As the host of Big Brother for the past 24 seasons, Julie Chen Moonves has seen it all when it comes to game play, and she revealed that she thought Joe “Pooch” Pucciarelli volunteering to go on the Chopping Block was one of the Top 3 blunders in recent memory. Because the house seemed so determined to evict Taylor Hale, Pooch decided that he would sit next to Taylor on the block as a pawn. He thought that this would guarantee her eviction because he would either win the veto and keep nominations the same, thus preventing Taylor from saving herself, or he would have the votes to stay if someone else won. What Pooch did not know was that Head of Household (HOH) Jasmine Davis and some of the other players in the house saw this as their one chance to get Pooch, a strong male player, out of the house. Pooch’s plan backfired when he did not win the veto and was evicted unanimously by a vote of 12-0.
Pooch is not the first Big Brother houseguest to make a major blunder that ended up costing him the game. During Big Brother 3, Marcellas Reynolds arguably made the biggest mistake in the history of the show when he was on the block during the Final 5 and won the Power of Veto but chose not to use it to save himself. Because of this, Marcellas was evicted. In another mistake, Big Brother season 13 houseguest Lawon Exum volunteered to go on the block because he was convinced that if he was evicted, he would eventually return to the game with a special power. He was eliminated by a unanimous vote after he asked his fellow contestants to evict him and never returned. Another infamous Big Brother move that some considered admirable, but most considered to be an error in judgement, was Cody Calafiore’s choice to take Derrick Levasseur with him to the Final 2 over Victoria Rafaeli in Big Brother 16. Cody was pretty much guaranteed the win against Victoria, but he chose to stay loyal to his Hitmen alliance Final 2 partner Derrick. Derrick won the game, costing Cody the $500,000 prize. Cody made up for this decision by winning Big Brother 22, the all-stars season, a few years later.
In an interview with EW, Julie ranked Pooch’s decision as one of the worst in Big Brother history and blamed overconfidence for the error. When asked where Pooch’s move ranks on the list of greatest Big Brother blunders, she responded, “It’s probably in the top three! At least in recent memory. Hubris always gets these HGs.” Julie has seen it all when it comes to Big Brother, so for her to say this, she must really think that Pooch allowed his ego to get the best of him.
Julie also criticized Nicole Layog’s plan to try to end up on the block later next to her Big Brother Festie Bestie partner Taylor, especially after what happened to Pooch. Nicole is assuming that Taylor will be evicted if they are nominated as a duo and is hoping to get a mystery advantage if she stays in the house and Taylor leaves. Julie said that the plan “feels risky. Never ever try to go on the block! Look what happened to Pooch, and he had allies. Plus, since when are my surprises something good or that Houseguests should want?!” Julie is always warning the houseguests to “expect the unexpected,” but their overconfidence in themselves sabotages them in the end on Big Brother.
It is astounding that the houseguests have so many seasons of Big Brother from which to learn, but they always seem to repeat the same mistakes every season. Pooch’s mistake will certainly go down in history as one of the biggest. He went from being the Backstage Boss and completely safe in week 1 to walking out the door in week 2. Even though it might not be for a good reason, Pooch will certainly be remembered by Big Brother fans for years to come.