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The houseguests reunite for the finale and the season's juicy secrets are spilled as one contestant walks away with the big prize 

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September 17, 2010 at 01:18 AM EDT

Who’d have thought that season that had gotten so much flack for being light on action would go out with such a bang? In a two-hour finale that didn’t really feel like two hours at all, our Big Brother 12 contestants aired the many secrets they’d been harboring, we learned which houseguests will simply never get along, and we saw the re-emergence of Ragan’s bow tie, which I’d secretly hoped had been sacrificially burned in a fire dedicated to human decency. Oh, and Hayden won $500,000 and the title of Most Popular Student on the Arizona college campus which he attends.

But let’s back up. Don’t worry; I’m not going to subject you to a seven-minute recap of the entire season like CBS did to us. Because we’ve watched the whole season, damn it! And those seven minutes could have been better used on other things, like maybe a cage match to the death featuring Monet and Rachel. Or an oily flexing contest between Brendon, Lane, and Hayden. (Mmmmm) Sorry, nevermind; that last one’s not a competition. Brendon clearly would have won.

We began at the house, where we flashed back to earlier in the week when Hayden, Lane, and Enzo pondered their respective deals for the final two. Everyone had essentially promised each other that they’d take them to the end, like summer camp when you tell everyone they’re your BFF just so you’re guaranteed a seat at the lunch table. Only at this table, they were being served $500,000.

Recognizing his chances of getting taken to the final two were bleak, Enzo (aka Meow Meow/aka Godfather/aka satanic cult member) tried his hand at manipulation, or “brainwashing.” Giving Lane the benefit of the doubt, Enzo assumed there was a brain to be washed and tried to convince the Texan to re-think his intention to take Hayden to the final two. It kind of worked. Lane’s heart was telling him to take Hayden and his head was telling him to take Enzo. Considering Lane’s was never one to neglect his head — eeeewwww, I hate myself for that, I really do — I think there’s a good chance he would have taken Enzo. Turns out it was a lot of grief over nothing; he would never have to make a decision because Hayden won the final HOH.

It should be noted that Lane put up a good fight in the competition, which had the two trying to accurately guess their former housemates’ responses to a series of questions. They even went into a lightning round, where they had to estimate the number of times they were slammed into the wall as part of last week’s jungle challenge. It was obvious that the lightning round would go to Hayden, considering the name of the round implies quick thinking. Or thinking, for that matter.

NEXT: Bra-gade? Really?

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Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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