Big Brother 18: Can Nicole Franzel Break The Female/Male Final 2 Curse?

Dr. Will and Nicole. Boogie and Erika. Dick and Daniele. Andy and GinaMarie. Steve and Liz. In the five times the Big Brother Final 2 has included a male and female, the male has won every time.

Nicole the Elf on BB18

And if Nicole Franzel makes it to the Big Brother 18 finale, she will be sitting next to a male — either Corey, James or Paul (presuming Victor is evicted in tonight’s episode). Can she break this streak—or dare I call it—curse? Fans are seemingly split, and even though we don’t even know if she’s going to make it to the end, she’s definitely poised to do so.

Before we decide if she can do it, let’s take a look back at those past final 2 pairings that came before her to compare notes.


In Big Brother 2, Dr. Will Kirby and Nicole Schaffrich made it to the end of the game, and while Nicole was certain she had a better case to win the game, the jury thought otherwise. They of course awarded Will the win in a 5-2 vote and rightly so. Will never won any competitions (to Nicole’s two HOHs) but the jury was impressed that he owned up to his game whereas Nicole was accused of too many apologies and too much backpedaling. The jury clearly made the right decision in this season.


In Big Brother All-Stars, we saw “showmance” Mike “Boogie” Malin and Erika Landin in the final two seats. Many fans would argue that Janelle or Dr. Will should’ve been the winner of this season, but since we don’t always get the final two we want, we’ve got to examine this pairing. In my opinion, it would have been hard to award either of these houseguests the half a million dollars. But Mike made arguably his best move in the game when he evicted Janelle over Erika at final 3. That move alone was worthy of a win over Erika. I guess.


Big Brother 8 gave us the father-daughter duo of Dick and Daniele Donato. It also gave us all one big dilemma: who should win this season? Both were a force all season long and probably one of the strongest duos in the show’s history. Either Donato was deserving, but the jury decided Dick was the one who fought the hardest to get them to the end. This one could have gone either way, unlike the previous two seasons above.


Andy Herren and ally GinaMarie Zimmerman found themselves side by side in the Big Brother 15 season finale, and Andy’s 7-2 win was no surprise after GinaMarie’s horrible social game and laughable finale speech. There’s no curse involved in this one. It simply came down to the fact that Andy deserved to win and GinaMarie did not.


Much like Mike and Erika, Steve Moses and Liz Nolan found themselves at the end because of a smart final 3 move. That was of course made by Steve when he evicted Vanessa, who would have won the game against anyone. But was that move alone worth giving Steve the win? Eh. In my opinion, Steve could have easily lost to Liz. She had a bigger argument as to why she should win over Steve, but she did not do a good job pleading her case. Of course the jury had already decided who was going to win at this point so her terrible speech didn’t matter. Out of the five final twos we’ve discussed, this is the only one that I think maybe came down to a gender issue. I think if Liz was a male, her resume would’ve looked better than Steve’s and she would have won. Does that mean I liked Liz? NO. So don’t start accusing me of some crazy bias. I just think she had more game in her than Steve.

When it’s all laid out, it’s definitely not a curse, but a streak that has never been broken. The point here is that none of the losing females were absolutely robbed of the win.

That brings us to the possibility of Nicole sitting next to one of the remaining guys. Nicole has been accused of playing like a snake this season, and I won’t claim she’s played a clean and respectable game. But those aren’t part of the rules of Big Brother so anything goes. What I will say is that Nicole didn’t do anything for most of the game and each of her HOH wins so far were literally handed to her. Oh, and her jury management game has been absolutely awful.

So it looks like she would just end up being another female who loses to a male, right? Not so fast. This time I think it might actually matter who she sits next to. I think, of the three guys left, Nicole can beat at least one of them. And that’s Corey.  She might even be able to beat Paul (again this is considering Victor is the person evicted in tonight’s episode) . I wasn’t thinking Nicole had a shot until Da’Vonne recently said from the jury house that she might have to consider her now that she’s made it this far and seems to be running the house.

Nicole has made a lot of people in the jury mad, but I think she has a better case for winning than Corey or James, even if the jury doesn’t see it that way. I think Paul has a better case than any of them, but with Michelle and Natalie in the jury, their anger with him could lead them to vote against him, even if Nicole is the other option. That’s especially likely if they know Da’Vonne is ready to reward Nicole with her vote.

Details on why Nicole could or couldn’t or should or shouldn’t win in all scenarios will come in a later post (if she makes it to the final 3), so for now, let’s just say Nicole has a better shot at winning Big Brother than Nicole S., Erika and GinaMaire did. So, yes, she could actually break this streak.

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    • It probably would have been Shane and Danielle in BB14 F2 had not Dan bounced his check to Danielle. Neither one would have taken to F2 even if Dan evicted Ian.

  1. This has nothing to do with the game, but Will’s shirt is so funny! He looks like a Tango instructor. Loved season 2. A Grodner, please refresh your memory and take notes from that season and go from there.

