Julie Chen brought back almost all of the former Houseguests for the Season 24 finale, but didn't ask some of the most important questions from their time in the House.
After two hours of breathless competition from the physical to the mental and even oratory, we're exhausted and excited about the "Big Brother 24" winner.
As predicted, it was a tight finish between these final three Houseguests, who each had a compelling argument for why they should win the season. But which two go the chance to make their arguments, and who came up just short? And who won it all?
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Beyond that, with Dr. Will returning to grill most of the Jury about the Final 3 (before we knew who was going to make it to Final 2) and Julie Chen bringing back early evictees Pooch, Ameerah, Nicole and Daniel, it was almost a full House.
It was also an opportunity to really dig deep and have some important conversations -- that we ultimately didn't have. But we did get to watch as the Houseguests learned who lied about being a lawyer and who ate Jasmine's muffin. You know, stuff we already knew at home.
Monte, Taylor and Turner spent Friday evening's show toasting the season that was, and some of the hard moments that happened in the House were addressed there, as we got a lot more moments between Kyle and other Houseguests following his racially biased paranoia.
We also saw as they began the first of the three-part Final Head of Household competition. The winner of Part 1 goes straight to the final part, while the two losers battle it out in Part 2. Then the two winners compete in the final bout and the winner of that is the final HOH and gets to choose who sits next to them in the Final 2.
We've seen this decision backfire spectacularly so many times on this show and other shows like it, so it's a very, very, very big decision. We detailed our theories after Thursday's show, as to how it might go -- with the caveat that we were least confident what Monte would do. We were pretty both Taylor and Turner would take him to the Final 2, meaning he was virtually guaranteed to get there -- so did he?
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HOH Part 1
The first part had them wrapped around a giant wiener on a vertical post over a fake grill. It twisted, rocked and jostled them all around pretty violently. Think of it like a mechanical bull if instead of sitting on it, you stood next to it and wrapped your arms around it AND it was a giant wiener.
This was a brutal competition, and kudos to all three Houseguests for hanging in there as long as they did. Especially as Turner revealed (via Diary Room session) early on that he suffers from extreme motion sickness. We feel that pain and just watching this was making us queasy.
Everyone made it past the 30-minute mark, but finally, one jolt proved too much for Taylor, who lost her grip and was flung to the mat, clearly frustrated with herself. The competition lasted just about another ten to fifteen minutes, and then a repeat of Taylor's toss sent Monte flying.
With that, Turner guaranteed his spot in the final HOH competition, which is almost always memory based. We've seen him struggle in recent comps when it comes to that, but we've also seen him guess amazingly well, so maybe the information is buried in there and he's just tapping into it.
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HOH Part 2
The second part was almost a variation of "BB Comics," as it involved a zip line, but this time the contestants had to identify the names of all the various HOH and Veto comps and be able to place them in order.
They could hook two placards to their belt at a time from a wall of all the competition names jumbled (plus a few fake names) and slide either to a wall of HOH comps or a wall of POV comps to place them.
This means that even if you know them all, there's also the factor of how quickly you can do all of this physical swinging back and forth. What impressed us the most was how well both Monte and Taylor did. We predict Turner might have been a mess on this (but maybe he'd have surprised us).
Unless they pulled a fast one in the editing room, it looked like Taylor gave a literally flawless performance, placing each item in the proper spot. Had she gotten one wrong, it could have been a disaster, as you're not told what's wrong or how much or anything.
On Monte's run, he did make a mistake, but he caught it before he'd taken things too much further. Nevertheless, it did cost him a run fixing it. Other than that, though, it looked like he was spot-on as well, making for a very fast and efficient competition.
Ultimately, the difference between them was 23 seconds in Monte's favor, as he secured his spot in the Final HOH competition against Turner. All Taylor could do was sit on the sidelines and hope he wins, as she knew Turner wouldn't take her.
In kitchen chats, Turner was adamant in assuring Monte that he would take him, but he never quite got those same assurances back. We're not even sure if he picked up on it, though, but Monte was clearly conflicted on what he'd do if he won it all.
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HOH Part 3
As expected, the final part of the final HOH competition featured Jury members quoting off extremely specific quotes about their time in the season, like what color lane they were in during one comp or other equally tiny detail-oriented questions.
We started stressing out immediately because this seemed impossible. But with nothing else to do, clearly everyone had been studying. Amazingly, in a competition with eight rounds, the guys were neck and neck through the first five questions, getting everything right.
