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On Big Brother there can be only one winner. On Wednesday night’s finale either Paul, James or Nicole will walk away with half a million dollars in their pocket.
Who grants the $500,000 check? That would be the soon-to-be-nine-member jury.
But first, before the real jury picks the winner, The Hollywood Reporter has created a jury of its own with former Big Brother jurors Janelle Pierzina, Rachel Reilly, Brendon Villegas, Britney Haynes, Matt Hoffman, Judd Daugherty, Meg Maley and John McGuire (better known as Johnny Mac).
And there’s one more. Although he didn’t make it to the jury this time around, Frank Eudy has made his way into THR‘s jury selection. So who do these nine former jurors and fan favorites crown as this year’s winner? Keep reading to find out.
Over the years what has been your favorite final three and least favorite final three?
Villegas: One of the most exciting final threes was with Dan [Gheesling], Ian [Terry] and Danielle [Murphree] as of the most recent seasons because it was up in the air till the end of it. The worst final three? Who can I not get in trouble with? Derrick [Levasseur], Cody [Calafiore] and Victoria [Rafaeli] was one of the worst ones in recent history for me to watch. It was so predictable.
Hoffman: You’re tapping into my superfan memory! It’s easier to probably pick the slums. And those would be a Porsche Briggs. What was she doing there? Adam Poch, Jordan [Lloyd], what’s going on there?
Eudy: I immediately want to go to All Stars and give my boy Mike [Boogie Malin] a shout out because it was great. They had that first HoH competition where he completely gave up and he told Julie [Chen], “I don’t have to win this because they both got to take me.” And he took his hand off and Janelle didn’t know what was going on and took her hand off! (Laughs.) It was epic. And obviously Janelle and Mike were just giants in the game so having both of them is a great final three.
Daugherty: Definitely season eight, for sure. It was impressive that Evel Dick [Donato] and Daniele [Donato] made it to the final two. I didn’t like how Janelle got screwed on both of her final threes! I like Janelle and I really would have liked to see her win the game and I know she would have if she got to the final two, without a doubt.
Pierzina: Damn, there’s a lot of seasons! (Laughs.) The best final three was season 13 with Rachel, Porsche [Briggs] and Adam [Poch]. Absolutely! Rachel’s one of my favorite winners and I’m friends with Porsche. Least favorite final three? Season 12! Hated it! Like, vomit. It was three dudes! It was such a sleeper season and it was so boring to watch because it was so obvious what was happening, but oblivious to the other houseguests. I don’t even think I watched the finale that year because I knew Hayden [Moss] would win. It was just so predictable.
Brendon Villegas, Matt Hoffman, Frank Eudy
Is there a season where if you were on the jury that year, you might have voted for someone other than the winner?
Pierzina: I would have voted for Liz [Nolan] over Steve [Moses]. And I like both of them! But I would have voted for Liz to win.
Eudy: As much as Dan and I were at odds and as much as I love Ian and he deserved to win, if there’s any way I might have voted a different way it might have been Dan over Ian. I might have changed my vote. I knew he wasn’t going to win, but I look back at it and I couldn’t help but give Dan credit for getting to the final two twice. But if there’s any season where you could have had two winners, that’s the season.
Hoffman: I say this with much love because probably one of my closest non-season-12 alumni friends is Ian Terry, but in honesty, Dan should have taken that. Between Jordan and Natalie, I do not think that Jordan should have won at all. So that was a wasted one.
Reilly: Everyone thinks they would have voted for Dan over Ian and Dan did play an awesome game, but so much of Big Brother is relationship-based and honestly that’s where Ian really brought it that season.
What do you think of Nicole’s game play this season? It’s the reverse Rachel Reilly effect. In season 12, Rachel was hated by America, but turned it around and everyone loved her and rooted for her to win her second time around. For Nicole, in season 16, she was a fan favorite, but this time, although she still has some fans, most superfans and alumni are extremely critical of her game.
Reilly: I mean bam bam, the Rachel Reilly effect is hard to achieve. (Laughs.) But to be honest I don’t find myself rooting for Nicole. I want to, but how she clung to Corey played the same as she did in 16 and hated on the girls. As much as I want to root for her game play in the last few weeks, I can’t get past the way it began.
Villegas: That’s a good working theory. It’s the inverse Rachel if you were to call it a swim or an Olympic move maybe! The reverse Rachel! Here’s the thing, strategically I see Nicole playing the exact same game she played the first season. Hang around and then try your best to win stuff at the end. The downside to this time was she was so wrapped up with Corey it flawed her game tremendously. Had she not been so attached to Corey she would have been more concerned about her relationships with other females in the house. That could keep her from winning half of a million dollars because there’s animosity between her and all of the girls in the house because she didn’t have their back even though in the very beginning a lot of them had her back.
