When this season started out, Big Brother production threw in one hell of a twist. Make that a couple of twists. The first 8 house guests, the newbies, were divided into couples without even knowing each other yet. It turned out to be a real school-yard pick. The most hormonally aggressive guy picked who he thought to be the prettiest girl. Or was that the girl he was most likely to score with? Two women huddled together in a corner to ward off his advances, partners by default. The big burly guy shouted out his choice, and the pretty boy seemed intimidated into becoming his prison bitch. And by default, the two who remained, like the last kids chosen in a school-yard pick, were thrown together.

Then the Newbies were introduced to 6 more people, the returning Veterans. The Veterans were made up of 3 couples. The three couples knew of each other going into things. And each of the couples had worked together as a couple during their seasons of Big Brother.

The Newbies were at a serious disadvantage coming out of the starting gate. Because of way BB production threw them together, the house started out divided into Newbies vs. Veterans. The Newbies didn't know their own partners, or anything about the other Newbie couples. With 2 BB winners and one runner-up, the Veterans had a lot of combined experience on their side. Beyond that, they had some of the biggest Big Brother competition winners in their group.

The Newbies have been outmatched in every way. They've only won one competition so far, and Dominic deserves sole credit for winning that one. Although it may detract from his win, I have to wonder... If Rachel's mouth hadn't distracted Jeff and Brendon in the competition, would it have turned out different? Both Brendon and Jeff were within a couple of gumballs of Dominic. Aside from one win, the Newbies have been outmatched at every competition. When it comes to planning, strategy, and counting votes, they've been outmatched at every turn also.

A losing alliance – The Regulators. The only thing they've regulated so far is their own demise. I'll give them this much credit, it was a good idea to combine one member of each of the Newbie couples into an alliance. But it would have been a better idea to include the other 4 members of the Newbies and go against the Veterans full-force. That was their only hope. If they had worked together, they might have had the votes to choose who stayed that first week. Winning the first eviction vote against the Veterans might have been enough to shake the Veterans up, frustrating, confusing, and weakening them. But the Veterans pulled two of the Newbie soloists into voting their way, gaining momentum in the game and the upper hand. The worst (or best) thing about the Regulators is that the only people voted out of the game so far have been... drum-roll please... Regulators! Even as I type this paragraph (about 2 AM HT, 26 July), Dominic is on the Live Feeds wondering if anyone out there is writing blogs and mocking the Regulators for going out 1, 2, 3. Here I am, Dom! <wave>

Kalia and Lawon are perhaps the most unlikely alliance I've ever seen in the game. I've seen floaters match up and float together before, but I'm not sure I can call Kalia and Lawon an alliance. Sure, they are a 'couple' for the first few weeks of the game. But they've been throwing each other under the bus left and right since the very first week. They've thrown each other under city busses, school busses, tour busses... even short yellow busses! (No disrespect meant toward Special Education students, more an example of how much they've called each other 'stupid' to the other house guests.) Maybe they aren't exactly an alliance, but if they survive for a couple more weeks, their only chance for further survival will be to become one. I'm not sure if I should call them the Made-for-Each-Other Alliance, or the Misfit Alliance.

Of the remaining Newbies, their couples alliances have all gone pretty much the same way as the Misfit Alliance. Porsche and Keith threw each other under the bus the first week, preferring the Gold Key to each other. I'm sure that Keith preferred Porsche to the Gold Key until he realized that he wasn't 'gonna get to tap that'! Perhaps he should have kept his junk in his pants, maybe that's what really came between them? They went so far as to both throw the PoV contest against each other for the Gold Key. How'd that work out for ya, Keith? Cassie and Shelly really did seem to like each other. And Cassie never threw Shelly under a bus, even when her own Big Brother life was on the line. But Shelly did indeed go out of her way, starting in week 1, to throw Cassie under the bus in pursuit of the Gold Key. Adam and Dominic never seemed too sure about each other. But even when the Veterans gave Adam an offer he couldn't refuse, he refused it in favor of Dom. Unfortunately, Dominic didn't return the favor. Dominic has been sharing his doubts about Adam with everyone. Maybe he never specifically threw Adam under a bus, but he was throwing suspicions of Adam all over the place, which is just as bad if not worse.

In hindsight, it seems that the Newbie alliance as a whole, and its individual 'couples alliances', were doomed even before the game began.

When it comes to the Veterans, who would have imagined in a million years that Jeff and Jordan and Rachel and Brendon would be in an alliance together? This is the most-unlikely alliance I can imagine in the history of Big Brother.

