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Death of a Legend: Breaking Down Neda Kalantar’s Unsuccessful Return to Big Brother

Before we get started – YES Neda stans, I actually took the time to write ALL of those words, and that is the only thing that you should take away from this.

neda crying

I recently had a mini debate about Neda and how I could not state who was the smartest between her and Ika because they both have/had glaring flaws in their games. Someone tweeted me and told me that it was not even close, that Neda is the smarter of the two. I get people’s natural instinct to state that Neda is much smarter. She is QUEEN Neda, the Legend, the MASTERMIND, and Ika is like a bull in a china shop with her erratic game of flip flopping messiness. It is easy to point out all of the things that she is doing wrong and it is clear as day, even for the most die hard Ika fans, that her winning Big Brother is highly unlikely. For Neda, all of the reasons I believed her game was just as bad as Ika’s, and arguably worse, came to a head when she was ousted during this week’s Double Eviction. Her game was not smarter, it just seemed that way because Ika’s bad moves are so LOUD.

I have a confession to make… I was not really a Neda fan anymore when Big Brother 5 started…. So I thought it would be funny to vote for her to get the immunity because I knew she could NEVER win if she made it to the end. How her fans thought that giving her that power would not backfire is a mystery to me. They either did not think she had the ability to make jury on her own or… are stupid? I don’t know.

I did not know at the time that Neda would play such a major part in tanking her own game, but I could not see how someone, who has immunity through 5 evictions, could actually win. So, I said, “Why not?” and split the votes between her and someone I knew could never win (Ika, lmao).

Side note: Honestly, there were much more strategic ways to hand out that power if you wanted Neda to get far, without giving it to her. BBOTT made me never want to try to vote strategically with fans again, however, so I definitely was not the one to make that argument. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

When Neda got the power, I thought she was going to be smart enough to use the down time to form relationships and bond with people to make them NOT want to evict her when her immunity ran out. I then thought she would use the fact that she was immune for 5 weeks as a bargaining chip to get to the end by saying that there is no way she can win as a vet and someone who had a free ride to jury. I thought she was going to tell them that sitting next to her was the best way to make sure that they win in the final 2.  She did neither of those things. Instead, she made enemies and displayed a snotty, entitled attitude that made evicting her one of the easiest decisions (the majority of) the house had made all season.

So, where did it all go so wrong?

A basic of Big Brother is managing relationships with your allies (both real and faux) and one of the biggest flaws in Neda’s game was bad alliance management. (For this, I am going to include Bruno because both he and Neda have managed the alliance the same way and was on the same page about targets and who to use to attack people within their alliance.) While, naturally, the first thing you should worry about in BB is your own game, you also have to make people in your alliance THINK that you actually care about their games as well. Neda and Bruno did a horrible job at this. Instead, their expectation that the alliance was supposed to take out their targets FIRST and ONLY, and keep ONLY their shields in, was made very clear pretty early on. An alliance is supposed to benefit all members. If your members are making sacrifices, and you are not, AND THEY CATCH ON TO IT, there is going to be a problem.

The alliance was working to take out threats to Neda and Bruno’s games, week after week. Their stated future plans only included targeting their threats or people who they were not interested in roping in. After Demika helped to evict several threats for Neda and Bruno, they made it clear that they wanted Demily up (and Dillon evicted) because they were their threats.  Neda and Bruno did not even PRETEND that they cared to target Demily. Prior to the Gary/Dre nominations they told Demika that, if they won HOH, they would NOT put up any of the three threats to their game – Jackie, Dillon or Emily. They told them if THEY won HOH that it was “fine” if THEY nominated Demily, but that was the only way Demily would be nominated. What is French for, “What?” This is not how an alliance of give/take works. Demika was doing all of the giving, and Bruno/Neda was doing all of the taking.

Don’t get me wrong, if you can get your alliance to take out only your targets/threats and keep only the people who are best for your game, THAT’S PERFECT. But, you can’t do that if the people in your alliance SEE that you are doing it.  In that case, you have to compromise and sacrifice some to keep the peace and make sure the people you are working with do not turn on you. You know… like Sindy turned on Neda.

For Sindy, she wanted The Six to be THE alliance and, when it got to the FINAL 6, perhaps she wanted to roll with Bruno and Kevin to the end as the Season 3 alliance. So, given that the basic theory that taking out your alliance members’ threats strengthens the ENTIRE alliance, it was a problem that Neda and Bruno were not willing to take out Demika’s threats to keep them placated and protect their alliance. It became obvious to Demika that the reason that they wanted to keep Demily was to go after them and ultimately take their place in The 6.

Demika and Sindy tried to explain to Neda/Bruno that the issue that Demika had was that they were not getting anything from The Six despite all of their sacrifices, WORKING to keep them off the block and having to shoulder the brunt of the targets from those outside of the alliance. Even with that explained, Neda and Bruno insisted on staying the course and, instead of trying to make them feel comfortable, planned to have Demika evicted.