But then, Monte got one right and they both got the next one wrong, and Turner was down to his last chance. He needed to get this one right AND have Monte get it wrong just to force a tie.
It didn't happen, giving Monte all the power and a big decision that he had to make in just moments, as this whole competition played out during tonight's live broadcast. What would he do?
He'd theorized that he'd have an easier time beating Taylor because he and Turner have similar resumes, similar comp victories and they were both involved in some of the biggest moves in the House together. Could he sufficiently separate his game from Turner's and have the Jury see that he did more? Should he take the safe route?
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Dr. Will and the Jury
As always, Dr. Will Kirby returned to the "Big Brother" house to sit down with the Jury members to chat about the FInal Three to see who they're most impressed with, least impressed with and why.
We've got a lot of quotes from this chat in our "Jury Chatter" section below, but the bottom line is that even the Jury doesn't have a clear winner from these Houseguests.
We will say that they were a lot harsher on Turner's game than we expected. Maybe his Jury management really was far worse than we thought. We felt like everyone enjoyed his company, but the takeaway for some was that he doesn't take things seriously enough.
As for Taylor, she took some hits, too, with Brittany suggesting she only went for the "flashy" or "dramatic" moves. We will agree that during Taylor's first HOH, her targets changed constantly and were not well thought out at all! But she did get better at the game.
Michael noted that Taylor may have been wielding more power behind the scenes, with many of the evictions she wanted happening on someone else's watch. The girl sat on the Block five times, so one thing she's definitely good at is persuasion and talking her way out of a bind.
And then there's Monte, who was almost never on the Block and never a target even though he was clearly one of the biggest threats in the game. There's a lot to be said for how masterfully he "managed his threat level," as Michael put it (something Michael did not do at all).
At the same time, there was concern that Michael never turned off his game face, and wasn't always completely genuine or himself with the rest of the House.
Clearly, there are pros and cons for each of them, and no matter who sits in the Final 2, it won't be an easy choice. For many, it will come down to how they plead their case and own their respective games.
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Final 2 Face the Jury
In his final moment, Monte went with the decision that he felt would be best for his chances at victory and sent his boy, Turner, to be the ninth member of the Jury. It's worth noting that in doing so, he gave "BB" fans only the second all-Black Final 2 in show history -- and without a Cookout-style alliance protecting them both.
It's a testament to more diverse casting and the much-needed continuing evolution of this show, and other shows like it. Now, "Big Brother" was guaranteed its second-ever Black winner (in a non-"Celebrity" season), and possibly their first-ever Black woman.
As we saw with Dr. Will, though, there were no guarantees. At least with Monte and Taylor we knew that they played very, very different games, so it would be easier to differentiate what they did and didn't do. It was also going to be an uphill battle for Taylor to compete with Monte's resume.
All season long, she'd been trying to bolster hers, and while she has a respectable one, it does not compete. Monte's final plea broke down that resume in numbers. He clearly out-performed Taylor in competitions and in overt strategic control of the game.
Taylor, however, didn't try to go up against him at all. Instead, she went in the opposite direction, suggesting that there shouldn't only be one way considered worthy to win "Big Brother." She didn't win her way to the end, but she did fight her way there.
She survived the Block six times by this point (once more when Turner was evicted) and managed to use her social game and well-voiced arguments to keep herself save when the whole House was gunning for her from the very beginning.
She had been dragged through the ringer, so she focused on resilience. And then she challenged the Jurors to change the narrative of "Big Brother" and what it takes to win. We're not gonna lie, it was a powerful and incredible speech that even got an audible response from the audience. We've transcribed both final please in the "Jury Interrogation" section below because they are worth revisiting.
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Who Won Big Brother 24?
One by one, the Jurors came down and made their cases for who they thought should win the season. In a few cases, their final words (which we've also transcribed below) gave away who they were voting for, but after two compelling arguments, it could well have been anyone's game.
But it wasn't. In fact, it was a landslide vote with Taylor scoring eight of the nine Jury votes -- only Turner voted for Monte, the guy who'd just voted him out. So what happened to Monte's easier victory? Would Turner have beat him, too?
We don't think so. The same as everyone else all season long, Taylor's social game and her ability to talk and reason and argue and memorize extremely eloquent speeches kept getting overlooked. Taylor is dangerous if you let her speak her piece.
