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

By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated September 17, 2010 at 01:18 AM EDT
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Big Brother

S12 E30
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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?

In the season’s last segment of awkward questions with Julie Chen, Hayden said that being on Big Brother made him feel like he could do anything. Hopefully that includes cutting his mop top, speaking in an 8- to 12-inch voice, and laying off the Crest White Strips. And Lane, sporting an eerily groomed boy band goatee, said he would most miss “a guy calling himself Meow Meow. I never heard that before.” Julie was right about one thing; I’m pretty sure that really does apply to all of us. Which is not to say that I’m happy I’ve had my first experience with that…

Back in the swanky jury house, Britney walked in wearing a “Bra-gade” t-shirt. (That was an intended pun and not just a tragic case of incorrect spelling, right? I can’t even tell with these people any more. I just laugh and move on.) After learning she’d been duped by knuckleheads, a non-pregnant Rachel (thanks for asking, Britney) said, “I didn’t even know these boys were smart enough to have an alliance, much less know what an alliance is.” It was like Rachel had been rummaging through my brain’s recycling bin! As for Ragan, who was hit by another “emotional 2-by-4” at the news, he was upset Matt hadn’t told him about the alliance and was peeved that no member of the Brigade ever took their nomination seriously (because they knew they were safe). As viewers, we know that’s not entirely true. I wish someone had told Ragan that just because someone doesn’t cry about being nominated, doesn’t mean they weren’t threatened/worried. But that probably would have insulted him and made him cry.

Britney also learned about Matt’s healthy wife and his lie. It continued to be an issue throughout the episode, but it’s the last time I’ll mention it because it unfolded pretty much the same way each time:

Matt: Yeah. My wife couldn’t be happier and healthier.

Appalled Houseguest: Are you serious?

Matt: [Awkward, uncomfortable grin] Yeah.

Appalled houseguest: That’s disgusting. That’s terrible. You’re awful. [Thinks: I like you even less now, if that’s possible]

Matt: [Shifty eyeballs] Yeah.

Appalled houseguest: [Slaps the smug grin off of Matt’s face]

Okay. The last part was just what happened in my head, but you get the point. The only other thing worth noting on this matter was Lane’s surprising reaction to the news later on in the episode. “Make up a lie about your dog. Don’t make up a lie about your wife,” he said to cheers. Wait! Screeching halt! Since when did women trump dogs in Lane’s book? Wow, this house has changed him. Add to that the fact that he wasn’t wearing some form of checkers last night, and I’m not sure I recognize the guy. Then again, maybe his inkblot-looking shirt is just making me read too much into things.

NEXT: The season of the nice guy

To his credit, Matt expressed some remorse — not for the lie, per say, but he said that he didn’t plan on hurting people’s feelings and admitted that he didn’t plan on caring for anyone in the house.

In the backyard at the jury house, everyone pondered their choices (which at this point was still Enzo, Lane, and Hayden). Rachel quickly discredited the Brigade, saying their success was largely due to luck. The stronger players had been so busy knocking each other off that no one noticed the alliance, she said. That, and it’s hard to notice other players when your head spends more time nestled in the nook of Brendon’s neck than in the game.

Britney gave credit to the Brigade’s strength, going as far to say that every eviction was a “Brigade casualty” and complimented the group’s “social game,” which is a fancy way of saying “they were nice.” In all honesty, it really was the season of the nice guy. Everyone wicked — and interesting — got taken out long ago, leaving a bunch of fairly friendly people in the house. Nice guys don’t finish last after all; they just finish unceremoniously, I suppose.

For the most part, the jury members argued most aggressively over Lane and Hayden, almost entirely discounting Enzo because of his lack of success in competitions. However, they didn’t deny Enzo was fun to have around — it just wasn’t enough. “Wafting a fart in someone’s face will get you a laugh, not a half million dollars,” Ragan said. And if I was on the receiving end of that, it’d also get you a smack in the face.

