Vanessa Vs. Derrick: Who's The Better 'BB' Player?

by Sally Mercedes

It seems that every year, comparisons between current and former Big Brother houseguests are inevitable. Last season, Nicole compared Derrick to Dan and got evicted for it, and for most of this season, Steve has been compared to Ian. Over the last several weeks, some drama has been brewing amongst fans when it comes to comparing Vanessa's game on Big Brother 17 to Derrick's from last season. Derrick, who has a weekly blog on Big Brother Network and talks BB on YouNow after each episode, has been very open about the fact that he does not like or agree with Vanessa's gameplay. This, of course, prompted some fans to lash out against him and his own strategy, saying he's jealous of Vanessa's game. He maintains that he's not jealous of her because she's playing a very different game from his and that he definitely agrees she's playing a strong, good game, he just doesn't like it. So, what's the deal with Derrick's beef, and how do Vanessa and Derrick compare in the Big Brother game?

Derrick has a couple of major issues with Vanessa's game, and one of them illuminates perhaps his greatest strength as a player, so let's start there.

As much as Vanessa says she's constantly thinking about endgame and long-term, she gives no real indication that this is actually true. Instead, she tends to be heavily influenced by the current climate of the house. The best example of this is when she almost backdoored Austin, her greatest ally in the house and the first person with whom she made a final two deal. Austin himself called her out on it at the time, helping her see that her long-term game would be hurt by the short-term play of getting him out to appease the house.

Meanwhile, Derrick was always thinking several steps ahead, and he let that be known on the live feeds and in the Diary Room. Even when things didn't go his way, the fans knew and understood what he was thinking.

Point one for Derrick.

Derrick's other issue with Vanessa is how she tried to find loopholes in the rules to incentivize players to take her to the final two. Big Brother players are clearly told that they are not allowed to share their winnings or provide cash incentives for other houseguests as part of their deals. Because she's not in it for the money, Vanessa has gone against this rule several times, until recently when the producers told her to stop. Can you blame Derrick for having a problem with this?

But even Derrick admits that Vanessa is playing a smart game, even if it's too strong at times. One of her greatest strengths is being able to play both sides of the house so easily and for so long. In this way, Derrick and Vanessa have a very similar ability to appease others, even making them think her ideas are their own, so there's little fallout to deal with. Derrick was so good at this, he made it to the end without ever being nominated. Unfortunately, the houseguests are finally catching on to this with Vanessa, and we'll have to see if she talks her way out of that one as well.

Point two for Derrick.

As much as I agree that Vanessa is playing a smart game, it's just not up to par with Derrick's. Most of Vanessa's strengths (controlling HOHs and who gets sent home, manipulating others, breaking deals when she needs to), are Derrick's as well. Add to that how erratic she can be, and there's no contest here. Vanessa may very well win Big Brother 17, but she's no Derrick.

For more on this season of Big Brother, check out Bustle's podcast The Diary Room.

Image: CBS