Big Brother recap: The winner of Big Brother: All-Stars is crowned!
Here's what you need to know as we kick off this recap of the 2-hour finale of Big Brother All-Stars: Nicole previously won the first leg of the final HOH competition, meaning that she was all set to compete on finale night for the right to choose who'd sit next to her in the end. That left Cody and Enzo, the long-time allies, to battle it out for the final spot. The second leg of the competition has huge potential consequences; if Enzo wins, he's almost certainly taking Cody to the end with him because he's loyal to a fault. If Cody wins, I'm not so sure he returns the favor. I think he's conflicted, and that Nicole might be a good player to sit next to. Anyways, enough prognosticating, let's get this season over with!
We get right down to it, with Enzo and Cody squaring off in the second leg of the HOH competition. It's a pretty complicated challenge; the players must use their memory to create photos that act as an answer to a question, and there's also a balance-beam portion. It's hard to explain because it's so ludicrous, but there are these swinging pig heads that will get in the way of the picture, and the players have to swing them out of the way so that they don't show up in the picture. Wheover completes the three rounds with the fastest time wins. Enzo isn't doing too badly for awhile, but he makes a huge mental mistake during the third question. He's supposed to take a picture with three evicted houseguests, but he reads it as two. He wastes a ton of time not understanding why his answer is wrong, and that basically gives Cody a clear path to the victory.
As we know, Cody is a comp beast. He flies through the challenge, and it's not even close in the end. It took Enzo 37 minutes to finish the challenge, whereas Cody completes it in only 5 minutes. I feel bad for Enzo because he clearly struggles with the loss. He's frustrated by his performances in general, and he feels like his time in this game is done. He goes on a tangent when Cody is announced as the winner, telling Cody and Nicole that they won, that they can be the Final 2 because they deserve it, and that he'll just take third place because he couldn't get it done in the end. It's an awkward moment for Nicole and Cody, but I have to say it's one of the few moments of genuine emotion we've seen this season. Enzo's pain and frustration are so palpable, and he's not entirely sure how to release it all. It's human and understandable, and you have to feel for him.
So now, the discussions begin. Nicole says she's unsure about who to take to the end if she wins, but my gut says she's still focused on staying loyal to Cody. Cody is unsure too. He feels like losing to Nicole would be understandable, but that losing to Enzo would be a travesty. They haven't even played the final HOH yet, but they have to start thinking about potential options right now. And that means Enzo, the next day, is regrouping and trying to plant some seeds to be the one taken to the end, no matter who's in control. He's been in this spot before, hoping to be taken to the Final 2, and all he wants this time around is the chance to plead his case to the jury.
Speaking of the jury, it's time to check in with them as they welcome their newest member, Christmas. They all talk about who's perhaps worthy of the win and what criteria to apply here. Because this is a TV show, they have to make good arguments for everyone, but it's interesting nonetheless. Nicole is a hot topic because she's a complicated player. She's lied and played the victim and that's bugged a lot of the jury because she never "owned" her game, but everyone also appreciates that she's a former winner who made it to the end and did what she had to do to get there. Enzo gets points for not being on the block all season and for being friendly with everyone, but much of the jury wonders if he did enough to earn the win; he shied away from big moves and that could cost him. Cody is complicated too because it seems like the jury is frustrated by his social game, namely the fact that he'd orchestrate evictions and not own up to it, always mincing his words. But they clearly think he's played the best overall game. Awarding him the prize money might come down to who he's sitting next to in the end.
That brings us to the final portion of the HOH competition. Whoever wins must immediately decide who they're sitting beside in the end, sending one more person to the jury. Nicole and Cody must look at three statements about players on the jury and lock in which statement is false. It's a pure memory game, like so many Big Brother competitions. Cody wins the first point while Nicole answers wrong. They both answer correctly in the second round, making it 2-1 for Cody. They both answer correctly in the third round, so Cody is up 3-2. They submit the same answers in Round 4, 5, 6, and 7 too; that's a total score of 7-6 for Cody. That means the final round will either secure Cody a win, or there will be a tie. It's a question about Christmas, and they both answer correctly again. So Nicole's early blunder costs her, and Cody gets to choose who he sits next to in the end.
It's an emotional moment. Cody made two Final 2 deals, and clearly, both Nicole and Enzo feel like they deserve to sit next to him. And Cody, tears in his eyes, is clearly struggling to cut one of his friends. Cody stands up, and with a ton of emotion, he sends Nicole to the jury and stays true to "The Root" alliance with Enzo. I really can't underscore just how emotional this decision is. This season has been very dull because everyone has been so friendly and upfront about their intentions, but that also makes this final vote that much more effective because Cody is clearly close with both Enzo and Nicole. Nicole is blindsided, assuming all along that Cody was going to take her no matter what. But I think Cody, perhaps having learned from a massive mistake in his previous season, realized he had a better chance to win against Enzo, and that Nicole had a good case to make to the jury that could cost him in the end.
So we're off to the jury questioning the final two players. Essentially, this comes down to two very different games. Cody has torn through the game and controlled almost everything, and Enzo has hidden behind him but played a great social game along the way. As much as the questions from the jury try to dissect everything and give both guys a chance to speak, it seems pretty clear that the jury is ready to vote for Cody and is perhaps ready to swing to Enzo only if he makes a great case for his game. Unfortunately for Enzo, who I do think played a good game, he isn't particularly articulate about why his game is worth some votes, whereas Cody lays out how this season's game is a response to the season he lost, and that sense of perspective is a boon for him.
This is pretty clear if we're being honest. Cody has played the best game all season long, and the jury would have to hold a lot of grudges to not award him the prize. Sure enough, this isn't even close. By a unanimous vote of 9-0, the jury crowns Cody the winner of the second edition of Big Brother: All-Stars. For all the problems this season had, this is a worthy winner. And of course, as always, there's the vote for America's Favorite Houseguest, and this time around Da'Vonne beats out Tyler, and that's a deserved win as well.
So, that's two winners who definitely deserve it. This has been a rocky, rather disappointing season, but it's nice to see two likable players take home money, which isn't always the case with Big Brother. Let's keep our fingers crossed that next season is better, and who knows, maybe I'll see you back here in summer 2021 for BB23!
Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.