The Big Brother 17 finale concluded the most entertaining summer we’ve had in years. There were laughs. There were tears. There were twins. There was drama. And, of course, there was a winner at the end of it all. The final three battled it out but, in the end, only one of these hamsters could walk away with half a million dollars. Did the most deserving person prevail, or were you disappointed?

Here’s how all the houseguests fared this week. Let the zings begin!

So Close: Vanessa

To be completely honest, I thought Vanessa was guaranteed to win this season. She was in control for so long, her reign just seemed inevitable. Which is why her eviction was just as fun as it was unexpected. Vanessa doesn’t need the money, and she made it to the very last episode, so viewers got to experience her particular brand of crazy (like a fox) the whole way through, without the downside of a super predictable finale.

And even though Vanessa didn’t walk away a winner, she got something even better: her girlfriend, Mel, proposed on finale night. Vanessa is officially engaged! Remember, when she entered the Big Brother house less than 100 days ago, gay marriage wasn’t even legal in all 50 states.

Always a Bridesmaid: Liz

While having a twin and a showmance this summer may have put a “target” on her back, Julia and Austin also provided Liz with a huge amount of protection throughout Big Brother 17. Even once they left, Liz still couldn’t play her own game: she threw the first part of the final HOH to Vanessa in exchange for a promise of safety, lost the second part of the final HOH to Steve, then made it to second place (and the $50,000 runner-up prize) only because Steve chose to bring her to Final Two. Even her speech to the Jury included a series of acknowledgements that Julia, Austin, and Vanessa all helped her tremendously. In response, the Jury left her hanging.

Dark Horse: Steve


And then there was one. Nerdy trombonist Steve Moses, who spent the first half of the game hiding in closets and talking to inanimate objects, emerged from the shadows of the Scamper Squad to claim the BB17 throne. His obvious elation on finale night was worth a whole season of Vanessa’s tears. His speech to the Jury was far more inspiring and convincing than Liz’s, and who could deny this ultimate superfan his victory? The boy didn’t “become” a man this summer: he already was one.

And that, fellow viewers, concludes this year’s Big Brother. More than leaves turning or days shortening, this is the truest sign that it’s officially fall. We can all get back to our boring lives now — at least until Big Brother 18, that is. Just nine more months to go!

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