Hey, y’all! I just wanna start out by thanking the production and the cast for keeping me on my toes this entire season. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I respect the game everyone played and I’m thrilled to make it to the end of the game.
I would like to highlight a few reasons why I think I deserve to sit in this Final 2 chair:
- I had one of the largest targets on me in this game since the very beginning. While they were able to get a shot on me halfway through, I revealed my bulletproof vest and came back in this game ready to seek vengeance.
- I won a total of ELEVEN competitions this season. Four Head of Households that helped me remove people from this game, five Power of Vetoes that either secured my spot in the game or gave me some leverage to create trust, one Sunset Competition that gave me the power to create a “Secret Week”, and the first ever BattleBack in the series.
- My return to the game completely flipped the entire house upside down. Three HUGE threats to win this game went out the door back-to-back after my return, and my final 3 alliance made sure we had the heaviest hand of power each week.
I’d also like to point out some flaws that will probably be mentioned anyways, but I’d like to take ownership of them myself:
- Strategically I slacked from time to time. In most games, I am always thinking about the next 3 evictions/votes, and want to set myself up well for those. However, in this game, I tried to play day-by-day, and sometimes I missed the big picture that I usually look at.
- Prior to this game, I really only knew Jake, Admir, and Brad. While I made relationships in the game, I had no clue that certain individuals were as tight as they were, and sometimes this clouded my judgement.
- I had to play cutthroat as soon as I came back into the game. I knew people would easily see me as a threat after returning, and would have no problem taking shots at me again, however, I used this messiness to my advantage. Aside from Ben, I think a large majority of the final 7 WANTED to sit next to me in the end because of how I had betrayed certain individuals. They felt they could easily win against me, and I wasn’t going to burst their bubble.
Now, for a quick summary of my game. I’ll leave a few details to you guys, because I really encourage the jury to grill me hard and ask me anything. I am here for it all!
Winning the “IceBreaker” HOH was such a double-edged sword. On one hand, conversations were coming to me, and I was able to provide my allies with safety. On the other hand, I had to get a little blood on my hands that ultimately led to my demise the first time. Before the first Jury member was even decided, I had won five competitions and had an alliance of Brad/Admir/Pickles/Layla/Hong and myself. I wanted to stay loyal to this, but the power wasn’t in our favor for a few rounds, and we lost a few allies. One thing I would like to highlight here is how much pep I gave our team. I wanted my alliance not to feel defeated, and I think this benefited us later on in the game.
Once Hong was evicted, I knew I was in trouble. Craig/Ryan had switched to our side of the house, but the trio of Jake/Ben/Eoin were not only inseparable, they were powerful. I was friendly with Jake, but I knew if Ben/Eoin had a chance to take a shot at me, that was going to happen.
This is where I feel my game really went into overdrive. I swore to myself that the people who had a hand in my eviction would see the Jury House. I came back strong, winning not only re-entry into the game, but another HOH/POV in the same week. I set the house ablaze when I put up Jake/Eoin, and even though my target that week didn’t leave the game, I had gotten someone out that could’ve easily won this entire game. From then on, my alliance of Brad, Ryan, and myself dominated the comps we needed to, and secured ourselves into the majority.
While I did see myself either being taken to the end as an "easy beat" or as someone who won their way to the end, I was confident that the relationships I made with Ryan, Adam, and Brad would help me get to this spot. I’ve had to evict some heavy hitters in this game, and I know the jury might see me as someone who did whatever Brad wanted, but that’s not the case entirely. I believe Brad deserves the win just as much as I do, but for very different reasons. I wanted to take Brad to the end because he was my #1 since Day ONE and if I could say anything to the jury about loyalty, it was to this man. I wanted to have the jury decide which path to the end is more deserving, and that is why Brad is sitting next to me.
With all this being said, I want every jury member to drill me hard with these questions. I want nothing left unanswered, and I will lay it all out on the table. While I adore Brad, there is still only one winner, and with everything I’ve had to endure, I want to say that I not only came back, but I came back and WON.
Good luck to you Brad, and I look forward to everything you guys have to throw at me. <3
Hello jurors. Thank you for a great season I’ve had a lot of fun. There was a lot of strong competitors this season and I feel blessed to have made it to the final two.
