Big Brother 18 Final 2: Who Should Win? Season Stats & Strategy

It’s Big Brother 18 finale week, and one of three final houseguests will be crowned the latest winner after a summer of twists, turns and a lot of drama.


We’ve got Paul, the motormouth bearded newbie who played the underdog’s game. Then there’s Nicole, the houseguest twice cast as the girl next door, who spent the summer in a showmance and playing her game mostly behind the scenes. And there’s James. The former America’s Favorite Player who played about 1 percent of Big Brother 18 and spent the rest of the time pulling pranks and chasing what may or may not have been an actual showmance.

In other words, we’ve got quite an interesting final 3 and I’ve got a very strong opinion on who should and shouldn’t win. So let’s get to my analysis.

James Huling


I have nothing good to say about James’ game this season. Arguably one of the most undeserving players to ever make it to the final 3, he not only played a non-existent game, he spent a lot of the summer spoiling the fun for viewers by blowing up blindsides and making unpopular decisions. But this isn’t about who pissed us off the most this season, it’s about who played the best game and deserves to win. I’m here to say that it’s not James.

He had a decent social game starting out, but then he just spent the rest of the summer talking about being America’s favorite and playing house with Natalie. And by playing house I mean bickering like co-dependent high school sweethearts.

James promises (via the Live Feeds) that after the season he’s going to let us in on his strategy. What strategy?Sure he threw some competitions, but I actually watched him try to win a few and he couldn’t do it. And standing the longest along a wall isn’t that impressive, so what he did win doesn’t really spice up his resume much. He did manage to stay of the block for most of the season, so something can be said for that. I’m still trying to figure out what that something I could say is though. I mean with Derrick in Big Brother 16, that was an impressive part of his game. But James just managed to squeak by every week.

Does James deserve to win Big Brother 18? No. Not at all. He doesn’t even deserve to be the runner-up.

Can James win Big Brother 18. Yes. I know it sounds crazy, but he could pull together enough votes depending on how the jury is leaning. I don’t think he could beat Paul, but there’s a small possibility that he could beat Nicole.

Nicole Franzel


Nicole is hard to analyze. On one hand, it would appear she didn’t do anything most of the game except turn on people that would have had her back. But she’s in the final 3, so she did something right. Unlike James, she didn’t just end up there. It took some work on her part.

Sure it’s hard to overlook the fact that most of the summer was spent in that corner bed with Corey, but she aligned herself with strong guys and managed to not get herself clipped for a typical brofest.

I admit that I probably didn’t give Nicole enough credit on her strategy, but that’s because I don’t understand it yet. Maybe I will understand eventually, or maybe there just wasn’t much to understand. It seemed to me that she was more concerned with how cute Corey was than with playing the game.


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  1. After giving you guys so much grief this season..I am now giving you 1000 thumbs up on this article. I would be happy with either Nicole or Paul winning in F2. Of course I would really rather Nic won..but Paul is well deserving himself.

    • Nicole should win she cover up her game real good. And her and Corey started showing there true colors in the end which was a good move. I rather have James win then Paul he was very disrespectful and I feel like he just tagged on Victor back also Paulie . Nicole actually played the game and you can’t say she didn’t !!!!!

      • That was Paul’s strategy though, to link up with the power people in the house. That’s the social aspect of big brother. Paul knows he’s more of a mental competitor so he linked up with strong physical competitors like Vic and Paulie to help him through the game.

        I agree that Nicole did play. She actually had a similar strategy by siding with the guys and playing both sides of the house. I also feel like she purposely didn’t win competitions early on because in 16 she was viewed as a threat and sent packing for that very reason. I’m just finishing up season 16 and I honestly respect Nicole’s gameplay better this season because of it. She learned from her past mistakes by aligning herself better and not painting too big a target on her back too early. She’s a lot smarter than I gave her credit for.