The Fart Wafter got his, though. He was evicted from the house after Hayden won HOH. Sure, he didn’t win any money, but that didn’t get Enzo down. He was still gonna pawwwtty. He did win a TV, too, but to his wife, I gather that’s much like asking him to pick up a carton of milk on the way home and him showing up with a 40. At least he’ll enjoy it. And with that, Enzo joined the jury for a series of terrible questions composed of monosyllabic words.

Had the question-and-answer portion of the show been a pageant, Lane would have been the attractive foreigner who answers question with generic answers akin to “world peace,” earning him a chuckle of amusement from the crowd. Hayden would have been the smart girl, who gives insightful answers, is obviously more qualified but less attractive. Example: Lane was asked what his three biggest contributions to the Brigade were. Instead of BSing his way into a prominent position, he answered: “makin’ ’em laugh” and “watchin’ over ’em” (yes, that’s just two). Which raises the question: What is the ratio of chuckles to HOH wins? Is it the same as unicorns to leprechauns?

Hayden, on the other hand, did his best to suck up to the jury members while answering his questions, going as far as to say he would have wanted to see Britney and Brendon in the final two if it wasn’t the Brigade. Smart move on his part. He’d probably guessed that they were likely going to vote for Lane, so you can’t blame him for making a move for those votes. The interview portion definitely went to Hayden. Too bad for Lane there was no bathing suit competition.

NEXT: Things get juicy!

When it came time for the final speeches, Hayden relied on his solid win record for clout. And Lane’s sweet as peach pie speech was sprinkled with affection for his houseguests and about 20 “you know”s. [Twitch]. Votes were cast. (…And everyone saw Enzo’s — thanks aerial cam.)

That’s when things got juicy. The return of Monet, Annie, Andrew, and Kristen not only made for great TV, but made me weep for the lost possibilities. If only they had not sabotaged their games so early on. We could have had hours of Monet and Rachel showdowns! Princess vs. Ra-tress. Admission fee: Dignity. Admit one, please! Although, I have to admit, after Monet’s catty refusal to take back her hate-filled comments about Rachel (like calling her “skanky”), I would’ve rooted for Rachel any day.

Meanwhile, Hayden and Kristen’s showmance was confirmed for the houseguests. Much to Lane’s excitement, they showed snippets of their night-vision makeout sessions. I almost felt bad for Lane watching these. His eyes lit up at the sight of the grainy PG-13 videos. He must really be desperate for porn. As for the couple, Hayden was put on the spot and asked if he saw any kind of future with Kristen. He said he’d start by taking her out for pizza pie pizza pie pizza. With $500,000 in his pocket, I hope he at least plans on springing for the supreme.

We also got updates and answers to all those burning questions we all had about the jury. Here’s what we learned: Rachel plans to move to Los Angeles to be with Brendon, Britney doesn’t think she should, Ragan thinks Rachel will make a beautiful bride (he didn’t say who or what she’s be marrying), Annie FINALLY admitted that the Saboteur message about two people being lifelong friends was a lie, and Ragan was revealed as the second Sabo (everyone thought it was Matt).

And with all that, the votes were revealed: Rachel – Lane Kathy – Hayden Matt – Hayden Brendon – Lane Ragan – Hayden Britney – Lane Enzo – Hayden

With the 4-3 vote, Hayden won. And Julie revealed Britney, whose Arkansas house was severely damaged in a fire Wednesday morning, won America’s Choice. Kudos to CBS for taking the high road and not telling Britney about her home on air. It was a valid fear of mine, and I was pleasantly surprised.

What about you, readers? What did you think of the finale? Were you pleasantly surprised the season went out on a high note? Is there anyone from this season you’d like to see on All-Stars? What does the future hold for Brendon and Rachel? So many questions!

Thanks for your comments, your good company, and for watching Big Brother 12 with us. Be sure to check back for Julie Chen’s blog, our final set of exit interviews, and for the latest on BB during the off-season, follow me on Twitter (@EWSandraG).

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Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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