Before going into depth about my social, strategic and physical game, I want to quickly highlight a few game achievements/statistics I am proud of:
- The only player to not get a single vote to evict this season
- The only player never to be selected as a final nominee (I was nominated at final 3 by default of losing the last HOH)
- Both times that I was a pre-veto nomination, I was vetoed by ANOTHER player in the game despite being the HOH’s target.
- I won 4 competitions at times when I was most vulnerable in the game: 2 HOHs, a POV and a Sunset Power competition
I don’t want to bore you with a long unfocussed speech, so I will instead give an overview of the strategic, social and physical aspects of my game and I will be happy to go more in depth with any specific questions you all have!
Four competition wins: 2 HOHs, 1 POV and the Access Denied power.
In the last survivor group game I played, I won 7 immunities at merge but gained very little respect from the jury for being too reliant on comps to take me to the end. In this game, I wanted a different narrative: I only wanted to win the comps when it was of CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE to my long-term game. I won the Week 2 HOH and POV specifically because I knew at this point in the game my threat level was huge, and the biggest competition threat (Jake) was actively coming after me. The other competition I won was in the double eviction, after Nathan was evicted, when I was in a very bad position and needed to take out at least one of the numbers from the other side who were getting way too powerful.
I do believe Nathan played a more ‘dominant’ physical game than me in terms of winning out, but a lot of the competitions I lost involved me either THROWING to another player to gain trust or HELPING out Nathan in getting his comp wins. For example, in the endurance comp which Ryan won, I had stayed up 11 hours which secured me safety and also started the chain reaction of Ryan and Craig eventually flipping to my side. Similarly, I told Ryan the answer in the veto the week Ben went home and told Nathan the veto answer the round Eoin went home.
The competitions that I did win were largely strategy based. My first HOH win involved me encouraging other allies to sacrifice themselves (having one ally posting before me, and one post after me). My first POV win involved me encouraging the other players to place their bets to ensure Jake would only compete in a challenge he would be unable to pull through on (which worked successfully), and then make sure everyone else threw the competition afterward. The other HOH competition I won (the GIF HOH) was due to a strong focus on me knowing all the events and days things had occurred (which I would then downplay in the latter trivia comps to seem unthreatening). Obviously the HOH’s I won/lost ultimately worked out for me in the end, but there were of course a few instances where I did try my hardest and it didn’t work out for me (such as in the final HOH competition) but then I would always use my social game to get me out of a bad situation.
I don’t think a strong physical game should necessarily be judged by winning the most competitions. It should be more about winning the competitions when you NEED them to dictate the course of the week/for safety, and I think it was evident I could do both of these things with the competition strategy I used. If you want to know more about my strategy in competitions (and any specific challenges I helped others with/ threw to someone) I encourage you to ask!
It was clear from my last group game that my lack of a strong social game was ultimately my downfall and I wanted to make sure I did not make the same mistake again. I wanted to get to know everybody as well as I could and (hopefully) make people feel comfortable with me. I got along well with every person who unfortunately ended up getting pre-jury due to a competition blowout by the other alliance, but I also had connections with the people who were in power. I had good friendships with both Eoin and Ben which meant they would not nominate me even though they were on the other side of the house. I also then developed friendships with Ryan and Craig which, not only resulted in them eventually flipping long-term, but kept me safe in Ryan’s HOH reign short-term despite being a clear target. I also formed strong friendships within my alliance, which meant if two of us did end up on the block I think I would've had a strong chance of attaining their votes. In the pre-jury, my social game was quintessential in keeping me safe because I was in the minority alliance who were unable to get power. My allies were dropping off one by one, yet I managed to stay off the block for every single week except one (where I was vetoed by a member of the other alliance which ultimately changed the course of the game).
I had a very pleasant experience in this game because I decided that I did not want to play this game on a personal level, which made me feel comfortable in getting to know everybody and developing genuine friendships. I would always make decisions that benefitted my game, but I took genuine interest in the players around me and also wanted them to succeed. I empathised with the players around me on a personal level but was able to adequately separate this from making the moves I needed to make to get me to the end. I think that by being somebody who was both an encouraging ally yet was also respectful to my opposition meant people were happy for me to remain in the game and kept their focus on other players who were more forceful in their approach. I think this is the main reason why I never ended up on the block as a final nominee.