  2. As much as I hate James, I’m not going to say that he doesn’t deserve to win. There are definitely a lot of pros that I can argue for James’s game. And I think he might have a shot against Nicole, depending on how bitter this jury is

  3. Ok, if you said Liz was deserving then James is deserving. But I agree his game was so disappointing this summer. What we’ve learned is, if you lay low and ramp up your game at the end, when it counts, you will succeed. It’s not enjoyable to watch but its a smart strategy and that’s exactly what Nicole did. The fact that Paul didn’t even know what a BD was but he paused, observed, and learned what was going on, is waaaay more impressive than hiding behind others. Paul all the way!

    • I feel if you’re going to use Nicole’s lay low strategy, you should at least make your DRs entertaining, or walk us through your strategy in the DR so we can respect the game play more while still enjoying you on the show. Kinda like how Derrick did.

      Don’t know how this guy thinks Liz was deserving to win but not Nicole. Liz played the exact same game as James. Lay in bed with your showmance all season and hide behind them. Only reason she was taken to final 2 over Vanessa is because Steve wanted to go against someone he could beat over someone who actually deserved to be there.

      Definitely rooting for Paul. He played a stellar game this season.

  4. I would have preferred a different final 2 combination (inclusive of Paul or Victor). My pick is the person(s) who fought the most and how were targeted the most and survived. If Paul and Victor had made a F2 that would have been interesting because if either wanted a chance for the 1/2 mil then they would not choose the other to stand against.

    • Whoever ended up with Paul in final two could not possibly outdo him in a speech. Paul LOVES the sound of his own voice, so, giving a speech to the Jury would be heaven for him.

  5. Agree Branden 100% plus Paul would deliver the best speech to the jury imo. We’ve seen how frazzled Nic gets when she has to speak in front of the HG’s. James, as far as I’m concerned was never there.

  6. I don’t hate James. I am disappointed in him, but that is as far as it goes. Anyone that somehow, some way sits in the F2 deserves to win. I am not saying that person had the better game, but you can’t get to F2 without playing some sort of social game. Ive never like the discussions about one player not deserving the win over another because they do not “need” the money. If they are chosen to play the game by producers, they deserve a shot at the money like everyone else (this comes up in Survivor a lot). Nicole, in my opinion cannot win. Many of the jurors just don’t not like her. Paul has managed his relationships well. He was not very popular in the beginning of the game. He has forged new relationships and managed to rehabilitate his image. He will win over either James or Nicole if he gets to F2. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

    • I’m with you on the HG’s finances and whether that should come into play when considering if they should win. BB isn’t a charity, it is a game. Best player should always be the winner imo and that is Paul this season.

    • I believe Paul would not win over James. I don’t think he was as popular in the house as you think he was. Most of the time his behaviour resembled that of a petulant child.

    • Paul called meech a _c*nt_ at the top of his voice in front of the other hgs, it was all strategy and he thought it was a big joke. He is an azz and doesn’t deserve to win a dime. Bullying and aggression are not the way to win in life or in BB. Paul doesn’t have many fans in the jury house. I hope nic wins part 3 and takes james to f2. From there it’s all about how the jury is feeling at the minute.
      paul’s image is still that of an ahole, doucebag. I don’t know who you’ve been talking to but you are way wrong. paul’s a loser in every sense.

      • Meech 100% deserved it. I will forever defend Paul on that. And she hates Nicole so much she’d probably still vote for Paul over her. A lot of people in the jury house do like him. He’s played an A+ social game. As far as the loser, a-hole, douchebag thing goes, I think you’re getting him confused with Paulie.

  7. Paul is trying to honor his deal with his mother, a win for him equals a Bentley for her.

    Paul played the best game out of the three of them.

    • A new Bentley is at the minimum around $200K. As a mother, I wouldn’t want such an extravagant gift, considering that after taxes that would take more than half of his winnings, but he did say he would repay his parents for his education and that might just be his way of doing so. Good for him.

      • lol, momma wants her Bentley! After-all, they put him through school, he is living rent free, etc… I doubt that is what they said to him but she did look as she was looking forward to that Bentley :-).

      • I haven’t only heard of them, I’ve ridden in one when I was probably around 30 or so. Some friends bought one for her daughter and she was proud of it and wanted to take me for a spin. It was brand new and it felt like you were riding on the ground and sounded like it, too. What a disaster! Thanks for the thought, very sweet offer. Not to seem ungrateful, but I’ll pass. I think I’d rather ride a bike. :)

      • Hahahaha…I’ve never seen the American Pickers hunting for one or someone taking their Yugo to be restored by American Restoration. There is probably a reason for that. How about taking it to the Pawn Stars pawn shop? Imagine Chumlee and Corey getting in it. That’d make ground-breaking news.

