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What if Big Brother season 19 went just a little bit differently?
Every summer, the longtime CBS reality series pits about 16 houseguests against each other to compete for a shot at half a million dollars. In order for them to claim the grand prize, a jury of their peers must decide who to give it to.
After a season of back-stabbing, blindsides and bullying, said jury could wind up being bitter. Big Brother executive producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan teased to The Hollywood Reporter that this year, audiences will definitely witness an “emotional” one.
But before they cast their vote on finale night, THR dialed up this season’s early evictees and fan-favorites to see who they would vote for. Will anyone give Christmas Abbott a better holiday gift than her broken foot? Is Paul Abrahamian the most deserving? And does Josh Martinez have a shot at walking away from this season with being remembered for more than just pots and pans? Below, Jessica Graf, Ramses Soto, Dominique Cooper, Jillian Parker and Cameron Heard decide and reveal their pick for “America’s Favorite Houseguest.”
Looking back at this season what surprised you the most?
Heard: I’m surprised by the lack of gameplay this season! Everyone’s game plan was to see what Paul wanted to do and fall in line. I thought $500,000 would be motivation for everyone to try and be the last person standing in the game, but everyone was fine with coming in second.
Parker: Josh surprised me because everybody wanted him out week one, and look at him now!
Cooper: From the house perspective he was annoying, but it was so strategic. Before I left I said, “Josh, use what people have labeled you as to work for you in your game.” He used that, and look where he is today.
Graf: The arguing I did with Cody was so unnecessary. If I could go back, I would take that back.
Did you really contemplate not using the Halting Hex?
Graf: No. The only time that Cody and I discussed not using the Hex was because he said he wanted to go home. He didn’t want me to use it because he was really done and emotionally drained. When I was contemplating not using the Hex that was the reason, because he wanted to leave. It wasn’t for the reasons they portrayed it as.
What competition do you wish you got to play in?
Heard: I really liked the temptation competitions. That might be the best twist ever since the power-of-veto twist was introduced. The competition I really wanted to compete in is OTEV. It’s a major staple of the show and it would be fun to participate; however, this year’s was creepy when all the houseguests got puked on (laughs).
What’s another moment in the game you wish you got to be a part of?
Heard: There’s so much I wanted to be a part of. I came into the game wanting to play and make it the full experience. That’s why I never pressed the button. Also, I wish I was there when Jason found out about having another kid. It was such a sweet moment and the most touching one of the season.
Parker: The whole thing. I barely got a chance! When Megan quit, I should’ve been off the block! I got screwed!
You missed Zingbot. Give your best zings for three houseguests of your choice.
Cooper: Alex, so how does it feel to be in the final three with Paul? Zing! Raven, I didn’t realize you were multilingual. How many accents do you have? Zing!
Heard: Paul, you think you have it all, but in order to get on a roller coaster you must be this tall! Zing! Raven! You have so many diseases. Gastroparesis, inverted spine and … you’re delusional! Zing!
Parker: I think Christmas mistakes “friendship” for “relationship.” Zing! Let’s hope they don’t throw their jury speeches to Paul, too.
Soto: Paul, you’ve been running around gathering information, but all you’ve gotten is dust in your beard. Zing!
Graf: Zingbot covered it really well, like calling Raven a clown. I wish he had a better one for Matt, Josh and Paul.
Which comic book cover was the most accurate?
Graf: I wish they made Matt a piece of furniture. They should have made him a mattress. I didn’t think that Paul’s was that bad. I loved mine, it was really cool. I didn’t like Cody’s. I wish they made him a cyborg. I’m surprised they didn’t. The one for Christmas was my favorite. Christmas being a lunatic — oh, my God, yes! And the fact that she takes that as a compliment is so weird to me. She’s such a bizarre human being.
Heard: Paul’s was pretty accurate, but I don’t think he knows the reason for his comic. Paul thinks he’s a potty mouth because his breath smells. In reality, it’s because he’s full of shit.
Based on Paul’s comic book and Dominique’s, do you think he’s aware that he might be the villain this season?
Cooper: Oh, yes! He knows he’s the villain.
Graf: Between the bullhorn saying America loves Jess and Paul is a bully and the subtle hints like the comic books, he knows he’s the villain this season. I think he’s trying to change his image, and you saw that in the last few episodes where he’s crying. He’s just putting on a show because he’s trying to save his reputation. He knows it’s in danger right now. If you’re starting to feel bad for Paul, then you’re just being one of his puppets, like they are in the house. The Paul you’ve seen this season is exactly who Paul is.
What did you make of the mob mentality and bullying this season?
Soto: The bullying started with Dominique’s eviction. Why do you have to torture this poor girl who is already leaving? It sucked. Big Brother is a game. The whole bullying part came in when Paul set the tone that it was OK for everybody to do it. Tormenting someone to the point where they want to quit is not chill at all.
