SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched tonight’s finale episode of “Big Brother 19” on Global, then STOP READING NOW! Spoilers lie ahead….
Like an old flea-ridden dog on its last legs, this season of “Big Brother” has finally been put out of its misery. The house where dignity goes to die turned off its lights after 23-year-old Haircare salesman Josh Martinez was crowned the winner of “Big Brother 19” in a dramatically close 5-4 vote against BB veteran Paul Abrahamian.
Just let that sink in for a second. Josh is the winner of “Big Brother”. The maniacal meatball! The man-child who almost quit in Week 1 and spent the majority of the season stomping around the house banging pots and pans together like a toddler who had swallowed too many Skittles and broken out of daycare. Now he’s reentering the world with $500,000 in his bank account. On paper, Josh’s win might seem perplexing, but when you cast your mind back over the past few weeks and take a look closer at the details, it becomes completely foreseeable.
The jury didn’t award Josh for his stellar gameplay or excellent social skills. In fact, during the Juror’s Roundtable hosted by BB legend Dr. Will, the other houseguests could barely put together a valid argument for why Josh should win. The closest thing to a compliment was that he put himself in the firing line by causing countless confrontations. When the jury discovered that he’d won the Final Head of Household competition and chosen to take Paul with him to the Final Two it only seemed to confirm their already low opinions of him as a strategic player.
But regardless of how the jury felt about Josh, the perception of Paul was a whole lot harsher. The jurors admonished Paul for hiding behind the facade of “friendship” and abusing the relationships he made in the game. While the previous evictees could admit to being played by the now two-time runner-up, they felt that he “over-lied” and had “poor jury management.” Alex and Jason in particular felt burnt by Paul on a deeply personal level. The only person really advocating on Paul’s behalf was Raven which wasn’t the best omen seeing as the rest of the cast seemingly despise her.
Josh benefited from Paul’s mismanagement of relationships. You could see this happening throughout the recent evictions and Jury House segments. While Paul continued to lie in his goodbye messages and wash his hands of any responsibility, Josh would own up to the fact that he was in a secret alliance with Paul and Christmas – who finished in third place during tonight’s finale. Even during the live jury questioning, Paul continued to distance himself from culpability rather than admitting to his part in the lies. Paul was trying to have his meatball and eat it, denying his deception while at the same time claiming he was in control of everything.
On the other hand, Josh, who confessed to being a “Big Brother” superfan who has dreamed of this moment since he was 14-years-old, came across far more authentic and heartfelt. Even his stutter and brainfart during his final speech helped humanise him in front of his peers. The jury might not have wanted to vote for either man, but five of them were satisfied enough to reward the impressionable yet sensitive Josh over the cold and calculating Paul.
Some might claim that Cody (who won America’s Favourite Player), Mark, Elena, Alex, and Jason denied Paul the win out of bitterness, and that might be an entirely accurate read, but it’s also a completely valid way to vote. During the Roundtable, Elena and Jason confessed to being sore losers and bitter about Paul’s gameplay. But the onus is on Paul not to make the jurors feel that way; he only has himself to blame for finishing his second summer in a row as a reality-tv runner-up.