Big Brother 17: Top 10 Moments Of The Season

Big Brother 17 has come to a close with as big a finale night as we could have imagined. As we say goodbye to the season let’s look back over some of the summer’s top moments.

Big Brother stage awaits the next show
Big Brother 17 is a wrap – Source: CBS

Boiling down 98 days of Big Brother craziness is never easy or comprehensive, but here are some of our favorite moments and biggest events that made up BB17.

10) Big Brother Takeover is Taken Under

After just 3 weeks, well more like 2.5 weeks, the Takeover twist went fizzle and vanished after those odd Gronk Parties leaving Houseguests scratching their heads wondering what happened to much hyped intrusion to the season. Even back home we didn’t know much of what was going on after CBS said it’d be there “every week” but with so much going on, was it ever really missed?

Same goes for that “fan favorite” Battle of the Block. Luckily this one went away quickly too after producers introduced its unwelcome return. Producers later admitted it was used to build hype in to Sunday’s shows but luckily they found better ways to do that. I’m hoping that was the last we’ll see of the twist that always seemed backwards to me.

9) Hinky Votes

Judas casts his vote on Big Brother

Preseason I had planned to ask the Houseguests about their willingness to do a hinky vote but scrapped it from my interview questions since they’re usually such a rarity. Well I misjudged that one.

Every season fans hope for some votes that aren’t unanimous. This season delivered. Audrey, Liz, and Steve all threw hinky votes which caused drama that is still being discussed among the Houseguests. Let’s see more of this, future Houseguests!

8) Audrey Goes Undercover

Audrey Middleton goes undercover

Audrey Middleton started out the season as one of the big standouts with incredible promise of drama as she worked over her fellow Houseguests as the unofficial pot stirrer of the season. Sadly it looked to be a case of playing too hard too fast and it all caught up with her. Even more disappointing was how her final days played out.

I had expected Audrey to go out with bang and give us an incredible show, but instead things went south. Audrey decided instead of fighting to stay she’d just let the wave of eviction take her. She grabbed a blanket and hid underneath for days on end while breaking nearly every Have-Not rule on the books. She ate food, took a hot shower, and slept on the floor. It earned her one penalty vote for the food, which she later blamed on Becky tricking her. Perhaps biggest of all was her no-show at her own Veto meeting where she was renom’d in absentia. Now that was a first.

Once her stay was over Audrey took it all in stride though and had a good time poking fun at her own reactions that week. Blanketing became her “thing” and we saw it show up in the comics comp and even as a cake pop at the end of the season. She definitely made her mark on the season and we were sorry when she was gone.

7) Da’Vonne Busts The Twin Twist But HGs Let Them Stay

Houseguests discover the Twin Twist

When the Twin Twist was first introduced in BB5 they snuck right past the Houseguests after weeks of swapping in and out of the game. Not this time and not on Da’Vonne Rogers’ watch.

In only the second week of the season Da’Vonne recognized the noticeable differences in the Nolan twins’ appearances and behavior. Soon word spread and the last people to know ended up working the twist the best. Austin and Vanessa had a huge benefit of the extra vote during the bulk of the run, though both ended up evicted in lieu of the players they were determined to protect.

I was shocked when the HGs decided to keep kicking the can on targeting the twins while it was still a two-for-one eviction sale, but instead of fearing the unbreakable bond of twin sisterhood enough of the HGs embraced it and the sisters survived their vulnerability. Kudos to the twins.

6) Endurance Competition Mania

James Huling takes his mark on BB17

I love me some endurance competitions and Big Brother 17 delivered. Last season we lost two-thirds the season’s opportunities for endurance to that “fan favorite” Battle of the Block, but that went away quickly this season and was replaced by awesome competitions. If production was looking for a better way to increase hype for their Sunday shows then using the cliffhanger comps on Thursday nights was the way to do it.

We saw new mini-endurance comps like the Ready Set Go! challenge and some updates on familiar ones like Under The Rainbow. I’ll always vote for a more difficult challenge like either of those over a quick run of seven questions deciding the entire week’s fate, but maybe that’s just my preference.