During their first season, Jeff and Jordan didn't start off in an alliance. They were friends who evolved into boyfriend-girlfriend. Whatever they have, it's real, with no game-play involved. That's a part of why they are America's Sweethearts! During their season, they were in a group of friends who hung outside on the patio together. Jeff said it best in Season 11 during an argument when he stated that for weeks he had to sit and watch his friends slowly disappear from the game. He wasn't in an alliance with any of them, they were just a group of friends. Maybe we could say that Jeff and Jordan were a part of a group of floaters. Can you imagine how strong an alliance they would have made if they'd stuck together and played the game against the rest of the house? But it didn't turn out so bad for Jeff and Jordan. They went far in the game as floaters, while others were viewed as bigger targets. And when they were finally forced to work together, it was enough that one of them went on to win the season.

In one of the most extreme cases of opposites ever, there is Brenchel. I always viewed Rachel as looking to replicate the magic that is Jeff and Jordan. I always viewed her as going into the house looking for a showmance, especially in light of how fast she latched onto Brendon. Brendon: “I'm working on my Ph.D.” Rachel: “I love you!!!” I wonder why that line never worked for me? It has recently come to my attention that Brendon probably went into the house looking for a showmance too. I recently found out that even before the Live Feeds went live, he may have hit on Britney. (So did Lane, but that's another story.) As we saw on the Season Premier of Season 12, Brendon was trying really hard to impress Annie when Rachel stepped in and took the bait. Annie, I think that with what you know now, you'll agree that you are better off without Brendon! (Unabashed shout-out to Annie, who doesn't know me and wouldn't want to, but who I think is pretty awesome none-the-less!) In some really sick way, perhaps Brendon and Rachel were meant for each other? They both wanted a showmance, they both got a showmance. They are both annoying and generally disliked by America. Yes, in some really disturbing way, perhaps they belong together.

But Brendon and Rachel and Jeff and Jordan in an alliance? Even I am momentarily at a loss for words! Didn't Brendon throw a (miniature) bowling ball at Jeff and Jordan who were hosting a competition last year? Didn't Brenchel want to BE last season's “Jeff and Jordan”? These two couples have almost nothing in common. The only similarities I can see is that they are both couples of the approximate same age, and they are both on Big Brother. In all other respects, they are opposites.

Brenchel are pseudo-intellectuals, thinking they're more intelligent than they are. (Good luck with that Ph.D. Brendon!) Jeff and especially Jordan play down their intelligence. Brenchel are fierce competitors. They win a lot, and are aggressively over-the-top when they do – terrible winners! And they are terrible losers as well, crying and throwing tantrums at every loss. Jeff and Jordan compete and try, but their wins often seem as much luck as skill. When they win, they are usually modest about it. And when they lose, they usually maintain a decent attitude. Jeff and Jordan are wholesome family entertainment with their on-screen relationship. Rachel and Brendon are trying to make names for themselves in the adult entertainment industry. Brenchel gets along with no one for long, everyone gets along with Jeff and Jordan. The list goes on and on. For me, watching the four of them work together is like an oxymoron wrapped in a paradox.

Yet for all that, their alliance seems to be solid. It isn't. As everyone has seen, even those who only watch the network broadcasts of the show, Brenchel have repeatedly talked about J/J behind their backs. Yet J/J are trying to stay true to Brenchel as long as possible. When Danielle, another Veterans Alliance member, tried to break them apart too soon, it did make the two couples temporarily tighter. It also put a big fat target on Dani's back.

Danielle's game this season has been the same as it was her first season. First, she hangs with the late-night crew, creating an underground alliance of 'friends'. J/J and Brenchel are very suspicious of this, but Dani insists that there is no late-night gaming going on. Then she flirts with a guy to get him to do her dirty work and take the fall for it. So she's this season's Dr. Will? Dom sure is taking the fall for her this week! But rather than being mad at her, he's still hanging with her. He even told Dani today (Tuesday) that if it wasn't for her, he wouldn't even be in the game. You lost me there, Dom! Where was she when you applied to be on Big Brother, hmm?! C'mon, Dani! I liked you! You're going to have to do much better than that, because J/J and Brenchel are on to you, and they ARE coming after you.

Sooner or later, Brenchel will turn on Jeff and Jordan. I predict that their big move will occur when 6 or 7 people are left in the house, well before their Final 4 agreement. J/J's only hope is to make a move on them first. If you are a Jeff and Jordan fan, you'd better hope that they learned their lesson in Season 11, when Kevin feigned allegiance to them, then took Jeff out the next week. If J/J remember that lesson, perhaps they'll make a move on Brenchel first. Because it's pretty much a sure thing that this unlikely, unhealthy, and seemingly unholy alliance that J/J have made with Brenchal isn't going to last to Final 4.