      • As in ” yugo screw yourself” ? Do you remember that joke? ” No, lady that was _not_ a direct order ” ! ;-)

  8. Paul has definitely played the game…and has Branden stated in his article…he has been in survival mode from the beginning….”floated” to the side that would keep him safe…worked on changing his persona as the game progressed…and is in good terms with most of the jury…he didn’t hide behind anyone all season…and played the game as BB should be played.

    • Paul has just blown off steam all bloody summer. He acted like a petulant child when put on the block. He talked crap about everyone in the house. Talked people into coma, and somehow convinced himself that he is America’s Boy!! I am fed up hearing “Your boy has it America.” His parents did an excellent job of boosting his self-esteem to unthinkable levels during his childhood. How he’s ended up at final three is astonishing to me. Should he actually win BB18, there will be no stopping his ballooning idea of self-importance. He’ll came back to earth with a thud when the money runs out and his so-called friends disappear one by one.

      • paul has been spoiled rotten by his mommy and daddy, it is obvious. His elevated self esteem is to the point of obnoxious arrogance. His ego is as big as all outdoors. completely sickening. The fact that he seems to always _know_ he is the smartest kid in the room or the _funniest_ really points at an unusually delusional view of himself in the world. His sneaky, conniving , lying and aggression (as a strategic element)in the game make him seem like a rat running from pillar to post. The outcome would have been very different for paul if vic hadn’t befriended him. Seriously, paul’s obnoxious loudmouth running at full speed ’24/7′ would have seen paul go out third. vic saved him. Vic had no game ,paul had the big mouth and the lying and they fit together.
        Paul can’t win ;-)

      • It really is upsetting to me thinking this guy might win. If anyone was more undeserving, I can’t think of them. I HATED listening to him & Nicole talking maliciously behind James’s back. There was no need for that at all. What a pair of Snakes.

      • He’s emotionally bullying Nicole into taking him to F2 should she win. Such a small boy. I just have a hard time calling him a man!!

  9. James actually could win over Nic or Paul. His score card is almost flawless, everybody was able to like him all the way to the end and he got out Frank, who is gone. Nic has people painting snake pictures, with everyone aggreeing on it. Paul bored them all to death with his money for what ever he wanted stories. (Dont blame me, its true). The Jury might pick James over Paul since he has a child, Paul doesnt need MORE money (their thoughts not mine) these are kids we are talking about. Nicole is still pissing people off who havent seen her in weeks. I guess their fears of taking James to the end might have merit. They know how others their age think.

    • James score card is flawless?? Gotta disagree with you on that. I don’t think the jury will vote for him because of a child. I don’t think that happens a lot. Plus he’s a dad not a mom. Single Mom’s get more sympathy than Dad’s. That’s just the way society is. Plus James child doesn’t live with him full time or at all and that makes a difference. I think she lives in a different state. If the girls drop that “girl power” crap, then he could easily win over Nicole. She’s the complete OPPOSITE of “girl power”.

      • I’m talking about the score card above. I’m saying The Everything I Neede to Learn To Get Thru Life I Learned In Kidnergarden, you have all read it. Why would I give my candy money to the kid who always has a bag (Paul) and who likes the girl who only plays with boys (sex) Nicole.
        I think this is why they send people in to make them think about how the game was played by whos left. I also wonder how Nicoles genius game of in bed with Cory isnt James genius game of next to bed with Nat in it. Should Paul win? I think so, but what do they (jury) think? Even when they are told how to judge the players GAME their are some who change their vote when on the stage, we see it every year, they say I voted with my gut. Dont beat me up, Im just saying:)

      • She wanted to be the _only_ girl in the house. She seems to rub the females the wrong way. I think it’s her whining, high pitched screeching voice that grates (or at least it does me ). And she is always putting herself down . After awhile it is obvious she is being disingenuous. She was the snake in the bb house.

