Summer 2016 has come to a close, and with it the eighteenth season Big Brother ends with the closest vote in many seasons and a historic winner in Nicole, a returning player who beat a strong new player in Paul and became the first woman to beat a man in the final vote. It saw a new America’s Favorite Player in Victor, a man whose own season was historic for his multiple returns to the house in one season. It saw the It saw the promotion of the first all-online season of Big Brother, to premiere in less than a week.
With all of this came the end of one of the least popular seasons in Big Brother, and the hope that future seasons learn from the mistakes of Summer 2016.
Make no mistake, this season of Big Brother caused ripples from the very beginning. With overtly dislikable players who were knocked out early (Jozea, as an example), Production choices that left fans in the lurch (banning certain competitions from the feeds that were traditionally fan favorites), the casting of veteran players whose skill and ability to play the game were outweighed by their “strong personalties” (and one in particular who was more concerned about winning America’s Favorite than playing the game), the season could arguably be put in place as one of the worst in the show’s history.
This is not said lightly. Past seasons have tended to be controversial, but with the entertainment of having excellent feeds and storylines. Other seasons have been boring but with masterful gameplay. Rarely has a season had poor feeds, bad gameplay, obnoxious houseguests and production sabotage of the entertainment in one package. Big Brother 18 had it all.
Still, there were some highlights to the season. We saw a legitimate contender for one of the better players in the lsat ten years in Victor, and it can be argued that Nicole’s playbook was excellent in the skill of player manipulation and strategic planning. Indeed, the move that she made that won her $500,000 was the one she pointed out tonight in Jury questions. It was not, however, the move that won her the final prize overall.
Once again, it must be pointed out – when you have the chance to take one of two people to the Final Two, you MUST choose to take the person who you best have a chance of beating in the final vote. Paul’s decision to cast off James was what ended up guaranteeing him 2nd Place tonight, as going up against James would have won him the big prize. This decision ranks with Cody’s decision to take Derrick as one of the most questionable choices in BB History.
So, how does Big Brother 18 hold up against past seasons? Honestly, this is difficult to say. It may not be the absolute worst season of the show, but it was not amongst the top seasons by any means. Fans will argue the merits of both final players in the future, and it can be said that the two top players were in the Final.
With that in mind, we look to the future of Big Brother. There will be a new season in 1 week, and a regular season next summer. We can therefore choose to be optimistic towards both, and hope for the best season to come.
1st Place: Nicole
2nd Place: Paul
3rd Place: James
America’s Favorite Player: Victor
2016 BBChatter Awards
Most Entertaining Houseguest: Victor
Once again, the right player won America’s Favorite Player. Victor was genuinely entertaining as a player and a Houseguest, and his ability to make others laugh was appreciated. Expect to see him in future seasons.
Most Valuable Player of the Season: Nicole
As Nicole went, so went the House. It cannot be said enough how strong Nicole’s strategic game was this season, and her machinations were what defined the season as a whole. Although she did not win as many competitions as other players, she quietly dictated the course of the game.
Goat of the Season: Frank
Once more, a formerly popular player comes back and proves that looks aren’t everything. Frank had long had the reputation of being a stronger player in his season, and fans were eager to see what he could bring to the table. That he was the only veteran player to not make it to the Jury part of the game indicated how poorly he played. Overconfident, egotistical and rude with a dash of crudeness to boot, Frank dominated early on but was quickly booted when the chance came to remove him from power.
Game Move of the Season: Nicole convinces Natalie and Michelle to put Victor and Paul up for nomination.
By switching the targets, Nicole and Corey ensured their own safety while removing major players from contention. Indeed, this one carried the additional benefit of keeping another major player from returning to the game – had Corey been evicted rather than Victor, Paulie would have returned to the game. This move defined the back end of the season and ensured a smooth path for Nicole to win.
A Final Note
This will be my final article for 2016, as I will not be writing articles for Big Brother Over The Top. I will return in full capacity for Big Brother 19, in 2017.