Big Brother Finale Recap: We Have a Winner! And Some Issues!

Hours after Big Brother’s 13th season came to a glittery conclusion, I still feel like I’m standing on the gigantic butter churn, waiting alongside Rachel, Porsche and Adam both for strength and for the stench of gurgling dairy to fade. It’s rare that any BB ending feels perfect, but I think we arrived at a solution that (at the very least) seems appropriate. It’s just that it stinks, too. Like bubbling lactose. Spoiler immediately after the break.

Wave your Burgundy-by-Clairol flag in the air, because the winner of Big Brother is the boohooing, bleating, BRENNNANNNN-blaring, ultimately deserving Rachel! Oh, how she wept! And God too! And how Brendon pressed her against his pouting breastbone, offering congratulations and the assertion that she was the sweetest little Gorgon with the most darling little rattlesnake braids in alllll of Chenbot Manor. I have to agree. Shelly’s rattlesnake braids look like hanks of shed skin.

And so it is. I suppose a review is in order. Sigh: After Rachel handily won the butter-churn stunt and Porsche defeated Adam in an ensuing underwater maze game, Rachel and Porsche squared off in an “A or B” question medley for the final HOH. Not only did Rachel topple Porsche by correctly answering a total of two questions (Jeez, Porsche, can you please be one-eighth of the underdog I want you to be?), but she seized her HOH power and decided to keep Porsche in the final two anyway. This meant Adam took third place, which is poetic. He meandered through the game so senselessly that it’s like he forgot to die early. He finished in the most meaningless way possible, and with a meaningless monologue about how he would’ve won the game in a final two with Rachel. ““If I was in the final two, I would’ve won. I played an honest game…” he said. “I used my sense of humor to get to know people.” Downright existential, his plight and delusion. Read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and come back with a five-paragraph Adam parallel, dear readers.

Rachel and Porsche delivered quasi-persuasive “Vote ME!” speeches to a boisterous jury, which included affable Shelly, livid Kalia, macho machoman Jeff, obsessive Porsche-denier Jordan, bubbly Brendon, scorned Adam, and the love of my life, Daniele. While Dani’s troubling father made good points about how she maneuvered too early in the game, she spat the best line of the night when she mocked Rachel during the final vote: “You’re lucky this isn’t a personality contest.” Boom! That right there? Is why you should’ve rooted for Daniele since day one. While Rachel gamely gamed and frantically congratulated herself on her own gameplay, it’s Daniele who delivered on the grounds of 1) reasonableness, 2) sneakiness, 3) antsy veteran hatred, and 4) the one-liners, darling! The one-liners! Big Brother is nothing but a patchwork of confessionals and Double Dare challenges, so I’ll look back on season 13 with a profound appreciation for Daniele’s ability to fill one half of that experience with salty quips. They dovetailed so elegantly with mine!

The final votes in the showdown between Rachel (Mike Tyson) and Porsche (Michael Spinks?) clocked in with alarming predictability. Daniele, Kalia, and Adam (whose ballot wasn’t revealed during the telecast) voted for Porsche. Jeff, Jordan, and Brendon jockeyed for Rachel. The swing vote belonged to the one character whose alliances always shifted and flipped: the beiger-than-ever Shelly. Which is also appropriate. She ultimately chose Rachel for her gameplay, and I can’t say I blame her. Rachel may be the most unsavory squealer on television, but her penchant for physical challenges and social command deserve a little recognition. She endured when plenty – including me – declared her too incendiary, too brash. She survived when all the other strategists didn’t. She’s a better player than Porsche and Adam, and she was honored as such. It’s just difficult to acknowledge her capabilities when her unhinged narcissism feels like one, unending shotgun blast. Do you know anyone who constantly updated his Facebook status with Rachel cheers? What do you think of that person? Does he use too many exclamation points? Right.

I can thank Rachel for this: After fan-favorite Jeff (booo) and Daniele exited the game, we nearly lost all hope of an intriguing finale. Whether you like or loathe Rachel, her endurance in Big Brother 13 — a season devoted to the demise of “game move” lovers – is spellbinding. Skeptics have argued that certain challenges were suited to Rachel’s strengths, but it’s quite likely that Rachel is just a more-than-competent combatant. I won’t take that away from her. But I’ll also glower like Daniele just the same.

What did you think of this season and finale of Big Brother? Disappointing, with an appropriate conclusion? Fantastic, secretly? Interesting? A good time? Leave it in the comments, follow me on Twitter at @louisvirtel, and thank you following along as I locked elbows with Daniele and skipped merrily through Zingbot Labatories.

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139 Comments
  1. NSC says:

    I have to say, I was rooting for Rachel all season. Annoying as she is, I have always loved her (and sometimes loved to hate her). She really did fight her heart out, and always seemed to surround herself with targets bigger than her, which in the game of Big Brother is a good strategy (whether or not she meant for it to be).