Truthfully, this is some of the poorest alliance management I have ever seen. It may have worked if the whole cast were newbs, but it was never going to work on Ika, and ultimately Sindy, because their intent was extremely obvious to people who know their games and who also learned from their mistakes the first time around… Oh, and also to people with a couple of brain cells. If you are in an alliance with people who are fine with you being at risk every week, and who refuse to go after people who are targeting you, even though you go after their threats, your alliance is shit and they are just using you. 2nd timer or not, you should be able to pick up on that quite easily.

Neda’s biggest problem is that everything that Ika had been saying about how the alliance was operating, and how selfish the alliance is (“the alliance” really meaning Neda and Bruno), was TRUE. The alliance WAS selfish and was operating to only benefit Bruno’s and Neda’s end games. Sindy saw that Ika was right so she took it upon herself to try to salvage the alliance the best way she knew how – cutting out the person who she saw as being most toxic to its success. It was not going to be Bruno because of their season 3 alliance.

In the end, Neda’s style of gaming came across as selfish and she displayed a rigid unwillingness to compromise with people who are supposed to be her allies. Sindy herself said that when Neda said The Six was done is when she started to turn against her. If you are going to “pick sides” between a side that is selfish and a side that has made sacrifices to try to help everyone in the alliance, which side are you going to pick?

Well, if The Six is done, exactly what obligation does one of the members of The Six have to keep you safe?

Bruno should take note and switch things up a bit before he suffers the same fate as Neda. The thing he has going for him is that he has a more natural likability. Some people may leave convos with him feeling as if they can’t trust him, but they still want him to win (somehow).

Sadly for Bruno, his desperation to breakup Demika, and get out Demetres this week, without personally getting any blood on his hands, may backfire. After dumbly throwing the HOH to the (highly likely) brain damaged boxer who cries because he can’t take his mixed niece (Dillon’s words, not mine) out to the woods, feeds unsuspecting people his ball sweat and cheats on his girlfriend for the world to see, he and Kevin find themselves in danger because you can’t really predict the future actions of a man like this.  In an ironic twist, if Kevin left, Bruno may actually be in a better position than he is in right now since PEOPLE STILL WANT HIM TO WIN – you know, if it is not them.  But that Kevin Martin? Has got to go! ::Karen’s voice::

Side note: It is hilarious that Bruno and Kevin blame Sindy for putting them in this position by evicting Neda, as if he was not part of the problem with not keeping Demika happy and didn’t just throw HOH to Dillon. No, it is not Sindy’s fault, sweetie. IT’S YOURS.

Anyway,  Enough about Bruno…

Neda’s other issues are just additional layers atop the bigger issue of bad alliance management, but still in line with her bad people skills. One of those layers is her inability to connect with people on a human level. I am one of those people who used to think that Neda could have gotten to the end without Jon, but after this season I am not so sure. It is hard to tell if Neda is this way because she is now THE LEGEND, Robbed Queen of Big Brother Canada Season 2, or if she was just better at hiding this bitchy, entitled side during BBCAN2. It is probably a little of both.

Yes, I know Neda said before the season she was going to be a bitch this time, but I swear I thought that meant she was going to be unapologetic about her game moves TO THE FANS, IN THE DR. That she would be reading people for filth to the fans, IN THE DR. Not that she was going to be a real life twat to the people she had to rely on to keep her safe. I fail to see how that was ever a good strategy in a game where relationships actually mean something. It especially is not a good strategy if you have been given immunity until jury. It is as if Neda heard Maddie say last season, “You don’t need numbers to win BB!” and said, “That girl is on to something!” There was no logic behind it. Being an entitled bitch, cold and distant while immune just ensured that people had in the back of their minds that they want you gone the second your immunity is up. Or, at best, they just don’t care if you survive or not.

Neda did not spend any of her immunity strengthening relationships with people on all sides of the house. Towards the end, she spent most of her time holed up with Jackie bashing Ika (which was wholly unproductive) and going to bed early. Back in week 3, when she won HOH, she did not even use the opportunity to get closer to people, to talk to other HGs to see where their heads were, or even to ask for safety once her immunity ran out… You know, since she was keeping them safe during her HOH and all. She did not strengthen any relationships, she made no deals, she just said, “I am nominating Cassandra, vote her out.”  I was flabbergasted, truly. I was also disappointed because even though I may not have cared for her personality anymore, I did truly buy into the Mastermind Neda myth. What exactly is the point of winning comps, while you have immunity, if you are not going to use those wins to try to buy yourself favor with people in the house?

In this regard, Ika runs circles around Neda. Sure, she has a tendency to blow up on people and have to go crawling back with her tail between her legs, but the fact that she can do this is also a testament to her social game. If she wanted to repair her relationship with Taylor Swift, she has the social skills to pull it off. I mean, who would have thought that after her Sindy rant and fallout that she would have managed to pull Sindy so far back in that she convinced her that Neda needed to go for the sake of The Six? Ika is not the best at articulating her feelings when she is upset, because she struggles greatly to mask her anger and annoyance, but through that anger was always the truth – “Demetres and I have done a lot forthe alliance, and Neda has done nothing and does not plan to do anything for anyone but herself.” I am also sure that the impromptu roast of Sindy, that she DEMANDED people participate in, didn’t help.