Cooper: It was utterly disgusting.We are all grown individuals — there is no need for anybody to be bullied. And you mean to tell me that you have one person in that house that is controlling your life in the game? What happened to you being an individual? We were chosen because we were unique individuals. These people forgot who they were. When I got home, the Dominators sent me all of the footage, and what really bothered me was all of the things everyone said about me behind my back. I was impacted emotionally. None of it was gameplay. Had it happened in my face, it would not have been great for them. I did not like how they treated Jessica and Cody and Kevin. They did not deserve that.
Cooper: I have zero tolerance for that behavior. I would have gone to their defense. They did not deserve that. The person that made themselves look the most foolish was Raven, when she was screaming at Jessica and Cody. That was totally unnecessary.
Soto: Kevin is the sweetest guy in the world. Why would you ever want to talk badly about him? I wanted to be in there so badly to defend him. It makes no sense why anyone would want to even try to be mean to him. I cannot watch the clips where they are being mean to him. My blood was boiling. If I was there, I would not be able to hold it together.
If you were on the jury this year, who has your vote to win the game? Why?
Parker: Josh has my vote to win! He’s not the brightest crayon in the box, but he made it! Christmas didn’t do anything. Paul thinks he’s entitled to win. He played everyone and the jury is salty.
Soto: Paul. He has it in the bag.
Heard: I would vote on who played the best game. The only person that would get my vote is Paul. He has been playing hard ever since he walked into the game.
Cooper: Josh has my vote to win the game. I’m pro-underdog. I saw how people treated him at the beginning and he has a really good heart. With the exception of the pots and pans, I don’t think he played a bad game.
Graf: It’s looking like Josh and Paul are going to be final two. I would give Paul my vote. Paul played the best game, but I don’t think his strategy would have worked if he was in a house with any different cast. If he wasn’t surrounded by people who were star-struck by him, he wouldn’t have been as great as he was. He got really lucky. Comparing him to people like Dr. Will [Kirby] and Janelle [Pierzina] is just horse crap.
Do you think Paul will win this year no matter what?
Soto: I don’t think they jury will be bitter towards Paul. I see them being extremely bitter towards Josh.
Cooper: Paul is not going to win! I don’t even want him to have the luxury of sitting in those final two chairs.
Heard: I don’t see a way that Paul is in the final three and doesn’t win. I don’t think this year will be a bitter jury. He has played a hell of a game being the only vet with a massive target and made it all the way to the end.
Parker: Absolutely not. Judging by the jury’s reactions to him, they were not happy.
Graf: It would be such good television if Josh cut Paul at the end. Paul getting third place would be insane. Because everyone is such a beta this season, they need to follow somebody and Cody is the alpha. So when everyone goes to jury they’re going to look for another leader, and Cody has the ability to swing the votes whichever way he wants. But I don’t foresee Cody ever voting for Josh to win it. Paul’s going to win. Nobody else deserves it. I’m rolling my eyes having to say it.
If you can’t win “America’s Favorite Houseguest,” who should get it?
Soto: I would love to win it since I never got the first $25,000 that I “had.” If not me, [then] Kevin, because I love that guy. He stayed true to who he is the entire time. It’s going to be between Cody and Kevin.
Graf: Cody has a great chance of winning. The only way he wouldn’t win is if all of the Paul fans rally behind Kevin. It’s going to be close, that’s why it’s so important for us to unite the vote!
Parker: It will go to Kevin. He’s such a great guy and really loves his family!
Cooper: If I can’t win, Cody has my vote. He saw it first and I have to give him respect and props.
Who will you stay in touch with once the show is over?
Graf: I know I’ll have a relationship with Mark and Elena. I talk to Elena’s mom on the regular and we plan on doing lunch the Friday after the finale. I might have a relationship with Kevin. I can’t stand Alex, Raven and Christmas. I want to forget that they exist.
Cooper: I talk to the pre-jury regularly and I’m hoping to have a conversation with Mark and Josh.
Soto: Me and Kevin are going to be friends forever.
Jessica, will we see a proposal on finale night?
Graf: I was getting my hopes up for a while. I love the idea of it, but I’m pretty sure he’s not going to. I wish he would.
Dominique, will you tell everyone, “I told you so”?
Cooper: (Laughs.) Yes! I plan on strategically saying it.
So, there you have it. If this jury was calling all the shots, by a vote of 3-2, Paul wins. Do you see the real jury voting in the same way? Who has your vote for “America’s Favorite Houseguest” and who from this season’s pre-jury do you want to see play the game again? Chat about it in the comments section below and stay tuned to the Live Feed for all things Big Brother.
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