We said it in our predictions that if she could get there, she had the best shot of winning. Not only is her underdog story incredibly compelling on its own, but her oratory skills were second to none in the House, and that includes Michael because he could be catty and arrogant at times.
Monte let Taylor plead her case, and as soon as she did he was done. There's no way Turner would have pleaded as strong a case. Against him, we think Monte would have won this game hands down.
And so, with Taylor's victory, "Big Brother" sets a new milestone with its first-ever Black woman winner of a non-"Celebrity" season. And they weren't done setting firsts, either.
When it came down to America's Favorite Houseguests, and the $50,000 prize that came with that honor, the Top 3 vote-getters were a little surprising. There was comp beast Michael, eventual winner Taylor, and Kyle, who's biggest moments were a showmance and racially-influenced paranoia about a Cookout 2.0 alliance with zero evidence.
That he came in third is indicative, possibly, that there are segments of America who didn't appreciate that he was evicted from the House after Michael and Brittany outed his racially-insensitive theories. In fact, Michael also being in the Top 3 is interesting, because he and Brittany also came under fire themselves for not outing Kyle until it benefited their game.
At the same time, Michael dominated so much of this season and tied an all-time comp wins record, breaking the Veto wins record along the way, so he's got a case on that front as well for being America's Favorite. Nevertheless, it's interesting that it's those two people and the Black woman who won the season.
For the first time ever, though, the winner of the season also took home America's Favorite Houseguest, so Taylor is up to $800,000 in total earnings for enduring a lot of unnecessary abuse this summer, and playing one hell of a game, unorthodox though it was. She definitely played hard all summer long!
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The Questions Julie Didn't Ask
Julie was clearly trying to keep things easy and breezy. When she announced that pre-Jury evictees Pooch, Ameerah, Nicole and Daniel were back, we really thought she might be ready to get into some hard-hitting questions.
After all, these are some of the people who made it a point to make Taylor's life a living Hell in the early part of this game. Ameerah was the ringleader of that early power group that both dominated and bulled the House. Nicole lost her mind over a misunderstanding and Daniel screaming in Taylor's face over that, leaving the eventual winner both stunned and lost.
Neither of them backed down until the moment they left the House, and then they went home and got to watch it back. Some of them owned up to their behavior in interviews, but here was a chance for the show to address it, considering they'd aired the initial harassment.
Julie instead brought up that Daniel said the House would be boring if he was evicted and asked him if he thought that it was. She asked Pooch about his name now being used to refer to someone evicting themselves by offering to go on the Block and she ignored the women completely.
Later, she checked in with Monte and Taylor (this was before finding out who won) to ask about their burgeoning relationship that we saw play out in the House. Producers knew immediately to cut to Joseph, who again looked extremely hurt as he and Taylor had been catching feelings before his eviction.
Julie did let Joseph set the record straight that he'd never betrayed the Leftovers during Dyre Fest, but there was no question to either him or Taylor about the relationship they'd had prior to this one. We get that this would have been uncomfortable, but no less uncomfortable than watching Joseph squirm as she asked Taylor and Monte.
Either don't cut the camera to him to catch his discomfort, or go all the way there and call Taylor out and ask her about Joseph, or ask Joseph about them or something. It was going to be cringe TV no matter what, so there was also the option to not talk about showmances at all.
Kyle got asked about his with Alyssa, and we learned that they apparently patched things up, but nobody talked about the racially-insensitive thinking that got him evicted and maybe what he's learned in the Jury since his eviction. That would have been a more important conversation than Turner confessing finally that he stole Jasmine's muffins. Come on, everyone knew that!
