Big Brother 18

Big Brother Recap: And the Winner Is...

In no less than seven days, Big Brother will already have returned for its next cycle, Over the Top — the series’ first-ever streaming-only season that will air exclusively on CBS All Access.

But first… Before this summer’s cast fades from your memory in a week, the winner of Season 18 was crowned on Wednesday night, at the end of a super-sized finale.

So, who walked away $500,000 richer?

Spoiler alert!


Indeed, after Paul triumphed in the final Head of Household competition and sent James out the door, he and Nicole fielded questions from the nine-person jury before learning which one of them would take home half a million dollars.

Although the jury members seemed on completely different pages about who deserved to win — even before they discovered who the finalists were — Nicole ultimately claimed the grand prize in a nailbiter 5-4 vote. (Da’Vonne was the tiebreaker, and her vote for Nicole may have been the most expect-the-unexpected moment of the season.)

And if you need a dose of girl power this Wednesday evening, enjoy this: For the first time in BB history, a woman has triumphed over a man when sitting next to him in the Final Two. (Who knew this show could keep feminism alive?)

But Nicole and Paul aren’t the only ones leaving with some extra dough: Victor was named America’s Favorite Houseguest, and he’ll be walking away with $25,000.

Big Brother fans, I leave it to you. Did Nicole deserve to win? Were you surprised by the close jury vote? Leave all of your thoughts on Season 18 in the comments below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Kristen says:

    Paul was more worried about who he felt was loyal and not who he could beat. No one to blame but himself.

  2. Evan says:

    Paul could’ve easily beat James – no one to blame but himself. But Nicole is not an unworthy winner – she played a slow but steady climb, even when she was close to getting exposed multiple times. I was also happy to see the jury take this vote so seriously.

    • Dan says:

      Agreed. Nicole played a very under the radar game, and she made moves behind the scenes that got herself and Corey further in the game. Paul OTOH played a much more straightforward beast comp game but he made enemies in the jury by making personal comments about the female housguests. Jury management is a huge part of this game and IMO this is where he lost it for himself. Sometimes competition wins don’t merit winning the entire game. This is one of those times.

  3. Sarah says:

    Terrible result. Paul deserved the win. Nicole spent most of the season hiding in bed with Corey. I am done with this show.

  4. Dj says:

    Paul blew it. Should have took James Really disappointed he played the better game and should have won. I cant believe that fruit loop dingus won. What an awful way to end the season.

    • I have ALWAYS LOVED Fruitloop Dingus. I am SO happy Nicole won! great game Nic!

    • steve says:

      If you can manipulate people without them realizing it, then that is not exactly a Fruitloop Dingus. Nicole is a smart player and I’m glad she won. She is certainly a better choice than that obnoxious “your boy” Paul. Who, by the way, was evidently incredibly so rude to the female H’Gs that it was a major bone of contention with the Jury.

  5. Dee ratcliff says:

    I’m very sad that big brother has proved to me yet again you get further in life not by busting your ass, being honest, working hard and standing on your own merits but by using others and stabbing your closest friends and allies in the back when they least expect it. Paul made the huge mistake of believing that people would vote for someone who earned it through an honest fight but they chose the snake, so sad that people respect a dirty win over an honest one, truly scary considering the upcoming election deciding our fate for the next 30 years, people…. Please don’t vote for the snake to run our country too, another lying snake with blonde hair!!

    • Nicole won fair and square! Onward to the next season! says:

      “Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!”

      Stop talking about politics and hating on women. It’s a frakkin’ reality show!!!!

      • And Nicole was NOT a snake…not anymore than anyone else…Just because Jozea called her that in the first week, without even knowing a THING about her, does NOT make it a true statement. Love Nicole. So happy for her!

    • Jo says:

      Amen. This was a competition with Paul Victor Bridget actually playing the game. Then we have the slackers Nicole Corey James and Zakiah. Nicole spent more time in bed with Corey than playing the game. This is suppose to be strategy staying in the background. I’m done watching this show. Paul or Victor deserved to win. Nicole is a joke.

