Big Brother U.S. All-Stars – Road to the Finale

Before the ultimate finale of Big Brother 22, let’s journey back to the beginning for the final three, and predict who is most likely to take the cake.

We’ve taken a hiatus from reviewing this season, and there’s a few reasons why: Firstly, I manage this site on my own and while I’ve stayed up to date with the Big Brother season, I have not been able to watch it personally as assessment time really hit hard this semester. I did not want to review a show that I didn’t watch in full. But even more so, this season has been SO BORING! There’s been no backdoors, no drama, no shake ups, no power shifts. It’s the most straight forward, big alliance ruling, all talk and no action season we’ve ever had. There was no incentive to right a 2000-word blog post on a show that had subpar content to deliver every week. But, before the finale, we have a final three. Enzo, Cody, and Nicole have all made it to the final day in the house. An impressive feat, and one certainly worth talking about.

FINAL FEW WEEKS RECAP

If you’ve missed what happened after the triple eviction, which in reality was the last exciting thing to happen, let’s take a quick run down.

FINAL 6: With Dani the first member of the big alliance to walk out the door, the attention immediately was focused on the duo that sent her packing – Tyler and Christmas. At the HOH competition, Cody wins it, again. And now with the ammo to take out Tyler or Christmas, he nominates them with no hesitation. In order to keep the duo safe, Memphis needed to pull a hail Mary and save his closest allies. But with Cody taking the POV as well, he left his nominations the same, and the fate of Tyler was sealed. One of the most popular and impressive players the game has seen in the last few years went to the jury in a 3-0 vote.

Tyler was evicted in 6th place, with a 3-0 vote against him.
IMAGE: CBS

FINAL 5: Now Tyler is gone, fans began rooting for Christmas or Memphis to win HOH JUST to shake up the game somewhat. Christmas or Memphis? Seriously? Two of the worst houseguests this season, but I was equally on the train. THAT’S HOW DESPERATE WE WERE! But alas, former winner Nicole F. finally won her first competition of the season, and nominated, you guessed it – Christmas and Memphis. It was clear Cody was covered, so on the chances that Enzo won POV and actually saved one of the nominees, maybe the most dominant player would go home. But it’s all talk and no walk for Enzo, who firmly sided with Nicole and Cody for a final three pact. Not that it mattered anyway, Nicole won the POV as well, kept the nominations the same (how shocking), and Memphis was blindsided 2-0, even if Enzo mentioned getting the blood on Nicole’s hands. But he didn’t, I know, you’re not shocked.

Memphis was blindsided by Cody and Enzo, evicted in 5th place.
IMAGE: CBS

FINAL 4: HOPING FOR ANYTHING AT THIS POINT, maybe Christmas could win HOH and end the dreams of either Cody or Nicole from getting an easy road to the final three. We received a glimmer of hope when Enzo won the HOH competition, meaning it was up to Christmas to win the POV and take out Cody her damn self. But because we can’t have nice things, Cody won the POV, leaving Christmas and Nicole as the nominees. With his BB16 pact, pre-game alliance, and even talk about a money split deal with Nicole; Cody voted to evict Christmas, making her the 8th juror.

Cody’s sole to evict Christmas sent her to the jury in 4th place.
IMAGE: CBS

So who remains in the game?
Enzo – He’s talked about big moves all season, but has yet to make one.
Cody – He’s dominated since the beginning, and no one has tried to stop him.
Nicole – She already won the game, but somehow still made it to the end.

ENZO’S ROAD

Big Brother 12 Final Juror, Enzo Palumbo.
IMAGE: CBS
  • HOH WINS: 2
  • POV WINS: 1
  • OTHER WINS: 1 (SAFETY SUITE)
  • NOMINATIONS: 0
  • BIGGEST PRO: He’s the most likable player left, a great social game.
  • BIGGEST CON: He’s made no moves against better players, uh oh.

Enzo came into the game immediately taking out a competition win in the first POV competition of the season. Upon not using it, he said it was too early to make moves. But if you’ve been watching Enzo all season, you might think he would still spin this line even sitting in the final three. Yeah, Enzo helped take out Kaysar on his HOH, the last remaining player who wasn’t even somewhat affiliated with The Committee. But once the jury hit, Enzo really took a back seat. This didn’t hurt him however, because he stayed firmly solid amongst the six-player alliance of The Committee, practically becoming the seventh member. Once the alliance decided to turn on itself, Enzo was the only remaining outsider (and I use outsider loosely) who stayed. Dani, Tyler, Memphis and Christmas were all taken out before Enzo, proving Enzo did something Kevin, Da’Vonne, Ian and David couldn’t – stick around while the alliance stayed in power. But a lot of this success should be attributed to his main man Cody, who really protected him all game.