      • The child is a result of a 1 night stand James had with the mom. He says she called in from the hospital while in labor to tell him he was going to be a dad. They never married. I know way to much about these people, lol

    • James scorecard is flawless?? It is flawless if the goal is to be a lump on a log all summer long. Totally winning if those are the parameters otherwise a big N O. James was a waste of space, nothing more.

    • I believe James would win if either of them took him to the end. I really hope he gets there, I really do he’s a really nice guy and doesn’t talk crap about anyone.

  10. GREAT analysis.

    James has truly played a non-existent, disappointing, amateur-ish, silly, and horrible game. If he wins America’s Favorite Player OR the game, I will be so grossed out.

    I truly think that the female vs. male curse will continue, and Nicole won’t win against Paul, even with a jury of almost all women. Although Paul is a deserving winner, many of the votes will be cast due to the cattiness of the other women and their hatred of Nicole, not because of the great game Paul played. Sorry but its true.

    • Women can be “catty” and we are dealing with young women who haven’t learned that cattiness only makes them look smaller. Regardless of what we think of the final three, they got there by doing something right. I have my favourite to win, but it doesn’t look good for him right now. I just hope he wins AFP.

      • There is nothing more sexist/misogynistic than the US version of Big Brother, so I am not going to contribute to that by saying women are catty. It is more of a systemic issue – the casting agent targets a certain type of female and casts them. I blame that more than anything.

        I don’t agree with the notion that just because someone is in the final three, it means they deserve to win – although I respect your opinion. James has played a non-existent game and does not deserve a single vote IMO.

      • Casting definitely has a hand in casting a certain type of person for BB. Without mixing up personalities, BB wouldn’t be as much fun to watch. It’s this diversity between personalities that make the show the success it has become. It gives us viewers lots of fodder to discuss and have fun.

      • Just take a look at other countries versions of BB (UK, Canada, the now defunct Aus.). You’ll find all girl alliance, strong independent women, comp beasts, not a lot of cattiness compared to the US version.

        Although I know Robyn Kass casts for Canada as well, there is network influence that drives a lot of the casting and it results in a more diverse group of women.

        We have seen the same type of females cast in BBUS for years (under 30, openly seeking a showmance, often models/actors/NFL players/servers, not a lot of life experience, SINGLE, hoping for a career in showbiz post-BB). It results in a negative maelstrom of girl-on-girl cattiness as contestants are playing the game for reasons OTHER than wanting to win…such as, with the goal of getting famous, coming out of the show with a BF, being the last girl standing.

        Its really unfortunate.

      • To each their own, but I preferred this year’s BBUK over this year’s BBUS BY A LOT. Actually, I wouldn’t say I’ve loved a BBUS version since BB14 :( While BBUK has been pretty consistent.

      • Speeches as to why I should win
        Nicole: I f**ked Cory, thats why I should get paid
        James: I dint get F**ked, Thats why I should win, dam
        Paul: Just keep me what Im used to and give me that money

      • I’m glad somebody said this about BB US and casting. I’ve only watched since the end of BB14, so maybe prior seasons were better.
        Of course, just like in real life, some of the worst offenders are the sexist/misogynistic females. And no, James should not even be there.

      • Thanks :) you are really missing out! The BEST seasons are all before 14! Check them out they’re all online :)

      • Getting to the end is one thing, how you got there is another. I do not believe that the women in jury are choosing to be catty if they don’t vote for Nicole. That would mean that she played the best game and would only lose if the females are catty and don’t vote for her.

      • always interesting how quick people are to label women catty if they express an opinion that is contrary to theirs. I think that on finale night most of the female and male jurors will vote for who they thought played the best game overall.

    • Randy your observation is on point… If I had played the game I would vote at the end based on my emotions first, then who I thought played the best game.

  11. Why is James the least wanted to get evicted on this poll? He seriously is a waste of final 3 and so undeserving. Nicole and Paul without a doubt deserve final 2 with Paul deserving the grand prize of 500k. James did nothing to earn 50k. I can at least argue that Nicole does deserve at least 50k. You can call her a snake all you want but at least she made moves and swayed Corey into making moves for her too unlike James who just listened to everything Natalie said.