Also noteworthy was the brains behind a lot of the challenges, Heath Luman, taking to Twitter and fielding input on the challenges and what sort of things fans would hope to see. It was refreshing to see that sort of attention and interest paid to fans when there is silliness in other departments of production like calling BotB a “fan favorite.” I’ve got my fingers crossed for more awesome comps next season too.


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  1. “As with any season there were the cries of “worst season ever!” but I thought this one was fantastic from start to finish thanks in big part to outcomes remaining unpredictable until the last minute on so many occasions.” – Matthew Boyer

    I guess this is to be expected, but I certainly didn’t feel it was that bad. I would have never guessed Steve would have won it all at any point in the game. I enjoyed this season…it was a lot more unpredictable than last year.

  2. I particularly agree with #1 on the list. Yes this season didn’t necessarily have the best HG’s top to bottom but the “knuckleheads” kept it entertaining because you just didn’t know what they were going to do and why! This played right into the hands of those who were somewhat more knowledgeable game wise. My two cents.

    I am curious Matt, where, in your humble opinion, does this season rank in BB history?

  3. Without a doubt: Austin’s bare-footed blind side was my number 1 moment—possibly of all time! Closely followed by Gheesling’s funeral.

  4. I am so so so glad Vanessa didn’t win I hope I never see her face ever again,YUCK, and terrible horrible season,

  5. I agree w all 10. I enjoyed the season. just watched the finale again. saw things I missed. got a few more laughs and was just as excited Steve won the 2nd time watching. thank you Matt for your post thingies. wouldn’t want to do BB without them.

  6. Honorable mentions: The fight betw. Clay and James, and when Day rallied everyone in the HN room to call out Audrey.

  7. Can we all petition CBS for a Jeopardy style tournament of champions, bring back all the past winners (except that guy that’s in jail obviously)? There would be 16 of them, offer up a $1 million prize and see who the best of the best really is??

    • Not bad, but I don’t think it’ll ever happen. Dr. Will and Dan both said they’re done. Steve mentioned not wanting to be invited back. Rachel may not want to leave her newborn. And I seriously doubt Jordan would ever go for it without Jeff.

      EDIT: Also, Evil Dick’s been sick, and I’m not sure how he’s doing, but that could prevent him from returning.

      • Then offer a bigger prize. How about the biggest payout in reality show history? If they got everyone to come back, or even 12-14 past winners, it would be the highest ratings BB ever got. Odds are slim but it would be insane.

      • I would love to see something like this. There’s gotta be at least a few who were evicted first who could have been awesome competitors if given the chance. But then it would suck for whoever of the bunch got evicted first lol

  8. Vanessa getting voted out was THE BEST. I also loved where James hid his plaque in the veto comp and loved when Julia didn’t know who Sigmund Freud was. Second best was Audrey under covers

  9. The season would have been great if not for Austin. He honestly ruined the entire thing for me. Watching him get blindsided was #1-10 for my top moments of the season

  10. As the season has now closed, (yeah I said I was done posting before but I feel this is what I need to do in order to close out this season) and now we know who the new winner is. Let us reflect on the players this year as to how they played.


    Jace: His annoying and aggravating attitude only reinforced the decision to send him out the door first. Still though, I would loved to have seen him go a little further.

    Dayvonne: Oh sweet Day, your ability to confront the HG’s led to your demise. You should have kept the twin twist secret to yourself and tried to work a deal out with the twin’s in exchange for their vote’s to keep you safe.

    Jeff: Bro, you just had to go. Your social game was fair but you lacked the strength to win a comp.

    Audrey: I really thought would last until jury. Sadly her ability to stir the pot was more than the HG’s could handle and it led to her down fall.

    Clay: No game play and who in their right mind gives up a chance to win that much money over a female? Good luck in your future lay, you will need it.

    Shelli: I can’t believe you took this game to heart. You couldn’t see past your own nose because you were so blinded by James getting out Clay, you didn’t think the rest of your time in the house through. You should have buried the hatchet long enough to get the Austwin’s broken up and Vanessa out first. You went to the jury house bitter and that is where you stayed.

    Jason: Too many My’ Lanta’s ruined the stew. I really thought you were also one to make jury but alas you got blind sided and your game was done.

