LAST EDITED ON 05-03-13 AT 08:49 PM (EST)
I am so overdue a six-figure consultant's fee.
There's the usual hideous host of problems with this idea, but let's start with the fact that we're being asked to watch a rerun -- and the original version was called Big Brother #6. Once the twist is openly named or identified (and it's easy to see production lying to each family link by telling them they're the only one), the name of the game will quickly change to Break Up The Pairs. Every time a tribe loses, ouster focus can turn to undercutting someone on the other tribe by taking out their future alliance partner. Want to destroy Fillup? Don't we all? Let's start by tossing his brother. Of course, if you're Fillup's family member, you may have more incentive to vote him out than anyone in the world, but that's not the point: the whole idea is to seal the partner's fate by removing every built-in voting block possible. In that sense, everyone is going to be playing for the merge from Day One, and post-unity play may still focus on rendering up single units.
This makes alliances extra-tricky. You have no influence over what's happening on the other tribe -- or do you? If the twist is out in the open, I can easily see split immunities: winning tribe chooses someone to protect on the losing one. There's some epic arguments coming down the line... (Post-merge, people might occasionally play in pairs for twinned necklaces. And 'I give X part of my Reward'? Sure, why not?) But without that, you're still allying up to protect not only yourself, but your partner. I don't vote you out and your cousin doesn't vote my sister out? Suddenly, communication is the most valuable prize in the game. Forget hidden idols: this clue takes you to a secret meeting place where you can talk to your opposite number for five minutes. I can see Exile Island coming back just to let people talk strategy there: this time, the cross-tribe alliance can work because it's built-in... but you'll have to win your way into exile. And when you get back? Voted out. What else?
Or is this when we put them all on one beach again? Gah.
Would MB play the 'reach F2 together and double the prize?' card? He'll never have to pay out. How about 'blindside your husband for extra cash?' No, everyone would go for that... but he'll want the backstabbing, so don't expect cast family members to necessarily be on good terms with the Favorite. Or to be telling the truth about it.
Note that this completely destroys early tribe swaps, at least by random draw: creating early merged pairs -- would create a giant target, so naturally the show might consider it and thendo it twice per episode. But they'd want to be careful about making too many power duos early. (An arranged swap could still keep everyone apart if done with slight care.)
Are you despairing yet? And that's before we find out who's actually in this thing. Some of the possibilities are more horrifying than others.
Put this way: the first people I thought of were Brian and C.C...
Why not? It's as solid a definition of 'favorite' as we've had this season. (But I think this means getting Taj back.)