Here we go, ladies and/or gentlemen of the Jury. Click on through to see the Finalists answer for their sins, or something like that.

BARNABY

From Orgulas: You were one of the first people I talked to regularly, but eventually you just disappeared in strategic conversation. It appeared to me that your game was rather passive, and I’m wondering if there was any point at which you took the game by the balls and steered things in the direction you wanted them to be steered.

I would refer you to my answer to Merry’s question about connecting with Silver to thwart a Blimp/Burro final two.

I was silent initially because I completely spaced out during the Royal Rumble and forgot to check “my” email account because I kept thinking I would get an email from DK at my usual account telling me the challenge was up. Thankfully, it didn’t cost me, but it may have contributed to my appearance as aloof, disorganized, and clueless.

I don’t think I stopped having strategic conversations with you until it was obvious you were about to get eliminated. Until that point, while I didn’t lead the conversations, I always followed and offered insight (without betraying my other alliances) when a response was needed.

From Kellifer: It seemed, early in the game, that you were reticent to engage with Merry and I. We’re you being loyal to an early alliance or just playing a passive game?

I was being passive and watching to see how the game played out. I had a few “alliances” out there, and I was remaining “loyal” to all of them by not betraying one to another or voting anyone out of any of the alliances. Once I could see the lay of the land more clearly and saw that Orgalus was going to be a target, I decided to split with him and work more closely with your alliance. Unfortunately, I then heard a lot of players were targeting Merry next. I was stranded at that point, but was able to latch on with Burro and Blimp.

Too answer your question, I was being passive while determining which alliance would be most beneficial and then somehow found myself temporarily without any allies.

From Silver: What was your strategy for dealing with other competitors coming into the game and how did it evolve as the game progressed?

When the game first began, I think I sent everyone the exact same email acting as if I was completely clueless and wondering about the mechanics of the game. (Full disclosure: I did email DK a couple of times with clarifications about the rules because I was “clueless” about certain aspects.) My strategy was to come off as non-threatening and helpful and to push things whenever they needed pushing. I also planned to wait out the early game and then figure out how to make my moves.

I decided to note try to be HoH at first, but I planned to jump in the fray in the middle of the game and pick one of my two bigger alliances (either you and Orgalus or Merry and Kellifer) to survive while blindsiding the other. Unfortunately, that plan was thwarted pretty quickly, so I had to look surprised and hurt when my “allies” were dropping left and right. At that point, I decided to fall back into the shadows and only make a move when I absolutely needed one such as working with you in Battleship once it became obvious Burro/Blimp would take each other to the final two.

From Burro: I do not really know what to say to you. We had very little interaction, even when we were acting together with Blimp. My question for you makes me sound like I am interviewing you for a job, but here it is: Why should I vote for you?

I made all the moves necessary to get to the final. I was in numerous alliances throughout the game (Merry + Kellifer + me), (you + Blimp + me), (Silver + me), (Orgalus + Silver + me) and communication with lots of other players. I positioned myself throughout the game to shift around without seeming as overbearing as Orgalus and without most of these alliances knowing that I had other side-deals going on at the same time. A lot of players were sharing strategy and insight with me, and I successfully guarded all that information without tipping my involvement with other players.

The only time I felt threatened was during Battleship, and I took the steps there to ensure my survival. At all other points in the game, I had communicated with other players enough to know that I would continue to live and to let them burn their own bridges.

From Merry for Barnaby: When move did you orchestrate to ensure that you would be in the Final 2?

This is easy. When there were just four players left, Blimp and Burro seemed to work together on DK’s Grid Challenge. Once Blimp became HoH and nominated Silver and me, I approached Silver about working together on Battleship to ensure one of us got PoV. I had been talking with Blimp and Burro about eliminating Silver, but watching DK’s challenge + Battleship play out with Blimp and Burro seeming to work together, I knew that they would stick together if I joined them as the final three and I would be eliminated third. I didn’t want to eliminate Burro, but I made the move because I had no other way of reaching the final.

At that point, I had both Silver and Burro working with me to eliminate the other. Burro obviously kept me around to the Final Two, but I’m certain Silver would have kept me over Blimp if he had the choice.

BLIMP

From Orgulas to Blimp: You played a very sociopathic game. You stabbed people in the back but made a point not to get too attached to them beforehand, which is a strategy I greatly admired. You did luck out a lot when Crockett was eliminated – several of us eyeballed you pretty hard before going with Crockett. Did you know how close you were, and did that change your approach? How did you find your way back into things?

No. That didn’t change my approach. At that point in the game I had good relations with Orgulas, Silver and Merry in addition to being on speaking terms with Burro. All were reporting the same discussions about the vote to me, so I felt pretty confident I knew what was going on. I knew that I was being discussed as the potential vote, but either everyone was lying to me, in which case I wasn’t making it very far in the game anyway, or things were under control. Those discussions helped me know when to appeal to people and what their concerns were.

As for finding my way back into things, I continued to work with particularly those three (Orgulas, Silver, Merry) when they asked me to, and once that cooperation gave me an opportunity to make some moves (Rome HoH, Poker HoH, etc.), I did that.

From Kellifer to Blimp: Would you say that your placement in this game was, in part, due to being in the right place/right time type of scenario, i.e. luck, or had you created a strategy for the last several challenges?

