I refuse to lose hope for this season of Big Brother. With nine players still in the house, I still maintain that there's a chance this season could turn around. And that the unlikable houseguests and unlikable moments in this season will eventually come to be overshadowed by amazing game moves and exciting last-minute deals. Yeah, it's practically blind optimism at this point, but that's how I watch this show. It really isn't until the season has ended and I have a chance to look back that I decide whether or not the most recent season was a winner or a loser, so the jury's still out there. But it's not a good sign that I'm watching the feeds and considering abandoning them in favor of switching over to past episodes of previous, better seasons. And that brings us to this list.
This isn't meant to be the list of the absolute best moments of the series, or the best game-play moves. These are really just moments from the course of the series that remind me of why I've devoted countless hours to obsessing over this show over the course of more than a decade. These moments remind me of why I love Big Brother and why I'll continue to watch. Because if this season manages to deliver even one moment worthy of a list like this, all hope for the show isn't lost, and as I said, there's still plenty of time for that to happen. #Optimism
I didn't bother to rank them, because that's not what this list is about. Let's just watch the videos and remind ourselves that Big Brother can really brighten up a summer with the right players running the game. So here are some big moments, ordered chronologically from most recent to least.
Season 14 - Dan evicts Shane.
Dan had Danielle convinced that he was looking out for her best interest pretty much all season. Of course, he always had himself prioritized first, and part of that meant getting Shane out. So Dan convinced Danielle to use the Veto to take himself off the block and put Shane up, assuring her that he'd evict Ian. And maybe if he had evicted Ian he would have gone on to win the game, but from where he was at that point in the season, he had no way of knowing what the jury was thinking, and his biggest concern was getting Shane out so he'd have Danielle's undivided loyalty. Not realizing his full plan, Danielle and Shane both went along with it. Shane went on the block and Dan sent him packing, sending Danielle's jaw to the floor in the process. That's a classic Big Brother blindside right there. What's kind of amazing is that Dan managed to win back Danielle's trust not long after.
Season 14 - Dan's funeral.
Earlier during Season 14, Dan was a goner. He was on the block. He lost the Veto during a competition that sentenced him to 24 hours solitary confinement. Most houseguests would've probably called it a day. And that's exactly what Dan pretended to do when he got out of the Have Not room after a full day to consider his options, and approached the houseguests. He staged his own funeral. He said kind things to almost everyone in the house. He told his closest ally Danielle she was dead to him. And then after he left everyone teary eyed and blue, he went upstairs and made a secret deal to get Frank to work with him. After quietly making amends with Danielle, assuring her it was all for show, they devised a plan to get Jen to use the Veto, which she did. Dan was saved and Britney was nominated.
Season 12 - Andrew's final plea speech.
We can't call this one a brilliant move, as it didn't do any good. During a live show, I can't imagine that many players are in the right mindset to change their mind on a whim, no matter what the outgoing houseguest told them in their final plea. All the same, as much as I credit the classier exits we've seen from houseguests who leave with their chin up, I do wish we'd see a bit more fire from the nominees, especially when they know they have nothing to lose. Andrew blew up Kristen and Hayden's spot right there on live television, talking about kissing and massages. So awkward-amazing. And after he left, Rachel won Head of Household, she and Kristen had an all out verbal brawl, fittingly in a boxing ring, which included Rachel's classic "Floaters, you better grab a life vest!" line, and Kristen went home the following week. Hayden went on to win the game, so we could argue that Andrew did the guy a huge favor.
Season 11 - Jeff uses the Coup d'etat.
This is how you make a big move. Of course, the coup d'etat is kind of a low twist, as it pretty much strips the HoH of all of their power at the last minute, leaving them with nothing more than immunity. It's not entirely surprising that Chima melted down not long after and got herself expelled from the house. All the same, Jeff's aggressive move to send Jesse out the door was a wise choice, given how beloved he was by some of the girls in the house. He was well protected and could've made it to the end. It didn't save Jeff's game, but fellow fan-favorite Jordan, who adorably stared open-mouthed at Jeff as he revealed his super-power - did go on to win, and I like to think the coup d'etat helped make that happen. Plus, it was such an exciting moment and Jeff took full advantage of it.