    Congrats Rachel! Maybe see you back on All-Stars 2! :-)

  2. The Bambino says:

    Jeff DID play a better game than most of the others, but, yes, he also DID get played, and got voted out. He was upset by it, didn’t hide the fact that he was upset by it. Jeff was also voted the viewer’s choice favorite of the season, and every single TV reporter across the land seems to have a major problem with this. Why? Jeff made a comment about a fictional gay character from a fictional series of novels. CBS, in their “wisdom” decided to air this utterly meaningless comment, while editing out countless hours of other utterly meaningless comments made by all contestants, all summer long. In other words, CBS threw Jeff under a bus they were driving. I’m glad Jeff got the $25 grand, and maybe he should consider suing CBC for character assassination.

    • bhm1304 says:

      Be careful with your intelligent comments in this column. Its going to enrage most of the mouth breathers. He is a Chicago kid, probably from a Catholic upbringing (a faith replete with raging moronic homophobes), who said something stupid, but it wasn’t malicious or indicative of a personality defect, he made a dumb comment. It just isn’t the way he swings. Funny nobody went after Rachel (and CBS never aired it but Kalia sure made it known last night) when during BBAfterdark she told Kalia in a conversation that she played like she was Dani’s “slave” during the game. Rachel had no idea why that comment upset Kalia which was the funniest part of the exchange.

  3. sherknd says:

    Wow.. I find it very funny how so many people are so bothered by the “favortism” showed toward Dani by the commenator. He cant have a favorite player, but so many Jeff and/or Rachel fans can say such horrible things about Dani? Its a game people. And from the show I watched, all of the veterans said some pretty mean things. They were ALL more mean than any of the newbies. And like it of not, Jeff was a HUGE bully this season, even toward his own girlfriend. A Rachel fan I am not, but she deserved the win over Porsche and Adam.

  4. amber says:

    Rachel did a great job and deserve to win!

  5. Justin says:

    I totally agree with Rachel’s win. The girl won me over. Not really feeling your love for Daniele. I liked her throughout the season, but last night she came off as very bitter and very much the sore loser that she is. Same for Jeff. Her one-liners are usually awful. She thinks she’s this snarky witty genius, but she appears to me as being severly emotionally damaged in some way. Telling Rachel “You’re lucky this isn’t a personality contest,” wasn’t clever, it was unnecessarly rude and stupid, and came at a time when people were actually rooting for Rachel. I’m glad Rachel won. Oh and Jeff getting the viewers choice? Gross. People need to get over him already.

  6. D says:

    I guess I agree with Rachel’s win, relative to the alternatives. I still stand by my belief Porsche was not a floater, as much as Jeff and Jordan want people to think. They fought in competitions against her, and lost fair and square against her. They threw the clown shoe out of the box, they FUBAR’d the snake chute. End of story, really.

  7. Love Me Some Dani says:

    Love Danielle. Wish she would have stayed in the house longer. Not a rachel fan. I would just like to see her go away now. Please. Not drinking the Mutt and Jeff kool aid either.

  8. nash says:

    Completely disagree with the majority of this. Glad I don’t have to see your reviews anymore.

  9. Chris says:

    I have to say, if Dick had stayed in the game and not left……would you all still be saying this??? Dick and Dani would have manipulated there way to the top 6 w/ Jorff and Brenchel. The newbies would have won some HOH’s and POV’s, but with the exception of Dom, Shelly, and possibly Adam, everyone of the newbies would have fallen becuase the vets had great social and competive games. Rachel, as much as I hated her social game this season (I mean befor her “Rise of the Phenix”, she siriously talked about quitting when Brendon left again), she kicked @$$ in comps., as did Dani and Jeff. Though I do think Dani had a lot of good gameplays, but as Dick said she played too hard too fast……and as a result, robbed me of my Rachel/Jeff/Dani final 3.

  10. Steve says:

    This was a hard season to watch because of rachel and brendon I am so glad I missed the finale my head probably would have exploded if I had to listen to her cry one more time. It is the hatred of these two that brought them back (Good TV?) but on the bright side maybe now that she’s won she wont be back anymore, one can hope anyway

  11. John N says:

    I am fine with the outcome, Rachel outplayed everyone, and even modified her personality in the middle of the game (not easy for her to bite her lip), her behavior was no worse than most, and better than some (just annoying to listen to).

    The only thing that bothers me, is that she didn’t get all of the Jury votes (and she outplayed Porsche by miles). In every season of BB I have watched (I’ve seen them all), the Jury members always tend to put their petty grievances and conflicts aside (and put their alliances aside) and vote for most deserving competitor. That did not happen this year, the Jury voted down Party Lines (except for Shelly, who did the respectable thing).

    Porsche seems like a nice person but she is not even close to the competitor that Rachel is, yet she almost won anyway. Had Porsche won, I would not be watching BB in the future.

    Top 3 BB competitors (and strategists) of all time are, Doctor Will, Jennelle and Rachel.

    • Emily says:

      I absolutely agree with you John N. Excellent observations.

      I also agree with your top three BB competitors of all time.