I will not lie to you; I had an extremely tough time at the beginning of this game on a strategic level. I was in the minority alliance and a lot of people who were ‘playing’ in the middle were actually very tight to the opposition, which meant the cards were absolutely stacked against me. In both of my HOH reigns, my original target did not go home due to a combination of 1) power being won by my targets and 2) people ‘in the middle’ lying to me. The silver lining in this was that I was able to take out a member of the other side in both of my reigns, so my HOHs still did help me in this game long-term. Instead of attacking the players who did not vote in my favour, I decided to keep their dishonesty locked in the back of my mind and would instead use it against them at later points in the game.
Both of the people I targeted during my HOH reigns – Eoin and Jake – ended up going home in a later week because I controlled what was happening behind the scenes. The week Jake went home, I encouraged Nathan to break his deal with Jake and also told him vetoing Eoin would be a great option to keep Eoin on our side (when really, I wanted to secure the votes to take out Jake). I also got Pickles to swap his vote at the VERY LAST MINUTE which led to Jake going home. In the week Eoin left, Nathan had told me he wanted to throw the POV to take out Ben, but I instead gave him the answer to the final round and told him I could control Ben the following week, which resulted in Eoin leaving. The people who had lied to me in the game and screwed me over in the first half – Ben, Pickles and Adam – all then went home back-to-back before they could take me out. I was the one who told Ryan the answer to the POV which resulted in Ben getting backdoored. I also was the one houseguest vote which led to Pickles getting evicted, and the deciding vote which sent Adam out the door right after him. I ultimately wanted to correct all of the mistakes I made in the early stages of the game with my strategic game in the jury segment, and I am very proud to say I was able to do this.
Not only did I have a huge hand in all of those evictions, but I was protected (without having to win a competition) in all of those weeks too. Even in the week Adam won HOH, there was no nom-set he could have created which would have sent me home. In the final 5, the only possible way I went home was if Ryan won the veto and turned against me, but my long-term allegiance to him kept him on my side. At final 4, the only scenario I went home was if Ryan won HOH and Adam won POV – which almost happened but I made sure all of my alliance helped each other in the POV comp to make sure Adam did not win. Then in the final 3, I did not even have to win the final HOH competition to secure I went to the final 2, as I had worked so closely with Nathan the entire game and was feeding him information that Ryan would win over him by a landslide in the jury.
Thank you everybody for a great season. I have worked my ass of this whole game and I think I have had a great underdog story. I hope nobody has taken any of my moves personally because I tried my hardest to play this game on a solely strategic level and if you went home on my accord it was because you were a threat to my game. I enjoyed getting to know you all and I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have, and I will answer as honestly as I possibly can.
Good luck to you Nathan, thank you for being a great ally <3
Brad, I respect the game you played a lot. I think you had a rocky first half and to correct you saying you took out two people on our side, Kat wasn't really on our side she was kind of just on her own side. However, I think you had a lot of control over people and the moves they made (Craig, Ryan, especially Nathan). It's impressive. I think your first half game wasn't great, I think your end game was pretty flawless.
Thank you for correcting (and confirming) what I already knew that it was your move for Nathan to nominate me and veto Eoin because any sane strategist can understand that for Nathan's game vetoing me made much more sense than vetoing Eoin. But it was better for your game for him to veto Eoin and that's exactly what he did.
My issue is, Eoin told me after I got evicted that you told him you only evicted me because I yelled at Nathan on call and that if I didn't yell at Nathan you would have done what he wanted and evicted Ben. You and I both know that's not true. So I want you to clear up that even if I took it very lightly, you still were going to evict me because it would have been a bad game move for you to evict Ben over myself. So can you please clear that up? I mean regardless, you were above and beyond the more dominant strategic player in this final 2 and I just want to separate any personal feelings we had for each other and give you that compliment. I truly did like you until you yelled at me in TSC. LOL.
I really think when you look at comp wins, we shouldn't just reward the person who won a lot of comps, we should reward the person who was controlling the moves being made with the comp wins.
I understand the perception of Brad controlling my wins and power that comes with those is easy to trust, but it's far from the case. I am a gay cancer male from Texas, I do what I want and what I feel will benefit me the most. It may have been better for me to veto Eoin instead of you in Brad's eyes, but in the end, that move is just a stepping stone that got me to the final 2. Had I vetoed you that week, who knows what would've happened, but with the choices I made, it still got me to the end of this game.
The trust I had in Brad was unwavering. With all the power I was able to obtain in the game, it eventually just became beneficial for mine and Brad's endgame to merge together. I think it's a lot harder to play this game when you don't have as many relationships prior to the game, so for me, winning these competitions was a way to get those relationships and keep them.
