Recap: 'Big Brother' Finale: Season 11 gets a peculiar winner
Alright, cards on the table. I'll tell you what I told my BB co-blogger Daniel Fienberg, which is that I am approaching tonight's show with an unpleasant, queasy-making mix of excitement and dread in my heart, which is probably how I approached my first day of junior high but, thank God, I blocked out that particular painful memory years ago. Still, as much as I want Jordan to win that big payday (even if she does run the risk of blowing it all on chewing gum or giving it to a nice e-mail buddy in Nigeria), I fear the final two might be slacker extraordinaire Kevin and lunatic loser Natalie, which will make me just so mad I might throw something. Something small and possibly squishy because I don't want to break anything in my house, but throw nonetheless.
Because there are two stinkin' hours to fill, we have to start off the show with a big ol' run through of the entire history of the season. Boy, I'm actually feeling a little nostalgic, though. Awwww, remember when they were divided into cliques? Remember when Chima just seemed annoying and not off her rocker? Remember when Jeff couldn't pronounce Coup D'Etat? Remember when they had to dress like pigs? Oh, those were the days.
I especially appreciate the crying montage. And the screaming montage. And the crazy montage. It's just like a real family get-together, just without the Thanksgiving dinner and the sobbing children and crotchety old people.
Oh, and here's Julie Chen wearing a big blue maternity Snuggly. She's warm AND her hands are free to dial a phone!
Jordan is so happy she gets to go to the next round! So is Kevin, because he intends to wipe the floor with her, and he's thrilled Natalie can't stab him in the back.
Natalie, unfortunately, has decided it's her job to kiss the asses of both Kevin and Jordan, which means we have to tolerate lots of nauseating sucking up. Oh goody, it starts right away with Natalie trying to do her "I'm just a pouty 18-year-old thing" and whining to Kevin that she knows he won't take her to the final two, sniff, sniff. And, amazingly, Kevin doesn't even bother to lie to her that he will, which suggests to me that maybe, just maybe, Natalie has reached the end of the road. Fingers crossed!
Jordan and Kevin promise eternal loyalty to each other, and then, WHOA, Jordan reveals to the diary cam that if she gets to pick final two she's taking NATALIE. Not Kevin, Natalie.
Let me repeat that. Jordan would pick NATALIE.
Even though I want to throw up a little thinking of Natalie getting $50,000, much less $500,000, I have to say, this just might be a smart move for Jordan, as she knows the jury will vote for Kevin to win it all. Now, how she knows this I don't know, but man oh man, I think she's spot on. Kevin has won more challenges, and I really doubt the jury is going to go with a perennial loser like Natalie.
Am I really saying this? Jordan's kind of... smart. Maybe not in terms of how spiders reproduce or, um, spelling, but she can read people and situations pretty darn well. I guess there are benefits to having been in the service industry.
Plus, she's a good liar. After swearing loyalty to Kevin, she promptly does the same with Natalie, so no matter what her ultimate plan really is, she's damn convincing.
As this is an episode of BB, it's time for the whining and bitching to start. Kevin whines to Natalie that he can't win and he's playing for second place, while Natalie bitches that she can't win either. More whining, more bitching. Natalie gripes that Kevin is going back on their deal, then Kevin sniffles that he's just thinking aloud, then Natalie carps that he's upset her with his obvious plot for sympathy, then Kevin pouts that he's misunderstood. This is like watching an episode of "Gossip Girl," but in this case the clothes suck and there's no sex.
Oh goody, we come back from the commercial break to discover that Julie, feeling all warm and cozy in that ridiculous blue Snuggly, is asking Kevin what Big Brother has taught him. Because this show is totally educational. And instead of rolling his eyes, Kevin says he's gained confidence. Julie asks Natalie what she'll miss, and Natalie's response is that she'll miss living with 12 people, which suggests she never lived in a dorm or she's a little masochistic. Julie asks Jordan how the experience has changed her, and Jordan responds that she's all grown up now. So, I guess she and Jeff accomplished more under the covers than we thought.
Yay, it's time to go to the jury house! But there's really no drama here, as everyone is flapping around like happy little ducks in the admittedly amazing pool and it's one big love-in, at least until Michele arrives. And then, it's pretty much a hate-in, as everyone begins bashing Natalie. Which is pretty much what's happening in homes across America too, so nice to see.
While screening the DVD of the previous week, the reaction to Natalie's smug HOH win involves Lydia fake-vomiting, then dubbing Natalie as a Flavor Flav wannabe and Queen of the Trailer Park, making me kinda love Lydia all over again. Jeff also says he won't vote for Natalie simply because she wore that stupid inflatable crown and not, apparently, because he's voting for Jordan to get into her pants. Then, to prove how far Natalie's stock has dropped in the jury house, Jessie reveals he would have voted for Michele over Natalie. So, a light at the end of the tunnel, huzzah!
Then, it's time for the jury to discuss the final three. And, while it starts out like a very lowbrow version of "Meet the Press" with everyone talking about strategy and big picture issues, it pretty much breaks down into "Kevin's my FRIEND and you just want to DO Jordan" in a red hot minute. Jeff valiantly tries to make a case for Jordan, but I'm not sure anyone's buying.
Then, to my horror, they start mulling over Natalie's skills in playing the game. Thank GOD Jeff puts the kibosh on that by pointing out that Natalie acted like she was 12 for the full 73 days of incarceration. Michele then admits she's angry, and helps bring the pointless conversation to a close by pointing out that it is, um, pointless. I mean, until there's a final two, the only reason to get into a snit is... oh yeah, to fill two hours.
Oooh! Oooh! It's time for the final HOH competition! Aack! C'mon, Jordan! It's a quiz about the evicted housemates' answers to random questions. And yet again, I am simultaneously bored and really, really nervous. Kevin gets the first question, Jordan the second. A tie. Jordan gets the next one. Then she misses the question about Jeff's answer, which is just shameful. Tie. Another question, another tie. And now, a tiebreaker.
My palms are totally sweating. Which really is not good for my keyboard.
Question: How many total votes have been cast to evict this season?
Kevin guesses 80 and Jordan guesses 50 and WINS IT! OMG! OMG! Yay!
Time for Natalie and Kevin to plead their cases to Jordan. Natalie asks Jordan to keep her on because their friends. Uh, sure. Kevin tells Jordan he's never come after her and says she's Gucci. Neither speech is particularly great, but you know Jordan's made up her mind anyway.
So, time for Jordan to cast her vote to evict. She says she has to go with her gut and she has to evict Kevin, which she apologizes for profusely. Kevin is very gracious but looks like he might cry. Poor Kevin. I really had hoped it might be Kevin and Jordan in the final two. But I can't blame Jordan for not taking him.
Julie, apparently not so warm and cozy in her Snuggly that she can't interrogate a poor evicted housemate, begins peppering Kevin with questions. Kevin admits Jordan made the smart move not to take him to the final two and that he isn't angry with her. Then Julie asks him if he made a big mistake in booting Michele, which makes Kevin want to peel off his face. But no regrets, he says, and says he'll be voting for the better strategic player. Which suggests he'll vote for Natalie. Or not. God, this is crazy making.
All I can say is, if Natalie wins this, I will actually throw up. And possibly throw something breakable. It could happen.
Time for the jury to come out. I don't know why I haven't said this before, but Lydia's faux hawk is just not a good thing. It's a little too fussy.
The final juror is presented and Lydia is crushed. Michele, however, seems thrilled. Julie, sensing possible drama, asks Lydia what she's thinking, and the little spiky-haired troll declares that there are two witches in the final two, which makes me not like her at all anymore.
Time to question the finalists. Russell's first, and asks Jordan what her strategy was before she came to the house and how it changed. Jordan's answer is, unfortunately, bubble-headed in that she says her plan was, essentially, to just be her adorably goofy self. Lydia asks Natalie who was her biggest threat, and Natalie admits that was, duh, Lydia.
Jeff asks Jordan what her best move was, and she says evicting Kevin, which is true. Michele asks Natalie why it was important for her to tell the jury about her engagement. Natalie's response is that was because she's friends with everyone in the house, silly!
Jessie asks Jordan why she deserves to win over Natalie, and Jordan says she didn't need to be carried through the final two rounds and made it through all on her own. Russell asks Natalie the same thing, and Natalie says she aligned herself with strong players and stayed loyal to them, which makes Russell's face squinch up like a baby who just had his first bite of spinach.
Then, it's time for Kevin's question, and he asks Jordan what she did better than Natalie. Jordan admits they played the same game, but she's proven herself by winning HOH and a veto. Which isn't much but is, admittedly, more than what loser Natalie's done.
Okay, you know America is voting for Jordan. Obviously, so is Jeff. Michele won't vote for Natalie. And, given that Russell made that little squinchy face? I think Jordan is gonna win!
Time for Jordan's speech. Jordan says she wanted to be the harmless person floating under the radar, which is true, and she's worried about Natalie having more friends in the house, which is so, so false.
Natalie says that Jeff's decision to put her on the block with Jessie is all the proof they need to know she was a strong player. It's a good case, right up until she says that she swore vengeance for her alliance and succeeded in getting it. Um, that's just creepy.