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- "So why should Turner win?' --Dr. Will
- "So he can buy some muffins [to give] back to her." --Indy (pointing to Jasmine)
- "He was HOH for Ameera, he was HOH for Michael." --Joseph (about Turner)
- "I was evicted by Monte. Turner was the HOH, but that was Monte's move. Monte owned up to it. Turner, he played dirty, he lied, he manipulated, which I respect; I love that gameplay. But then own it. Own up to your moves." --Michael
- "He's not owning them yet, so I guess we'll see if he ever does." --Kyle
- "Sometimes some of the moves felt like what would be the most flashy or dramatic. I do want to know were there some more deliberate moves there?" --Brittany (about Taylor)
- "With what Taylor went through in the first couple weeks, she, of anyone, would have reason to be rude to people and to be nasty, and she responded with love and kindness and respect." --Michael
- "Taylor was constantly on the Block, but I was amazed at how she would come off the Block and be in a better position in the game each week." --Kyle
- "Taylor managed to get us to do dirty work for her, like me taking out Daniel, or Terrance or Jasmine ... Looking back, for my own personal game, those probably weren't the right moves for me, and I think they were the right moves for Taylor." --Michael
- "Monte never went up. We're over here like this guy is a huge threat, why isn't he going up?" --Alyssa
- "I didn't do a good job of managing my threat level. Monte has done a fantastic job of that." --Michael
- "I think he is overly confident in his ability to win this game and he's getting a little sloppy socially." --Brittany (about Monte)
- "I just couldn't connect with him. It was like talking to a politician, I never got nothing real out of it." --Terrance (about Monte)
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- "While I feel solid that Monte will take me, I need to control my own fate in this game." --Turner (in Diary Room about Part 1 of final Head of Household competition)
- "I don't want to be taken to Final 2. I want to be the one doing the taking." --Taylor (in DR)
- "This thing starts bucking and thrashing, so I'm gonna hang onto this wiener, engage my core, look at one spot and pray that I don't let go of this thing." --Taylor (in DR)
- "The only person I can trust to get me to those final two chairs is me." --Monte (in DR)
- "I have this huge fear of spinning. I am the most motion sick person I've ever met in my life. I cannot do spinning or roller coasters -- I can barely even sit as a passenger in a car." --Turner (in DR)
- "If I have to get slapped in the face by a giant wiener to win $750,000, I'll do it. I won't be happy about it, but I will do it." --Monte (in DR)
- "I've been studying the right stuff!" --Taylor (pumped after reading rules for Part 2)
- "I'm pretty sure both of us are going to take each other to the end, so this could not be better." --Turner (in DR after Monte wins Part 2)
- "Monte wins by a handful of seconds and I am absolutely devastated. I immediately feel like I have let all of the women of 'Big Brother' down." --Taylor (after Part 2)
- "Not to speak for both of us, but it seems like no matter what, as far as I'm concerned, we're both gonna be in the end. Final two bro." --Turner (to Monte)
- "Yeah, I see how it is." --Monte (not exactly confirmation)
- "Do you actually believe I would take you to the end? Because I actually would. I just don't want you to think that I'm toying with your emotions." --Turner (to Monte)
- "I just don't have any reason not to. And if you don't, whatever." --Monte
- "Both Turner and Taylor think I'm taking them to Final 2. If I take home that last part of the Final HOH competition, then I'm gonna have to make that choice. I'm not gonna lie, it's gonna be tough. Turner and I have been working together a lot longer than Taylor and I have; he's always been loyal to me. But I think the Jury is really gonna respect the moves that Turner has made in this game, so I think I have a better shot of winning that 750k sitting next to Taylor." --Monte (in DR)
- "Monte, I think it goes without saying, we have had a Final 4 for the entire season and a Final 2 for probably about a month and a half now. You know that big move I've made, and this is what you can honestly say if I'm in the Final 2, is that you were right behind it, with taking out Michael, that was on you, with taking out Ameerah and making the Leftovers, that was you, Kyle, Joseph and me just kind of watching during my HOH. So, loyalty over royalty, but honestly, you're gonna have both. You know it's gonna be unanimous. I have the worst Jury management I think in a decade. So, you know, I'd be bamboozled if I wasn't taken, but dude, I love ya and it's your decision to make. Peace and love." --Turner
- "No stranger to giving these speeches, and yet here we are again. Monte, it would mean the world and the moon and stars if you took me with you to Final 2. You and I have had some very deep, personal conversations about not only how much this means to me, but how this is a greater good that we can be doing for the progress of the game. I also respect all of the game moves you have made, and frankly, my biggest game move was done when I lost that second part HOH.So if you sit next to me, you know it's an easy win. I respect your decision. I hope that that decision is respectfully going to be for me to stay. Love." --Taylor
- "I love and respect the both of you so much, so you know how hard this decision is gonna be for me. When I look at my resume, the only thing I can think that the Jury sees missing is a big move made. So today, I feel like this is my opportunity to make that big move. Turner, I'm sorry, but I have to evict you, brother." --Monte