Thank you for your words Jake, I appreciate them a lot.
Quick sidenote about the TSC thing before I talk game: I did come in pretty forceful on that day so I apologise for that and, in retrospect, I probably didn't approach it too greatly when I tried explaining myself in your pms on Day 1 of this game either. So yeah, on my end at least, I don't have an issue anymore and I'm willing to move past all of that.
AS FOR GAME,
In terms of the Kat vote, you're right actually. My read on Kat's position in the game wasn't great and I thought she was closer to your side, at least game-wise, than she actually was. To rephrase my speech, Kat wasn't really someone I could rely on so her leaving was not... terrible for me basically.
As for your question about the shouting on call: you would’ve been my target regardless. I did use that situation as ammunition to get some other players on board with evicting you though. For example, I think Ryan was a bit reluctant to vote you out because Nathan’s original target was Ben, but I told Ryan about the call situation and said that I doubt Nathan has a huge preference for voting out Ben at this point anyway because of what had happened. I’m not ENTIRELY sure how I worded that entire situation to Eoin cause my convos with him were usually on call. But yeah, the answer to your question is yes I would've evicted you that week regardless of the call situation, but that situation aided me in securing the votes I needed to get for you to go home.
Thank you. I knew you were always evicting me and I respect that you used my anger towards anger for your strategy and you got him to veto Eoin which was much worse for his game. Him 100% believing you were saving me just shows his lack of understanding of the game.
I'm absolutely willing to move past everything that happened with you.
You told dirty lies. Lies that you didn't need to tell & you hurt people doing that. Nathan, you kind of played this game under Brad's thumb, the whole time, like a spouse in a bad abusive relationship. I like you but I can't support that. As tough as this game is, it really comes down to how you treat people. That's what I'm basing my vote on. It's not what you stand for, it's what you fall for too.
Yes I did, and half the lies I have told you aren't aware of yet. I can only own my truth now and hope that you realize everything I did was to ensure that I made it to the end. I can 100% tell you that had you cut me at any point in the game, you probably would've gotten my vote, Jake. I respect the hell out of your leadership and strength. I also know you are a Taurus, and I know that I was able to manipulate your emotions in this game to further myself. I apologize for that, but it was something I felt was right to do at the time.
Oh my mind is clearly made up here someone was fighting an insane uphill battle to even consider people voting for them in a final two and then decided to butcher many social interactions and moves and still sit next to the biggest threat to win. Very very foolish gameplay.
If you're talking about me, I understand. However, you and I had MANY conversations about loyalty, and I think of all the players in the game I know you understand that me betraying a friend who has had my back not only all game, but since we became friends just felt extremely dirty to me. Ryan had a great shot to win this game against me, and if I am the one to lose I would like to know I was able to lose to my ride or die in the end.
I was thinking the vote would tie 2-2 and Ryan was going to evict you in that moment. Unfortunately, I didn't account for the lack of conversations I had with Pickles, because I didn't anticipate him creating the majority of a 3-1 vote. I should've realized that when he decided to vote with the majority a few weeks prior when I was evicted, but I thought I could create some chaos if the vote tied.
Hey final 2! First off, congrats on you two being here! Woot woot!
Brad, currently I believe you played the best game out of everyone, and a far superior game to Nathan. But I just have a couple questions if you don't mind answering. You mentioned in your little speech above that I "lied and screwed you over in the first half" of the game. I don't remember this, so if you could clarify this statement I would appreciate it. Also, are you still going to gift me because I evicted Jake, or was this a lie?
Nathan, In my opinion and the opinion of other people on the jury you were one of Brad's sheep. It was very prevalent when you chose not to backdoor him in the final 5. I understand that you two had a final 2, but did you not realize that he had a superior game to yours? That could have been the standout move of the season, and would have definitely won over support from the jury.
Something else I didn't appreciate was how cocky you were in the game. It was a big turnoff when you kept on humble bragging about your competition wins, and how you beat records and what not. Do you regret doing this?
Thank you both! I might ask more questions later on if needed.
Tengaged.com is an online social site and it's not affiliated with Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, Lionsgate Entertainment, Endemol, Big Brother TV show or any other party related to the social games that can be found in this site. All icons, trademarks and logos are property of their respective owners.