      • Janet Joslin says:

        I agree, but Paul didnt think smart at the end.

      • Lee says:

        Part of playing BB is not putting a target on your back. Both Victor and Paul did that by winning competitions and pi$$ing off the houseguests, respectively. To me that’s not good game play and neither of them deserved to win.

      • David says:

        If you think Victor deserved to win the game I think you have no idea abou the game. I honestly think he’s not very good at this game. Great job at comps but that’s not what big brother is about. First person to be voted out 3 times in one season. I really like the guy and thought that he was fun to watch and deserved the america’s choice, but not in a million years did he deserve the half million. I also don’t understand the Nicole is a snake comment. As a vet she needed to play a low key and come on strong at the end game and that’s what she did. I probably would have voted Paul but I understand why the vote was so tight. Well deserved winner!

      • Maybe if Paul did’nt call someone the “C”, drop F bombs all season, and CONSTANTLY talk about “boneing”, some of the other woman might have voted for him. Having a mouth like a garbage can doesn’t make you a good player…..or endear you to people. By a clue……

    • CK says:

      ” Please don’t vote for the snake to run our country too, another lying snake with blonde hair!!”

      Relax, it’s just a reality show where backstabbing is encouraged and required. Also, I’m not voting for Trump so don’t worry. Were you this upset when Derek was stabbing people in the back left and right or were you congratulating him on his genius?

      • Better a “snake” than a habitual felon and her rapist husband. But let’s keep politics out of this….but since you fired the first shot…I felt a need to respond. Slick Willie and his loar of a wife disgust me. Heck, Bill as disbarred for committing perjury to a federal judge…(not to mention Monica)….. But your kind always have selective memory. Either that or you are to young to know that. Either way, I am retired from the legal field…and it doesn’t get much lower than two layers constantly committing perjury. And THAT is why she will lose…BIG. Their Teflon coating has been scratched off….by their many lies and sexual assaults. Anyone but Clinton for me! Even Trump…..

        • CK says:

          Since I fired the first shot? I see you’re making up stuff like that con man/grifter Trump. Lose big. Please the Klan doesn’t have that much voting power. Sorry if you have to go back under your hood.

        • liame says:

          There are opinions and then there are azzholes, every Country has one but isn’t America just the Greatest?! Gotta love that 1st Amendment. ;*)

    • steve says:

      Nicole was a smart player. The fact hat you think “Mr. T” is the better choice for our country only shows that you would not know smart if it bit you on the ass.

    • Spencer says:

      Totally agree that no one should vote for that lying snake with blonde hair, Donald J. Trump. what a crook.

    • Lora g says:

      I agree, I don’t like Nicole but I didn’t like how paul lied and called names when he was 100% caught playing sides. He wasn’t innocent

  6. LisaH says:

    Final two, no good choices there. Lesser of 2 evils. Just glad Paul did not get the$500,000.00!

  7. Tammy says:

    So glad Nicole won, I was hoping she would win from day one. She played at very Smart strategic game even when it wasn’t her vote she got most everyone in the House to do what she wanted. But you noticed most everyone was gunning for her because she was the biggest threat and they still did what she convinced them to do. Smart game play absolutely. It’s called master manipulation.

    • LaDonna says:

      Egads, I’m glad I’m not the only one! After Paul’s speech last night, I was afraid she was sunk, but she gave a great speech of her own, and made some really good points. Everyone says she played under the radar, but I don’t believe that to be the case. She made her team give her the first HOH by pretending she didn’t want it. Remember he manipulation of the whole discussion? Oh, Nicole, you’ve been here before, you understand how it works, you should do it! She very subtly put that in their heads, and I loved it. She knew the risk of being the first HOH, so she took care of business and then very quickly moved to pairing with Corey and running things from behind the scenes. For a long time, the house was so fixated on Paulie (“he’s running this house!”), but Nicole seemed to find out who was gunning for her and just focused on getting others to get them out for her. I really am happy she won!

