This summer on “Big Brother,” it’s been all about the Boogie.
That’s Mike Boogie, the nickname of Mike Malin, the returning veteran and one of only two other players this summer — along with Dearborn’s Dan Gheesling — who have won the game previously.
Boogie won “Big Brother All Stars,” but that season — as well as when he was a houseguest during Season 2 — the perception was that he was riding the coattails of his partner Will Kirby, the greatest “Big Brother” player ever. (When counting down the best “Big Brother” players ever last month, I purposely left him off the list for this very reason.) But this year, Boogie has proven himself to be a dominant force in the game, the puppet master behind every major move in the house, and it puts his previous times in the house in a new light. Maybe Kirby was partially riding Boogie’s coattails, too.
Boogie came in the house this summer as a coach, part of a twist where four veterans would return to the house and coach the new houseguests. He immediately aligned himself with Frank Eudy, the son of professional wrestler Sid Justice and one of the most physically threatening players in the game. Because of his physique, Eudy was immediately viewed as a threat and was put up for eviction, but Boogie was able to work the house to save him — not once, but three times. In the process, Boogie masterminded the elimination of his longtime rival Janelle Pierzina, quietly controlling the house vote but also keeping the target off of his back. He has yet to be nominated for eviction.
There is of course something a bit odd about a 42-year-old who dresses in hip-hop clothing and calls himself “Boogie.” But Boogie is a more mature version of his former self this year, and in a weird way he’s playing one of the cleanest games in the house. He’s made no secret about his alliance with Eudy — he’s even reprised his classic Diary Room “phone call” sessions, with Eudy in the Dr. Will role — and he’s been up front about his motivations to the houseguests. He wants to win the game, and right now it looks like he might.
Of course, a lot can happen in the “Big Brother” house; strategize and scheme all you want, but sometimes votes come down to pure dumb luck. And Boogie certainly has enough blood on his hands right now that the houseguests would be foolish not to turn on him and get rid of him the first chance they get. But so far he’s played a masterful game, and he has truly earned his place as one of “Big Brother’s” all-time greats. Boogie down, Mike Boogie.