    • Please……don’t say nasty things about James! He got lost early in the game because he fell in love!! As soon as that happened, everything else went out the window!! Can’t blame the guy for being head over heels!! Unfortunately it cost him the game. I don’t believe Natalie feels the same way about him. I think she used him to get her further in the game. She tried to pair up with the other guys before James, when they weren’t interested, the only one left was James. He really thought she had fallen for him, too. Poor guy. I feel SO bad for him. The ONLY way she’d date himoutside of the BB house is if he were to win the 500k. He’s not good looking enough for her. He has a heart of gold, but she’s all about appearances. Personally, I think he’s way better off without her. I do hope he gets to final two. Whether he wins or not is up to the Jury. I’m sure he could use the second prize, too.

      • personally, I cannot make excuses for a 32 yr old male who has played BB before as he will tell you repeatedly it ain’t his first rodeo and gets lost because he thinks he has fallen in love with some young woman, knowing that he was her 3rd or 4th choice out of 6 males in the house (have discounted Glenn and Jozea). At 32 he should be more mature than that and if he truly wants to win $$ for his daughter than he should be more focused. Gnat is not a favorite of mine but why should she settle for someone who is immature, not especially ambitious and only interested in girls and being on TV reality shows?

      • I agree that his choice was poor and he should have had a lot more sense at his age. I hate saying this but James is not an overly handsome guy, and having a beautiful girl like Nat go for you, would dazzle any guy. I think that’s what blinded him.

      • I dont think shes that beautiful in the dark. Take away her looks and then see who she is, He is better off without her

      • On the contrary. He is an immature man who obsessed over her the entire season.

        She was too nice to tell him to bug off.

        He should know better and being that this is his second season, he has no excuses.

      • Whats that got to do with him keeping her off the block when they were voting out one girl after another? She was there till the end because of him, then walked away blaming him when they finally got her out

      • Sorry but I have no sympathy for the man-child. He repeated the same mistake he made first time around and I bet that’s how he’ll go through life, never learning from his mistakes.

  12. If you would of listened to Nicole practicing her speech where she talked about her strategy and how she played and also listened to her talking to James about her game play you’d understand her game. And it was brilliant. I knew from day one she was playing a strategic game and I think she deserves to win. I think next to Paul she will definitely have Corey, Z and Paulie’s vote. Then I believe she’d have James vote. Him and Paul never liked each other and James and Nicole have been close throughout the game. Also Natalie told James she’d vote for Nicole over Paul. And she also really wants a girl to win. There’s 5 votes. But I believe Michelle will also vote for Nicole even though she hates her because she hates Paul even more. Now Day has stated that she just might have to give Nicole the money but against Paul I don’t know. These are just my reasons why I think Nicole would win. But after I watch the round table I might change my mind.

    • Yes, I understand her strategy as I have all season long. She openly admitted to hiding in her room to avoid the other HG’s and using Corey as a shield. Yep that is what I’ve always thought, she just confirmed it for me.

      • Exactly, Paul deserves to win! He’s been the best player from day 1. Unlike others who spent the first 60 days hiding in bed.

      • Paul not hiding a little bit is what made him so obnoxious. He was constantly talking and will not let others breathe. Nicole played a very similar game to Paul’s, but not so much in people’s faces like he was. The game started for both when they were snitching information to Paulie. Paul was Playing all sides of the house, and snitching, while Nicole as you said stayed in bed with Corey and took it easy and from time to time gave Paulie some important info.

      • He was playing BB! He and Victor had to play to stay in the game. I wanted Victor to win, but I’ll settle for Paul

      • Yes! I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that Paul and Nicole both played very similar games, just with different styles.

    • I worry about Paulies vote. He adores Nicole but he also got close to Paul. Being a “Mans, man” he may vote for Paul and there goes Zaks vote too….

  13. Accountant Steve here: just as a loose estimate, Prizes/bonuses are usually taxed around 40%, so even if someone wins $500K and the government takes their share, I’d be rather pleased with $300K, wouldn’t you? Just keep in mind that if some of these contestants only earn roughly $50K a year at their normal job, it’s like winning 6 years of salary in 3 months. Hopefully they invest half and splurge on themselves with the other half.