But focusing back on Enzo, his whole mantra all season has been this ‘big moves’ idea, but Enzo was presented a prime opportunity to strike when he was the deciding vote between former winner Nicole and former first boot David at the final eight. He chose to evict David, and now sits with Nicole in the final three. By taking out a lone soldier, and leaving in a firm Cody ally and bigger threat, Enzo may have screwed himself no matter what happens in the final three. This single decision was Enzo’s chance to make the ONE move this game had, other than Da’Vonne using the POV on Kevin. There’s literally been nothing else outstanding, so if the big move IS Da’Vonne using the POV on Kevin, then we’re in trouble with the moves this season. Enzo has not done anything substantial, he didn’t even nominate Cody at the final four when the nominations didn’t matter. He’s been a lap dog, and that will no doubt hurt him facing a jury who ask him what he did this season.

What works for Enzo is his likability. A lot of the jury resent Nicole for how she played, and largely respect her status as a former winner. In turn, Cody is respected for being a giant social and strategic force this season, and not having anyone take a shot against him. Nobody really likes Nicole or Cody, but they at least have a claim to fame that beats Enzo’s ‘social game’. While I personally am rooting for a potential Enzo win (simply because I don’t all too much like the other two), he’s got no game bearing to make it count. But he’s had opportunities to do so, and not taken them.

So how does Enzo fair?

Cody is a physical beast, and no doubt will win one part of the Final HOH. Nicole also fairs okay in endurance over Enzo, so will likely outlast him in the first part. Given the second part is mental and generally more game-related, both Cody and Nicole run rings around Enzo on their memory of the game. I don’t think Enzo has ANY shot at winning the final HOH, so it’s going to come down to whether Cody or Nicole will take him to the end. And truthfully, neither of them will.

Enzo has not campaigned to Nicole AT ALL to potentially take him to the final two. He hasn’t even tried to set up a fake deal in the hopes she will take him if she wins. Enzo is solely relying on Cody winning that final part of the HOH. He’s riding the 50/50 shot, of the 50/50 shot Cody wins it. That’s a 25% chance Enzo is hoping to stay in the game on. And what sucks is that Cody is probably taking Nicole anyway. Whether that’s a mistake on Cody’s part – we will get to it. But it’s important to see it as a likely Enzo third place, AGAIN. He didn’t act against Nicole when he should have, and now Nicole is either getting herself to the final two, or Cody is taking her. Had he of acted and evicted her when he had the chance, it’s likely Cody would take Enzo to the final three had things have panned out similarly to the game already. Enzo’s lack of actually carrying out some big moves not only make his case to the jury pretty weak, but it’s what makes him a likely juror anyway. Enzo screwed himself, and he’s gonna wear it on finale night.

My call: Enzo’s evicted and sitting on the jury.

CODY’S ROAD

Big Brother 16 Runner-Up, Cody Calafiore.
IMAGE: CBS
  • HOH WINS: 3
  • POV WINS: 4
  • OTHER WINS: 0
  • NOMINATIONS: 0
  • BIGGEST PRO: He’s dominated the game strategically all season.
  • BIGGEST CON: He’s pissed off a few jury members, but that’s it.

Cody really come in guns blazing, forming multiple alliances, taking out threats and winning the competitions necessary early to build a foundation that would coast him to jury. Everyone was aligned with Cody, everyone wanted to keep Cody, and no one batted an eyelid when something worked for Cody and nobody else. It was all, Cody, Cody, Cody. And I respect that game! I don’t like it when someone absolutely steam rolls the competition and just basically has the game handed to them – but I can’t blame Cody for the stupidity of the other houseguests. It didn’t take much for him to spoon feed his opponents into believing he wasn’t a big threat. Nobody ever thought about betraying Cody, at least realistically, and that’s why he hasn’t touched the block all season. He just swept the floor with everyone. He deserves the $500,000 check!

Cody did piss off a few people, Kevin really comes to mind as the most likely juror to be bitter and vote against Cody in the final two, but even Kevin admits Cody is playing a damn decent game and may not hold a grudge against him. Cody also acts as a spoiled brat at times, as Kevin pointed out the week he went home. When something didn’t go Cody’s way or they wavered even slightly, Cody wasn’t happy and made people feel guilty for it. But that’s so minor. Cody hasn’t pissed off enough jurors that would see him lose regardless, but there is a potential path I see to Cody possibly losing the game, again.

