Big Brother 19
has (rightfully) been called boring by some viewers but there was nothing predictable about the finale. Josh won the final HoH competition and decided to bring Paul with him to the final two in front of the jury. While Paul thought he had the game all locked up at that point, Josh squeaked away with the victory, with Paul losing, once again, by one vote. It was a shocking "photo finish" but there were signs Josh was going to win, or at least beat Paul, all along.
Why Josh Winning Big Brother 19 Is a Huge Milestone>>>
Owning His Gameplay
Josh isn't going to go down as one of the best winners in Big Brother 19 history. Josh didn't play that great of a game -- but Josh would probably recognize that fact. Towards the end of Big Brother 19 Josh became increasingly self-aware that he was a mess and that he often thought with his heart not his head. Josh never tried to hide this weakness. Unlike Paul, who would say one thing and do another, Josh was open about the flaws of his game.
Big Brother 19 had a house, and a jury, that was full of very emotional and opinionated players. It makes perfect sense that they respected Josh's flawed but emotionally honest gameplay more than Paul's game with his platitudes, catchphrases and lies. Josh knew he was flawed but recognized it while Paul tried to iron out any weakness with ridiculous transparency.
Getting Blood on His Hands
It's true that at the end of the game, Paul was dictating all of Josh's big moves. Paul maneuvered Josh into places of power by throwing competitions to him. Josh did pretty much everything Paul wanted him to do but Josh still pulled the trigger. In the end, that's what mattered to the jury (especially Cody, who cast the deciding vote.)
Josh made moves that benefited Paul but they also helped him out as well. Josh got to the end and when he was there he had the resume to prove his acted in the game. Josh needed to take out Jason, Alex, Raven and Kevin to end up in the finale and he had a hand in all their eliminations.
Paul might've been the mastermind but Josh is still a human being with free will. Josh still won those HoH, PoV wins and cast those deciding votes. Paul wanted to avoid getting blood on his hands in order to win but he really just handed Josh the moves to ensure his own victory.
Exposing Paul and His Game
The reason Josh got the credit for his moves in the game is because he made sure, as the jury left the house, to expose Paul. While playing the game, Josh couldn't expose Paul's backstabbing without making himself vulnerable to backlash. As the jury left the house though, with Jason, Raven and Alex, Josh made sure to let them know that Paul was deceiving them.
Christmas was slavishly devoted to Paul but towards the end of the game Josh woke up and seriously started playing. The exposure of Paul's game made it clear to the jury that Josh was just playing the game and that he wouldn't always do just what Paul told him to do, especially if it only benefited Paul. Josh was benefiting from Paul's rise just as much as Paul. At least he presented things that way to the jury.
These exposures certainly earned Alex and Jason's votes and they probably solidified Mark and Elena's resolve to vote for Josh as well.
An Expert Handling of the Jury Q&A
It came at the last possible moment in the game but one of the biggest factors in Josh's victory is how he handled the questions from the jury. While Paul denied nearly everything bad about his gameplay and tried to portray himself as a hard-working, non-bullying saint, Josh talked about the good and bad of his game.
Josh reasonably and clearly explained why he attached himself to Paul and slipped under the radar while still playing the game. Josh made a clear argument for why he deserved to win while Paul just exhibited more of his bad behavior and doubled down on his lies.
It also helped that Josh didn't unduly bash Paul. Paul didn't directly criticize Josh in answering the jury's questions, although he did in his final speech. Paul did make unnecessarily rude and incredulous faces while Josh was talking to the jury, however. It was rude and bratty and it just made Josh's answers look that much more intelligent and respectful.
Building a Relationship with the Jury on Reality
Perhaps the most important thing that Josh did was how he handled the jury. Paul's relationship with the jury is based, mostly, on lies. Paul wanted to be everybody's buddy to their face but then stab them in the back from the shadows. Josh couldn't or wouldn't be that fake with his fellow houseguests.
Josh, for all his faults, let the jury know how he felt about them and his relationship with them at all times. That was based on his honest emotions. Paul relied on his reputation and "friendship" to build relationships with jury but it was all fake. This resulted in the incredibly bitter jury that wouldn't vote for Paul at the end. The jury of Big Brother 19 did vote emotionally but that's Paul's own fault for not treating them like human beings. Josh wasn't kind but he wasn't dishonest.
Josh was loud and obnoxious but he didn't sugarcoat his feelings. He was completely open about he felt about each individual jury member and that's something the jury was willing to reward over Paul treating them like puppets. Josh didn't win Big Brother 19 because he played the best game, he just handled the jury far better than Paul and he'd been that way since the very beginning.
But what do you think? Was Josh always going to win the game? Why do you think he earned the victory over Paul? Was Josh the right winner?
(Image courtesy of CBS)