Pierzina: It’s my least favorite game play. I don’t like the sneaky, hide out in the beginning and then start playing. That’s just so lame. It’s like a rat game. She’s a little rat. She’s sneaky and doesn’t own up to her moves. And she’s really super whiny so it’s that combined with her not owning up to her game play. It’s kind of sickening to watch. I will say though, she is playing. And she is playing better than James. (Laughs.) Even though I don’t like her game play, it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t vote for her.
McGuire: It’s the diary room sessions. The way she talks in the diary room, she doesn’t own making any big moves and not being loyal to anyone. If she just said the whole time, “I’m not going to be loyal to anyone and I’m OK with that” instead of being like, “Oh I feel so bad that I’m doing this.” Don’t feel bad! Just do it! (Laughs.) That’s it, just how she’s portraying herself to us. She has done a lot of things that people get praised for. She’s gotten to the end, she’s stabbed a lot of people in the back. She just needs to say, “Yeah I did it! And I’m proud I did it!”
Hoffman: She was adored her last season and hated this season and I’d wonder if the reason is because she had Hayden and her showmance her first season and what you want from a returning player is you want to see them learn from their mistakes and be better. Otherwise why are you bringing them back? We brought her back and it’s just rinse and repeat. I’m not a fan of her game play this season. What game play? Where’s the game play? Case in point, one of her almost direct quotes during Corey’s HoH reign, “Time to make a big move and start playing Big Brother.” Start playing Big Brother? It’s a week left in the game! You start playing Big Brother when you walk in the house, you idiot!
Eudy: I was shocked when I got out of the house to hear that she had a lot of people that turned [their] back on her. All I’ve heard from people since I’ve been out is that Nicole is whiny and she complains too much. She was in a showmance her first season and got different results. I don’t know what it is. Nicole is a nice kid, but she’s so timid. It’s hard for her to make decisions and even when the pressure isn’t on her she gets so stressed out. She reminded me a lot of playing with Britney Haynes my first season. Britney was always in a good spot it seemed like, but she was always so paranoid about going home.
Haynes: Fans wanted to see Nicole come back having learned from her mistakes and play really hard. They were disappointed that she dove into another showmance and spent the better part of the summer cuddling instead of strategizing. That being said, I don’t think she did so bad for herself. She made the final three. It is easy to criticize someone, but very difficult to make it to the end of Big Brother.
Daugherty: I’m actually impressed with her game play. I have not rooted for her this whole season. I find showmances so annoying! I just hate it. Go on The Bachelor or something. If she backstabbed Corey I would like her so much more. But given the circumstances she’s done very well. I’m really proud of her game play.
Meg, what did you think about James and Natalie’s showmance?
Maley: They are definitely a fiery twosome. It’s always hot and cold and I hope the hot stays longer than the cold for them! I totally would love to see them together outside of the house, but I do think that they have had some fiery, confusing moments throughout the season! I hope for little Jamesy’s sake that they last! She better not break his little heart!
Johnny Mac, Meg Maley, Judd Daugherty
What did you think about the jury fight that aired? Are you team Paulie or team Da’Vonne?
Hoffman: They’re both imbeciles for getting that worked up. Da’Vonne is right that Zakiyah is a moron for linking back up with Paulie and Paulie is a total d-bag twit.
Eudy: Team neither. (Laughs.) Da’Vonne blew something out of proportion with me and her. I always thought Da’Vonne was my friend until I realized she was against me in the house. Everything I ever said to her I did it as a friend. I thought we were friends. So I can’t be team Da’Vonne, but I can’t be team Paulie either.
Haynes: I am definitely team Da’Vonne, but didn’t like her reaction to Paulie in the jury house. I can understand though how after being away for so long you would just explode at the one person who you despise the most bringing your daughter into it. Still, she should have handled it differently.
Maley: I have to stay loyal to BB17, always will! Da’Vonne is working her butt off. This is her second time trying to play for her daughter. Kadence is her precious little gem and she is there for all of the best reasons. Come on, Paulie, give us a break! All I can think about is that our season’s jury house we were knitting things and doing puzzles. Just laughing and doing girly things and I just cannot believe how opposite this jury house is. I would probably stay in my room the whole time! They have got to be going crazy. That is supposed to be a fun house, but it looks like it’s worse than being in the house. I can’t wait to see them sitting together awkwardly at the finale.
Villegas: It’s like real life — you’ll have fights with people, but it kind of elevates and you walk away. Or sometimes when it’s people you don’t really know, sometimes it escalates even further. And that’s what I felt like I was watching. Two people that didn’t know each other that were just starting to go at it at a club. Two people that are drunk about ready to rip each other’s head off. About what? Nobody knows! Sometimes I feel like Da’Vonne wants confrontation.