It comes down to this HOH. If he takes Enzo, he’s got a very easy road to claim the jury votes. Enzo isn’t great at speeches, and Cody is eloquent enough to present his case convincingly to win 9-0. Even Nicole, who he would cut in this scenario, would reward him with the win. She would understand what happened and Cody would win easy. BUT. And as it looks right now, if Cody chooses to evict Enzo and take Nicole to the end, it could hurt him. Nicole is a known winner, and there’s been a big hooh-ha over not letting another winner win the game. If Cody is seen as presenting tgat opportunity and not bringing the more easy option of Enzo, it might cost him jury votes. Nicole can be convincing, and if she appeals to the right five people, then Cody might become flustered and lose grip of the sure win. Taking a former winner to the end is risky, it shows the jury that his awareness isn’t as great as it seems, and it’s so fresh in their minds it will have the most impactful effect on the jury wondering, ‘who made the right moves’? Cody might be too cocky and too confident in his game that he thinks he can beat Nicole, but honouring that final two deal with her is asking for a big risk.

With that said, it can be spun more positively. Cody IS taking a risk and trying to show the jury that this former winner is the easy win against him. Someone he can beat, and someone who doesn’t deserve it. Which would be true, so the jury can and might see it that way. But I wouldn’t doubt Nicole’s ability, it would be an incredible underdog feat if she managed to topple Cody on the basis he took a winner to the end.

Cody’s got the strongest game, the strongest chance to take this season out. But it might be his final move that seals his undoing.

My call: It might look like a hiccup is inbound, but Cody will secure the win easy with a strong case to the jury.

NICOLE’S ROAD

Big Brother 16 Juror & Big Brother 18 Winner, Nicole Franzel.
IMAGE: CBS
  • HOH WINS: 1
  • POV WINS: 1
  • OTHER WINS: 1 (A LUXURY COMPETITION)
  • NOMINATIONS: 3
  • BIGGEST PRO: She’s won the game before, and still made it to the end.
  • BIGGEST CON: Despite winning, Nicole hasn’t done much to impact the game.

Coming in with the winner target, it was clear Nicole was going to have to navigate wisely to ensure she wasn’t targeted. Thankfully, she got herself in the majority alliance and was able to use it every week for her safety. Coasting through the pre-jury stage, and only having a blow up with Janelle, Nicole was really tested at Ian’s eviction. Forced to take him out for the benefit of The Committee alliance, Nicole cried and lied about her vote that sent Ian home. It had damaging repercussions to those who weren’t in the alliance, but it also showed Nicole was extremely two-faced to viewers, with evidence showing Nicole wasn’t all too butthurt about voting her ‘best friend’ as it seemed during the eviction. Surviving any unrest over her vote, Nicole was then thrown up by Memphis next to David, and survived thanks to Enzo’s vote, something that could have easily made her the fourth member of the jury. Then waving goodbye to her ally Dani immediately after, Nicole was lucky Cody landed HOH and herself thereafter to make it to the final four. Again, Cody came through when he evicted Christmas, making Nicole a solid player in the final three.

But I use solid loosely, look at Nicole, her whole game has relied on Cody and keeping that deal alive. She barely survived against David, was less of a threat than Dani (despite BEING A DAMN WINNER), and then needed Cody at the final six and final four to bail her out of a forsure eviction. Nicole has not played well this season, and isn’t playing like a former winner at all. This is what makes her a potential easy beat at the end, when on paper, you’d call Nicole one of the best of all time. I actually think the reason why Nicole has ANY chance is because of her previous win on Big Brother 18. Think about it. The jury respects that a former winner can survive for so long again. But if we look solely at the performance of Nicole in Big Brother 22, she’s done nothing worthy of the win at all. She needed Cody for safety, and her only big moves were playing a role in blindsiding Memphis at the final five, simply by winning both of the week’s competitions. And betraying an ally and the other former winner in Ian back in Week 6.

I don’t think Nicole deserves to win, simply because her biggest claim to fame is winning last time. But her performance on BB18 shouldn’t lead to a great performance in BB22. That’s not right, it doesn’t feel good enough. But it’s a potential possibility. Still, let’s assess how Nicole fares.

If Nicole can win the final HOH, it means everything. If she cuts Cody and takes Enzo. The jury will respect her for making the move against the best player of the season and, while it’s not much to her overall game, she’s got a good shot of beating Enzo based on this one tiny move that happened on the last day. It’s enough to put her over the edge, possibly. But as it looks, Nicole will probably take Cody. Now while I say that she’s got a great shot of winning if Cody takes her, I don’t think it applies if she takes Cody.

The jury, and audience, is just waiting for SOMEONE to make a move against the best player this season. Sure, if Cody wins HOH, then there’s not much more to be said. But if Nicole wins HOH and takes Cody, then it’s game over. Nobody is going to respect Nicole or her previous win when she took Cody and honoured her deal with him. That’s not a winning move. Sure she can argue her case as a former winner still making it there, but it loses so much impact when Nicole wins HOH. If she is certainly not taking Enzo, then her best move is to actually throw the HOH to Cody. Winning it will only hurt her. But Nicole has no foresight for any of this, and I think truly believes she will win because she’s a former winner. But Nicole ain’t getting that double championship unless she makes a big move and takes Enzo, or can convince the jury if Cody takes her. There’s no way she wins any other way.