I think my place in the game was determined by me seizing opportunities. In the Rome HoH challenge, Silver and Merry wanted Merry to win HoH, Orgulas and Burro were working to get one of them as HoH. I was in the middle in a key vote where there were 2 votes on Burro and 2 votes on Merry and I had promised each group to vote the way they wanted me too. I didn’t come into the challenge set on betraying Orgulas/Burro, but when it came down to it, I went with what I perceived to be the stronger group that would be better for me going forward. That decision put me in the position where I was trusted enough by Silver and Merry to win the next HoH without much effort on my part. Once I had that, I had the power to nominate the two strongest players, in my estimation, by recruiting the players they wanted to target.

Once Barnaby, Burro and I were an alliance, I wanted to get rid of Silver and Merry as quickly as I could, since they seemed to be the most well connected. My plan then was to have Kellifer as a backup/shadow alliance in case I had to make a move on Barnaby or Burro. Then Kellifer non-subbed, and became an easy target, so I dropped that idea quickly. Then it became important to get Barnaby and Burro as close to me as possible and make a solid group of three that would stay together to the final. I tried to emphasize that Silver was working against Burro when I talked to Burro, and tried to emphasize that Silver was dangerous because he won so many challenges when I talked to Barnaby. I never had the plan that I would win every HoH or PoV, but things worked out.

From Silver
for Blimp-

I would like to know about what was going on for the first half of your game. Was there anything that you did that you felt made you stand out or protected you from elimination?

I was trying not to stand out. My plan from the beginning was to be unthreatening and seemingly unconnected until the midpoint of the game, and then work my way into a good position over the final challenges. There was risk there, I could have been viewed as an expendable target and voted out quickly, but that risk was balanced against the risk of being seen as too strong of a player and being eliminated as a threat. I had talked with a few players, even talked about loose versions of an alliance with Merry, Orgulas and Silver. In those cases, I also agreed to keep the fact that we were talking quiet. Thus, I tried to appear alone, vulnerable, and non-threatening while in actuality having a reasonable network to let me know if I was on anyone’s radar.

The plan was for someone to view me as a potential patsy in the endgame and keep me alive to vote with them but not present a real threat in a jury situation. To that end, I tried to often ask “what should I do here?” and take other players advice. I didn’t answer emails right away, trying to appear disinterested or not fully engaged. I don’t think I initiated a conversation for the first two rounds. Whether that got any players to actually feel any impulse to protect me in the early game, that’s for them to say, but that was the idea.

I always planned on being more aggressive as the game went on.

From Merry for Blimp: At what point did you feel you took control of the game and what prevented you from taking control sooner?

What prevented me from being more aggressive sooner was the lack of opportunity. Part of that was by design on my part. Once I got the opportunities, I tried to make the most of them. I was always worried about some scenario that would unravel my game plan, so I wouldn’t say I ever felt in control of the game.

Burro can attest to the fact that I was very worried that Barnaby and Silver were still working together despite our agreement to work as a threesome. I was worried about Burro doing the same for a while until Silver lobbied hard to get him out instead of Kellifer.

Once I realized Silver hadn’t played Arimaa before, I felt pretty good about my chances of making it to the jury vote, but not until then.

Burro to Blimp: We did not talk much at first, and there seemed to be an unspoken enmity between us early in the game. You worked with Merry against me at one point, in fact, and I had been advocating with my alliance against you early on. I commend you for being open about this later in the game. However, it does make me wonder about one specific move of yours. When you came to me with the emails from Silver and Merry, showing that they were working against me, what was your game plan? You recruited myself and Barnaby at that point, and I can’t help but wonder what was going on in your mind.

My plan was to put together an alliance of three with people who didn’t have a lot of other connections. Barnaby seemed to be a very quiet player that wasn’t making aggressive moves, and Burro seemed to have fallen out of favor with his primary alliance. I also contacted Kellifer (who had nominated me when he was HoH) and tried to show goodwill by not nominating him at that point. I also kind of threatened him with nomination if Merry or SIlver won veto, which probably wasn’t the most friendly thing to do, so it wasn’t a perfect goodwill offer, certainly.

Given that I had emails from both Merry and Silver that I could share that clearly showed they wanted to nominate and evict Barnaby and Burro, I thought I had a persuasive argument that those two would be better off in an alliance with me.

In addition to setting up a strong alliance by “saving” Barnaby and Burro, I also wanted to try and break down alliances that had already formed. Silver and Merry seemed to have the most of those, so I targeted them and tried to show others that Merry and Silver were dangerous.

Blimp’s Final statement:

I played the game that I set out to play. Quiet in the beginning, more aggressive later. Whether or not that’s good enough to win, I am satisfied with my effort. I feel like I made some of the bigger strategic moves in the game, turning on Orgulas and Burro in the Rome HoH and forging the Blimp/Barnaby/Burro alliance to target Merry and Silver during my first turn as HoH.

I competed well in the challenges, I won three HoH competitions, more than anyone else. I won power of veto when I was nominated late in the game. Thanks to those wins, I couldn’t have been nominated for the last 4 evictions.

When I was nominated early on, I was convincing enough to keep myself in the game. I think the strategy element plus the competition element make my case a strong one.

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Okay, Jurors, it’s now all in your hands. The seven of you – Crockett, Till, Orgulas, Merry, Kellifer, Burro, and Silver – send me a vote for either Barnaby or Blimp to win Big Brother by Sunday at 3 PM Central. Assuming all the votes are in by then, I should be able to post the final result – and the reveal of all the players – by that evening.