Like no other season before it, the most recent season of Big Brother which just concluded was, well, strange. It had an enigmatic run of being despised by most hardcore live feedsters, but got a rise in viewership for its hourly CBS episodes three times a week. It had a returning houseguest in Paul Abrahamian who was one of the most dominant returnees ever, but was put of a final three featuring two cohorts, Christmas Abbott and Josh Martinez, who probably wouldn’t have survived (Abbott for her broken foot, Martinez for instigating constant fights during the season) had Megan Lowder not left/quit early in the season. The show itself has a loyal following that either loves or hates the show (or both at times), but appears to not to be in any jeopardy of cancellation anytime soon.
Doing this blog this season made me feel like Joe Pesci’s character David Ferrie in JFK. Even if you thought you got it, it’s possible you didn’t get it.
Thus, on the 92nd and final night of season nineteen, it seemed Paul was on the brink of capping a historic run in the game. He was the fourth contestant in show history (joining Jason Guy and Danielle Reyes of BB3 and Derrick Levasseur of BB16) never to have been seated as a nominee at anyone’s hand, although Cody Nickson did call his name on Day 12. That was nullified by one of the “Den of Temptation” twists that gave Paul immunity from nomination for a three-week period, and this season’s game was never the same after that. It seemed the California clothing designer needed to win the last HOH competition, something none of the four “never nommed” had done, to not only cap off his perfect season, but to keep Josh from booting him out in third place. If Josh were able to pull winning the last comp off, the pre-show thinking was that Christmas would win the $500K grand prize when all was said and done, with Josh taking the $50K.
But, I thought before the finale aired, even if Paul was able to win the last HOH, there was the matter of those nine jurors, many of whom had their own demise plotted skillfully at Paul’s hands. It was still possible that if Paul made the final two, the majority of those nine would not award him the victory, as was the case at this point last season. Many fans would accuse the jury of being bitter, while some would no doubt call it poetic justice.
However, as was the case last year, it wouldn’t be a season with Paul in it that did not go according to plan. Josh won the last HOH, and instead of dumping Paul, he dumped Christmas out in third place, making her the last juror. Once again, the jury vote all came down to the last vote. Once again, Paul DID NOT WIN. Josh got the 5-4 win and joins the legion of Big Brother champs by winning the season and the $500,000 going with it.
The enigmatic season wound up with a perfectly enigmatic ending.
It was a season that wore on a lot of people’s nerves, including my own. It was fitting that Paul began the game with all these advantages and could only must yet another second place finish, yet again losing by single, solitary vote. Cody wound up taking the $25,000 as America’s Favorite Player, while Kevin Schlehuber took home something around $40,000 if his $25,000 day one prize is tacked on to $15,000 worth of weekly stipends.
It was also a season that leaves more questions than answers. If the season was so bad, why did the ratings improve? If the ratings improved, what’s wrong with the show? It is how the show has been cast, with stereotypes seemingly from the late 1990’s still very much in play on a 2017 reality show? Is it production, the network, or even Les Moonves? What we forget is that there is a common thread through all of this, as Andy Dehnart perfectly said in a recent piece on Reality Blurred, is us. If we keep watching, the show has no impetus to change, no incentive to stop doing what it keeps doing. As a fan, I wonder: why these are the only two options we have – to watch or not to watch? Why can’t we just enjoy the show, and why can’t it be better?
The next stop on the Big Brother train is the first-ever US celebrity version. No start date has been announced, but I’ve have to assume it would launch sometime around the 2018 Super Bowl in early February. As awful as I thought the last two seasons of civilian BB have been, I got to tell you, this might be the perfect antidote. It doesn’t even have to have A-list celebrities to work, as even D-listers with a bit of fire in their bellies would be enough to create a buzz about the show. CBS, not CBS All-Access, will air the show, and I think you’ll be surprised how well it does ratings wise. it might be a surprise hit.
As some of you may have noticed, I seriously considered calling it quits after the season. My plan was that the only way I wouldn’t quit is if ratings went up, which it appears they have. My new goal is cover the two 2018 seasons: the first US version of CBB, and BB20 next summer, Lord willing. I feel “20” is a good number to go out on, and I hope you all agree.
Thanks for visiting, sorry I didn’t blog more this year, and until next year: