Another season of Big Brother is nearing its end.
But before CBS crowns the latest winner of the summer reality staple on Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look back at the current season. From memorable fights (see: Winegate, the bed-flipping incident) and shocking blindsides (see: Judd’s first eviction) to the houseguests’ insensitive remarks, the 15th cycle proved to be both entertaining and controversial.
Early on in the run, host Julie Chen promised a no-floater season by enacting a new twist to the game — America’s MVP, a move intended to reward good game play. That didn’t turn out to be the case, with America voting Rachel Reilly’s sister, Elissa Slater, to hold the MVP power for three straight weeks, giving her the chance to nominate a third person for eviction. The final three — Spencer Clawson, GinaMarie Zimmerman and Andy Herren (aka the Exterminators) — arguably floated their way to the end.
THR compiled some of the biggest highlights from the season (in no particular order):
The bed-flipping incident
The season was filled with insane fights, but none as dramatic and tense as Aaryn Gries' infamous bed-flipping incident of Candice Stewart's bed following Nick Uhas' eviction. The Mean Girls alliance, made up of GinaMarie, Aaryn and Kaitlin Barnaby, were already on edge. Tack on the fact that Helen Kim, viewed by them as an adversary, notched a HOH victory. When Candice confronted Aaryn about her flipped bed, the Mean Girls resorted to spewing racial slurs at Candice. It came to a head when a heated GinaMarie went up to Candice, adding even more fuel to the fire, prompting Howard Overby to physically take Candice out of the situation.
Amanda controls the house
When McCrae Olson won the first Head of Household, Amanda Zuckerman immediately jumped into bed with him — and the two would never be apart. Though Amanda partnered with someone who was in power early on in the season, she never actually won competitions until Week 9. Yet, she somehow found herself in the HOH room, controlling the nominations and votes. When America nominated Amanda twice in a row, the house failed to take the chance to send a powerful player out of the game. Her bullying tactics seemed to work on the houseguests, with many admitting that they were too scared to go against Amanda — when she had no real power. But it all came down to GinaMarie, who made the one move everyone else was afraid to make: She put Amanda up on the block.
Jury member re-enters the game
This new twist took place months earlier on Big Brother Canada, when one of the jury members was allowed to compete in the game and even made it to the final two. But this was one of the rare occasions of the U.S. Big Brother that included this game-changer. (In Big Brother 3, a juror came back into the house.) After getting blindsided in a shocking double eviction just two weeks earlier, Southern boy Judd Daugherty fought his way back into the game in an entertaining endurance challenge. Judd lasted longer than we thought he would in his second outing (about 19 days) but his sudden ouster clearly affected his demeanor, as he came back with a chip on his shoulder. It didn't matter though. On Day 82, he was evicted once again.
The Moving Company lasts a second
All hope was lost for The Moving Company, the first alliance of the season, with the introduction of the MVP twist. Candice recognized the male alliance early on, and their initial attempt to replicate The Brigade in season 12 failed. With the loud, outspoken physical threat Jeremy McGuire as a member of their alliance, a big target was painted on all involved. The group's lack of loyalty contributed to their demise when two of its members, Spencer and McCrae, voted out alliance member Nick — seen as playing too hard, too fast and put up by MVP Elissa — in Week 2.
Voting with the house
The HOH technically has the power to put up who they wish, but this season, it seemed whatever the house wanted, the house got. (The majority of the evictions were either unanimous or near-landslides.) Very few of the houseguests attempted to go against the house and keep who they wanted, and on eviction night, votes would come down with the disclaimer, “I reluctantly vote to evict ...” If members of their alliance were being voted out, what sort of game were they all playing this summer? This left the late-forming alliance, The Exterminators, who floated through the season and watched targets take each other out before they did.
Season of the showmances
Usually, Big Brother has one or two showmances a season. But this time around, there were couples everywhere. Here are just some of the pairings: McCrae/Amanda, Jeremy/Kaitlin, Judd/Jessie, Judd/Aaryn, Candice/Howard.
Which moment from the season stuck out for you?
Big Brother crowns a winner Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.