The conclusion to Big Brother Australia‘s revival season has delivered a worthy winner, but one late twist robbed another housemate from being the youngest winner to date. This is the finale week Review!
It came down to Daniel, Sophie, Mat, Sarah and Chad, as two more would be evicted and the final three would face the public vote to declare the ultimate winner. But it was the decisions made in the first episode of the week that really made the endgame a debated topic of discussion, but in the end, a winner was named and Australia rejoices in making the final decision!
FINALE WEEK RECAP
With Sophie and Chad reunited, the two have their sights set firmly on Mat and Daniel to be targeted and sent home for betraying their alliance first. The bromance versus the romance is certainly in place, while Sarah in the middle dreams of winning the prize money and buying a Toyota Corolla, what would be a dream come true.
At the Nominations Challenge, things are a little different. For this episode though, things have changed. Instead, there will be two challenges – for the first, it’s not about winning, it’s about not coming last. If you’re last, you’re automatically nominated. In the second challenge, the winner of the remaining four will nominate only one housemate against the loser of the first challenge, and the house will vote between the nominated housemate and the challenger loser. But to make things even more twisty, for returning to the game, Sophie will receive a disadvantage in the first (and second) challenge. But even moreso, Mat, for winning the previous challenge and not being able to use the power that was won in evicting one member of the white room, will instead receive an extra vote at the eviction (WTF?).
These sudden change of events make both challenges crucial, and it also gives an additional dose of power to Mat and Dan who effectively control the eviction no matter what happens. Nevertheless, little Sarah struggles in the enduring physical challenge, and is automatically nominated. In the second challenge, which sees Sophie, Mat, Daniel and Chad locked in a box filling with water, the international model prevails and immediately names Mat to sit alongside Sarah for the nomination block.
But as I mentioned, whereas usually only Sophie and Daniel would vote, likely forcing a tie and making Chad break it, probably resulting in Mat’s eviction, instead Sophie, Dan and Mat will vote, with Mat obviously voting against Sarah, Sophie voting for Mat, and Daniel to now become the tiebreaker. Because he really is a swing vote in this decision between Sarah and his old mate Mat who’s stuck side by side to since Day 1. I wonder what he’ll do…
Daniel does consider voting out his bromance partner, especially as Sarah works to convince him Mat may be more favourable to the viewing public, and keeping him might hurt Dan’s chances of winning anyway. She implores him to think for himself and his future chance of winning the money (because Dan’s got a real chance of winning it anyway…). Despite her push for Daniel to make a strategic decision, he sticks with what we all expected, and votes out Sarah who lands in 5th place, keeping the bromance versus romance alive for one last showdown heading into the final four.
While I appreciate Sarah’s effort to convince Daniel otherwise, keeping her would have been a reversed strategic choice as we’ve come to learn the Australian audience loathes Mat and Dan and love Sarah. Daniel did make the right decision, but in the house, of course, nobody knows what would come of it. But with some really shitty twists (not the twists themselves, just the outcomes of them), Sarah drew the short straw… no pun intended.
With only four housemates remaining, Big Brother gifts the final four with videos from their previously evicted housemates who commend Mat, Sophie, Chad and Daniel on making it to the final day of the game and outlasting 16 others. But back to the game, Mat grows concerned about his potential to make the top three after giving Sophie the cold shoulder when she returned a couple days earlier, believing this might spell his exit if either one of the Chad and Sophie couple win the challenge.
In the all important Nominations Challenge, with the rules back to normal, the final four must release a ball down a large track, catch it, and repeat the cycle, adding other balls in the mix to make it harder, sweatier, and oh so gruelling. As Sophie and Daniel are knocked out, it’s between big boy Chad and Broken Hill alumni Mat to see which duo reigns supreme. As Mat drops the final ball, Chad takes out the win – his fourth for the season – and now has the sole decision to evict one of the three nominees, Sophie, Mat or Daniel.
With himself and girlfriend Sophie just needing to make their spot as finalists official, ponder over which Alpha will be sent home, but more importantly, which Alpha will join them in vying for Australia’s vote to win over $234k. Between Mat and Daniel, it’s like pulling hairs for who they want to decide will be third and fourth place. Lol, yeah you heard me.
At the eviction, Sonia tries to pull Mat’s emotions out and get him to show something so Australia can feel sorry for the man. But he vows not to cry again. Before long, Chad is sent to the diary room to cast his sole and final vote to evict, and he sends home Mat, bringing Daniel to the final three.
It’s Chad versus Sophie versus Daniel for Australia’s vote! So who won it all? Read on!