      • Jason G says:

        This is exactly right. She played hard from the beginning, and the vets were a target from the beginning, but her game was so good it looked like she was taking it easy. She smartly let players like Frank, DaVonne, Tiffany, and Paulie burn themselves out while staying away from the fray. James got to the end in a similar way as well, but Nicole was best at manipulating from the beginning all the way to the end AND she paid attention to the things that would allow her to win key comps (the rollercoaster comp in the finale, for example). She made a key alliance, seldom got blood on her hands, and managed to talk Paul into taking her to the end even though everyone watching on TV knew Paul had a much better shot of beating James. I actually think Michelle hating her so much made her MORE sympathetic to the rest of the jury, because Michelle was such a mess, no one really wanted to associate themselves with thinking the way Michelle did. In my opinion, Nicole played a game worthy of the greats.

  8. Roxanne Sims says:

    No! I’m really disappointed that she one her game was based on alot of lies! Paul should have one this game! Very disappointing !

  9. Karen says:

    They both played a great game. But I feel Paul really deserved to win. Victor played a better game than Nicole. I believe in my heart that the only reason Nicole won was because of feminism. This is a very left leaning station so I believe they coaxed the voters which way to vote to keep feminism alive. Nicole didn’t deserve it.

    • Matt wes says:

      Victor was evicted twice. It Doesn’t matter how many comps you win, if you paint yourself with that big of a target, and get evicted once let alone twice, you should never be in the running. Everyone that was gunning after nicole ended up going home. Everytime someone was going to place nicole on the block, she provided them with a bigger target and a reason not to. The game is often won behind the scenes and not in comps. Good final two, but Nicole deserved it.

    • dude says:

      How can you say Victor played a better game when he was evicted THREE times?! The point of the game is to not be evicted and he failed at that thrice. That alone means he did not play a good game. Comp wins aren’t everything. Nicole played the smartest game. Paul put himself in a position from day one where he had to fight every week to stay in the game. Nicole aligned herself with the right people and cleared a road for herself to the finals.

    • Jenna says:

      It’s cbs, a station that airs freakin Blue Bloods lol, I don’t see how anyone can call it “left leaning”.

    • Lee says:

      @Karen: If what you said is true, then why did Bridget–a self-proclaimed feminist–vote for Paul!!! And it’s interesting to note that 60% of Nicole’s jury votes were from women!

  10. Bette Harris says:

    Yes she deserved to win. She and Cory played low key until the right time.

  11. wrstlgirl says:

    I honestly think a woman winner was the plan from the start considering they kept bringing it up but that aside I’m glad it was Nicole because she was the only female who deserved it. At least Natalie and James did not win AFP. Couldn’t be happier about that.

    • Trish says:

      Exactly! I’m a woman and would love to see any other of the women win. Nicole was a mean girl who refused to form an all girl alliance and gave her own sex up for attention from all the guys. Can you say attention whore? That’s exactly the type of woman that makes women appear weak. She won not only being first female to win in five years but first female to beat a guy at finale? Super confused! I watched feeds so don’t give me that as an excuse. Because that’s the reason I despised her so much. I think Jozea and Michelle called it! Outside of show, I’m sure she’s a decent person and Paul was far from one of my favorite players , but I think he deserved over 99% of the people. I would have loved Victor to win, but I expected him not to because he played such an Samir able game and was super likable. I would voted him out to, every chance I got. So happy he got AFP!

  12. Nicole won fair and square! Onward to the next season! says:

    Nicole really did play the best game out of the final three. It’s easy to forget important moments over such a long game, especially when you don’t see everything happening on the live feeds. Nicole was playing the game every second while COREY was the one trying to get her to stay in bed. If you rewatch the season, you won’t see anyone who had a game as good as hers. VIc comes close but not quite!