      I would say, Will is top strategist, and Janelle and Rachel tied for top competitors (smart with strategy, but not so good at manipulating people like Will)

  12. Sourabh says:

    Would have been a better read if it was written by someone who was not biased.

  13. bhm1304 says:

    Evil Dick, when he won, stayed in the endurance competition in the final three THE ENTIRE EVENING battling it out against Zach. It was epic. None of these dopes stayed in any endurance competition longer than 2 hours. They made endurance competitions very easy for Rach. This cast really really sucked at comps.

    For everyone bit@hing that the game was “fixed” for Rachel to win, what competitions do you think would have played to lazy imbeciles like Porsche, Kalia, Shelly, and Adam better? You are talking about complete morons. Porsche got NOTHING correct in the last comp. For everything that is annoying about Rachel the girl was the only person left who worked her butt off the whole season and Jeff, the hatred of this columnist against mid-western boy Jeff is ridiculous, was right when he said that because of her faults and the fact that she was still able to ride this cast of misfits to victory was the only acceptable winner. She actually deserved to win which on this show is the most difficult thing to accomplish because of petty jury members.

  14. Roy says:

    And for Jeff to win America’s choice. How predictable. I think everyone knew it would be Jeff or Jordan, America’s favorite (BB) couple. Well, they may be lovely outside the house. But I just don’t like people that are arrogant, like Jeff. He really annoyed me with the hatred towards Dani, after she tried to backdoor him. I know it’s a game for 500k, but still. It’s a game on TV and stop taking everything so freaking personal.

    Let’s hope that BB14 next summer brings us more housemates who will play instead of useless people like Adam who only was funny. (or actually, tried to be) He is for sure one of the most useless housemates to have ever played this game.

  15. MEKISHA HALE says:

    Whatever you may think this whole issue about “Rachel” being better then anyone. Is totally ultra bull,the network was making things much easier for the vets because it was set up that way. I do think there was some moves here and there to make them more like they were the champions.
    But in all it was true that everyone that wasn’t the vets were walking targets in the house. And if you didn’t do what was told to you to do in games then you were dismissed sort of speaking. So your fighting your way through the producers the placed contestants who were set from day one who knew how the game would come out to be. Towards the newbies who didn’t have a chance. Plus the social game was so important,but the vets there social game was already set. They didn’t put the work to make it this far. But one thing is clear if you failed try again. So if the newbies were just jellyfish then they must have had big bite. They didn’t care who they were up against that takes a lot guts to do. Not to be bullied down so you could just hand the game to them. Instead of earning it,well “Rachel” did after “Brenden” left the house. But it was know from the beginning that “Rachel” was there for a reason and only for a reason she was not to be removed by anyone in house. I’m sure of that yea! she earned her power of veto. But really she was already sure she was going to be there by the end.
    Another move when it came to eviction of either Porsche or Kalia when Adam won that power of veto. He didn’t listen then to what “Kalia” was saying that in order for you to be the final three you have to either save Porsche or Kalia. But remove one of the newbies to place for an exchange for a vet “Rachel” and then either Porsche or Kalia. Who ever was there to vote would have been “Adam and Porsche or Kalia and then “Jordan” the only vet to make the decision for “Rachel” it wouldn’t be enough to save “Rachel” and she would’ve been the person evicted. Now your left with “Adam” “Porsche” “Kalia” and the only vet “Jordan”.
    “Adam” had a choice and he took the lower road,instead it was the the producers in his ear. Or maybe he was starstruck are something. Whatever the year of “Big Brother 13″ has ended.

  16. pj says:

    Congratulations to all … Rachel,Porsche,Jeff and Adam. It’s a game and meant to entertain the viewing audience. I am very happy with the results and the production. Since the very first production I’ve loved Big Brother. Remember the one that was a couples one in a February? Looking forward to next year’s cast and show !

  17. D says:

    Next year is the fourteenth season, I wonder if that means a second All-Star season, which was 7 the first go-round. Heh, I can’t think of anyone I want to see again that didn’t come back this year.

  18. timshel says:

    On a bit of a side note, I’m appealing to the TVLine people to find a new Big Brother reviewer for next year. Most of us who commented, were not too fond of Mr. Virtel and would appreciate someone else. I’m sure this will fall on deaf ears, but had to give it a shot. New blood is definitely needed next year.

  19. Ann Dill says:

    I do not know what happened to other fans, but I never got to see the finale. That sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!! I watched faithfully to see the end and comments to be made, who would be at the very end!!!
    WHY DID WE NOT GET TO SEE IT HERE IN CLEARWATER FLORIDA????

    All they had on was regular shows. No reason why!! or new time for BIG BROTHER AGAIN THIS SUCKS!!!! I PROBABLY WILL NOT WATCH AGAIN, IF IT COMES ON JUST BECAUSE OF THE WAY WE FANS HERE WERE TREATED!!!
    COULD HAVE SHOWN IT LATE AT TIME!!!

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