THE LIVE FINALE:
Live from a stage in front of the house in Sydney, Sonia, 15 of the 17 previous evictees and the final three (hidden in a dressing room), and a small audience are all socially distanced from each other given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sonia revisits all the best moments and characters of the season, namely Angela, Ian, Allan, Angela, Kieran, Sarah, a sprinkle of Talia, Garth, Casey, Angela, Marissa, Mat, Soobong, Shane and Angela. Much like the season, Xavier’s tucked away from the edit. And even though we got a lot of Angela, at least we got a lot of Angela.
What’s missing if the final three being a big part of this discussion. These guys went all the way to the end! And yeah, I know we like seeing the faces we haven’t seen in a month, but it seemed like an odd choice to make the final three only come out at the end when it really mattered.
Sonia grills all the evictees, yada, yada, yada. It’s all filler. She then brings out the final three who all make some final comments about their time, and then a final pitch to Australia. But immediately after Sophie finishes her plea, voting lines closed. We couldn’t even get an ad break for viewers to digest their final pleas before voting! WTF?! We return from the break with Daniel standing beside his girlfriend who we’ve seen more than Xavier so far, Sophie joined by her Mum and sister, and Chad joined by his Mum.
Before reading the final result, Sonia just needs to ask one last question to each finalist, about how they are feeling. Because, well the segment needs an extra minute of runtime? I don’t know. Just get on with it Sonia. With some dramatic suspense, Australia’s winner has been crowned – Chad Hurst takes out the season and a cool cash prize. Before dropping the f-bomb when quizzed by Sonia about his reaction to winning. Luckily, we’re past 9 o’clock, so it’s okay Chad. Regardless, the housemates who were abiding by social distancing protocol quickly ruin all the hard work by hugging each other and Chad on TV. But it’s not like we weren’t expecting them to do it once the cameras turned off anyway. I heard the after party was lit.
THE FINAL TWISTS
Ok but what the hell was Episode 19? Why we needed a sudden change of rules to the Nominations Challenge baffles me. But okay. I didn’t hate it. It seemed out of nowhere, but it works. I don’t think it’s awesome though. Poor Sarah had no chance, all of a sudden the power that comes with winning the challenge was cut in half and now you’re punished for sucking at challenges. Not that Sarah sucked, by any means. But my point still stands. What could have been cooler? Instead of the loser going up. How about run two challenges, the winner of each nominations one housemate. First challenge winner the range of the other four, while the remaining three compete in the second, with the winner nominating one of the other two. Now you’ve got two winners, two nominated, and one in the middle with all the power without winning anything. Pure social game to stay off the block granted them with the full power to decide who goes home. Pretty f’ing cool if you ask me. I think it’s much more exciting, and it gives everyone a piece of the pie. The two winners guarantee safety and have some say in who makes that ultimate decision, while the person in the middle makes the call but is limited to two choices. It would create a lot more drama going into the final four, with everyone pissing off someone, and would probably be extremely effective if you had five individual players and not two duos and a Sarah. Nevertheless, this is what we got. God knows why. But it’s this twist that didn’t rob Sarah.
Instead, Mat got a bogus extra vote because he didn’t use the power last episode. WHAT?! Mat won the challenge, and yeah, by Kieran not taking the money he got nothing for it. But so what? That’s the game of Big Brother, deal with it. There was nothing said beforehand saying a power would be given to the winner in the next round if it’s not used in the current round. This just seems like a poor choice and it ruined the season from having a really great strategic and social winner, someone who played the game, because the public loved Sarah who was in turn the best player of the season. Sarah was a really great player who fell victim to a twist. Everyone else this season kind of got screwed because of the other housemates, but Sarah got screwed because she didn’t couple up with Chad or one of the boys. She was collateral damage, for a Nominations Challenge twist out of nowhere and an extra vote which seem kind of unwarranted. I’ll also add that Sophie’s disadvantages in the challenges were another WTF? Angela didn’t get disadvantaged when she returned, why does Sophie? There was not talk about the returnee needing to work extra hard to make their chance count. I don’t know, I think Episode 19 was my least favourite for all the bad decisions and outcomes that come from the temporary changes to the game. I’m really confused. Poor Sarah. Justice for Sarah!
AUSTRALIA’S WINNER (AND LOSERS)
Chad had one of the best week’s we’ve seen leading up to the finale, with two challenge wins and an emotional story about his dad, Chad deserved the win and Australia delivered that outcome as well. His late game success garnered viewer’s attention and admiration, so it was clear Chad was winning once the voting lines opened. He’s a great guy, and a great winner. Well deserved in the end. Personally though, my vote went for Sophie. I feel she played the best game of the finalists and did a lot more thinking and worked along the construct of the game to her advantage. She was much more strategic than Chad, and had a better story arc from returning from the white room and seeking revenge on Chad and Mat. Had she herself delivered leading up to the finale, maybe Australia would have rewarded her the win. It’s great Chad is splitting some of the money with her, because he wouldn’t be there without Sophie, and in turn, neither would she without him. But great game to Sophie and it sucks for being such a huge fan and great player to not take out the win, but I hope she’s satisfied with her BB journey. And then Daniel, who just rubbed Australia the wrong way all season. I don’t think all of the comments against him are necessarily warranted however, Dan’s a good guy who played a game. Not all too well, but he played it. Not one of these housemates are actually a bad person, but Dan got caught in the cross fire of editing and just making some wrong decisions. I think a lot of people have done a lot worse than Dan and Mat in other Reality TV shows, and I wouldn’t consider them bullies. Anyway, I’m still glad Daniel didn’t win. But great game to him as well, it’s tough to make it so far. Much of the same goes to Mat, there’s not much more to speak about for him. A solid final four, nonetheless.