    Jackie: You trusted too many people and went with the wrong one’s on eviction night. You should have fought more for your beliefs.

    Becky: Strong and bold move to try and evict Vanessa. You should have stayed in contact with the Goblins better and maybe Vanessa would have went to jury instead of Shelli.

    Meg: Grandma, your biggest problem was you couldn’t win any comps.

    James: As in years past, when you really needed to win that veto, you failed to do. A strong player who made bold moves and broke up the power couple (at that time). Congrats on the AFP win too.

    Julia/Liz: No game play and the bad talking you did about other HG’s with your Sister Liz, you two failed to see you were doing the exact same thing you made fun of the other HG’s about. Liz could win some comps but not enough to build her resume for the win.

    Austin: Had you played the game with your head rather than your heart, you would have been in the final 2 and could have won the game. P@%%^ and paychecks do not mix Brother.

    Johnny Mac: Very likable player who I thought had won AFP but boy was I wrong. Son, you threw too many comps and I guess you forgot what you were there for.

    Vanessa: Played a strong game and it seemed you were locked in for the win. You went all in on a full house and Steve had a Royal Flush. You just should have owned your game and for some unknown reason, you still do not want to own it. It would have made a bigger difference had you owned it, well with us viewer’s at least.

    Steve: Laid low and played softly. Knew the game and used it to his advantage. Congrats Steve for winning this year.

    If I missed someone let me know, if you disagree with my statement’s let me know and let me know why.Add to it if you want.

    Still I loved that look on Vanessa’s face when she lost the third round and even loved it more when Steve told her to tale a walk out the door. Man was she ever pissed off. A very bitter person she is even though she admitted to Julie she would have sent Steve out the door. Double standards are her strong points.

    • Vanessa is the female version of Donald Trump. She is is rich and powerful, and is used to getting her way, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Even if that means throwing her own alliance members under the bus. She has proven to have no soul by the way she left her husband when he was dying of cancer.

    • Holy crap! GREAT overview / assessment / summation. You and Rick Thornton blow my mind … Need to make an entry on his input above, too. Do you guys work for some national media? I mean, this entry was Fan-TAB-ULOUS! I’m still thinking about it – I might have a comment later but still absorbing everything you said!

      • I just build trucks, by doing so I work around a lot of people (up to 5000 at the plant). Watching people and listening to what they say and how they say goes a long way. I would have been evicted out of the house early on if I was in there but if I go on there and survive til final 4, I would know who would win by how the HG’s act and say. Sounds like this Rick guy can do the same thing I can do.

  11. So happy vamessa got the boot. I would have been much harsher in my eviction of vamessa though. BB definitely got the best at last in the finale. The look on vamessa’s face was priceless. I lost all respect for her when she didn’t vote for Steve. Bitter much?

  12. Watching a narcissistic predator who is used to getting her way get evicted one step away from prize money was a very, very satisfying event. Watching decency win out over egocentric, anti-social pathology is to watch the good guys beating the bad guys, good winning over evil.

    As many in this forum have recognized, Vanessa didn’t play a game so much as she revealed her dark, predatory psychology which normally wins this game. To the end, we witnessed her inability to give in the same measure as she took, a hallmark of anti-social/narcissistic personalities. The post-eviction interview with Julie showed us in her comments relative to Steve that she is incapable of the self-reflection that is necessary for empathy and fair, mutually beneficial treatment of others. In one breath she castigates Steve for voting her out, never acknowledging it as the penultimate, sane, justifiable, winning move that it was, and in the next she says she would have evicted Steve. The reality a narcissist sees always serves the narcissist, thus the disconnect and inability to see Steve’s eviction of her is equal to her hypothetical eviction of Steve. It’s too bad they had to go to commercial because the smile and twinkle in Julie’s eye indicated that the truth of Vanessa had been laid bare: She lives on a one way street where it is all about her and anything that threatens that is to be denied when it can’t be destroyed.