My call: Nicole has a slim opening, but will bungle it and lose at the final two, a disaster of a turnaround from her 5-4 win in Big Brother 18.

JURY SCENARIOS

Here’s my predictions for every scenario that might occur tonight:

Cody vs Enzo (Cody wins final HOH)

Nicole: Likely Cody (She’ll get over him not choosing her)
Christmas: Toss-Up, Cody (She may be bitter against Cody and go rogue, but doubtful)
Memphis: Likely Cody (Probably will recognise Cody’s played a good game)
Tyler: Likely Cody (He respects Cody’s game)
Dani: Locked Cody (Dani is Cody’s biggest cheerleader)
David: Toss-Up, Cody (David will likely go the route of the better player)
Kevin: Toss-Up, Enzo (Don’t piss off Kevin if you want a unanimous win)
Da’Vonne: Likely Cody (She’ll respect Cody’s game)
Ian: Likely Cody (He’ll respect Cody’s game)

PREDICTED VOTE: Cody wins 8-1, could be a perfect game.

Nicole vs Enzo (Nicole wins final HOH)

Cody: Toss-Up, Enzo (I think Cody is bitter enough to not vote Nicole)
Christmas: Toss-Up, Nicole (Christmas seems to respect Nicole moreso than Enzo)
Memphis: Toss-Up, Enzo (I think Memphis might like Enzo’s game approach)
Tyler: Likely Nicole (If sold right, Tyler probably votes Nicole)
Dani: Likely Nicole (I don’t think Dani will respect Enzo’s game)
David: Toss-Up, Nicole (If he sees Nicole as a better player than Enzo)
Kevin: Toss-Up, Nicole (I think Kevin will side with Da’Vonne)
Da’Vonne: Toss-Up, Nicole (Strictly only if she sees Nicole as a better player)
Ian: Likely Nicole (Winners aside, I think Ian will respect Nicole’s game)

PREDICTED VOTE: Nicole wins 7-2, although it’s close per juror.

Cody vs Nicole (Cody wins final HOH)

Enzo: Likely Cody (I don’t think Enzo wants another winner winning)
Christmas: Toss-Up, Cody (I think Christmas will be convinced Cody is the best player)
Memphis: Likely Cody (Nicole’s winner sell probably won’t work here)
Tyler: Likely Cody (Nicole could get him, but Tyler will pick the best player)
Dani: Likely Cody (I mean maybe Nicole in this scenario, but I highly doubt it)
David: Toss-Up, Nicole (If he thinks Cody’s move was wrong)
Kevin: Likely Nicole (Any reason to not vote Cody, Kevin will take)
Da’Vonne: Toss-Up, Nicole (If she thinks Cody’s move was wrong, but maybe not)
Ian: Toss-Up, Nicole (The winner case will appeal to Ian, but not a sure thing)

PREDICTED VOTE: Cody wins 5-4, but Nicole puts up a fight.

Cody vs Nicole (Nicole wins final HOH)

Enzo: Likely Cody (I don’t think Enzo wants another winner winning)
Christmas: Likely Cody (Nicole didn’t vote out Cody)
Memphis: Likely Cody (Nicole didn’t vote out Cody)
Tyler: Likely Cody (Nicole didn’t vote out Cody)
Dani: Locked Cody (Nicole didn’t vote out Cody)
David: Likely Cody (Nicole didn’t vote out Cody)
Kevin: Toss-Up, Nicole (Prevents a unanimous Cody win)
Da’Vonne: Likely Cody (Nicole didn’t vote out Cody)
Ian: Toss-Up, Cody (He knows Cody is a better player, but maybe Nicole)

PREDICTED VOTE: Cody wins 8-1, because Nicole made a big mistake.

IMAGES: CBS

Clearly, Cody is solid in every scenario, but faces a minor scare if he takes Nicole to the final two. Enzo needs Nicole to take him to have a realistic chance on playing his social game card and winning with it. Nicole relies on the voting block of Cody, Memphis and Christmas for a secured win if she takes Enzo, but especially Da’Vonne, Kevin and David if she gets to the end with Cody.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It was an underwhelming season to say the least, with so many promising moments that just flailed at the door. I think Cody will win it, and he deserves it on gameplay. I will be rooting for Enzo because he’s likable, and will reluctantly cheer for Nicole for the underdog win. But deep down, Cody deserves it. I’ll be looking forward to seeing who wins America’s Favorite Player as well, and oh boy I hope it’s Da’Vonne. She deserves it, for the statement it makes, and the kind of person she is.

I look forward to watching the finale, and I’ll review it later this week.

Stay tuned for more content coming soon to Reality Review! I’ll be shifting back to Survivor during the off-season, and can’t wait to get started on some projects there.

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