The (alleged) most twisted summer ever concludes with the crowning of the $500,000 Big Brother 16 winner. But before we get to the jury vote, we have to see how the events leading up to it play out.
When we last left off, Victoria, Derrick, and Cody were hanging onto a bar with only a small ledge residing underneath their feet. Whoever stayed on the longest would win part one of the final HOH competition and move on to the third and deciding round. After 41 minutes, the ledge tilted so that the houseguests were nearly parallel to the ground. Not long after that, Victoria fell off.
Nearly an hour into the game, Cody and Derrick were talking to each other, trying to figure out who would be better off winning. The original plan was for Cody to win the physical challenge which they were currently in the midst of. The second part of the final HOH would likely be a mental challenge, in which Derrick would try and win.
Derrick feigned having a lack of confidence in competing against Victoria in the mental competition. He used that to try and nudge Cody towards dropping down. Cody was befuddled that Derrick would be afraid of Victoria in any contest. Realizing that Cody wasn’t going to throw the competition, Derrick finally bowed out almost 75 minutes in.
Derrick and Victoria then faced off in “Ancient BB Gifts” to determine who would take on Cody in the final round. In this game, each person had to scale a wall and flip over cards with different faces on them. The objective was to get the correct order of all the nominees during this season. After that was completed, each person would step on a stone to stop the timer.
If Victoria had been sandbagging the rest of house up to this point, now was the time to show she could win a competition on her own. Unfortunately, it was no act, as she had a difficult time traversing the ledges to place the faces in the correct slots. Derrick finished with a time of 15:29, which seemed a bit slow. But it was more than enough to win, as Victoria took twice as much time to finish.
We cut to the jury, where Caleb entered as the eighth member. After some Caleb/Frankie arguing, the jury discussed the final three. Former BB winner Dr. Will was the moderator. Most were impressed with Derrick’s gameplay. They said he was a manipulator who found ways to make other people feel guilty. The fact that he never went on the block despite the BOB twist adding more nominations earned him points. A potential downfall for Derrick was that a couple jurors were bitter over the lies he told. Also, no one in the jury could identify his biggest move.
The jury felt that Cody played an underrated game. Cody was under the radar at the start, but began winning competitions after the numbers dwindled down. They said his best asset was simply keeping his mouth shut. With Victoria, the jury was unsurprisingly light on praise for her game, despite making it this far. A couple jurors believed she played dumb to get further in the game, but the rest weren’t willing to give her that much credit.
Part three of the final HOH competition was called “Scales of Just Us”. Julie asked Cody and Derrick a series of questions about partial statements the jurors made. They had to choose which of two possible endings each juror finished the statement with. There were eight questions in total.
After four rounds, Cody and Derrick had three points apiece. After six rounds, it was still tied, with each guy having four points. Questions seven and eight were both answered incorrectly by both Derrick and Cody, so it would have to come to to a tiebreaker. Julie asked them how many seconds the first part of the final HOH lasted. Cody put down 3,120 while Derrick went with 3,013. The answer was 3,620 which meant Cody was the final HOH winner, guaranteeing him a spot in the final two.
Cody only had a few moments to decide who would sit next to him in the final two. He seemed a bit nervous, but didn’t hesitate to evict Victoria. He was going to ride or die with Derrick all the way to the end. When Victoria talked to Julie on stage, she defended herself against the critics who said she was a floater. Victoria was proud of her gameplay, saying she fought and played with heart despite being nominated so many times.
Now, it was time for the nine-person jury to ask three questions for each finalist. Derrick was asked about his influence in sending people home, using his family to manipulate the house, and why he deserved to win. For the first question, Derrick believed he did influence the votes, but made sure to keep the heat off himself while doing so. With the family question, Derrick denied using them as strategy. As to why he should win, Derrick pointed out that there were 55 nominees, and not a single one of them was him.
Cody was quizzed on being the puppet of the Hitmen, his biggest strategic move, and why he should win Big Brother. Cody scoffed at being called a puppet, pointing out that he played a huge social game and sent Frankie home by getting Caleb to flip on him. Cody said his biggest strategic move was calling out Christine to save Zach one week and also getting rid of those who were targeting Derrick. Cody felt he should win because he used his social skills to gain everyone’s trust and used information from everyone to consult with Derrick and make decisions.
