Cliff Lipson

In the ''Big Brother'' season finale, the jury chooses Dick over his coconspirator Daniele in an anticlimactic end to a good season

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September 19, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

The ”Big Brother” finale: Either way, Dick won

Given Daniele’s infuriating personality, I kinda got a perverse pleasure in seeing her father win season 8 of Big Brother by a 5-2 vote — considering that I didn’t want to see either of them win at all. I, like so many of you, considered boycotting the finale because I knew it would be terribly anticlimactic, much like the year Rob and Amber made it to the final two on Survivor. And truth be told, I started checking out of BB days ago — first because the Emmys were upon us and I had to focus my energy on wishing for a Two and a Half Men upset in the Best Comedy category and then because I needed to find my happy place since a new season of McDreamy was only days away! But I had to experience this final hour, if only to enjoy the payoff of seeing the houseguests’ reaction to Eric being America’s player.

Even in the end, Eric didn’t disappoint. Though his in-house machinations were often as dirty as Dick and Daniele’s, Eric’s an intelligent and articulate player, and he did a damn fine job of convincing his compadres that Dick was the more deserving winner. Of course, he was wrong; Daniele’s game was much stronger in terms of the competitions, and I did agree (no, howled) with Jameka when she said Daniele was the pimp and Dick was her ho. At the same time, something can be said for the fact that Dick, unlike Daniele, always made it known that he was playing for two — a pretty amazing accomplishment in a game that practically demands an egotistical attitude to the end. Even in those final minutes of last night’s episode, I sensed that Dick was humble and happy for both himself and his daughter, while Daniele was just putting on a good face. Notice how he gave her a big kiss on the cheek while she just stood there unflinching, smiling to the camera. She even seemed happier to see Nick than she was to ”share” her victory with ol’ Pa. Wonder if they’ll get together for Sunday dinner this weekend. Wonder if I’ll care after today. Probably not. But I’m glad I tuned in. Great jury moments, great finale, a great amount of glitter on Julie’s chest. But Zach, you’re still a freaking tool. Goes for you, too, Howie.

My, what a season — and not just because the show produced an unprecedented amount of controversy (Dick’s verbal abuse, Amber’s anti-Semitism, allegations of game tampering by the producers and cheating by the players). Fans really turned into unofficial referees this year. And I’m talking to many of you, dear readers: If you didn’t agree with how Allison Grodner produced the show, you immediately and unabashedly cried foul. For the first summer ever, my in-box was flooded with e-mails demanding that I get answers from Grodner about controversies swirling in the BB blogosphere. (The latest: whether Daniele was even eligible to win since you’re supposed to be 21 to play in this game.) I tried to feed the monster by getting answers from Grodner, but they were never satisfactory. You called Grodner a grand manipulator and demanded her ouster. And I have to say…I enjoyed every minute of it. Granted, I often sided with her when she breathlessly explained how difficult it was to produce a show when so many fans (critics?) were scrutinizing her every move.

NEXT: Building a better Big Brother

But that’s what makes this show so bloody satisfying; no other series on TV makes me feel that we have an actual stake in the game. And make no mistake, we do — and I’m not just talking about America’s player. I do believe Grodner takes our comments to heart. In fact, one week I asked her why we weren’t getting a tally of Eric’s winnings, and a week later — boom! — it showed up in an episode. Our voices are definitely heard — which is why it’s a must that you post your suggestions for change for the next edition of Big Brother so I can forward them to the network. She’s not gonna quit, folks — you really don’t want her to, do you? — but she’s an excellent listener, if not a little sensitive whenever the press publishes cold hard facts about ratings (like how they’ve remained generally flat among total viewers). So let your voices be heard! Just do it without hurling insults and expletives. (My, you kids got ugly on the message boards this summer. Made ol’ Quincy Parks sound like a veritable saint!)

What else can I say that hasn’t already been said? So check out our post-victory interview with Dick and Daniele, then post your thoughts below. We’ll chat again next summer. This is Lynette Rice reminding you to help control the pet population: Have your pet spayed and neutered. Goodbye everybody!

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