Neda simply does not have a personality to offset the nastier aspects of who she is. This matters greatly and Ika is an example of how it matters. It matters, not just to fans watching the game play out, BUT FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE PLAYING THE GAME! No matter how much people want to say it is hypocritical to like Ika and not like Neda, it is basic human nature to accept things from people who have personalities that you like. You accept more from people who are witty and fun and outgoing and make you laugh and entertain you. There is a reason that comedians can get away with saying things that average people can’t say. Trust that if Ika was all negative, all anger, all bitterness without the human and fun (non-people bashing) layers that she gives us, she would not have half the fans that she does now. I mean, we literally just watched Jason get robbed during BBOTT because too many people could not take his negative, angry, and bitter all the time, persona. While I am personally capable of voting based on game, AND DID, I also did not like Debbie Downer Jason. His balance of FUN Jason and UNHAPPY Jason was waaaay off. It was not fun to watch and listen to it all the time and his misery rubbed off on me. That’s how it works, people. Ika has a lot of good stuff to rub off on people and Neda has… like… none.

And, let’s face it, production clearly prefers the entertainment value that Ika brings to the show over Neda. I mean… the shade of it all:

Lastly, targeting vets so early was just a poor choice. The casts in Canada tend to be a bit different than in the US, mostly meaning that they don’t all generally come from bars and Tinder. Most of the newbies actually knew the vets and liked them and wanted to work with them. If the vets could have stuck together for AT LEAST a few weeks, they could have set up a better end game for themselves by exploiting this with the newblettes. I understand that Cassandra and Dallas were probably never going to be on Neda and Bruno’s side totally, and getting them out worked for their games… But evicting Gary took it a step too far and all of the vets walking out of the door back to back took away any concerns that targeting a vet would result in backlash. The risk was always that the newbies would wake up and say, “Hey, we have the numbers now, we can take them out.” Cassandra, Dallas and Gary were actually all shields the quieter, smarter vets could have used to hide behind.  Personally, I think that it was more important for Neda to prove that Cassandra was overrated and that she could never be as good as her since a lot of delusional fans/feeders actually think that Cassandra played a good game last season. Neda proved her point, but at what cost?

blink 3

Anytime my favs start to play poorly and make bad decisions, the thing I always say is that they are bringing the bad consequences on themselves. I cannot be upset with how the house responds to their bad game moves. Neda stans will probably stay in denial about this, but she made a shit ton of bad choices that led to her inevitable eviction and because of this, it is hard to still think of her as a mastermind.

Neda had all she needed to work with. She had a power that would have probably kept her from winning, but would not have stopped her from getting further if she would have played it right. She was given a real life friend of Jon’s to play with.  She had Ika from her 1st  season. She had veterans AND newbs who were excited to play with the Legend of Big Brother Canada. Instead of trying to capitalize on this, she threatened Jon’s friend by saying Jon will not be friends with him anymore if he upsets her; she made Ika feel like she did not care about her game; and apparently she could only bond with newbies if they are bashing Ika with her. Perhaps she was given so much on a silver platter that it backfired. It appears that it made her think, somehow, that she did not have to actually work on relationships and play the game. Just being Neda Kalantar was enough…

…But, it wasn’t enough…

I have a feeling that Neda will walk away from this thinking that the only reason Canada turned on her is that she took out fan favorites Cassandra and Gary. While this actually may be a big part of why a lot of CASUAL fans do not like her, the biggest problem for both casual fans and live feeders was her snide, nasty attitude.  Luckily for her, she still has her die-hard fans and BB Alum awaiting her ass to kiss and they will never dare tell her the part she played in her own demise. They can all live together in fairy tale land, where the actual problem is that Ika made Neda look bad to the fans, Sindy is simply Stupid with an S, and it is all the fault of editing.  Yes, the shows could have been edited differently to paint her in a more positive light (like it is for Ika, lulz), but the fact of the matter is that they can’t show what is not given to them. The fans have the right to change their opinions of Neda just like she changed the person she presented to Canada. Negativity begets negativity. C’est la vie! (I am pretty sure that is French.)

Well, that does it for my breakdown of Neda’s game. I feel like I am missing some points I wanted to hit on, but that’s okay. I can always add them later, for the record.




One thought on “Death of a Legend: Breaking Down Neda Kalantar’s Unsuccessful Return to Big Brother

  1. Drag her, Krazilia! I agree. Btw, I also split my votes between Ika and Neda. lol. They were my favorites and I couldnt choose.

    Id compare Neda’s game to Kenny’s, which is ironic for too many reasons.
    But yeah, I agreed with most of what you wrote.
    What made Neda a legend was how under the radar she was with her strategic moves. She would convince people like Jon to make moves that wouldnt benefit them by convincing them that it would.
    This time around she probably bought into her legend status. I never remembered her as a catty girl with over the top obnoxious behavior.

    Btw TOTALLY wish Sabrina was on this season instead of Sindy. Agggh.

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