    Vanessa casting a vote for Liz paid testimony to her inability to see things as they are. The only explanation to vote for Liz would be, a) She was in my alliance or, b) My vote is a bitter vote. Vanessa would never admit to bitterness, and while I don’t recall what she said as she cast her vote, it certainly wasn’t to acknowledge Liz as an alliance partner or the best player who deserves to win based on game play. As we saw in the game, anyone who threatened Vanessa in any way found themselves in her maniacal crosshairs. Her eviction at the hands of Steve threatened her ability to view herself as a genius, as above the vulnerabilities that befall lesser beings, so her only vindication was to cast a vote for Liz and not have to acknowledge Steve’s preeminence over her. I suspect that Vanessa also saw an ability to smooth over Austin’s rage toward her by voting for his girl. In no case can it be construed that Vanessa voted for the best, most competent player to win. Had she been in the final two and lost to Steve, she would have been a freaking atomic bomb of seething anger, yet she cast a vote for the weaker player in actuality, revealing yet another disconnect between how she treats others and how she expects others to treat her.

    Jason’s “own it” criticism was the closest thing that came to the truth of the matter, which is that Vanessa lives an egocentric life that alienates herself from the world. If she could only give this sentiment a fraction of a second of thought, it would do her some good. But, alas, narcissists don’t possess the capacity for empathy or self-reflection, which includes evading every conceivable ray of rationality, so where Jason was serving up some tough love Vanessa took it as a compliment. Run, Mel, Run!

    • What do you expect? Vanessa left her husband when he was dying of cancer. Do you think this a person who has empathy at all? She is the female version of Donald Trump.

    • She said (as she cast her vote) that she was voting for the person whom she believes “best represents this season of BB.”

      Julie had her vote last. Instead of simmering down (no doubt it was emotional to have a $500K rug yanked from underneath you), she sat there and seethed, it seemed. I couldn’t tell if she was in shock (on auto pilot) or calmly planning how she was going to kill Steve (j/k). Not one tear – of all times NOT to cry.

      Yet had she won & taken Liz, I believe Steve would have voted for Vanessa (despite her breaking her promise to take him which she would explain with semantics or find something to blame it on).

      I’m not surprised she voted for Liz. She can be bitter, or say girl power or whatever, (we can respect that even if we don’t agree/like it) but she couldn’t say “Liz played a better game”. If she could have, she would have. She would have impressed me if she had voted for Steve for being the one to put her out (even if that is a bit narcissistic).

      • That was still a deceptive dig at Steve to let him think she was voting for him, only to hear she hadn’t. Was this the first time that they said who voted which way?

      • No, they always read off who voted for whom :)
        But Julie read Vanessa’s vote first – ha! She wanted the world to know.

      • When asked in an interview about her comment when casting her vote, Vanessa said, “I think I misspoke. What I meant to say was who would do a good job of representing our cast essentially. I thought Liz was a better representative.” The she went on to say she had a deal with Liz that if either of them found themselves in that third place situation, they would vote to keep the other one under the guise of they really wanted a woman to win this year. However, that was about F3 and really doesn’t explain why she voted for Liz to win…the deal had nothing to do with who they would vote for in the finale. I knew she would have some convoluted fake reason as she is incapable of owning her behaviors especially when they may appear questionable.

    • Jayson got it right. More & more people are saying that. People said it on here, that had she owned it in the DR, she would have had a bigger fan base (owning being the villain). Some still wouldn’t pull for her but they’d “love” to hate her…purely as a villain.

    • Man-o-man, once again you gave us an eloquent and relevant dissertation about Van and NDP! Her vote for Liz was a vindication and to disavow Steve’s gameplay. I can’t speak as intelligently as you about V’s gameplay, but I can say it was truly a (narcisstic) mind f**k! Well-written; great and relevant overview. Thanks, Rick!

    • Rick, this was absolutely the best analysis of Vanessa I have read. On the mark!!!!! Classic narcissistic behavior of lacking the ability of feeling true empathy but also behavior exhibited that an anti social person believes is acceptable by others.all the crying is to appear she was hurt by her actions towards others. She was good at it and it fooled many but not all. Johnny Mac never bought it, as well as Becky and eventually Steve. The rest knew she was a dirty bully but let her get away with a lot. I am very happy that between the three that Steve won but My favorite was Johnny Mac. Very smart guy. The worst part of dealing with a narcissist is not only their sense of entitlement but they actually can be very dangerous people if challenged or called out. They are people to avoid if possible. Seriously manipulative and dangerous.

