Did Scheming Poker Player Win Finale Of ‘Big Brother’? You’d Lose That Bet!

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Big Brother finale: And the winner is….

Vanessa Rousso, the 32-year-old pro poker player from Las Vegas, the schemer who plotted the exit of just about every house guest in “Big Brother 17,” was herself sent packing on this evening’s shocking finale. At first, the “Big Brother” finale on Wednesday night looked like it might be a repeat of last year: A skillful contestant with an advantage from a job in the outside world would win the $500,000 grand prize.It was the longest season of Big Brother ever, and when tonight’s finale began, there were three players left still fighting for the half million dollars: Vanessa, Steve, and Liz. Vanessa, who made an alliance with just about everyone in the house before she plotted their demise and turned on them, found herself turned on by a nerd 10 years her junior. Vanessa Rousso, a polarizing 32-year-old professional poker player who had been strategically manipulating the players, was the final person sent packing.

Moses had previously won the second and third rounds of the final head of household competition and sent his biggest competition, Vanessa Rousso, to the jury, choosing to take Nolan to the final two with him. Before entering the competition, Moses anticipated that he might have a tough time getting along with his fellow cast members. “The most difficult part would be dealing with stupid people who choose to completely disregard the consequences of their actions,” Moses wrote in his cast bio. It’s much harder to reason with people who are too nearsighted to even try to think strategically and be in the position where I have to deal with them will be a struggle.” He also identified himself as a “super-fan” of the reality series.

Each week, one of the house guests is evicted, usually a person considered a strong game player and threat to the other house guests, or someone getting on everyone’s collective nerves. However, the ending illustrated the frustration with watching a show like “Big Brother,” a psychological minefield that traps competitors in a camera-filled house and makes them vote each other out, week by week. So Liz did what she was told because that’s Liz. (Of course, Liz’s weakness basically ensured she would be taken to the finals by both players anyway.) Steve then beat Liz in the second round, which involved scaling a giant wall while solving a Big Brother-themed crossword puzzle.

The other contestants hated Vanessa because she controlled them throughout the entire game, switching back and forth so effortlessly between subtle and intimidating tactics that most didn’t even realize her power until it was too late. After BB2 champ Will Kirby chatted with the jurors, we got to the live third part of the competition, which was the standard “guess what the juror said” game. Steve narrowly defeated Vanessa 5-4 to put himself in the finals with the power to decide whom he faced, and — not surprisingly — that person was Liz. The show was more about plotting and less about skin and shirtless hunks, but ratings remained high as the players took more cerebral turns backstabbing each other. It didn’t hurt that some of the contestants, namely Steve “the epitome of a super fan!” and dentist Johnny McGuire AKA Johnny Mac, were lifelong fans who knew the game inside and out.

Fans of the show get hooked with three episodes on network TV per week, “Big Brother After Dark,” a live two-hour unedited “late-night” feed on POP (formerly the TV Guide Channel) and live internet feeds 24-7. Yet as impressive as it was to watch his strategy, and as much as he deserved to win … it was ultimately a pretty dull season since he was just so nice all of the time. This season featured the show’s first-ever transgender contestant (Audrey Middleton, 25, from Villa Rica, Ga.) as well as having twins Liz and Julia Nolan (23, from Miami) alternate for several weeks before the unsuspecting house guests started to notice subtle differences between the two and the secret was blown. Vanessa may have turned everyone against her by the end when her fellow contestants realized her dirty tricks, but at least she was a wild card who infused the game with some much-needed drama. “How many people are here because of Vanessa’s influence?” former player Will Kirby asked the jury of evicted contestants during the finale. The audience also voted for “America’s Favorite House Guest,” and finalists included James Huling (the 31-year old Asian cowboy/retail associate from South Carolina), Johnny Mac (who channeled previous winner Dan Gheesling, even down to his speech patterns) and Jason Roy (the openly gay and quick-witted 25-year-old supermarket cashier who wanted to win the top prize, he would constantly say, “to get out of my mother’s basement.”) In the final tally, Liz got votes from Vanessa, Austin (no surprise since they made out most of the summer) and Julia.

So even though Vanessa was the one to keep the show moving with her constant manipulations, she lost out on the prize at the last minute, an irritating ending for people who have been invested in the show for the last three months. A few weeks ago, CBS chairman Les Mooves publicly slammed this season: “This wasn’t a great year for casting on ‘Big Brother,’” he told Vulture. “Usually you have one or two disappointments. I think we had five or six disappointments.” Really, the best way for “Big Brother” to avoid disappointment is to cast more than one real-life savvy, strategic player — ensuring that no matter who makes it to the end, viewers won’t leave feeling cheated.

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