A so-so season ends on a high note as a new champion is crowned. More importantly, Adam magically becomes less useless. It's a Christmas miracle!

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September 15, 2011 at 06:00 AM EDT

If you wanted to point to the defining image of the thirteenth season of Big Brother, you would have to look back to the opening moments of last night’s season finale. The three remaining housemates were participating in Part One of the final HoH competition: A typically surreal megasized butter-churning competition that for some reason also involved spraying the housemates with gak, Double Dare-style. Unsurprisingly, Adam started falling early on, because challenges aren’t his strong suit. (Adam’s strong suit, as we all know, is the one with shoe-gloves.) Porsche started moaning about how her tum-tum felt ick-ick. “I don’t want to barf, but I also don’t want to swim in my barf,” she explained. “It’s a Catch-22!” So, to recap: Two players who lasted the entire summer in the Big Brother house were brought low in the final competition by ouchie muscles and icky joints.

What peasants. You only had to look at their competitor to know that their chances of winning were slim to none. Rachel was the picture of royal poise; she looked as if she had been training her entire life to hold tight to a spinning butter-churner while being dipped in neon sewage. She was not fazed when the machine started picking up speed. When Adam fell in, she offered very pleasant condolences. When Porsche gave up, Rachel congratulated her on a game well-fought. Then, viewers, she positively hopped out of the butter-bowl. Porsche was left behind, gasping for air, waiting for Adam to pull her out.

This season of Big Brother has been undoubtedly disappointing. The first few weeks were marred by a twist overload. The Daniele-Jeff double-eviction bloodbath was a great night of TV that removed two of the most interesting players in BB history from the playing field; After Daniele and Jeff left, the BB house felt a little bit like a chessboard populated entirely by pawns. Fortunately, one of those pawns was Rachel. Rachel, the unconquerable. Rachel, the indomitable. Rachel, with her hair so crimson red, you have to figure she killed a dragon just so she could dye her hair in a pool of dragon blood.

Last night’s season finale was immensely satisfying because Rachel’s journey through this season proved so immensely satisfying. She came into the house as a memorably annoying Big Brother villain. She leaves, now, a comeback kid. A Cinderella story. She is the Juggernaut, bitch! Or, perhaps more accurately, she is: The Juggernaut Bitch. (Aside: I know there’s a perception that the producers laid the groundwork for Rachel’s surge with competitions that played to her strengths. I have three responses to that conspiracy theory: 1. Were there any competitions that would have played to Adam’s or Porsche’s strengths? 2. Would you have preferred a final three with Kalia, Porsche, and Adam? 3. Who cares? There’s cheating in every sport. At least the producers were smart enough to back the right person; imagine if someone in the CBS front office thought Adam was testing well with the youth demographic.)

Rachel sat out of the second part of the HoH competition, which sent Porsche and Adam into a tank of water, guiding the faces of every Head of Household through an underwater maze. “I’ve never worked so hard in my life to win a competition,” Porsche moaned. (There are some people, like my wise co-recapper Kate Ward, who have warmed to Porsche in these last few weeks. Not me. It’s telling that Jordan — sweet, adorable, inoffensive Jordan — decided to wage a Sarcasm Campaign against Porsche in these last few episodes.) Adam threw away his goggles after a minute, and was then surprised to discover that it’s hard to see underwater without goggles. Viewers, this man is a muppet.

NEXT: Twelve Angry Men, and the women who hate them.

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Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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