Welcome, Houseguests and fans, to the final post of Big Brother 2. In just a few moments, I will reveal the jury’s votes for the winner of the game. But first, I want to thank everyone involved with this season – Christina Pepper for her collaboration on judging, Spooky for coming up with many of our latter-stage challenges and his general utility-player-esque usefulness, all the gatherers who helped us get stories together for judging, and of course, thank you to the players for playing and competing so hard. Your efforts made this season what it was. Now, let’s take some time to go through all the players who didn’t make the final two and reveal their identities.

I don’t have a lot to say about the players who were out pre-jury that we haven’t already gone over, in fact. Four out of the five either disappeared long before they were actually voted out, or were just outright modkilled for repeated nonsubbing. So that makes me a little sad for Dusty Rutabaga, who was pretty much the only one of this set who was actually trying to play. Our friend Yickit just happened to have the misfortune of being the outsider who ended up on the chopping block when the major alliance of the game decided to start throwing its weight around and make something happen by saving a nonsubber (Vance). I can think of a couple other players, including some who made it pretty far, who could’ve been in that spot instead, and then we might be talking about Yickit at or near the end.

Prisca Sandybanks was the HOH at the time of Dusty’s eviction, and was the next real player evicted herself. In retrospect I don’t think it’s a reach to say Prisca and Dusty (as well as Jameson, the HOH responsible for Prisca’s eviction) could have all benefited from working together instead of against each other, but I think that shows the influence of the Core Fore alliance in that they kept those outside themselves against each other instead of targeting them. That’s one of the things Big Brother is about. Anyway, Michael Tomera was a recruit of, I believe, one of our other players who made it farther, and he definitely gave the best and most committed showing of any new CdL participants in this game. I hope he comes back and plays again.

Speaking of Jameson Handytrousers, besides his verbosity and his willingness to bait Lester into arguments, the thing I remember most about Colin Wolfson is his terrible record at picking partners. He started off making an alliance with Biff, who was out first. Then he teamed up with Johnny, who was out second. I think he thought for a while that he finally found a good partner in Pillow, although he was dissuaded from that notion even before she backdoored and evicted him. He eventually got himself into some kind of loose collective with Carlos and/or Gilgamesh, which by that point was too late to be anything except the clear minority. Tilting at windmills most of the game, but always amusing to read while doing so, was our Wolfson.

Everyone already knows, I’m sure, that Poppin’ Fresh Gilgamesh was our fearless leader Kelly Wells. Although he was evicted (twice!) in worse spots than BB1, I’m on record as saying I think he was playing a much better Big Brother game than his first time. Being the obviously dominant player of the major alliance will almost always get you evicted around seventh place (as you’ll see in our next entry on this list); on the other hand, with a few tweaks and different breaks I think Kelly could’ve gone at least as far as Carlos this time around playing the game he did. I think he just needs to find a way not to sound like himself (I know, it’s not easy) so people don’t identify and project their knowledge of him outside this game onto him. And I might suggest not picking the most ostentatious character name to start with.

Princess Spatula was the aforementioned apparently dominant player of the dominant Core Fore alliance, and as stated, that’s actually a tough way to win or even get far in Big Brother. Either your own alliance will turn on you sooner or later, or the power will shift and you’ll be enemy #1 of the minority (Carlos in this case), as happened here to Annette Barron. That’s just the way Big Brother is designed. With the prominent position in her alliance, her challenge prowess, and a partner within that alliance who seemed more loyal to her than to either of the others (Lester, I mean) she had a great Survivor game laid out for her. Those things all make you more vulnerable than not in BB, though.

I have trouble talking about Fat Mabel and not getting distracted by my unexplainable attraction to her. But I’ll give it a shot. One thing that hamstrung our defending BB champion Brooks Maki was, like Kelly, being identified as himself earlier than would have been best for him. Now, I don’t want to get into who outed who here, since I don’t remember and I know certain people have strong opinions on how that information gets used in the game, so you guys can fight that out amongst yourselves. But there’s not a lot of people besides Brooks who would be automatically assumed to have devious purposes behind nonsubbing a vote rather than just letting time get away from him near the deadline. Brooks played a pretty Brooksian game of recent vintage, hanging around the periphery and trying to jump in near the middle-end game to start making moves; this time, he ran into a couple players who were playing the same game but formed closer relationships earlier (to each other and to others) and so he was a threat to them especially.

As we get near the end, I find more and more enjoyable about these players’ games from a viewing standpoint, and the Sacred Pillow certainly bears that out. Melissa Diamond Phillips is one of the best social players around here, for my money, and her writing strength made her a formidable challenge threat here too. She was probably the most active member of the Corps Forps in terms of engaging (and deceiving) the minority/outsiders/floaters of the house, and so she was well-positioned to get deep into the game. Another power shift (courtesy of Carlos again) took her out, and even if it hadn’t I’m not sure she could’ve made the end without a few more challenge wins to put herself there.

