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  • Writer's pictureOWEN KWET

A review of Big Brother 25 and its many twists

Graphic by Owen Kwet

The longest season of CBS’ “Big Brother” is finally over after a hectic 100 days. Its length provided it with plenty of content, and I would almost argue it was too long. There were too many alliances and fake alliances to keep track of, and the BB-Multiverse theme was eventful, to say the least. Here is my full review of the season, so keep in mind that it includes spoilers for those of you who have not seen it yet.

“Big Brother” is a reality competition show where sixteen houseguests are cut off from reality for the summer. They compete in competitions, where one person is named Head of Household (HOH) and can put two other houseguests up for eviction, known as being “on the block”. They then compete in a Power of Veto (POV), which provides an opportunity to remove a nominee from the block, and the houseguests vote for one of the final nominees to be evicted at the end of the week. This process repeats until only three houseguests remain, and one takes home the title of “Big Brother” winner.

With the season delayed partially due to the Writers Guild of America strike, Julie Chen-Moonves kicked off the regular season of the show in August, with 17 new houseguests entering the house.

There were some good things about this season that I certainly enjoyed. The BB-Multiverse was outside of the box in terms of a theme for “Big Brother”. There was the Scramble-Verse, Scary-Verse, Comic-Verse, and Humili-Verse, which created four different twists that introduced punishments and competitions that changed the house dynamic and added new rewards that would shake up the game.

The Scramble-Verse twist of having a competition for nominations instead of HOH was out of left field and a clever way to start the season, just to see how everyone would interact. Another fun twist forced one of the houseguests, Jared Fields, to compete alongside his mother, legendary “Survivor” contestant and first American winner of “The Traitors”, Cirie Fields. It was a twist I do not believe anyone saw coming, as she entered the game as the seventeenth houseguest on the first night, and became a powerhouse forming alliances with everybody.

The Scary-Verse unleashed a few game-changing twists as well including from the Nether Region and had a good HOH competition with it. The Scary Week Double Eviction was also entertaining, and the resurrection week was also quite interesting to watch, as both Fields and his nemesis Cameron Hardin competed to return to the game after becoming “BB Zombies.” Hardin ended up winning.

The Comic-Verse was fun too. I enjoyed the added twist of the Power of Invincibility because without it, we would have never seen Jag Bains be saved by his ride-or-die Matt Klotz and continue to dominate the entire game as the Minutemen. Then, when Comic Week rolled around, it was interesting to see Bains nominate his former allies Cory Wurtenberger and America Lopez, as the two had become a romantic pair, and it made their fall that much more dramatic.

The Humili-Verse controlled the Have-Not room, and it was nice, but the twists that it came with all stuck out like sore thumbs. Humili-Week was weird with all the punishments, and this universe just felt like a curse to the show.

I also like many competitors, except for Luke Valentine, who was expelled from the show after saying a derogatory term during a conversation. We had entertaining wildcards like Felicia Cannon, whom I was rooting for the entire game, underdogs such as America’s Favorite Houseguest, Hardin, who was either HOH or nominated almost every week, and even some candidates for a second chance like Klotz, the first ever deaf contestant. I also like Izzy Gleicher, she was quite a strategist, and her little trio with the Fields family was adorable. Even Mecole Hayes and Bowie Jane Ball, who did not get much screen time, seemed like skillful players who could have made more impact if it were not for having very few Diary Room sessions. Ball even made it 98 days without seeing the block.

Wurtenberger was a smart player, navigating a social game despite only winning one HOH. Lopez started out as a contender for best strategist, but burned out when it came to trusting the Minutemen, but her and Wurtenberger’s romance was a highlight for me. Reilly Smedley had potential to be great, but unfortunately left the game too soon to have an impact. Kirsten Elwin played too hard, too fast, and became an unfortunate first boot.. Hisam Goueli, same situation, just was too big of a competition threat, but was one of the best, most lovable villains the show has seen in recent history.

Bains ended up winning the season, walking away with $750,000, five jury votes, and the title of first ever Sikh winner of the show. Bains was a competition legend, winning three HOHs and a record-breaking seven Power of Vetos. His final two with Klotz was one of the best in history, and bringing Ball as their third member was a smart move on their part since her chances of winning were not high. The group taking out ally after ally was gameplay gold, foreshadowing one of them was in line to win.

Overall, this season brought back the true essence of the show: big personalities and clever game play. However, the season’s length did it a disservice at times, and some of the twists ended up feeling out of place. If this season is any indication of the show’s future, I would boldly say “Big Brother” is back.


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