With his back against a wall, Mike Boogie makes a bold move against an old enemy. Plus: Two alliances form!

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August 09, 2012 at 02:15 AM EDT

Mike Boogie dresses like a teenager who went on a shopping spree in Hot Topic and Pacific Sunwear before deciding that he really needed to class himself up by investing in a few Tommy Bahama shirts. He greets the world with a wide smile of excited disdain, as if he can’t wait to discover everything inadequate about you. His approach to the game is improvisatory. Compare Boogie to Janelle. Janelle struts with a relaxed poise that borders on the robotic — she doesn’t so much move through the world as wait for the world to move her along, like a bored traveler on a moving airport walkway. When she looks at people, you get the vibe that she is looking through their eyes at the tiny human brains lurking therein. She’s a remarkable strategist and a dynamic player. She has owned the first month of Big Brother season 14. And now it looks like she will go home this week. It’s difficult to track precisely how this happened, except to note that Janelle was a simultaneous victim of two extremely carefully-planned conspiracies and at least one paranoid delusion. It’s as if Chaos and Order both allied themselves against Janelle at once.

At the start of last night’s episode, Boogie and Frank looked dead in the water. Boogie was fuming: “I hate everybody,” he moaned. “I really do hate everybody.” Upstairs, Britney and Janelle couldn’t believe the sheer obviousness of the boys’ impotent fuming. “They sit and talk game in front of the whole house,” they said. Dan attempted to approach Boogie to inquire after a Coaches’ Alliance, but Boogie wouldn’t hear of it: “I don’t have much interest in working with people who lied to me before.” It got so bad that Dan started to give Boogie advice: “I don’t want you to isolate yourself with Frank.”

And yet, isolation appeared to be the name of the game. Boogie was ignoring his other former teammates. Jenn remains a nonentity in the house. But Ian went into the HoH room and announced his intention to join a crew. Watching Ian interact with Britney and Dan and Shane and Danielle was interesting. On one hand, I’m inclined to say that Ian is considerably overestimating his importance in the house. He seemed to think that he was walking into the HoH room as a great warrior without a master — a wandering Ronin, a samurai in search of a cause. He didn’t realize that, functionally, he’s more like a camel walking out of the desert and trying to find sand in a rain forest.

But Ian abides. During the veto competition — a baseball-themed contest, ultimately won by Head of Household Danielle — Ian “won” the prize “It’s a Dog’s Life,” which would force to live the life of a dog for 24 hours: Wear a dog’s outfit, sleep in the dog-house, not be able to go anywhere unless taken by a houseguest on a leash. Because the veto competish was set up like a White Elephant gift exchange, he could have handed off the “Dog’s Life” prize for one of the other prizes. At that point, Wil held the power of veto, and Jenn had won a trip to Maui. But Ian thought living the life of a dog for 24 hours sounded swell. He revealed to us that this was all strategy. In general, Ian’s strategy in this game is to relentlessly embarrass himself and play the sad-sack card.

I would say that it isn’t working for him…but it kind of is. Because the HoH crew welcomed him with open arms. Dan in particular seemed taken with Ian. “He’s a younger version of myself,” said Coach. Attempting to come up with a name for themselves, Ian threw out “Quack Pack,” which is clearly an accidental reference to the Walt Disney cartoon series in the ’90s which fatally attempted to make Huey, Dewey, and Louie look “hip.”

Voila: One week into the reboot, and that’s one mega-alliance formed. But that wasn’t the end of the night’s strategy — far from it. After Frank failed to win the veto competition, Boogie woke up the next day and decided it was time to start playing the game. And he knew exactly who to target: Janelle. “Janelle has been a rival over two seasons of Big Brother,” he reminded us. He didn’t want to keep her around until the end again; he wanted to take her out now.

NEXT: Boogie the Pitchman

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Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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