Right on the heels of the announcement that the CBS reality show has been renewed for another two seasons, the finale of Big Brother 16 crowned Rhode Islander Derrick Levasseur the big winner. Derrick had kept his identity as an undercover police officer a secret from the rest of the houseguests and he was finally able to reveal that to the members of the sequestered jury.
The other big secret that was revealed – Team America. Early in the season, viewers voted for Derrick, Donny Thompson, and Frankie Grande to be members of the secret Team America alliance, one of the twists announced before the start of the season. Each week they were sent on secret missions, voted on by the public, and if they were able to complete the mission successfully then they would win $5,000.
In the 90-minute finale, Cody Calafiore of New Jersey won the Final HOH but chose to take his alliance member Derrick (together they were The Hitmen) to the Final 2 instead of Miami native Victoria Rafaeli. His poor judgment ensured his loss (he won the 2nd place prize of $50,000) and Derrick ended up walking away with the $500,000 grand prize instead, in addition to the money he collected from Team America and a bonus $50,000 for making it to the end as a member of the secret alliance. At $575,000, Derrick has made more money in total than any previous Big Brother winner.
Cody’s move is most comparable to Survivor: Cagayan where Woo Hwang chose to take Tony Vlachos, another reality TV contestant lying about being a cop, to the finals. In a game of deception and backstabbing, Cody choosing to be loyal to his alliance member instead of taking the easy person to beat is seen as one of the dumbest moves in Big Brother history.
At the end of the finale, host Julie Chen announced the top 3 vote-getters for America’s Favorite Houseguest: Donny, Zach Rance, and Nicole Franzel. Donny Thompson, the groundskeeper from North Carolina, ultimately took home the title of America’s Favorite Houseguest – which was voted on a total of 10 million times across the board – and a check for $25,000.
While Derrick is praised for being a mastermind and one of the best strategical minds to play Big Brother in the history of the show, he’s also been criticized for taking away much of the entertainment value from the season. Big Brother 16 had more unanimous votes than any other season, and one alliance – mostly comprised of men – was able to dominate and control the entire game. There wasn’t much drama and bickering this season, either, to make up for the lack of power shifts and predictable outcomes.
Hopefully, the next two summers will be more entertaining.
What do you think of Cody’s decision to take Derrick to the end? Are you happy with how the season turned out? Let me know in the comments!