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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Big Brother 16 - The Summary

Hello, everyone!  Welcome to another TUBE TALK THURSDAY, and I'll be the first to warn you ahead of's subject is all about reality television.  So if you aren't a fan, feel free to skip this week and wait until next week's edition.  However, if you are a big fan of reality television, you are in luck because today I'll be talking about a show that wrapped up its sixteenth season last night.

Yes, Big Brother 16 just wrapped up another season last night, and I just want to give my congratulations to Derrick Levasseur for winning the game and taking home a cool half a million dollars for their efforts! 

I can't explain why I am such a fan of the show, particularly when so many people I know (mainly my family members) see Big Brother as being more boring than watching paint dry, but year after year I tune in to watch no less than ten and no more than sixteen people live in a house for three months in the ultimate struggle for power!

It's kind of like Survivor, only with more luxury and less bugs - well, provided the houseguests actually clean the house and don't get an ant infestation, that is.

I started watching the show from the very first season that aired on CBS in July 2000, and have seen almost every single episode since.  I even watch Big Brother Canada, and am probably going to submit an application for the third season of Big Brother Canada just for laughs.  In all likelihood, someone like me probably wouldn't get chosen because I don't consider myself adventurous.  However, I do think that I could be a force to be reckoned with on endurance and memory challenges.  Physical is another story though.

Anyway, I'm going off track here.  I want to talk about Big Brother 16, which was touted as being the "most twisted summer ever".  But was it really that twisted?  I honestly don't think so.

I mean, sure, they brought out the new "Battle of the Block" twist in which there were two Heads of Household, each of whom nominated two houseguests for eviction, and the nominees competed to try and overthrow one of the HoH's to save themselves.  It was a great twist at the beginning of the season when they had over twelve of the sixteen houseguests playing, but the mistake that they made was that they let it go on too long.

And there was also that instance in which they brought in that secret golden button which allowed houseguests to reset the Big Brother clock one whole week, thus nullifying any houseguests that were up for eviction the week before.  That added a little bit of paranoia to the mix, and if I remember correctly, it caused a couple of houseguests to freak out and break down.  It was a cruel twist for some, but it was necessary to keep the people left in the house on their toes and to "expect the unexpected".

But other than that, I found that the strategy and the twists that normally are associated with Big Brother were lacking this year.  In fact, I've found that to be true for many of the recent seasons.  The Saboteur twist in Season 12 was a complete failure as the person who was the Saboteur was voted out the first week!  Mind you, Ragan did take on the role a few weeks later and did a better job than Annie did, but still, the whole thing was a washout. 

I also found the MVP twist of Season 15 to be a complete disaster as well.  I appreciate the fact that the show wanted to throw back to the early seasons in which America had more of a say, but when they kept voting in Elissa week after week, it got boring real fast.  Even though Elissa was one of the few likeable contestants on Big Brother 15, I still would have liked to have seen them switch it up a bit.  I would have liked Howard, or Candice, or Jessie to have won the MVP award at least once.

So, for Big Brother 16, I think the twists were kind of lackluster too.  Although, part of the reason why this was the case was because it seemed like the majority of the houseguests seemed to forget that they were playing a game and seemed to be like the little lamb in that nursery rhyme where they followed Mary around.  I'll get into that a little bit later, but you'll see why I brought up that little reference specifically for this post.

This year, there were sixteen houseguests (tied with seasons 9 and 15 for having the most houseguests in a season), and one thing I will say is that they really made better choices in casting than they did last year.  Last year, I only seemed to like maybe a quarter of all the houseguests because the vast majority of them seemed to be self-absorbed, racist, and sexist scourges of society who basically only lived to make other people miserable.  I still stand by that statement, and I almost gave up on Big Brother after last year's cacophony of cruelty.

That was not true with this season.  This season, I found the majority of the houseguests to be extremely likeable people (with three notable exceptions), and even though some of them played more of a sneakier game than others, I still found myself thinking that they were okay people. 

(Of course, compared to the group they had last year, they could have cast a serial killer in the house and they still probably might have been more charming.)