    Again, loose numbers, but a perspective that Paul, the presumed winner from above, likely won’t go the Bentley route unless there’s some mad friendship between him and mommy. After all, she greets his pillows each morning.

      • Yeah I can see her getting really demoralized if she went up. That’s why she took a page from Derrick’s book and just kept herself off the block all season instead!

  14. Interesting poll up on Jokers. You can pick how you think each Jury member would vote in the 3 possible F2 scenarios and also pick who you think will win and should win AFP. Some interesting results so far

    • I voted there. But I’m not confident what Bridgette, Michelle, or Day will do with their votes. I think it’ll be close no matter who is in F2.

      • I see them voting for Nicole if she is in the finals. Michelle may have not liked Nicole in the house, but is because she knew that she would win if she stayed. So she may give Nic her vote. Brigitte is some kind of feminist so she’ll probably want Nicole to win and Da has mentioned that Nic is playing a great game, even before leaving the house she wanted her out.

  15. After watching BBAD I had to laugh at Nicole spewing her thought about how unfair it was that James was in the final three when Corey really deserved to be there. She’d had some libations and was feeling pretty good, so her tongue had loosened up a bit. She also believes Corey is going to win AFP!! Her and Paul are discussing James and his talking to each of them (in private) about taking him to F2. Nicole is going on and on about her Corey and how much they have in common and how mad she is that he’s not in F3!! After listening to the both of them talk, I don’t think either of them will take James to F2. I think James is suspecting that, too. Poor James!! Guess he should have fought harder to win one of the comps.

    • Humph! Poor Nicole, I hope when Corey explains to her that he only wants to “be friends”, she is okay with it.

      When some of them re-enters the “real world”, they have a rude awakening. Nicole and James will definitely be different than the first time. I hope they are prepared.

      How did Corey earned AFP? poor girl!

  16. Nicole didn’t “manage” to not get clipped. Paulie got overly arrogant and that allowed Nicole to be there! She did NOTHING and it sickens me each time she says she worked her ass off to get to final 3!!!! She thinks she’s going to come out liked more than last time…needless does she know! I didn’t care one way or the other last time, but this summer she seemed to stay under Corey more than play any game!! Maybe trying to get Corey to play the game was hard work! She’ll be shocked when she sees some footage! Like Corey has no desire to continue this relationship!

    • I believe she worked to get far in the game, but not enough to get to final 3. She was very whiny about it and her sweet innocent act while talking to the HOH winners and convincing others not to put her, Corey and James up was her way of working. Her act paid off, but she was gifted two HOH and I’m not too sure if she actually won the Veto without production assistance. And I don’t mean getting some tips like the rest of the HGs supposedly got.

    • I’m not a fan of Nicole’s gameplay but to say she did nothing is an overstatement. She played a more passive game and had control over Corey and was pretty much laying low while Paulie ran his mouth.

      Yes she didn’t play as good as Paul, but that’s a bit much to say she did nothing.

  17. Paul definitely deserves to win! No doubt about it.

    James doesn’t even deserve final 3.

    Paul for the win!

  18. For anyone interested, this is an interesting read(link over on Jokers),
    where 9 former jurers(Brendon, Rachel, Meg, Frank, etc…) weigh in
    on the final 3. Meg says that she didn’t give her votes to James for
    AFP nor does she think he will/should win BB, Frank says that Nicole
    would have his vote(if he was on jury) & also thinks that he or Bridge
    have a good shot at winning AFP(ha ha ha ha), Brendon thinks that
    Paul or Nicole would win against James but Nic(by 5-4) could beat
    Paul(if she gets Paulie & Zakiyah-which I believe she would!!)

  19. This seems like a good post to make my final defense of Nicole, so here it goes. (Keep in mind that I’m rooting for Paul to win and have been for almost the entire game, defending Paul would just be preaching to the choir though, whereas people don’t seem to understand why Nicole’s game has been so effective) I like how you have control as one of the relevant statistics because it made me realize that that, more than anything else, is why I’m so impressed with Nicole. Out of all the players in the game, she’s the only one I can think of who controlled all of her HoH wins, as opposed to letting someone else control them. Both times she got the person she knew was targeting her out. Paul evicted someone who was vaguely his ally during his first one because he was controlled by Paulie. James was also controlled by Paulie.