  2. Bridgette may not vote for Paul because of what he called Michelle, Nicole vs Paul she may have Bridgette, Corry, James, Davonne and Paulie possibly now that Z is back with Paulie she would vote with him. Nicole vs James she would have Cory, Paulie, Possibly Z, Victor and Paul. Nicole VS Cory she would have James, Victor, Paul, Davonne, Bridgette. Well this is all 100% speculation and maybe a little wishful thinking on my part, she just has to get to final 2.

    • Bridgette might not have agreed with what paul said but unlike michelle she is not petty or bitter. She can put personal feeling aside. In a paul/nicole f2 I think paul has vic/nat/bridgette/james/z at least.

      • I think Paulie would vote for Nicole. If this season does have a bitter juror, my money is on Paulie or Meech (or both) being that person.

      • I think we can agree to disagree, i don’t think he would have James or Paulie, and I believe that Z and paulie are a packaged deal. But once again you may be right.

    • Bridgette isn’t Corey’s biggest fan either. If Paul and Corey are both in F2, I don’t know how Bridge will vote.

  3. While I’m all about girl power and seeing a female win this game, Nicole hasn’t played the game to deserve it and production has been carrying her from day 1.

    Paul for the win!!

    • Yes! Paul for the win!!
      And please not Nicole for 2nd.

      I hope Nicole does break the female/male final 2 curse…..

      …by her not being in it.

      • I don’t even think James deserves second place, but compared to the other two he could be the best choice.
        I see Nicole and James at the end, because no matter who Paul puts up the one left will not vote Nicole out.

      • Agreed. Hopefully Paul will have a killer speech because he has done way better at jury management.

      • I think if he makes it to the F2 that will be his biggest asset, being a good talker. I read his HOH blog, and he seems to be intelligent and articulate. He definitely has done jury management better than the rest.

    • Totally agree! I’m rooting for Paul! Nicole doesn’t deserve even second place just because of productions help.

  4. I think Paul is the only one that can beat Nicole in a final 2.
    Although she spent the whole summer lollippping in bed with Corey, she used to briefly get up to butter kiss the HOH winner and do Paulie’s snitching. She convinced others to give her the comp wins. She did win a couple of comps towards the end and so did Corey, those wins are very suspicious and could have been production helping them move towards the end since they were not good at it. Regardless, I think she played a better game than James and Corey since they are still there because of her, but Paul or Victor played better than Nicole and one of them should win it. I hope Nicole gets evicted by Paul and if he puts her next to Corey, James could use the Veto on her and if she is next to James, Corey will use the Veto on her.

    • The sudden comp wins towards the end could be production meddling, but I think it’s also possible that Nicole and Corey are just strong competitors who were throwing a lot of the competitions in the early game/it’s easier to win comps when the pool of competitors is so small.

      • Did you watch Nicole on season 16. She is horrible at comps.
        The only reason I liked her was because of how entertaining I found her and Haydden. Not so much this season. It is possible that Corey has stopped taking his meds and woke up. He always felt safe before so there was no need to win, so it is possible he threw all of those comps. He didn’t like studying for them either.

      • I mean she’s no comp beast, but I feel like she’s always been pretty good at mental comps (that’s where a lot of her wins have been, anyways)

  5. I believe if Nicole is in F2 she wins. She earned both of her HOH’s. She maneuvered her team into giving her the first one without looking like she wanted it. Smart move. She beat James and earned her second HOH. He was ready to fall and you can clearly see it on the episode. She would of hung on another hour. Otherwise he would of never made a deal. She’s won critical POVs. She’s played since day one and deserves and should win if she’s in F2. JMO.

      • After Dr. Will has his meeting with them and tells them how catty and jealous America will think they are for not voting for Nicole, as well as carefully gives them point by point how Nicole outplayed them all, I believe they will do the right thing. j/k :D

      • I think she has Day’s vote and if she’s against Paul she will have Natalies vote. I think she will also have Z’s vote. I don’t think she’ll have Bridgette or Michelle’s votes.

      • I think Days comment on the jury segment was for soundbite purposes. That being said, when vic goes in and tells them how Corey and Nicole betrayed him and Paul I think that’s going to earn a little bit more respect for Nicole. Because even if it was Coreys. HOH everyone knows who’s in charge in that Duo. It might be cutthroat but the true bb fans in that jury should respect her game play.

  6. In my eyes Nicole is clearly the only threat to Paul. She has set herself up nicely to almost definitely get to final 3. She is also in good shape for final 2 as I think only Paul winning the final HOH could potentially put that in jeopardy but even he might consider taking her to final 2. I’m rooting for Paul to win the show but Nicole has played a better game than many people are giving her credit for.