    Paul’s game was decent enough, however, just because you’re loud and have memorable moments where you were yelling at people calling them c^nts doesn’t make you a good game player. He may have been on the block six times, but he didn’t have to do much to not be voted out. Avoiding the block all but one week when you’re a veteran everyone automatically wants to go after? THAT’S impressive. How can you say Paul was robbed when it’s his own fault he lost?! He made the worst move he could have by picking Nicole because clearly he was never going to beat her. The jury knows what’s going on and picked the person who played the better game.

    I would say more than half the time I’m not pleased with the winner of Big Brother. A lot of weak players sneak into those final two spots after floating their way to the end. I still watch it, though, season after season hoping I’ll be impressed by what I see. I think this was a great season that was enjoyable to watch. If you don’t like the outcome, it’s your decision not to watch it anymore. There will be plenty of other superfans watching when you leave, including Nicole BECAUSE SHE JUST WON BB18!!!

    • Trish says:

      I’m a girl and would have loved if any other girl but Nicole Franzel had one. She absolutely refused to work with any of the other women and was up order’s bu– all summer. Paul was robbed and I didn’t love him, but he earned it. Makes no sense that Natalie would have voted for Nicole when she is the reason for her evivtion. Natalie was my favorite girl this season until the finale. I’m really disappointed in Big Brother but in a way I’m glad, because I never planned to watch season 19 anyway. I’ve seen all the seasons and was a true superfan but my Big Brother addiction is cured. This wasn’t “friendship” this was badly scripted, rigged unreality TV. Truly disappointed! Pissed!

    • Trish says:

      Obviously you’re delusional! Even she couldn’t believe she won and she’s a superfan. Did you see how in shock she was and she kept asking how? Indeed, how? This is not her fault though and I’m sure she’s a great person. I didn’t particularly love Paul! He was robbed and I can’t believe Natalie my favorite woman all season helped make this a reality. So disappointed and was ready to give up Big Brother anyway. To me this was jumping a shark. Thanks to the entire cast of Big Brother. I know this episode proved to me the show was rigged. Not the casts fault at all. Love the players no longer love the game!

    • Jason Gohlke says:

      I agree entirely. A game continues until the winner is determined. Paul’s decision to take Nicole instead of James to the final was his losing move. Nicole made her winning moves starting in week 1. Given that there are no written criteria for who played a better game, each individual member of the jury gets to decide which criteria they want to consider to which extent. In sum, Nicole did play a better game than Paul ipso facto because she won the jury vote. She managed the personalities and relationships better than he did, she won comps when she needed to, she prevented herself from getting evicted, she “aw-shucks” talked herself into the final 2 — she won BB18. Live with it.

  13. Mr says:

    Lame… She annoyed us with lazy game play, and convinced us the show needs an overhaul…

  14. jenny says:

    nicole used her brain very strategically while paul showed his power and intent right off the bat. she kind of used Corey, who showed his competitive side at the end, to knock out her personal threats until he got voted out. she was just very manipulative, which is how you play big brother. so did she deserve it? sure. but based on the season, I would have loved to see jatalie take it. I just hope they can make it work and get married.

  15. Gwen says:

    I feel Paul should have won.He worked his heart out and was the most entertaining of all.I will admit I wanted Victor to win,however when he was booted out,I was totally PAUL.

  16. Carmelita Green says:

    It should have been Paul he should have taken James to the end to win.:

  17. Big WPH says:

    Good for her two seasons locked up in the hose she deserved to ein

  18. Djd says:

    Sad. I wanted nicole to win but when paul voted to take her to final 2 that was really classy. Cody did the same thing with derrick. I really think paul deserved to win. I hope they bring him back again. It sucks the girls voted for nicole because she was a woman.

  19. cynthia says:

    What a drag watching late night and all they was doing was laying in bed. Who wants to watch Nicole lay in bed. I hate that she won. it would have been better with James. They both screwed him and Paul got what he asked for.