- "Dude, you know I got all respect for you. There is not love lost." --Turner
- "I told you I'd get it done. I came through." --Monte (to Taylor after evicting Turner)
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- "I am the Block Buster, so if you sit next to me, you are going home. Good luck, Monte." --Taylor (during final interrogation)
- "To the beautiful members of the Jury, you have the power to decide who will be the representation of Season 24 'Big Brother,' our beloved season. You may be looking for somebody who played a strong, competitive game, a great competitor. Somebody who won three HOH competitions, somebody who won two Veto competitions, somebody who won four additional competition on top of that. You may be looking for somebody who had a strong social game, somebody who was loyal to their alliance, as long as they were intact, somebody who was avoiding any situations to spread any false promises to people who he was not aligned with in order to play an honest and true game. Also, somebody who only touched the Block twice, and only one of those nights was I on the Block during an eviction night. You may also be looking for somebody who was able to make big moves in this game. Evicting a strong competitor in Nicole, winning and using the Power of Veto that led to the eviction of probably the best 'Big Brother' competitor I've ever seen in my life in Michael, and then tonight, winning this final competition in order to evict the next best competitor in this game, Turner, who was my boy. I wish things could have happened differently, but that was my next biggest move. I love and respect all of you and respect whatever decision you make, but I do hope that you choose me at the end of the day to be your representation of Season 24 of 'Big Brother.' And lastly, I'll say, I don't know what the temperature is like outside right now, but if you feel a little cold and frigid, always remember what a wise Houseguest said, 'Just keep scootin', you'll warm up.'" --Monte (final plea)
- "Jury members, I am someone who has won three competitions, two of them including HOHs, but I'm so much more than the wins I have had. I've proven that I can win and wield power, but I'm more than my wins in this game. Monte may have more blood on his hands than me, but as someone who has sat on this eviction Block six times on eviction night, I have bled out the most in this game, but I have bandaged myself together every single time and gotten up and continued to fight because like so many other women in this world, that is what we have to do to get to the end. We have to take care of ourselves and put ourselves first, while also looking out for the rest of the ones who are behind us. I have been falsely accused and unjustly accused of using someone's mental health as a piece in this game, someone's sick mother as a piece to use in this game. I have been called the b-word so many more times in this house than I have in real life, not to mention there was an attempted all-white alliance formed and I had to sit on the Block, left on the Block next to the person who tried to form that alliance. I have overcome so much in this game, and I've come to understand that I am not a shield, I am a sword. I am not a victim, I am a victor. If there is one word that is going to describe the entire season, it is resiliency. If you are to ask yourself who the most resilient person of this season has been, it is me. We can have the same 'Big Brother' winners that we've had in the past, but I am challenging you Jury members. I thought I would humbly ask for your vote, but I am challenging all of you to decide what type of winner you want to have this year? Do we want the same thing where we see evictions and comp wins be the path to success, or do we want a winner where we choose resiliency, we choose persistence as a reason to win this game. I have never given up on myself and I refuse to do it tonight when I'm sitting next to such a strong competitor. Jury members, I am challenging you to make the hard decision and change the course of this game and choose progress for the course of this game. I can be the winner of this season, and I promise you will not do it in vain if you choose me tonight." --Taylor (final plea)
- "I vote for one of my favorite people of this game." --Indy (voting for Taylor)
- "I'm voting for the person that is carrying on something that I wish I could have carried on." --Jasmine (voting for (Taylor)
- "I love and support you both with all my heart, but I'm voting for the face and the sword of this season." --Joseph (voting for Taylor)
- "I love you both, congratulations on being here. Two of the most deserving people to be at the end of the game. Unfortunately, I can only choose one of you, but I want to choose the person that represents this season." --Kyle (voting for Taylor)
- "Well, well, well. Got you on the Block finally, Monte. I love you both." --Terrance (voting for Taylor)
- "Congratulations to both of you. My vote is going to the strongest player of the season, and I think we'll look back and say that you were number one." --Michael (voting for Taylor)
- "I think you guys are both very deserving, but it's time to take our power back." --Alyssa (voting for Taylor)
- "I've just been looking everywhere for that missing Week 10 vote. Hmm." --Brittany (voting for Taylor)
- "So I made up my mind .5 seconds ago. I don't know, this is just a vote for one of you, I guess." --Turner (voting for Monte)
At the end of the broadcast, Julie announced that "Big Brother" has been renewed and will be back for its 25th season next summer.
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