Anyway, I thought that I'd use this next section to talk about the houseguests, what I thought of their gameplay, what I admired about them, and what I didn't like about them.  And, I'll go in order of when they were booted from the game. 

Okay, Joey...I know you were the first one booted, but I really did like you a lot.  And I completely understand why America voted you in as the first member of "Team America" (an alliance in which America told each member in the alliance what to do in order for them to earn extra money).  I think your only mistake was trying to form an alliance with too large a group (don't worry, you weren't the only one), and I think your desire to stick with the ladies was your downfall.  It's not that you didn't try though.  The girls weren't really strategic this season, and that was your undoing.  I loved you as "Alex" though!  That was awesome.  Best of luck to you!

Paola.  Or, Pow Pow as the rest of the house called you.  At first I wasn't sure what to make of you.  As a physical player, had no shot.  You lost every single competition you were a part of.  What were you thinking with that champagne pouring challenge?  How do you not know how to swing on a swing set?  I learned how to do that when I was three!  That said though, the longer you were on, the more I began to like you, and I was sad to see you go out so early.  I don't know if you would have made it to the end, but you didn't deserve to go out second.

Now we get to Devin.  And I had no idea that Devin had a daughter until he told us.  835 times he told us!  And all 835 times, I think all of us kind of died a little bit on the inside because he was basically telling us something that we already knew!  Now, Devin's main mistake was similar to Joey's.  But instead of starting up one large alliance, he started up several small alliances which sort of blew up into one LARGE alliance known as the "Bomb Squad".  Initially, the Bomb Squad consisted of himself, Frankie, Derrick, Cody, and Zach.  And then somehow Caleb ended up in the alliance.  And Devin then brought in Amber and Christine, and from there it became one gigantic clusterf...well, you get the idea.  Honestly, I don't think Devin is a bad guy...but he's not a great Big Brother player.

Oh, Brittany.  I really do admire the hell out of you.  I honestly am trying to find out a real reason why they voted you out so quickly, but all I can come up with is that you were born the wrong gender and you weren't a member of the Bomb Squad.  Of course, right around this time, the Bomb Squad was morphing into the Detonators, but that's beside the point.  I loved you because you showed everyone that you were strong and motivated.  When you kicked 2400 goals in 24 hours, I thought you should have gotten $5,000 just for that alone.  Or, at the very least have been cast in a commercial starring David Beckham.  You're ace in my books!

Amber, I think your game was basically defined by two things.  The fact that you tried to evict Julie Chen from Big Brother, and the fact that you seemed to be attached at the hip to Caleb - whether you wanted it or not.  Honestly, I can't say for sure that Caleb completely destroyed your game.  In truth, I think that your regret in not forming that alliance with Joey was the real reason why you were voted out fifth.  But of all the early boots, I think you showed great game play and proved to be a great competitor in challenges.  I would welcome you back for another try.

I'm going to come right out and say it.  Jocasta, you just weren't cut out for Big Brother.  I know you consider yourself a fantastic Big Brother player, and I know that you seemed to be respected by everyone else in the house due to your Mama J type personality, which I can appreciate.  But let's face it.  You are completely delusional about your own abilities in the game.  You're at best a weak player.  You aren't ranked a hundred in the game.  You aren't even a ninety.  I'd say a twenty-six is generous.  And, yeah...bitterness on the jury is ugly.  Some of your comments towards the final two were simply uncalled for, and I was left quite disappointed.

Hayden, you were completely screwed in this game.  That double eviction in the middle of the season turned the game around in favour of the Detonators, and unfortunately, you were the unlucky target.  I really thought that you were one awesome guy and I really found your relationship with Nicole to be really genuine and sweet.  Best of luck to both of you, and Hayden, I think you need another shot to play the game.  You really did get a raw deal, and I'm sorry for that.

You may have outlasted several people, but Zach will forever be known as America's favourite "Froot Loop Dingus".  You clearly had one of the best exits ever with your Froot Loop confetti, but honestly, as much as you wanted to come across as the villain of the show, you really did show everyone just what a cool person you truly are.  I think that your alliance with Frankie was a blessing and a curse.  It got you far in the game, but in the end, you left with a knife in the back and a shredded pink hat.  Sorry, man.