  20. lilgoalielvr says:

    Paul’s biggest mistake was taking Nicole on the finale 2. he actually handed her the win.
    if he would have taken James then Paul would have been the winner hands down..
    I voted for James as the favorite hose guest..I just Luke’s how he was such a gentleman.. Oh well moving on now to The Voice

  21. CK says:

    If you’re upset about lying and backstabbing on Big Brother, I really don’t know how you survived 18 seasons of this show.

  22. James says:

    Paul was a cocky ass. His speech was all about how great he played. Nicole got the last laugh.Did you seePauls face when Define gave it Nicole. Priceless

  23. Jason Waren says:

    I’m really shocked Paul took Nicole to the final two. What was he thinking? Congrats to Nicole who played a strategic game.

    • Writerpatrick says:

      He didn’t feel James deserved to win $50k. It will go down as the biggest mistake in BB history.

      • drinxx says:

        Well, Paul was absolutely correct…. James didn’t deserve to win the $50k…. and that’s exactly how it played out. Sometimes you get exactly what you wish for. :-P

  24. Joan says:

    Nicole played a fabulously strong game. She was thoughtful about all her moves & everyone hated her in the beginning, remember? But she worked her social game to where everyone pretty much cohabitated well with her.
    I’m so glad Nicole won, I watched her last season & she came back to bb#18 a whole new person. She had her Emergency Room Game On!!

  25. Joan says:

    So happy for Victor. That guy was the best!! I loved him, he was unstoppable in all aspects of Big Brother. Plus he was hot.

  26. Will says:

    Yeah, Paul made that $450,000 mistake. To be a guy who didn’t know the game, I still give him props for making it to final 2.

  27. ABSOLUTELY! Nicole had a LOT of odds against her. She played a helluva game! CONGRATS!

  28. Big Cheddar says:

    Oh Paul…. You’re last move was your worst move and clearly a knee-jerk reaction. And given Nicole would have taken James to the final 2, it’s a shame he didn’t see that Nicole wasn’t loyal to him either.

  29. Amber keegan says:

    I thought Paul would win but was pleasantly surprised when Nikki did. His mistake was he brought Nikki.

  30. Annette says:

    Good for her. She played a good game this time.

  31. Donald Martens says:

    I think Nicole play a great game. As she said she worked with 5 guys and got them to do what she wanted them to do with them thinking it was her idea.

  32. Elena Felix says:

    Yes Nicole deserved to win. If you watched live feeds you would see she was always working the game. Paul really did a good job, but didn’t work near as much for it as Nicole. You need to watch the feeds to understand how much Nicole deserves this win.

  33. Trish says:

    I’m a girl and would have loved if any other girl but Nicole Franzel had one. She absolutely refused to work with any of the other women and was up order’s bu– all summer. Paul was robbed and I didn’t love him, but he earned it. Makes no sense that Natalie would have voted for Nicole when she is the reason for her evivtion. Natalie was my favorite girl this season until the finale. I’m really disappointed in Big Brother but in a way I’m glad, because I never planned to watch season 19 anyway. I’ve seen all the seasons and was a true superfan but my Big Brother addiction is cured. This wasn’t “friendship” this was badly scripted, rigged unreality TV. Truly disappointed! Pissed!

  34. S says:

    At least James didn’t win. Sooo there’s that.

  35. Lululimon says:

    I only saw the really early part of this season, but why is James so hated now? Did he play better or worse than last season?

    • S says:

      He did nothing all summer. He added nothing to the season other than a chuckle when he added salt to someone’s water as a prank in a time filler clip. Or when he yelled BOO in the dark and scared someone for the 43rd time. Dude has no game, he was just banking on winning Americas favourite player again, which thankfully went to Victor

  36. Donna says:

    I really do believe Nicole deserved to win Big Brother 18, she was a good player. She played with true feeling and emotion. When she would put other players on the block , she had remorse for her dession.She had feeling and respect for others. Paul on the other hand did not , his personaity was sharp and cold. He had no respect for the other players, he is a total me, me, me, person and look what I did. James also was a great player. My summers would not be complete if I missed watching Big Brother.

