Big Brother Season 22 Finale Recap

Courtesy+of+goldderby.com

Courtesy of goldderby.com

Ryan Gorneault , Staff Writer

The 22nd season of Big Brother ended on October 28th, 2020, crowning Cody Calafiore, the All-Star season 2 winner, outlasting 15 other competitors for 85 days. This is only the second season of the United States version, in which every competitor played the game before. Like every other season, though, the houseguests had to compete for food, prizes, and the power to get rid of their fellow housemates. They had no access to the outside world and were always watched and listened to by nearly 100 cameras and microphones. Each week featured a Head of Household competition. The winner was given the ability to nominate two of their fellow houseguests for “eviction” and a Power of Veto competition. The winner was able to remove one of the nominees from the threat of eviction. Each week closed out with an eviction, where houseguests were tasked with voting to remove one of the nominees from the house. By the end of the game, the evicted houseguests had to name the game’s winner between the final two competitors.

Despite having been renewed for another summer season, it was unclear whether production would make the 2020 season happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, CBS announced that the season would premier on August 5th, 2020, but with added protections to ensure that both the houseguests and the production team stayed safe. When it was first announced that this season was set to be another All-Star season, multiple former houseguests began “pre-gamming” and forming alliances to ensure each other’s safety in the game. While technically not against the rules of the game, many fans complained that this tactic ruined the show’s integrity. It gave individual competitors an unfair advantage, especially considering that one of the most prominent pre-game alliances managed to run the game from the very beginning and make it to the end.

Made up of Christmas Abbott (BB 19), Cody Calafiore (BB 16), Daniele Briones (BB 8 + 13), Memphis Garrett (BB 10), Nicole Franzel (BB 16 + 18), and Tyler Crispen (BB 20), the pre-game alliance, known as the Committee, was dominant throughout the game. It collectively had the goal of eliminating everyone, except for their unofficial member, Enzo Palumbo (BB 12), who was already aligned with them. From the beginning, they wanted to get rid of Janelle Pierzina (BB 6 + 7 + 14). Pierzina is widely known as one of the greatest players in Big Brother history, thanks to her historic amount of competition wins, and the fact that this season was her fourth time playing the game. While they could not immediately evict her, or the closest ally from her first two seasons, Kaysar Ridha (BB 6 + 7), they quickly dispatched of those believed to be her allies: Keesha Smith (BB 10) and Nicole Anthony (BB 21). Janelle and Kaysar were evicted in the following two weeks, but not before Kaysar publicly exposed each member of the Committee for being associated with each other. Being that the alliance was supposed to be a secret, it opened the eyes of the houseguests.

Despite being so dominant in winning competitions and convincing the non-alliance members that they were safe from being evicted, Committee members started to lose trust in each other. They accidentally began exposing their “end-game plans,” which showed the cracks in the alliance and allowed a few houseguests outside of the alliance to try and band together to take down the majority alliance. Their plans did not end up working, as Bayleigh Dayton (BB 20), Ian Terry (BB 14), Da’Vonne Rogers (BB 17 + 18), Kevin Campbell (BB 11), and David Alexander (BB 21) were eliminated without a real chance to gain power. Daniele, the source of much of the drama between Committee members, was evicted next, with Tyler following her next. Memphis, the creator of the alliance, was booted due to his gameplay being perceived as next-level. Cody had been aligned with Enzo and Nicole F. from the very beginning of the game and had “final-two deals” with them. Getting rid of Christmas from the game was not even a question. Thus, she was quickly evicted.

Between Cody, Enzo, and Nicole F., Cody had won the most competitions to ensure his safety and the safety of his alliance members. He also played a great social game, which allowed him to be on good terms with the entire cast. It helped that when it came time to evict each houseguest, he was truthful about his intentions, which made him look good in the eyes of those who were set to vote for him to win the game in the event he made it to the end. Meanwhile, both Enzo and Nicole F. used the “floater” strategy, which allowed them to gain trust with whoever is in power on a week-to-week basis, keeping them safe in the process. Cody won the final Head of Household competition, allowing him to decide whom to evict and whom to take to the Final 2. He decided to evict Nicole F. as she had already won the game before. It came down to Cody, who had won second place during his first season, and Enzo, who won third during his first season. The evicted houseguests pretty easily decided to crown Cody the winner of the game, as it was clear to them that he was the one pulling strings throughout the entire game. Cody was given $500,000 for winning, and Enzo was given $50,000 for being the runner-up. Cody is only the second person in the history of the American version of the game to play a “Perfect Game”: He never received an eviction vote. He was never nominated but won the game with The Jury voting unanimously for him to win. The first person to do so was Dan Gheesling (BB 10 + 14), who was reportedly set to star in this past season but was removed from consideration after revealing that he was one of the players responsible for the creation of the dominant pre-game alliance.

The season is generally well-received by many viewers. Viewers familiar with the game understand what was shown on television is not often the reality of what is going on in the house. Many events that are not shown on television are still accessible through the live feeds, which allow viewers to watch the houseguests at any time. What live feed viewers often saw were houseguests being racially insensitive, whether it be the spouting of microaggressions by Christmas, or fully racist moments, such as Memphis threatening to call David, an African-American houseguest, the n-word, to his face. A white houseguest, Tyler, had been accused of using the Black Lives Matter movement to gain sympathy within the house to keep him safe and boost sales for the jewelry company he owns with his wife, who had been accused of racism during her time in the house. The moment that garnered the most attention was when multiple houseguests made fun of Ian and the stimming associated with his autism. Nicole F., who had claimed to be Ian’s best friend in the house, had a large part in the teasing, which resulted in her losing sponsorships by large companies, such as Olay.

The fact that members of the Committee perpetrated these incidents angered many fans, who had noticed that those houseguests were often positioned as the “good-guys” through the edits they received on television. The rest of the houseguests, who represented marginalized groups or allied to said marginalized groups (all of whom happened to be online fan-favorites), were edited by production that positioned them in a less-than-favorable light compared to the Committee alliance members, who were behaving much worse than them.

Regardless of people’s thoughts about how the season transpired and how the houseguests behaved, the show still seemed to have ended on a positive note for most, as fan-favorite Da’Vonne won the America’s Favorite Houseguest award, making her the first African-American to win that distinction. She also went home with $25,000 thanks to her win.