Jessie casts his vote by wishing Jordan hakuna matata. I guess that's a good thing? Lydia tells Jordan she loves a good blonde. Russell will only say he voted for the person who played the best game. Jeff tells Jordan he's very proud of her, which makes the studio audience go awww. Michele says she's voting for the strongest female in the game, which I hope is a dig at Natalie. Kevin says he wanted to vote for who was cuter, but has to vote for who's strategic as they're both cute. Oh, Kevin, you deserved $50,000 so, so much more than Natalie, even if you spent it all on really ugly clothing.
Julie then plugs in America's vote. Which is apparently hard to do, because she and most of the jury members had a hell of a time getting in those keys.
And, because we still have a half-hour to go, Julie reveals that Ronnie, Laura, Braden and Casey will be dropping by to start a fight. Yay, fight!
Oh, goody, another montage. Braden wore leather jeans, Laura was too smart for her breast implants, Casey had to wear a banana suit and Ronnie was just pure geek evil. Can we move on now?
Julie asks Ronnie what surprised him the most from watching the show at home, which he reveals is that Natalie was the biggest liar in the house. He then proceeds to educate Jordan about Natalie's true age, which makes Jordan say "shut up!" repeatedly. Then Casey tells Jeff that Lydia, Natalie and Kevin lied to him about the final two deal between Russell and Michele. Amazingly, Jeff doesn't hit Kevin, even though he's sitting next to him. In fact, Jeff refuses to be mad at Kevin or Natalie, probably because he knows Jordan is going to win. Braden then wastes time by telling Jessie he is the man because all the girls crawled into his bed. Jessie says he was just trying to play the game like Kevin, although it didn't work as well for him, which is surprisingly humble for the most egotistical guy in the house and possibly in a large part of North America.
Another commercial. Because this is two hours, after all.
Now it's time to talk about Chima! Julie asks Laura to weigh in on the she-beast, but first Laura has to give a shout-out to Jordan which makes Jordan smile and Natalie roll her eyes. Because, like, she's totally not 18. Developmentally, she's more like 15. Anyway, Laura says she was offended that Chima threw away the opportunity to be in the house. No one wants to defend Chima, though, so the conversation dies pretty quickly.
So who else is a lightning rod, hmmmm... oh yeah, Ronnie! Julie asks Michele to respond to Ronnie's evil comments. Michele says she's sure Ronnie was just being melodramatic, and amazingly Ronnie agrees and apologizes. So, big smiles all around. No drama. Julie is ready to strangle someone with her Snuggly, I'm sure.
And since Julie won't be happy until she makes someone cry, she moves on to Jessie and Lydia and calls him out on what clearly looked like R-rated activities, forcing him to admit a little romance in that so-called platonic relationship. As expected, when Julie asks Lydia if they're going at it like monkeys in the jury house (okay, not exactly like that, but it was implied), Lydia won't answer, so you know they are. The only person who seems surprised by this is Russell, who admits it all went over his bald head.
Finally, it's time to ask Jeff whether or not he and Jordan will be getting together after the show. His answer? Depends on whether or not she wins. Joke! Joke! Anyway, both Jeff and Jordan agree they need to see how everything plays after the show. But she's only on the short list for Hawaii, which doesn't seem to make her too happy, but seriously, she already said she wasn't putting out, so what's in it for him? Maybe he can take Julie's Snuggly instead.
Another commercial. Because really, this show can't be long enough.
Time to name the winner! Whoo!
Julie reveals each vote one by one. Because this show can't be long enough.
America's vote goes to... Jordan.
Jessie's vote goes to... Jordan.
Lydia's vote goes to.... Jordan.
Russell's vote goes to... Natalie. Really? Big Baby Head, you disappoint me.
Jeff's vote goes to... duh, Jordan!
Jordan wins it! YAY! The dread in my heart was all for nothing! Although I do hope Natalie loses her $50,000 in a fire or possibly a Ponzi scheme.
Jordan hugs Natalie and walks out to a spray of gold confetti. Then, she hugs her mom, who is really excited because she's getting a house. And then... time for a commercial. Because this show can't be long enough.
Finally, it's time to reveal the last two votes. Kevin voted for Natalie, but Michele voted for Jordan.
Jordan then reveals how she's going to spend her money. House for Mom, college fund for her aunt's kids and maybe a car. Which suggests she doesn't understand that half of that half million is going to taxes and the rest won't go that far, unless she's buying Mom a double-wide.
Better yet, Jeff doesn't go home empty handed, because he wins $25,000 as America's favorite contestant.
Then, lots of standing around and hugging, although I don't see Natalie in the crowd, and I'm kind of hoping she's skulked off somewhere to pout that only two people voted for her.
Jordan's won! Yay!
Do you think Jordan deserved to win? Were you sad to see Kevin bumped out of the final two? Do you think Jessie and Lydia are dating or just doing it?