  37. Carolyn says:

    I am so fed up with the wrong people wining, James deserved this more then anyone,I don’t think it was fair at all,Nicole rode Cory’s shirt strings and all the rest of the guys, She did not do any thing but laid in bed with Cory. Or on the hammock.

  38. Max says:

    I wanted Paul to win … but the dude completely blew it. So many reasons to take James to the finals with him … most of all because Nicole is smarter. She presented a much argument for the win and I wouldn’t be surprised if Da’Vonne was ready to vote for Paul but was swayed by Nicole’s defense of her game. Then Paul was given a golden opportunity to suck up to the jury when Natalie asked him about his mean comments to the girls. His defense was basically “I am who I am and I’m not changing.” No doubt Natalie would have loved to have voted against Nicole for her backstab if Paul would have just said “I’m terribly sorry for some of the things I said … it was out of character and I was just trying to throw some of you off your game. I regret doing that.” Boom! Maybe he would have gotten that one extra vote he needed. James is a decent guy but his only argument for the win was laying low. It’s a strategy that got him to the final 3 but not in the money.

  39. Karen says:

    Very disappointed Nicole did not deserve the win.
    I am done with this show, after watching every season, I can not stomach watching another non -deserving person win.
    It is starting to look staged to me!

  40. Briiton says:

    Worst outcome ever. She didn’t do anything good and some how won. And read somewhere that paulie was given 25,000$ to vote for Nicole.

    • Kel says:

      I doubt that he was really bribed. Nicole dated Paulie’s brother, so they knew one another before the show, and he never had anything bad to say about her as far as I remember. He also felt a little betrayed by Paul conniving behind his back when he finally put 2 and 2 together.

  41. Kel says:

    What drives me nuts is people saying that Paul played an honest game and was up front with everyone. That was one of his closing argument statements, however, it was NOT true. He manipulated and lied to people behind their backs, especially at the end when he told both Nicole AND James that he promised to take them to final 2 if he won. He even admitted to having lied to them in his confessional. I agree that the way they edited it, it did seem that Nicole lied and back-stabbed MORE, but let’s call a spade a spade, and a liar a liar. I think both had equally strong social AND comp games. It all came down to 2 things: Paul’s disrespect for his fellow competitors’ feelings, and his poor choice in choosing such a strong competitor in the end to go against.

  42. Pamela Gauger says:

    I am glad Nicole won. She came back keeping herself under radar for awhile till it was safe to win comps and veto. She swayed people to vote and put people on the block. Great.

  43. John Belanger says:

    Paul was so dumb to pick Nicole, he would have beat Jim, so he made THE big mistake

  44. Kat says:

    People keep making comments on how she was a snake for not being in a girls alliance and how she was doing for the attention, but if you think about it, if she would have teamed up with another girl, she would have been out a long time ago. She played the best game in my opinion, didn’t always make the best choices to me, but she did what was best for her game and clearly won the season. In the end there were some strong players that she knocked out the way because it was for her game she came back strong towards the end.

  45. TD Brooks says:

    The production team influencing the outcome…my last season as a viewer.

  46. Joel says:

    i’m so glad Paul did not win! He played a dirty game with lies and backstabbing. It’s nice to see someone win for a change that was a good person. The past 3 years the winners have been liars and dishonest people, a bad example for our society.

  47. Mom says:

    So disappointed Nicole won. Said she stratigised the whole game. What game was everyone watching!!

  48. Marcia Kirkbride says:

    Loved the cast…do feel 2nd place should receive $100,000….3rd place $50,000

  49. Marcia Kirkbride says:

    Good cast. 2nd place should receive $100,000..3rd place $50,000