Just Friends

Two weeks ago, I discussed the lies that people tell themselves. This week, I want to talk about a different kind a lie. This is a lie you tell others. It is uttered every season.

It usually plays out like this: X is rounding up votes to ensure their safety. X goes up to Y and asks for Y’s vote. X subsequently asks about Y’s close ally, Z. “Oh, well, me and Z are close,” says Y. “But we don’t talk about game much. We just talk about personal matters. We’re just friends, really.”

This is always a lie. Always. Even if it isn’t an official alliance, it is an implicit alliance. Don’t ignore the obvious, people.

Some of it’s true, but an alliance—that’s not what it’s called. People make deals. They make deals and then that’s game.”—Caleb

This season, Caleb has propagated the Just Friends Lie, but he has diluted it to for the sake of verisimilitude. He denies the existence of an eight person alliance, saying that only he and Devin had a partnership. Yeah, Caleb was “cool with people” but that wasn’t an alliance. That was just week-to-week deals. Caleb is essentially saying, “We’re not an alliance. We’re friends with benefits.”

For manifest reasons (see Bombs Away!), no one is buying this. But sometimes this dumb lie is effective, particularly when playing with amateurs. It worked for the Brigade, right? So, if the game is in its early stages, I would advocate this stupidly transparent lie. Here’s how I would present it:

“I feel close to Z. Z is my friend. On a personal level, I wouldn’t want to see Z evicted, and I hope Z wouldn’t want to evict me. I think I can trust Z. But, dude, you can never know. Z could be laughing about me in DR, and I don’t want to be that doofus being played on national television.”


Bombs Away!

I don’t know if you’ve heard the news, but the Bomb Squad has been exposed—multiple times. Here is a compilation of some of those occurrences:

  • Devin outs the Bomb Squad to Amber and Christine before asking them to join
  • Zach outs the Bomb Squad to Hayden[1]
  • Christine outs the Bomb Squad to Nicole
  • Devin outs the Bomb Squad to Hayden and invites him into the fold, solidifying Hayden as the Gilby Clarke of the Bomb Squad
  • Devin quits the Bomb Squad and outs them to Brittany
  • Devin outs the Bomb Squad to Jocasta
  • Devin wakes up Donny in the middle of the night and outs the Bomb Squad
  • Devin outs the Bomb Squad to Nicole
  • Christine outs the Bomb Squad to Donny, Brittany, and Jocasta

Did I miss anything? Probably. This shit happens a lot. Hell, by the time the article is published, don’t be surprised if the Bomb Squad is outed five more times to a person that already knows.


Bed Sheets and Lotion

“I feel [Devin’s] going to come at me and frickin’ shove me against the wall and kill me.”—Victoria

Devin is a man of many names. Some call him the Devil. Some favor bully. Some call him Puppet Master.[2] People are frightened for their lives to inhabit the same house as him. He has made girls cry with nothing more than a dirty look.

Devin isn’t emotionally equipped to play Big Brother. All the gossip and strategic maneuvering has left him considerably frayed. He frequently acts mercurial. At his worst, he can be condescending and controlling.

And yet, I do not think his behavior is commensurate with his ghastly reputation. To call him a bully is such a gross exaggeration it makes me wonder if Christine is forwarding this sentiment as pure strategy; these tête-à-têtes with Devin that she professedly feels so threatened during are innocuous albeit tedious conversations.

There have been two occasions where people (Brittany and Caleb) came up to him and said something akin to, “The girls have problems with you. I can’t tell you which girls or what specific things you did to offend them, because I don’t want to betray their trust. But people are saying this. Actually, I don’t agree with them, and I don’t think it has anything to do with your direct actions. It’s just your manner, the way you’re being perceived.”

What is one supposed to make of that statement? It’s so vague it hardly means anything. Nevertheless, did he get overly defensive in response to these allegations? Absolutely. Did he get frustrated and talk over Brittany? Yes. It’s not the most mature response, but I understand where he’s coming from: He feels unfairly affronted.

There is certainly no evidence to suggest that Devin is an abusive person. I've yet to even hear him yell. I can’t fathom why Victoria feared Devin would murder her. Nor do I know why Christine got so upset over the Bed Sheet Incident.

Even now, in his Zen-like resignation, people are still drawing these conclusions. After nominations, he approached Nicole and asked her why Donny was nominated. Additionally, he said he knew he was being backdoored. “It’s a great game move,” he said calmly. “I mean, I can’t fault you for that.” He subsequently offered, “[Y]ou don’t even have to tell me [about being backdoored] if you don’t want to.”

When Nicole relayed this to her allies, how did she represent this conversation? She said he tried to “intimidate” her by asking about the Donny nomination.

I don’t see it. Devin has his faults, but let’s not forget this is a guy who had the fortitude to tell his best friend Caleb that Amber wasn’t into him. This is the guy who sang to his friend when he was blue. When he broached the issue of Caleb with Amber, he said, “You’re entitled to how you feel. I respect that 100 percent.” When Caleb got indignant about Amber, Devin defended her, saying, She didn’t make you look mean.”

Devin is not the Devil. Devin is not a bully. From what I can tell, Devin is a decent enough guy.

I really am sick of hearing about his daughter, though.

[1] It should be noted that Hayden didn’t appear to comprehend this at the time. He just kept monomaniacally insisting that he and Nicole were not involved in Devin’s plot to have Paola throw the Battle of the Block.

[2] Fine, no one calls him Puppet Master.