Closing Time, 2015 Edition

As the summer months come to a close, so too does the 2015 season of Big Brother. Big Brother 17 came with a different manner of gameplay, countless alliances – some of which actually stuck to the final episode, and game uncertainty that lasted through to mid-September. This combined to create the most compelling feeds we have seen in years, and one of the better seasons to air in the last decade.

In the end, the season was won by a man whose strategic game was flawed but highly successful – Steve, the college student who beat a master poker player in the final Head of Household competition.

From the beginning, seeds were planted that this season was Vanessa’s to win. Her social game was not quite as strong as her strategic game, but her mental game was second to none. Indeed, Vanessa may be one of the best mental game players in Big Brother History. Very few actions taken by Vanessa were not planned out in advance and while this resulted in social interactions that felt fake, it led to her arrival in the final three.

Vanessa’s loss in the Final Three felt unsatisfying, given her hand in literally every eviction of the season. Although she claimed never to want blood on her hands, Vanessa cut a swath through the entire cast with brutal precision and capability second to only the top players of this game. She falls in the same category as a Janelle – brutally good but not able to make it to the Final Two over her seasons. This will be a hard pill to swallow for Vanessa, but we will see her again in the future.

This brings us to our Second Place winner, Liz. Liz was virtually guaranteed a Final Two position by virtue of her being the Sure Thing – the person whom you could easily win against in a final vote. Last year, Cody learned from this mistake by not taking Victoria to the Final Two. By taking Derrick, Cody guaranteed his second place finish. Steve, on the other hand, knew this would not happen again if he were in the same position – and he took full advantage of this opportunity by finally taking Vanessa out.

Steve’s win tonight was one of rallying when needed. Steve never fully drove the game but his season was successful, by far. Steve did take advantage of his opportunities by taking out key players in Jackie, Julia and Vanessa. He ensured that his survival was going to continue by aligning with strong players – but he also made sure that he was protected and had people to fall in front of him.

In the end, Steve won in a season with some of the best feeds fans were able to see in years – bear in mind, there was no sure Final Twosome and there was heavy gameplay up to mid-September. Fans were able to see real gameplay up to the Final Three, and only in the last week did many finally tune out from the feeds. This sort of game does not happen in most seasons, and as a superfan it is this columnist’s opinion that the game enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in the process.

How did this happen? Well, there were a number of factors. First and foremost, casting was brilliant this season with great personalities playing alongside truly brilliant strategists and students of game mechanics. There were very few truly bad players in this season, and those who were not good at the game were removed fairly early on in the season. Added to this was a drop of many twists that otherwise would have driven fans crazy – no Battle of the Block after Week Four, No BB Takeover after Week Three, and a Twin Twist that was successful in playing out and creating alliances that fought strong.

Indeed, the only real complaint about this season was that one alliance dominated over the other. This was the one failing of casting, in that the secondary main alliance was never a real powerhouse. On the other hand, few would have picked Steve and Liz from the beginning as a Final Two.

So, in the end how does this season rank? Well, as said the feeds were some of the best of the season. The gameplay was excellent from many of the players, and the finale – while not going as completely expected, did satisfy.

In the end, as always, we cannot ask for more than that.

 

Final Results – Updated Since Last Article

1st Place: Steve

2nd Place: Liz

3rd Place: Vanessa

4th Place: John

5th Place: Austin

6th Place: Julia

7th Place: Meg

8th Place: James

America’s Favorite Player: James

 

2015 BBChatter Awards

Most Entertaining Houseguest: James

Bar none, the star of the season when it came to entertainment. James started rough with his association to Jeff, but quickly came around to being the most entertaining Houseguest of the season until his eventual demise in the game. His humorous asides, positive attitude and devotion to Meg became the stuff of much conversation outside the House, and his win as America’s Favorite was well-earned.

Most Valuable Player of the Season: Tie – Liz and Julia

Julia’s discovery and entrance into the House became the main storyline of the first half of the season, and the power she helped her alliance wield by coming aboard defined much of the remainder of the season. Although she was the first of the Austwins group to leave, her entry into the game sent shockwaves through the remainder of the season and affirmed the power alliance in the House. By extension, Liz (as the other half of the Twin Twist) had the power of winning on her side. Her multiple HoH and Veto wins led to a fairly powerful resume once the finale aired. These two were the subject of much gameplay early on, and their alliance defined the remainder of the game.

Goat of the Season: Jace

As tempting as it was to put Da’Vonne here for discovering the Twin Twist first and not using it to her advantage, the Goat of the season must go to the one person who, at the end of the year, did not register enough to remain on the Memory Wall once Julia entered the House.

Game Move of the Season: Vanessa determines that Liz is a Twin, brings her aboard a new alliance.

This one conversation in bed set up power and alliances for the remainder of the season – indeed, so strong was this group that Austin’s eventual eviction at Vanessa’s hands was seen as a backstabbing of the highest order (by Austin). More importantly, it set up which side was stronger and which side was destined to fall. Steve’s eventual eviction of Vanessa guaranteed him the win, but the entire game was predicated upon this one move, early in the season.

A Final Note

All season, I have been fortunate to post and perform for the site. I will return in this capacity next year, and look forward to next season.

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