There were a lot of strengths, and some weaknesses about this 2020 season.
Casting – pretty good. It took me a while to warm up to a lot of these housemates, and there were some duds – but for the most part, I’d say this was a good cast for a first season. Not next season, but definitely the first. But I’ll be the first to say we need more people who understand how to play the game. No more floaters who want to keep couples in the game, or stick side by side to their best friend. Make some moves! Cast accordingly.
Editing – There were a lot of inconsistencies in the editing between housemates and the public getting a chance to love and appreciate all 20. There’s stuff we missed that effected the storyline of the season and why certain decisions were made. And there were also times where the decisions made in the game seemed predictable, from who would win the challenge, to who was nominated, to who was evicted. But, I praise the show for improving as the season went along in some areas. So the editing got a boost as we continued to watch, but it still has room to improve.
Challenges – Physical, endurance, physical, endurance. Big Brother, there are other skills. I wanna see the mental competitions that require critical thinking, problem solving, puzzle solving. Also some luck competitions. Why is it all physical skill decided? Kieran never had a chance to win a challenge, but if we had some luck challenges where the winner was decided by rolling the right number on the die then maybe we’d be in for some real shock factor to who wins and is nominated. It would also require all the housemates to maintain social relationships with EVERYONE! With challenges being unpredictable and who wins possibly being anyone on the cast, you’re required to bond with everyone to ensure you aren’t nominated. But in this current scenario, you just need to be on side with those who can win a challenge. So nobody ever really needed the Kieran housemate to benefit their game, because he was never going to get a chance to nominate them. A bigger variety of challenges would be great! But I do like the touch of occasional duo challenges with two winners. Keep that BB.
Twists – They’re inevitable. Some work, some don’t. Extra votes (that aren’t just gifted but earned), saving a nominee, the white room – loved them! They’re small elements to the game to keep the housemates on their toes. But a clearly built for the best housemate bunker, gifted extra votes, and challenge rules shakeups – not a fan. There was a good mix of good and bad twists, but overall, I’m pretty satisfied with this season and what twist would occur. Even those that failed or aren’t great, it’s a first season, a trial period. The show should be allowed to make these mistakes with twists, you need to dip your toes in the water. So, great job to the production team on that one.
Evictions – They drag on. But I get it. It’s an important segment and some shit can go down. So, I’ll accept it. What sucks is Sonia revealing the results. Come on! WHERE’S THE SUSPENSE? “With two votes… XYZ, you are safe. With three votes, ABC, you are safe. [Long pause]… Which means with eight votes, LMN, you are evicted…” BORING! Come on Sonia, get straight to the point and reveal who’s going home like this: “By a vote of 8-3-2, it’s time to go… LMN!” Flash up a screen of the housemate and how many votes they got if you want them all and the audience to know. Don’t lose suspense by revealing everyone who is safe. Additionally, make the tiebreaker vote stand in say it in front of the housemates. Going to the diary room seems pretty pointless.
Mistakes – There just seemed to be a lot of mistakes this season. Some simple decisions seemed to have the wrong effect applied to them, like the way in which Sonia reveals the votes or ending the voting period immediately after Sophie finishes her plea. I’ve talked about them all season, and I can’t remember them all honestly. A lot of these decisions are simply just to see what could make the episode more exciting. So they’re not a big deal. But the season could benefit if these small errors are fixed. Get the audience hooked, don’t let us drift off to sleep. Often when these mistakes were made, it was the cast who saved it. Which is saying something.
Tasks – The tasks were fine, but BB needs to be harsher. They won every bloody task this season, they were lapping every reward up. MAKE THEM SUFFER BB! BRING OUT THE DRAMA, THE ENTERTAINMENT! It’s a television show, we wanna see how far these people go mentally too. Nobody said it would be easy, and no offence to the 20 this season who don’t think it was easy. But y’all didn’t need a KFC reward in every second episode.
All in all, a very solid and pretty good season of Big Brother Australia. There’s some fun, some much needed strategy, some really great moments and enough to make me want to tune in next season and see how the game revs up for a second instalment. There’s some quality television coming out of this show, and I can only see it going up from here.
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