Season 8 - Dustin is evicted
The thing about Dustin's eviction was that he volunteered to go up. That in itself is a classic bad Big Brother move. It didn't help him that America's Player was tasked to get Dustin out that week. But this was also a week that Dick and Daniele were on the block together, initially. Dick won the Veto and used it to save his daughter, leaving himself in harm's way. In the end, between Dick's solid negotiating, America's Player and Dustin's hubris, Dustin was sent packing in one of the series' most memorable jaw-dropper moments. And Dick went on to win the game, with Daniele coming in second.
Season 7 - Janelle evicts Will.
Two Showmances and one rock-solid alliance made it to the end of All Stars, suggesting that some of those supposed All Stars didn't bring their A-games. Honestly, who lets Chill Town get to the end? Almost everyone, but not Janelle. Her big move was probably a week or two too late to save her own game, as she ended up walking out the door during the next eviction, but after convening with Erica and realizing they were both being played by these two guys, Janelle sent Dr. Will packing, devastating his Chill Town counterpart, Mike Boogie. Will took it like a champ. Boogie, not so much. A Janelle and Will final two would've been a beautiful thing, but as a fan of good game-play, I don't regret this move.
Season 6 - Kaysar comes back!
Whattup Kaysar! Never mind that he was voted out the following week. Getting to see Kaysar brought back into the house was one of the happiest moments of a season that had one of the most divided sets of houseguests of the series. The "Friendship" alliance desperately wanted Eric back. The rest of the house wanted Kaysar back. And America was Team Kaysar all the way. I think he got something like 80% of the vote to go back into the house. Of course, he wasn't caught up on just how divided the house was by that point. A lot can happen in a week, right? Jennifer promised him she wouldn't evict him, and then she did, which divided the house even further, bringing us to this next moment.
Season 6 - Bye-bye bitches.
Was "Bye-bye bitches" good sportsmanship? No. Not at all. But it sure was fun to watch, especially after the house sent viewers' choice Kaysar out a week after he returned to the house. Janelle scored her first Head of Household later that episode, sending Howie into a rage of triumph - that's the only way I can describe Howie's outburst. And then Janelle got to make her nominations right there on the spot. She put up Jennifer and Maggie, and the episode ended with her classic "Bye-bye bitches" line. In the end, Janelle ended up using the Veto to take Maggie off the block. She nominated Yvette, ensuring Jennifer's eviction. Maggie went on to eventually win the season, so in retrospect, revenge might not have been the best game play, but it sure was sweet.
Season 5 - Nakomis executes the six finger plan.
Once upon a time, everyone played for Veto. I'm pretty sure Big Brother 5 did away with that, limiting the Veto players to the nominated houseguest, the HoH and three people of their choosing. Nakomis was the first to figure out how to use that to their advantage to backdoor a player. We've seen people misuse that term, by referring to any player that's nominated at the Veto ceremony and evicted that week, but a true "backdoor" is when the post-Veto nominee was not able to play in the Veto competition. Jase's eviction was orchestrated and executed perfectly, and it's a move that's been used since to get out those pesky, hard-to-evict players.
Season 2 - Will's finale speech
There are plenty of great Will moments. In fact, Season 2 and 7 were filled with scenes featuring Will sweet-talking people into keeping him around, or encouraging them to vote him out (and not really meaning it). But I thought we'd go back to the end of Season 2 and celebrate Will's final plea, which suggested that any of the houseguests who had a problem with him really have a problem with reality and therefore have a problem with themselves. It's that kind of snarky charm that made people love him or love to hate him, and it won him the season. Of course, Season 2's jury wasn't sequestered, and many of those evicted houseguests had a better understanding of what made him such a great player. All the same, I like to think he would have won, even if the jury wasn't so aware of how beloved Will was to viewers. Either way, Will's speech is a classic moment and one example of a player who would become a legend in the history of the U.S. version of the series.