Hybrid Carlos was a personal favorite of mine here. Despite allies and potential allies falling around him, Joe Rakstad stayed cool, kept his head down, kept plugging away at the challenges, and kept himself engaged and on good terms with most of the majority alliance players. He was therefore in a great spot to make stuff happen and knock out a couple power players with big challenge wins, and did well enough to mitigate things socially and strategically that he still wasn’t the target even after his HOH reign took out Spatula. By the time we got to the final four, of course, no one else wanted to let him get close to the end, but Carlos’s endurance and timely wins are huge parts of what made this season entertaining, and I’m proud of him.

Lester Sweetums was our last Core Forps member to join the jury after May eliminated her before the end. I said at that time that Michelle Pratt is one of the hardest-playing gamers around here, and I’d like to reiterate that. In terms of steadfast dedication to the players she aligns herself with and determined execution of what it takes to achieve their goals, there are few if any players who match her. Certainly, having writing challenges in this game both hurt and helped her, making her look like a weaker player since she’s one who never came to the CdL to play writing games. She also, I think, knows that her social game, at least in terms of how she handles interactions with others, could use some refining, but she’s made it to or as close to the end as you can get in both games she’s played, and it’s tough to ask for better than that.

Now, we get to our Final Two. In a moment I’ll start listing the votes of the jurors. But first, I just want to note I think Christy and May both played fantastic games. I was secretly cheering for both of them early on – when it seemed like they both came into this game intending to implement the infamous “First-Time Player” strategy and then found each other, and also both irritated Kelly within five minutes of hearing their bubbly speech affects – and the way they both navigated to the final two was so impressive to watch. Christy had an HOH basically blow up in his face when the Diamond POV got used, and yet played so well and massaged things so he never faced any blowback, and as noted, was never in danger of getting evicted at voting time until the very last HOH decision. May himself only faced nomination once, and was in fact the very last player to be nominated at all (in a game with double the nominations for the first half), balancing a compliant follower persona with behind-the-scenes guidance of events until the time was right to start exerting more overt control. Either one would be a worthy winner in my book, but only one can be the actual winner and join immortal names like Adam “A-Baller” Jasinski and Jordan Lloyd in Big Brother history, while one will merely be remembered alongside luminaries like Michael “Cowboy” Ellis and GinaMarie Zimmerman. Let’s find out now which is which.

GILGAMESH’S VOTE: Wow, you magnificent bastards. #DDB indeed. What’s funny to me is that both of you came off as “temporary annoyances” early in the game that I figured to be gone in 10th and 9th place, falling harmlessly, as floaters might. As the game wore on, the dim realization came that you both had hands in a few places.

It’s somewhat hard to create separation between you two, being that you were in the same secret alliance, and yet I feel like it’s somewhat easy to do so. May – dude – I always like to cheer for you, but you mishandled your jury. A few feel stabbed by you and in my case, your answer just plain didn’t work for me. You stand by lying to me, and that’s great…but lying when I don’t see a purpose to it is a poor way to handle me, and you KNEW that it was me! You also should have provided examples on me being an “information broker” as I call them, because I don’t recall it and it’s not on me to pull it from memory.

I hope this doesn’t come off as too harsh, because I think you two played a great game – probably the two best solo games in CdL BB’s young history so far, though Blimp and Silver have a legitimate argument.

Christy, you were way off on your read of me – you were the most important player to me until I realized you were distancing yourself, so I favored Carlos. The One Eye Open alliance was 100% real and I find it bizarre that you would doubt it, since I’m not in the habit of lying a lot in these games. If anything, I do it WAY too little.

In the end, though, despite this, you didn’t really need One Eye Open anyway, because you already had one eye open for someone else. I don’t begrudge you that – hell, I just wish I’d been there earlier.

I vote for Christy to win. Those were some flawless jury answers.

PRISCA’S VOTE: Based on random.org I will go with

MAY

CARLOS’S VOTE: I’m voting Christy.
Congrats to both of you for getting to this point. I’ve enjoyed playing with both of you. It’s very hard for me to distinguish between your two games. Ultimately, I went with the player that worked best with me. Good luck to you both, whoever you are.

PILLOW’S VOTE: May Danderfluff

May betrayed me. Hard. She convinced me I was her one and only and that she was taking me to the end. She convinced me to not try that hard to save my friend Spatula after May helped Mabel orchestrate that nomination in the first place. May convinced me to vote Gilgs out when I had been set on voting Lester. Gilgs was one vote from surviving, and I voted for him – because I listened to May. Why? Because she is charming and reasonable and–OH MY GOD, I HATE YOU, MAY.

