So after 99 days in the Big Brother house it came down to two strong players. Anyone who watches Big Brother After Dark or the live feeds on CBS All Access knew well before Wednesday’s finale that Paul and Nicole were advancing to the live final HoH competition. Since the finale episode had to show us both the results of the first two comps, regular TV viewers did not get to see the days leading up to the final comp as Paul worked hard to convince Nicole that he was taking her to the end no matter what, while Nicole also swore the same to him. But in her private moments, there was always a doubt in her mind that she very well could lose against the guy who could basically talk himself out of or into anything, including that win. Nicole waffled many times over the course of the days leading up to the finale, knowing that she had a better chance against James than Paul, and if she did lose to Paul her life would be consumed by all the “what ifs” she could think of. But ultimately, she didn’t have to make that choice as Paul pulled out another crucial win in the final HoH giving him the chance to cast the last vote to evict. And he stuck to his word and evicted James.
Earlier in the finale, we had a chance to see the eight jury house members have a sit down with Dr. Will Kirby to debate the merits of the final three. Most of them seems to feel that James’ under-the-radar approach to the game this season did not make him worthy of winning $500,000 no matter how much Natalie tried to convince them that he worked hard to keep both of them safe, but his tactic of voting however the house wanted, despite his great social game, did not sit well with the jury. Nicole “the snake” seemed to rub many of the women on the jury the wrong way, particularly Da’Vonne who kept wishing Nicole would join them. Most of the jury felt she rode the coattails of all the strong men she latched on to, but Corey made some good arguments on her behalf. Most everyone saw Paul as the strongest player, but his mouth really got him into trouble with the women. However, they seemed to be resigned to the fact that he played the game well after Victor laid out some of his attributes.
Then it was time for the jury to grill the Final Two, and this is where Nicole felt Paul would destroy her. But, something odd happened with the first couple of questions Paul was given — he didn’t really answer them. He was like a bad politician faced with a question and giving an answer that danced all around what was asked. Nicole, however, answered each of her questions very pointedly. It wasn’t until Paul was asked why he should win that he finally laid out his case, which included not only scoring all of those wins in the last few comps, but being on the block six times, winning the Vetos when he needed them most, and being the first to find the secret room and picking the Round Trip ticket that prevented anyone else from coming back (although that part was just dumb luck). Most of all, Paul admits that he’s a loud, brash person in real life and he didn’t hide that in the house. He was who he was, and he played the game regardless of the feathers he ruffled. Nicole had a tough act to follow, but she also laid out all of her game play point by point until she got a little frazzled at the end. Both gave good final speeches to the jury, making their decision even harder.
In the end, Julie Chen read the votes in the reverse order that they were cast and after eight jury votes we had a tie. This was one of the most nail biting finales ever, and the final vote to count was Da’Vonne’s. Knowing her disdain for Nicole, it seemed like Paul would be the winner, but during the jury deliberations, she also surprised herself by building a case for Nicole to win. Ultimately, it may have been that case and Nicole’s answers to the grilling that gave her the final 5-4 vote against Paul. Being #TeamFriendship for many weeks now, it was disappointing to see Paul lose by one vote, but at least he did get something for all the work he did. Even better, Victor won the America’s Favorite Houseguest award of $25,000. The best part of all that was seeing Jozea try to glom on to Victor but pretty much getting the cold shoulder as he stayed focused on celebrating with his bro Paul.
Speaking of Jozea, Julie made the horrifying announcement that Big Brother fans had the opportunity to vote for the final Houseguest in the upcoming Big Brother Over the Top fall series debuting on CBS All Access on September 28 at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT. Fans are given two choices to vote for: Jozea or Jason from BB16. America, this is another important vote you have to cast this year … don’t mess it up. Vote Jason! If you want to watch Big Brother Over the Top, you’ll have to subscribe to CBS All Access as this will be a streaming only, ten week series. Unlike traditional Big Brother, there will be no blackouts during comps, so everything will be played out live.
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That’s a wrap for Big Brother Season 18. What did you think of this season? Did the jury members pick the right Houseguest to win? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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