    Nicole didn’t necessarily control other people’s games, but the only week she was ever out of control of her own was the Zakiyah blindside and the week of Paulie’s eviction.

    If you have a solid gameplan and the ability to control your own game, then you’ve got a great shot at getting to final two, and Nicole definitely had both of those things, which is why I think if she wins over Paul, she’s still deserving.

    To answer complaints about Nicole spending most of the season in bed with Corey, first of all, flying under the radar is a proven effective strategy, and Nicole has said that that was her goal. But I guess someone who executes their gameplan perfectly (a gameplan which the past three BB winners have also used) is a bad player. Also, most people (anyone who actually bases their opinions on evidence, anyways) will concede that in the latter half of the game (Nat’s HoH onwards) Nicole stepped up her play, even if you couldn’t understand her game before then. If you look at Paul’s gameplay during the weeks when Nicole was apparently not playing the game, they were doing very similar things: laying low and kissing up to Paulie. The only major difference I see is that Paul stepped up his game when he flipped on Paulie, and Nicole stepped hers up a week afterwards. It’s just proactive vs reactionary play, to be honest, and both are completely valid to the intelligent strategist. Both players went with the style of play that better suited their skills, both did so very effectively, and hopefully both will be in the final two, and either Paul or Nicole will walk away with the win. If you evaluate it based on gameplay alone, I think you’ll determine that they both deserve to win equally.

    • Thank you! You are very intelligent and make excellent points
      here. What a thoughtful and well written post. What I might
      add is that nearly every single week, the person evicted was
      someone who was a threat to Nicole’s game so even when
      she wasn’t HOH, she somehow got everyone out who wasn’t
      on her side, shall we say. Strategic and smart from the start.

    • Great summary Pelican. Do the female players not get enough credit for their more subtle gameplay? Compared to a Paul type, a woman’s style of gameplay doesn’t seem to be respected.

      • It’s possible: Vanessa’s a good example of another female player that played a good game but attracted the hatred of the fans. But then there’s someone like Danielle who’s considered by many to be one of the top HGs of all time. For some people I think gender is a subconscious mental block, but for others I think something else is going on.

        One reason I think the hatred for Nicole is so disproportionate (in my opinion) to her actual game is Paulie’s influence. Before Paulie’s breakdown that the general consensus was that Paulie was kind of a jerk and that the other HGs were handing him the game. Then we saw that Paulie was a huge misogynistic piece of garbage and worthy of our extreme loathing, and then he got evicted. The hatred for Paulie was counterbalanced by support for Natalie, and a lot of the rigged! and preseason alliance type of rumors started when Nicole easily manipulated Natalie to flip on Paul and Vic. Rather than give one of Paulie’s friends credit for her gameplay, and admit that their current hero had little strategic will, it was easier for fans to collectively vilify Nicole, focusing on and exaggerating the negative (or perceived negative) aspects of her play while mostly ignoring the positive.

        That’s just my theory for why the fandom as a whole tends to give Nicole more hate and less credit than (I think) she deserves, but it’s not for me to tell anyone why they think what they think about a reality show contestant, and I know from talking to people here that a lot of people’s disappointment and disdain for Nicole does come from a very valid analysis of her game (just a valid analysis that uses different criteria than those I use)

      • No doubt about it, Nicole was helping Paulie and Corey get out their enemies. She lucked out to be in such an alliance and was making the best of it; then Paulie went sort of psycho after Natalie helped bring him down.
        At that time Natalie was everybody’s favorite for whatever reasons and Nat didn’t like or trust Nicole. Nat also didn’t like that Corey preferred Nicole to Nat either but that’s another story.
        While Nicole is hanging out with athletic, Corey; Nat’s had to settle for James. I’m sure Nat was embarrassed over James’s lack of gameplay and general lack of industry. Remember at the first of the season when Natalie opined she could get any man she wanted? Well, apparently not.
        So pride and jealousy had to figure in here too.
        Nicole outplayed all the women and for some reason nobody can believe what they’re seeing.
        Women play the BB game very different than men unless they’re a comp beast like Rachel.