Okay, Donny.  Donny, you may very well be the nicest, sweetest, most genuine player to ever play the game.  Your kind heart and integrity will forever be remembered in the season, and I want you to know that I didn't fear the beard.  I quite liked it.  Unfortunately, I think your downfall was that you were TOO nice, and TOO genuine, and it caused the other houseguests to fear you enough to get you out.  Honestly, the only reason the others wanted you gone was because they would NOT win if they sat next to you in the Final 2.  And I fear that because you played so hard with your heart that it got a little damaged and it showed in your jury performance.  Oh,'ve got a part on "The Bold and the Beautiful", and you did win America's Player.  Take that $25,000 and enjoy it. 

Nicole, I also think that like Donny, you're forever going to be known as the most persistent female Big Brother player this year.  You wanted it so bad that you attempted to kick butt twice.  Alas, the Detonators held all the cards, and ironically a bomb themed Veto competition sealed your fate.  But were universally loved by many people, and Hayden will likely get your number after the show.  You got this, Nicole. 

Christine, Christine, Christine.  Oh, how I wanted to like you, but you so disappointed me.  Do I think that you should have gotten booed when you were voted off?  Actually, no.  I don't believe you did.  But you're not my favourite player.  In fact, you're one of the three that I disliked the most this season.  But it's not because of your closeness to Cody that many thought was taboo that changed my mind about you.  It's because you came across as the mean girl from junior high who tried to be everyone's friend one moment and stabbed them in the back the next.  The way you treated Donny and Nicole while in the house was deplorable.  I only hope that you take something from this experience and that you've learned from your mistakes, because honestly you're in for a rough go of it now that the game is over.

Frankie.  You're another houseguest in Big Brother 16 that I could not stomach.  And that frustrates me because I went into the season actually LIKING you!  I didn't care that you were the older brother of pop singer/actress Ariana Grande.  I appreciated the fact that you wanted to keep it a secret to better your game, and I thought that up until the point you revealed all, you were a good contender to win the whole game.  And had you kept that secret hidden, I think I probably still would have been cheering for you.  But you proved to also be a little too sneaky and manipulative, and I do think that when the secret was revealed, your cockiness and over-inflated ego oozed out of you the same way that pus oozes out of a zit when it is popped.  You know I don't really hate you, but I don't love you, ooo-ooo-ooo.  Frankly, Frankie...the house had one less problem without you.

On the flipside, I went into the season absolutely not liking Caleb at all.  He was obnoxious, he stalked Amber, and honestly, I don't even know if he could string a sentence together without saying the words "Beast Mode Cowboy", "Judy Chop", or "at the end of the day".  Well, Caleb, at the end of the day, you came up a little short.  That said, once Amber was voted out, you then began to play and play hard, and won a few challenges along the way.  I even think you became a little more likeable as the end approached.  Still not enough to get you the win, but you did play hard and I think you earned the nickname you gave yourself.

Victoria.  I have nothing much to say about you because you really didn't do much of anything except lose most competitions and sit on the block a record breaking ten times.  But, I suppose I can say that you looked good every step of the way. 

Cody, you played a rather interesting game.  You stayed in the background the first part of the game and then became a huge force to be reckoned with in the game.  In the end, I do believe that your decision to take Derrick to the final two over Victoria was your undoing, and I do think that you may have made a $450,000 mistake...but you know what?  You're honest, and I can dig that.  I'm not sure what that whole Christine thing was all about, but...that's something for both of you to figure out now that the game is over.

Finally, Derrick.  This was your game to WIN, and win you did in one of the most spectacular games ever played.  You definitely deserve to hold yourself in high regard as Dr. Will, Ian, Dan, and heck, I could probably even add Rachel to that mix as well.  You did what no other houseguest has done and AVOIDED being nominated the whole time.  You had most people doing what you wanted, and you never lost control.  Even in that final HoH challenge, you knew Cody and Victoria had your back regardless.  You definitely earned your way to the final prize.  Enjoy it, man.

And so wraps another season.  For those of you who watched the finale, what are your thoughts?

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