    • I agree that people are not giving her the credit she deserves. She still hasn’t been on the block and has been publicly called out on numerous ocasions. twice on live television

  7. I think that BB17 had one of the most evenly matched final two’s in Big Brother history. There are a few reasons I think Steve ended up winning over Liz, and neither are, like suggested, because of gender. The first reason Steve won is his hand in evicting Vanessa. Had Liz won final HoH and evicted Vanessa she would have won Big Brother 17. The second reason is jury performance. Steve had a far superior jury case than Liz. He took all of the things about Liz (having a twin and a showmance supporting her the whole way) into positives for his game and negatives for her. Had Liz taken those things and talked about how it made it harder for her to play the game she would have won. She literally told the jury she was at an unfair advantage the whole game, I would go as far to say she told the jury to vote for Steve with her jury management. People talk about Steve floating through the game and relying on Vanessa, but Liz did it relying on Austin and her twin sister meat shield. Also Steve relied on Vanessa for strategy, fully knowing he would evict her before the end while Liz did not make any of her moves for strategic purposes. In all, I believe Steve 100% deserved to beat Liz and I don’t think there was a single gendered thing about her loss. She played a far inferior game.

      • Exactly, the whole season she spent time with Julia and Austin. She spent some quality time talking strategy with Vanessa (aka listening to Vanessa paranoidly ramble about scenarios) and she did have a good relationship with Steve. Now who’s jury votes did she end up getting? The three people I just mentioned that weren’t in the final two with her. She had virtually no relationships with anyone except Steve, Austin, Julia, and Vanessa. Steve on the other hand was adored by every single person in the house, and it definitely helped him win.

      • Agreed, I never once though Liz had a real chance. Winning final HoH and evicting Vanessa was her only possible way of winning but even then most of the jurors were more likely to vote for Steve, because very few people really liked Liz on the jury.

      • So true! Liz was an easy one to beat in final 2 and
        had the protection of so many along with being able 2
        leave the house and having time off from the game.
        She never should of been in Final 3 even, IMO.

      • I thought the match was close but obvious in BB12. Hayden was clearly the better player but had Lane said a few different words to the jury he would’ve won. I have no idea why Brenchel voted for Lane over Hayden and Hayden definitely deserved to win that year but I do agree that it was a close match.

  8. Nicorey and James are just boring and either pure luck or something helping them reach this far. Having an advantage as Vets did not make things any better

    • how was being a vet an advantage? It immediately puts a target on your back. As for knowing what the comps are like, anyone that’s watched the last five seasons should know what to expect, because they use the same ones over and over. If I was Nicole that would be one of my strongest arguments to the jury, that She was a vet and none of you didn’t even Nominate me.

  9. right now Nicole is my favorite to win. She’s aligned herself well and gotten out of alliances when she needed to. Betrayal is part of it. Plus she got completly betrayed by Christine her season so I’m glad to see her being the one doing it. She is clearly the brains of her and Corey. I’d love to see her win. Really anyone except James at this point.

    • Corey has made some smart decisions. He is not a genius I think people underestimate him. Like his 1 with a billion 0s big in that one veto game. Him understanding that he had very little choice target Paul/Vic this time deal or no deal if he wanted a real shot at F2.

    • I completely agree with you but we seem to be very much in the minority, especially on this site. She’s got a great shot, if she
      makes it to the end but it also depends on how bitter the mean
      girls still are and they’ll be holding a grudge against her. IMO.

  10. I’m almost getting tired of writing this, but the criticism of Nicole for “not doing anything” is invalid and probably comes from a poor understanding of strategy.

    When you are in a sound strategic position, as Nicole was for the majority of the game due to her close allegiance with Paulie, the correct strategic approach is to do nothing, since you don’t want your position to change. The alternative is to play like Paulie, Da’Vonne, or Frank, and ruin your strong position by overplaying your hand.

    Nicole’s play for the duration of the endgame (easily manipulating Natalie, and giving us some the most perfect HoH play this season) demonstrates her ability to make strong and effective moves, suggesting that her “laziness” throughout the game was not the result of inability, but rather came from the strategic skills that BB fans apparently can’t get their heads around.

    I still think Paul should win the game, since I find it much more impressive that he worked to get himself to the final three after a really rocky start, and that he had to play hard all game. But I just want people to consider that the reason Nicole didn’t play as hard is that it wouldn’t have been smart for her to do so.

    • Another point in Nicole’s favor in a Nicole against Paul situation (the dream final 2) is that she maneuvered both herself and her strong ally through almost the entire game, while Paul’s closest ally was evicted thrice. You could argue that Paul benefited almost as much as Victor did from the buybacks.

      • Absolutely! And as I have mentioned on another post, as a vet she should’ve been among the top targets. Plus how many people called her out as a snake and none of the ones in jury have ever nominated her.

    • Re-reading the above article I was trying to remember, of all of the contestants named, which ones spent 80% of the season in bed? I believe the answer is none.

      • Wow I thought I had built a pretty good argument but I guess I wasn’t prepared for someone to just repeat the exact criticism that I just debunked while providing no additional support for why it might be valid. Truly your powers of strategical analysis are overwhelming, my friend.

  11. Nicole will absolutely be in the F2. The only question is who will be there with her.
    If her game will be judged on social play, there’s no way she’ll break ‘the curse’—if indeed there is one.

    • I’m not so sure Paul would take her. Whether James or Corey leaves tomorrow the remaining player would take her but I think Paul might take the remaining male.

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