  20. Strategic wise I think Paul should win, even though he has a foul moth, loud sometimes but is always scheming! Nicole has whined and stayed in bed with Corey a definitely Not a winner! Then there is James a guy everyone loves, pulls pranks and cuddles with Natalie, No he shouldn’t win either. But I think James is more a player than Nicole, she has really gotten on my last nerve with the whining and getting mad @ corey! So good luck Paul to win even though I don’t like him!

    • Everyone loves Paul??? Are you kidding me??? He’s been the worst HG in BB history. Take away his beard, foul, loud mouth and you’ve got a small, annoying ugly little man with a superiority complex. I believe the ONLY one who loves Paul is himself.

  21. I think Nicole could win against either of them tbh. She obviously would win against James, but against Paul too in my opinion. She needs 5 votes, and she automatically has Corey, Paulie, and Zakiyahs votes. She would need two more. If Paul evicts James then he surely would vote for Nicole. Natalie and James would probably vote similarly. I know that Natalie and and Nicole areny best friends by any means, but she would most likely like to votr for a woman. Not to mentoon she had a bad opinion of Paul towards the end of her time in the house. And she would probably have even worse of an opinion of Paul if he voted James out. Thats not even counting that Davonne seems to be impressed by Nicoles gameplay as of late. So i think nicole would have James, Paulie, Corey, Zakiyah, and Natalie deff. But she also may have Davonne. I think Paul would deff have Bridgette, Michelle and Victor but i dont yhink theres any way he could win against her.

  22. Well i disagree on Nicole or James winning they don’t deserve it. I hope Paul gets the winnings and Victory gets the 25,000. But wished it was Victory winning. But i’ll set for Paul .!!!!!

  23. “People just like the guy.” I want Paul to win too but I find this statement misleading when it comes to the BB jury. Remember, it is comprised of mostly females who had to put up with Paul’s elitism and vugarity all summer long. This is the sole reason that I think he will lose to Nicole if she makes it to the end.

    • Nicole or Paul DON’T deserve to win BB. Neither of them have played a clean game. They both like to tell themselves that they’ve worked SO hard to get where they are, but, I think not. Nicole for instance would be chirping out the other side of her mouth if James hadn’t GIVEN her the HOH at the wall comp. That was a HUGE mistake for him, and might have just cost him the game. Paul hid behind Vic and talked everyone silly. I’m REALLY beginning to wonder if this guy has any friends outside BB. Surely anyone in their right mind couldn’t stand his constant talking about his favorite subject 24/7 (himself), or obout who he knows, where he’s been, etc. The guy is the epitome of boring. I’m afraid the end of BB this season has left me very disappointed. It’s obvious Paul and Nicole will be F2, and I don’t want either of them to win, mainly because they don’t deserve too.

      • I agree about Nicole but I couldn’t disagree more about Paul. He has talked his way out of trouble so many times, I’ve lost count. He had a good ally in Victor, but I wouldn’t call what he did “hiding” because he still very much played the game. I can totally understand if he’s not your cup of tea. But most people who make it this far did not play a spotless game.

        Also, I have a problem with the idea of someone making it to the end and still being considered undeserving. One person may deserve it more than another, but if you make it to the end, you must deserve it, at least a little. You’ve done something right t get that close, whether through deals or allies or comp wins. But that’s just my opinion on that.

  24. I’m VERY dissaapointed with the ending of BB this season. The two people who I really didn’t want to get far in the game, will most likely be the F2. What has REALLY turned me off with the both of them was the way they’ve been badmouthing James behind his back in the past 24 hours. They seem to be taking great pleasure in the fact that James is worried that neither of them will take him to F2. There’s no need for that, and it just brings out the true personalities of both of them. A real nasty pair!! I wish James would just let it be and keep away from them. They’ve given him enough hints with their body language when he’s around, the stilted conversation and it’s plain they don’t want to discuss it with him any longer. He seems to want to walk around like a kicked dog. I sure wouldn’t give them the satisfaction.

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