7:53pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Big Brother 16' Winner Revealed
[WARNING: Spoilers ahead from Wednesday's finale of Big Brother.]
Who won Big Brother 16?
After 97 days, Team America, Battle of the Block, two double evictions and a rewind, a new Big Brother winner was crowned in Wednesday's finale. Who won the $500,000 grand prize: Derrick Levasseur, Cody Calafiore or Victoria Rafaeli? The winner is ... Derrick, with seven of the jury votes.
The fan-voted America's Favorite Player, winner of $25,000, was also revealed. The winner is ... Donny Thompson, who dominated with more than 5 million votes. (The top three vote-getters were Zach Rance, Donny and Nicole Franzel.)
Here's how the action went down.
The Final HOH Competition
The first of the three-part final HOH competition tests the Final 3's endurance and if you're a gambler, it would be unwise to bet against a former soccer player like Cody. Within 45 minutes of the competition — testing Derrick, Cody and Victoria's ability to hang onto hang-gliders while standing on a small platform against a tilting wall under torrential rain and fake lightning — Victoria drops, clearing The Hitmen's path to the Final 2. When Derrick starts to fight Cody a little bit about their previously agreed-upon deal for Cody to win Part 1 and Derrick to take Part 2, Cody starts to question his alliance member. "What? You don't know if you can beat Victoria?" Finally, after a little over an hour, Derrick drops, leaving Cody the default winner of Part 1.
Part 2 of the HOH competition pits Derrick against Victoria, and it's a combination of mental and physical. The Egyptian-themed challenge tasks them with correctly identifying the houseguests sitting on the nomination block on eviction night and who was voted out of the house. While Derrick zooms past the challenge, thanks to the way CBS edited it, Victoria has much more trouble scaling the wall. Derrick smokes Victoria with a time of 15:29.
During the live finale, Cody and Derrick face off in Part 3 of the HOH competition, centered on the jurors. After seesawing back and forth, Cody and Derrick end the eight-question competition with a 4-4 tie, showing just how evenly matched they are mentally. It's a tie-breaker question Cody wins that brings him over the top. The question is, will he cut Derrick or will he stay loyal to The Hitmen?
Not surprisingly, Cody cuts Victoria, staying loyal to his Hitmen alliance member Derrick — who he teamed with on Day 2. In her brief exit interview with Julie Chen, Victoria defends her "floater" gameplay.
The Jury Deliberates
With Big Brother alum Dr. Will moderating, Caleb Reynolds enters the jury house to begin deliberations. Caleb breaks the news to the rest of the jury that Derrick and Cody have been working together as The Hitmen, which genuinely surprises the rest of the jury members.
Many have high praise for Derrick, saying things like "thinks a lot before he speaks," "manipulative," "likable," "the family guy." But what sums up Derrick's game best may be Nicole's observation: "When he betrays you, you feel guilty." An important point that works in Derrick's favor is the fact that he has never been on the block, in a season where that seems nearly impossible. When Dr. Will asks the jury to name Derrick's best move, they fail to come up with one. A point against Derrick?
His Hitmen alliance member Cody gets less praise, but Donny brings up the fact that he believes Cody is "equally worthy" of being in the finals with Derrick. If the CBS edit is to be believed, Cody may have an edge as the jury continues to lump him with all the power moves made this summer.
Meanwhile, Victoria has some fans — though fewer than Derrick and Cody. "If Victoria is in the Final 2, I'm going to vote for her," Caleb says.
With all nine members of the jury set, they begin interrogating the Final 2, Derrick and Cody. Frankie remarks to Cody that they believe Derrick is "the puppetmaster" while he is merely "the puppet." Is that a clue to how the jury may later vote?
The Final Vote Breakdown
In their final pleas to the jury, Cody addresses the jury's observation that he was merely a puppet in Derrick's game, arguing that he had a hand in sending home several "beasts" in the game (namely Donny, Caleb and Frankie). Meanwhile, Derrick drives home the fact that he has never been nominated for eviction in a season with double HOHs and the Battle of the Block twist.
After the votes are cast, the Big Brother houseguests find out about the existence of the three-member secret Team America alliance and all its completed tasks, which shocks the jury and Cody. Another secret that's revealed? Derrick's undercover cop status, which hits Cody the hardest.
Here are the jury votes:
Are you happy with the winner? Should Cody have taken Victoria to the Final 2? Would the jury have stuck with their promise to vote for Victoria to win? THR will be speaking to the Final 3 on Thursday morning. Check back here for those interviews.
Big Brother returns next summer for its 17th edition.