Big Brother Spoilers: Jackson's Have-Not Slop Scandal Has Tainted The 2019 Finale
SPOILERS ahead from the 2019 Big Brother 21 live feeds, including Final HOH Part 1 and Part 2.
The Big Brother 2019 finale is forever tainted because of Jackson Michie's apparent Have-Not slop cheating. That snowballed into fans wondering if production rigged the whole season to help him. CBS' Big Brother Powers That Be still need to answer for what did and did not happen, and make it clear there will be changes in Big Brother 22 in 2020.
Some fans said they planned to boycott the Wednesday, September 25 Big Brother 21 finale in protest. That's not entirely because of Jackson's slop situation, but also because live feeds spoilers showed Nicole Anthony lost Final HOH Part 1 and Part 2, and it looked like she would not be in the Final 2. Many fans don't want to see the showmance of Jackson and Holly Allen be rewarded further. But several fans have said specifically that they don't want Jackson to win for what they see as cheating and production help.
Big Brother never addressed Jackson being shown on the live feeds appearing to break slop rules by stuffing food in his pockets and eating in the shower. Never addressed why Jackson did not get a penalty vote for that, even though that is the rule and it has been enforced in the past. Never addressed to TV fans or live feeders why the classic Big Brother staple of Have-Nots suddenly stopped. Simply sweeping Have-Nots under the rug, as if no one would notice or care, infuriated live feeders.
Sam Smith apparently said post-show that Have-Nots stopped because the houseguests were all getting sick -- like diarrhea sick -- from frying slop. If that was the case, they could just change the slop and stop frying it. They usually change it every week anyway. Why stop altogether? Doesn't add up.
To live feeders, it looked like Have-Nots stopped for Jackson, and since nothing official was said about it, that rumor stuck and just deepened. Jackson has spoken on the live feeds about having mental health issues and eating disorders and getting therapy sessions in the house. He's not the first houseguest to have health issues, but if he was unable to play Big Brother by the rules that had existed for 20 previous seasons he should've either never been cast or been disqualified.
Jackson was not punished for cheating on slop, and then the Have-Nots twist stopped for everyone right after that, which made it look to viewers like it was all because of Jackson. If that's not the case, the Big Brother Powers That Be never clarified, basically throwing themselves and Jackson under the bus together with their silence. (Jackson's mom also got dragged into this, since a rumor spread that she was threatening to sue CBS. No one waited for proof that the rumor was true, they just spread it since it fit with it the anti-Jackson narrative.)
Evel Dick won Big Brother 8, a season where Jen Johnson was given a penalty eviction vote for breaking Have-Not slop rules. Dick has been vocally anti-Jackson on Twitter, and pointed out how the Have-Not twist has changed so much gameplay that breaking the rules for Jackson gave him a big advantage:
If there's an innocent explanation -- that makes sense -- about what Jackson was doing and why Have-Nots stopped, Big Brother never shared it, and that just fed into the building fan movement against Jackson. I don't believe production gave him extra help during comps -- I think everyone got the same help -- but I don't blame fans who think that may have been the case after everything else.
I blame Big Brother production for that even more than Jackson. All they had to do was speak up. At the very least, they could've given Jackson a Never-Not pass, like Raven Walton after she started talking about all of her health issues. Fans might've called it BS, but at least it would have been addressed instead of allowing a conspiracy to build.
Instead, Big Brother's total silence on the matter left the entire season feeling tainted -- and it was already a rough season. Jackson himself was unpopular right out of the gate for his banishments and some ugly comments. But plenty of Big Brother houseguests are unpopular, Jackson might've still won more grudging respect for his comp wins and cutthroat strategy -- it's Big Brother, that's the job -- except for the Have-Not scandal hanging over his head, making it look like he was handed everything.
As of this writing, the Big Brother 21 finale has not aired yet on Wednesday, but it looks like Jackson and Holly will be the Final 2. He won Final HOH Part 1 and she won Final HOH Part 2 (which historically would give her the edge to win it all, but BB21 likes to break rules, as we know). Unless Holly wins Part 3 and dumps him, Jackson is poised to walk away with at least $50,000, in addition to the $10,000 he won in the luxury comp, plus the usual stipend. He may still win the whole $500,000 grand prize.
Many viewers feel like Jackson shouldn't be allowed to win Big Brother 21 because of breaking Have-Not rules. It doesn't sound like his fellow houseguests are upset with him for that, so they either never saw it or are content with whatever they saw and heard. Either way, Big Brother should show full disclosure by explaining why no action was taken when Jackson broke the rules, and then why Have-Nots just mysteriously stopped.
For the record, I think Jackson had strong gameplay this season, and the Have-Not scandal hanging over his head did him no favors either. If he had been punished at the time, or if Big Brother had explained the whole Have-Not situation, the finale might've had a different tone to it. Many fans would still see him as (to quote Zingbot) a "pompous douchebag," but no one would be putting an asterisk next to his name as a finalist. It wouldn't be the big deal it has become.
I've already listed 5 ways Big Brother needs to be fixed before the 2020 season, and this slop scandal is tied to it all. What do you think CBS/production should do from here?
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Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.