But I’m voting for her. May took risks, and I’ll reward that. Christy, you were sneaky, but I don’t see the risks you took, and your level of sway wasn’t as broad. You didn’t have the Corp Fore duped for the majority of the game. I was so oblivious to you that I had no idea you were considering me as your second option. If you’d been more brazen, I would’ve read differently that last attempt you made to make a deal. Maybe it’s a BB thing to let others get blood and pillow stuffing on their hands FOR you, but this pillow finds that less interesting.

And do you remember what you said to me when “deciding” whether to vote me out at 5th? You said you couldn’t make a decision until May told you what to do. Lame excuse to avoid my wrath, or insight into how dependent you were on May? Probably both. May IS pretty smooth.

EFF YOU, May.

I hope you win.

JAMESON’S VOTE: Christy Bumblebee or whatever… You stayed under the radar the entire game. I thought you were just a pawn, but throughout the jury discussions and the answers to the jury questions you did what I was positive wouldn’t happen: changed my mind from May to you. Congratulations on hopefully being BB2 champion.

MABEL’S VOTE: I vote for May because both played excellent games, but I feel like the person out there winning challenges and being a target speaks to me more.

I hope both finalists get lots of votes.

LESTER’S VOTE: May, you had a chance before evicting me to tell me about your final two with Christy. You really should have because I wouldn’t have went to the jury as bitter as I was. I also feel like I could have asked you a better question that may have swayed me and possibly others in your favor instead of just making me look like a jabroni. Even if your answer was yes, did you have to publicly rake me over the coals like that? So it turns out you weren’t just riding the coat tails of more strategic players, but for you to claim you “orchestrated” any of the eliminations before Spatula’s is just not true. Your statement undermined the people who actually did work hard to ensure the right people won, the right people were nominated, and the right people were evicted. For five evictions starting with Dusty, you didn’t have to do much of anything except agree to the plans that were already made. I’ll give you the credit you do deserve which is for being in the alliance that controlled the final 7. I was seriously surprised and equally impressed. You ended up betraying us all and I went into the jury ready to cast my vote for you to win. However, your response to my question and your final statement told me that you don’t want my vote. Something tells me you might not even need it anyway.

So my vote is for Christy. Christy played a slightly better game in my own opinion because she accomplished getting to the final two without getting blood on her hands, while still making strategic moves. Coming from someone like myself who lacks in the social game department, you played a game I’m truly envious of. Throughout the game you were never in any danger, whatsoever. Even after you put me up, I never thought I should go after you because after Spatula played her veto, you played it off so well socially that I actually felt a little bad for you that your plan back fired. You NEED to mentor me in this skill! The big difference in your game as opposed to May’s is your social game. I’m really impressed by the level of secrecy you maintained, but you also didn’t insult the people you are trying to win over, and you made it to the end without ever having to worry you were next which means you made all the right decisions at the right time. I think you deserve to win, and I hope you do. Very well played!

SPATULA’S VOTE: Geez, I hope I know who I’m going to vote for by the end of this email.

This is the hardest jury decision I have ever been a part of. On the one hand, I recognize the smooth manipulative skills of May. On the other, there’s Christy’s seemingly bloodless game. Both are admirable.

I wish May had tried to smooth some feathers in his statement, or maybe as he was ushering us out the door. It would have been much better jury management. Christy could have sounded a little less arrogant in his statement. He has plenty to be proud of here, but we don’t need to be beaten over the head. These are minor points that take nothing away from the brilliance of their games.

As has been pointed out to me, Big Brother is not Survivor and should be judged accordingly.

VOTE CHRISTY.

By a vote of 5 to 3,

Pete “May Danderfluff” Bruzek is the runner-up to

THE WINNER OF CDL BIG BROTHER 2, MICHAEL “CHRISTY BUBBLEPUMPKIN” RIVET

These two guys are both people I consider real friends, and again, I’m just so happy to see them both get here, and with such a close vote – as close as we could have gotten without me having to figure out some kind of “America’s Vote” crap to break a tie. For Pete, a Survivor winner, and a first-time BB player at the CdL, I can’t give much advice on what to do differently since he came so close.

He just didn’t do quite as well as our winner, Mike Rivet, a true BB aficionado who probably overplayed his hand the first time around here, learned from his mistakes, slow-played this one to the fullest and came out on top.

Thank you once again to everyone who played this season, and to everyone who helped us keep it running smoothly. I hope you all had as much fun as I did. My official chart of the season is located here, and for those of you who aren’t jurors who would like to see what went on in there, that is located here – the main text will remain as it is, and anyone can now comment on the side.

Congratulations, Michael. You are truly the Biggest Brother.

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