      • Indeed, narcissists are predatory, they are parasitic. In my early 50s with a narcissistic older brother, I’ve seen anti-social personalities up close and learned how they roll.

        Just after Vanessa blew up Jeff’s game I got a visceral reaction watching her and realized BB had cast what I’ve come to believe as one of reality TVs most disordered personalities. In my posts I’ve beaten the NDP drum, perhaps out of a sense of public service to inform others that what we were seeing wasn’t a function of game play but of a personality that can’t form nor sustain healthy, mutually beneficial relationships. And, yes, avoid them. Don’t invest emotions or money in an NDPer cause you will never get a return on investment.

        I’m with you. Johnny Mac was very endearing and he became my favorite. Steve is an acceptable sort because he is a decent human being. He had me worried, though, because he flew his momma’s boy colors and looked like he was melting down emotionally/mentally. He was much too deferential to Vanessa, with the constant need to share a hug with her. That transmitted a vulnerability that concerned me, but maybe Steve played it right. As you say, narcissists can be dangerous and you don’t want to provoke them. Perhaps Steve played Vanessa by presenting himself as a submissive. In any case, the “boy did good,” as Austin said, and looks to have won not only half a million dollars but a summer’s worth of maturation. Now that I think about it, Steve might be the perfect champion of BB 17 because this meek, nerdy, socially awkward momma’s boy took down the most skilled manipulator that reality TV has ever produced.

  13. I just can’t let this one go as far as a best, hysterical moment ever for me; Sigmund and Freud the Las Vegas lion gamers! And Steve (not listening too closely to Julia) says: you mean Penn & Teller? That was great on feeds, but when it was broadcast, Production added a lion’s roar for sound effects. Oh dear God, too stinkin’ funny!

  14. You guys made me use up all my data this month lol

    Two best moments were Austin’s face when he entered jury house and tried to sway jury against Vanessa.
    He rolled his eyes at other jurrors and for me was funny. The other was Johnny mac at jurror talk… He referred to Vanessa going out being the tiger pelt on the wall.
    Thanks again for letting me in on a couple weeks of fun.
    Have a great year everyone and be well.
    I look forward to next season.

  15. I don’t mean any disrespect to Matt, as I think he does a great job writing for and running this site, but something about this article just makes me feel like it’s been written to appease someone, some higher-up or something though on this site I wouldn’t think such exists.

    This is highly my opinion, I’ll admit, but I really think I was far from the only one feeling it; “We were sad to see Audrey go.” Really? Who? Where? I don’t remember seeing a single comment on these boards, from friends I know who watch the show, a single tweet, etc who said they were sad to see her go. I most likely exaggerate saying “not a single”, but they were absolutely very few and far between.

    I would easily say that far more often than not, we actually had a pretty strong idea who was being evicted after the Veto Ceremony. There were a couple of times where there was actually some question about it, but this makes it sound like it was the other way around; that we didn’t know far more often than we did know. I’d have to disagree with that.

    Austin’s blindside = fantastic? The only thing that made this entertaining was Austin’s reaction and words upon leaving. Vanessa did her absolute best to almost completely ruin the moment by immediately breaking into remorse, tears, apologies, rambling, etc. How does it continue to feel like I’m the only one who saw this and felt this way? She kept talking about making a huge move, a big blindside, etching herself into the history books — do you seriously not think she drove a huge nail into the wall of defeating the purpose by her instant groveling about her “huge move”? It was pathetic. Yes, I can see why she did it, why she felt the need to play damage control, but she still almost completely killed the effect. She even managed to out-cry Liz, who had just lost her boyfriend, after having just lost her sister.

    I find it really hard to think I’m the only one thinking or seeing these things. If I am, then I guess I’ll stick with “to each their own” and move on, but I still stand firmly behind my thoughts here.

    Thanks again Matt for a great job once again this season. Take care everybody.

  16. It was an interesting season. A good villain you WANT to lose so badly is sometimes better than rooting on the player you like most. Thank you Vanessa for being such a jerk that you made it compelling to the end to finally see justice, and you were axed out of the final 2. Yes, there is karma, and it was a beotch, Vanessa.

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