions this season. But Rachel has always been too focused on competitions. She could learn something from Shelly, who has played a genius social game this season. Before the Big Jeff Blow-up, Shelly had spent the whole summer playing all sides of the house without suffering any backdraft. (In my memory, the only contestant who actually seemed aware of Shelly’s two-face gameplay was Daniele…and one of the last things Daniele said in the house was, “I love you, Shelly.” Takes a good gameplayer to recognize another good gameplayer.) By comparison, Adam has proven shamefully incapable of doing anything to advance his own game. You know the Labyrinth game, where you tilt a maze back and forth, trying to get a stupid little ball over the finish line? In this metaphor, the maze is the Big Brother house, and Adam is the stupid little ball.
NEXT: Parachute-r McGavin