The Big Brother Housemates spent their time in the House totally isolated from the outside world – no social media, no email, and the handful of messages that they were allowed to see from friends and family were carefully vetted by Big Brother to make sure that they didn’t give anything away. Consequently, none of them could know what their fans were saying about them, how the voting numbers played out or how popular they were.
But – come on – those of us who were paying attention to the thousands of social media posts, the fan accounts, and the general conversation about the happenings inside the House would have picked at least some of those Top 6 finalists early in the game. Liquorose, Pere and Whitemoney were early contenders for the top three spots, but they went about getting there in totally different ways.
Everyone knows, by now, that Whitemoney has been named the winner of the Shine Ya Eye season – his prize ceremony is mere hours away at the time of writing – and his fans have been crowing ever since, while the other Housemates’ supporters have spent that time eating crow. The question is, how did Whitemoney get here? How did he become a favourite for the Grand Prize so early in the competition? This is a look at Whitemoney’s Shine Ya Eye Playbook.
Take it easy
It’s no secret that Whitemoney was possibly the most laidback of the Housemates: he was no pushover, but he seldom got himself embroiled in big fights – unless the kitchen supplies were being misused. When the other Housemates were involved in a standoff, Whitemoney almost never picked a side, but would offer his advice (good or not) to the parties involved. In a Game that often rewards those who make the most noise, Whitemoney has shown that playing it cool can be just as effective.
Take it super easy!
Okay, we’ve spoken about his laidback attitude toward conflict, but we need to talk about his so-laidback-he’s-practically-horizontal approach to physical exertion. The morning gym sessions come to mind, here. While the other Housemates would grunt, squat, puff and sweat, Whitemoney would usually be lying down on his gym mat, looking at them like they were crazy. On the occasion that he did decide to move a muscle in unison with the others, it would be the bare minimum – and sometimes even less than that. Physical fitness, clearly, is for other people.
Okay – the jury is still out as to whether Whitemoney’s self-appointed position as chef-in-residence was a deliberate strategy, but if it was, is worked. And if it wasn’t – it worked, too. When Pere used his position as Head of House to block Whitemoney from the kitchen, it was because he identified the threat: somebody who is indispensable and forever in everybody’s good graces is unlikely to find himself on the Nomination lists, meaning that everybody else’s risk goes up. As a game plan, Pere was probably spot on.
Where he failed, however, was to properly prepare for the move. Whitemoney’s disappearance from the kitchen led to almost instant food shortages, fights and animosity toward Pere’s leadership style, which became increasingly heavy-handed as he fought to retain a semblance of authority while the tide turned against him. In the end, his manoeuvre failed spectacularly, and Whitemoney was returned to his position as Kitchen Guy, and nobody ever challenged it again. As such, Whitemoney became a fixture.
This wasn’t lost on the Big Brother audience, either. We all saw Pere’s attempt at steering the game his way, and we all saw it fail. While Pere’s popularity with fans certainly increased, his early own goal would never have been far from his mind – or Whitemoney’s. His continued survival of numerous Nominations would have given him some assurance that the viewers had his back.
And if you can’t be humble, be good at pretending to be. Whitemoney’s gratitude after surviving his first Live Eviction Show was palpable, and it translated into support from viewers, who saw it as proof that he wasn’t the typical arrogant, too-cool-for-school competitor. In the same vein, Whitemoney regularly said that his time in the House taught him a lot about himself, and about the type of person he wanted to be – another sign of humility that resonated with the voting audience.
Whitemoney has a decent sense of humour – about those around him and himself. His regular joking around made for some good viewing, even when what an audience usually wants is a no-holds-barred fight. Being able to joke with every one of the Housemates was a trait that everyone recognised, and it made some of the conversations in the House all the better for it.
Don’t sweat the little things
Okay, let’s just say it – Whitemoney was hopeless at the Head of House Games. Sure – he won it, once, but that was basically a fluke. He never ran fast enough to build up a sweat and would even stop everything if he rolled a “go back to start”, or something. He simply never thought that the Head of House position was worth dying over. Which is strange, because the position comes with Immunity – he just didn’t think the immunity was that big a deal and – for him – it obviously wasn’t. He survived every single one of his Nominations and just kept moving right along into Finale Week, then the Top 3, the Top 2 and all the way to the Grand Prize. We’re sure he had a game plan – it’s just that being the unbeatable boss was not it.
There you have it – Whitemoney’s unique approach to the Shine Ya Eye Season has left him as the ultimate winner. We’re sure much will be said about his win in the coming weeks, but the only thing there is to say now is, “well done, Igbo Kid!”
Watch Whitemoney's BBNaija journey below