Since Victoria was not able to converse with the other jurors for long, she was allowed to ask one additional question. She asked Derrick if his intention all along was to remain loyal to the Hitmen. Derrick said he still cared about Victoria as a friend and brought her as far as he could without jeopardizing his own game. But Cody was his friend and ally from almost the very beginning and wanted to honor their pact.
The final two then had one last opportunity to speak to the jury. Both of them kept things short and sweet. Cody reiterated that he wasn’t a puppet and that gaining the trust of everyone in the jury was a good reason to vote for him. He also credited himself of evicting power players Caleb, Frankie, and Donny. Derrick reminded the jury again about never being nominated. He also pointed to his four HOH victories to show that he did a fair share of work on his own. The jury then secretly (or not-so, in Zach’s case) cast their votes.
Before the final vote was revealed, the remaining evictees (Joey, Paola, Devin, Brittany, and Amber) got on stage for the rest of the festivities. The jury was then filled in on some key facts they were in the dark about. The Team America reveal was quite jarring for them (side note: it would’ve been nice to note that Joey was originally on TA, but everyone will know soon enough). Some of them appeared to be pissed off about it. It was also revealed that Derrick’s true profession was undercover cop. Frankie knew it all along but everyone else was shocked.
Finally, the big vote was revealed. The votes were read off in the order they were cast. Jocasta, bitter over Derrick’s lies, voted for Cody. Hayden and Zach chose Derrick to win. Donny surprisingly voted for Cody. The tally was 2-2 at that point. Nicole picked Derrick. Cody needed a vote from his “special” friend Christine to have any chance, but she decided on Derrick. It was all academic now, as Frankie represented the fifth and clinching vote for Derrick.
Derrick was the big $500,000 winner of Big Brother 16 by a vote of 7-2. In addition, he earned the $50,000 bonus plus all the Team America and competition money he already had in the bank. Cody didn’t go home empty-handed, as he got $50,000 for second place. Derrick humbly said he would defer to his wife on how to spend the money.
America’s Favorite Player, which is almost as big a deal for the houseguests as the grand prize, was then announced. The top three vote-getters were Zach, Nicole, and Donny. With roughly half of the 10 million votes going his way, Donny was the $25,000 recipient of America’s Favorite Player. On a personal note, I was happy to see America rally around Donny, a man who didn’t exactly fit the typical BB demographic but provided many great moments. And with that, another season of Big Brother came to a close.
Final Thoughts: I have mixed feelings about the winner. Despite his manipulations, I think Derrick is a good person at heart, so I don’t have any personal objections to him winning. I’m just frustrated that no one stepped up to challenge him. Most of the other houseguests couldn’t see the forest for the trees. The few people who had Derrick’s game figured out were far too late to combat it.
The final few weeks felt like one long march to Derrick’s inevitable victory. Cody was practically a martyr for him, costing himself $450,000 because he took the loyalty thing one step too far. He didn’t argue his gameplay well either, failing to mention his competition wins. I just think a certain number of people will place an asterisk next to this season because of the subpar gameplay of the cast. That being said, you can’t take away Derrick’s amazing gameplay. He has nothing to apologize for.
As for the season as a whole, it wasn’t the most exciting. After all the racism, sexism, and misogyny of season 15, this cast was very vanilla in comparison. There were still some offensive moments here and there, but the houseguests were mostly decent people. I’m not saying that I want to see bigots on my TV screen. But the drama was mostly lacking on Big Brother 16.
What really made the season more boring than most though was the herd mentality. The Bomb Squad (which later morphed into the Detonators) ran the game from the get-go. Almost every week contained a unanimous vote. The rest had one or two dissenters at most. Even the non-alliance people fell in line. Too many people were either scared or clueless to play the game. This season was hyped up to be the most twisted one ever, and it failed to deliver. I still enjoyed parts of the show however, and am looking forward to seeing what new wrinkles are in store for season 17.