Pierzina: Oh my God, it was amazing! I loved it! Team Da’Vonne all the way! That’s my girl. I love her! Not a fan of Paulie, at all. On a game standpoint, a personal level, I just don’t care for him. Most people would be like, “Oh no, what are you doing? They’re going to read this and it’s going to be so awkward.” I don’t care. You know all of the alumni hangs out and says, “Dude, you totally dogged me out in The Hollywood Reporter.” (Laughs.) He shouldn’t have been in her face. He’s just a jerk.
Who has your vote for “America’s Favorite Houseguest”?
Pierzina: I voted three times for Victor. If he doesn’t win, that’s just really messed up.
Maley: Victor! No, not James, hello! Victor has been evicted three times. I don’t know how you don’t give that boy credit. He’s also a hubba hubba. (Laughs.)
Villegas: It’s Victor, I already voted for him last night!
Frank, how many times have you voted for yourself?
Eudy: I have not voted once! I’d love to win it or I’d love Bridgette to win it. Both of us might have gotten sent home a little early for that, but there are a bunch of different polarizing figures that have made it long in the game and because of that the vote will be close. People who were big fans of James last season, a lot of them aren’t as big of fans of his this season. A lot of people are going to vote for Natalie, and I’m hoping Bridgette and I might have a shot at it.
If you were on the jury this season who would have your vote to win the game?
Eudy: Oh my God. (Laughs.) It’s the lesser of three evils. I would pick Nicole over the other two for sure. I would have a hard time voting for Paul, mainly for one reason. And that’s because one of the last nights I was in the house in his words he tried to mentally break down Bridgette and tell her all of these things that weren’t true. I’m not a personal type of guy who gets personal inside the game or outside the game, it’s not the way I’m wired. And he came out of there bragging about how he mentally broke her down and she was just in pieces. Even though he’s just a young kid who’s immature, that’s still not the right way to treat people. Nobody in the house deserves to be treated like that. I’m excited to go back and see production. That’s the best part about the finale. After the show I get to go backstage and get to meet all the people who were watching me all summer long. They just didn’t get to watch me as long this time. But as far as going back and seeing the houseguests, I’ll be happy to see Bridgette, but the rest of them I could care less to see.
Maley: This is totally just watching the show and my honest opinion about all of it is that I 100 percent think that Paul should win. Honestly when I first started watching the show I couldn’t stand him. But he’s totally charmed me. I’ve been rooting for Paul and Victor for a while now. I feel like I’m betraying James, but I’m pretty confident he’ll make it in in the final two so he’s got a little 50 grand going for him!
Pierzina: I wouldn’t vote for James. If it was Nicole and James, Nicole would 100 percent have my vote. I’m sorry, if you haven’t done anything in the game, you don’t deserve to win half a mil. He is horrible at Big Brother. What was he doing? Looking at Natalie. Out of the three, Paul would have my vote. He is going to win. He’s becoming a competition beast. He performs well under pressure, which those last competitions can be very stressful and it’s so hard to compete when you’re in the finals like that. He’s going to win the final HoH and bring James to the end.
Daugherty: Out of those three I would vote for Paul 100 percent. I don’t really like him, but I get why people do and he knows how to play people.
Hoffman: It’s got to be Paul and I feel bad for him because he’s going to have to beast his way to the end to win.
Haynes: I would definitely vote for Paul. He has had the most difficult road, done the most work and played the best of the three.
McGuire: Out of the final three this season there’s one person who’s going to be in the final two and that’s James. If I were them I would drag James to the final two. Nobody is going to vote for James to win besides Natalie. I would vote for Paul.
Reilly: I would definitely vote for Paul. I was hoping to be able to vote for a woman and had Nicole pulled out a win in any of the final comps I would have been thrilled to cast my vote for her. But Nicole did not pull out the wins, Paul did! Paul was a newbie and played one heck of a game! [He] had the big personality tempered with smarts.
Villegas: Bridgette is pro-girl, but she also is anti-Nicole. She likes James, but she might be pro-Paul. Da’Vonne is pro-Paul, but she’s also pro-Nicole. Zakiyah would vote for Nicole because she does whatever Paulie does. I have a suspicion that Zakiyah and Paulie are going to be the swing vote. Paul versus Nicole, if Paulie and Zakiyah swing to Paul it goes 6-3, Paul wins. If not it goes 5-4 and Nicole wins by one vote. James versus Nicole, it’s 3-6, Nicole wins. Paul versus James, it goes 6-3, Paul wins. For my vote, Paul would be my winner.
There you have it. If this jury were calling the shots, by a vote of 8 to 1, Paul Abrahamian is your Big Brother season 18 winner.
Who would you vote for if you were on this season’s jury? Will Victor win “America’s Favorite Houseguest”? Sound off in the comments section below and stay tuned to The Live Feed for all Big Brother finale coverage.
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