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.