It all comes down to this. After 98 days and an insane amount of strategic game play, either Vanessa, Steve or Liz will be crowned the winner of Big Brother 17. With a potentially bitter jury and a final HoH yet to be determined, any of the three could conceivably win the game, a far cry from last year when everyone already knew that Derrick would win.

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The finale is packed with action as we’ll see all three parts of the final HoH competition, the jury deliberation and interrogation of the Final 2, the vote, Julie Chen talking to all of the HGs and the winner of the game and Fan Favorite being revealed.

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Will we see a female winner for the first time since Rachel Reilly (and only the third time in the last decade)? Will Steve follow in his doppelganger Ian Terry’s footsteps to win? Will the jury somehow give the win to Liz, leaving a bitter taste in my mouth for the next year? Let’s find out.

BUT FIRST…this is my Big Brother 17 finale live blog!

The recap of the season makes it very clear that Vanessa controlled the entire game while Steve played low-key, but smart. Liz is barely even a footnote in everything that happened. The montage of showmances includes Clay and Meg’s drunken flirtation and even Steve cuddling with Johnny Mac. HA!

The Final HoH Competition, Part 1

The epic battle of endurance rages on as Vanessa, Steve and Liz sit on apples, getting slammed into a wall and dipped into a nasty red liquid. Vanessa is confident that both Steve and Liz would take her to the Final 2 while Liz seems to think she’s the only person who has a Final 2 deal with Vanessa. They all do extremely well. Steve falls off first after about 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Vanessa is getting weak and can’t last much longer, so she busts out some psychological warfare to convince Liz to fall. She claims Liz has a better shot at part 2 and if she doesn’t fall, it will only hurt Liz’s chances in the next round. Liz is worn down and agrees. Liz drops after nearly 4 hours.

Vanessa wins Part 1 of the Final HoH!

Liz says she needs to win the next part or she will regret dropping for the rest of her life.

The Final HoH Competition, Part 2

With Vanessa safe, Steve and Liz face off in part 2. They must fill in a giant crossword puzzle with clues about events and HGs from the season. Steve instantly knows he has it in the bag, but he also seems to think Vanessa would take him to the end with her. He temporarily forgets about a letter in his bag, but he still does a great job.

Liz knows Steve is smart, so she needs to move quickly. Liz thinks that the Otev dairy product is “yeast” instead of “butter.” They both struggle on the last clue, “Double Eviction.”

Steve: 28:27
Liz: 31:11

Steve wins Part 2 of the Final HoH!

He beat her by almost 3 minutes. Vanessa thinks Steve would take her to the end, but he knows he can’t beat her and the jury will respect him for taking her out.

The Jury Deliberation

The first eight members of the jury meet with Dr. Will Kirby to discuss the Final 3. Julia is the only person who’s happy to see Johnny Mac. He explains that Vanessa brainwashed Liz and Austin is shocked that she trusts Vanessa again. It pisses him off. He really hates that Vanessa betrayed him and he’s very bitter. Dr. Will puts Austin in his douchey place.

Everyone knows Vanessa is responsible for taking all of them out and respect her strategy and competition wins. Meg points out that Vanessa just wins comps, but she hasn’t been fooling them. Becky doesn’t like Vanessa swearing on the gay community and her mother and doesn’t feel good about her.

Shelli has a great head and points out that Steve won when he needed it and didn’t when he didn’t and he made a great move by laying low. Johnny Mac thinks Steve was a rat and doesn’t respect him at all. Julia thought Steve was a coward because he cried after evicting Jackie.

The positive for Liz is that she had a big target on her back because of being a twin and James seems to think she should win. Johnny Mac absolutely does not want Liz to win because she rode Austin to the end and didn’t make moves for herself. Ugh, there’s a lot of positive vibes for Liz, even though she wasn’t that strategic.

Everyone seems to agree that if Steve or Liz evict Vanessa at the end, it would sway their decision and even Austin might consider voting for Steve to win if that happens.

The Final HoH Competition, Part 3

It’s Steve vs. Vanessa. They must answer “A” or “B” in a series of eight questions about things the jurors said after they were evicted.

Shelli’s Question: Steve is right!
Jackie’s Question: They’re both wrong!
Becky’s Question: They’re both right!
Meg’s Question: They’re both right!
James’ Question: They’re both wrong!
Julia’s Question: They’re both right!
Austin’s Question: Vanessa is right!

It’s tied going into the final question.

Johnny Mac’s Question: Steve is right!

Steve wins the Final HoH!

Holy crap, my prediction came true! This is huge and now we can see if he’ll actually evict Vanessa and if that will win him any jury votes.

The Final Eviction

Steve is the HoH, so Liz and Vanessa are on the block. A woman has never won against a man in the Final 2, so this bodes very well for Steve.

Steve votes to evict…Vanessa!

Steve is very nervous. He calls Vanessa the strongest female player ever and admires her, but he can’t beat her. He apologizes, but she takes it well. Liz is shocked and so happy, saying she has nothing prepared.

Wow, a competition beast who deserved to win, but who got eliminated in third place because she lost the last HoH. Vanessa is the new Janelle.

Vanessa never really trusted Steve and wasn’t completely surprised. She isn’t sure whether or not he made the right move because she doesn’t know the mental state of the jury. She admits she would’ve evicted Steve if she won the last HoH. She’s very upbeat and positive.

The Final 2 Interrogation

It’s Steve vs. Liz, and now it’s time for the jury to ask their questions and interrogate the crap out of them before making their decision. Austin is happy that Vanessa is the ninth juror while James is shocked.

The jury gets three questions for each finalist.

-John asks Steve if he relied too much on John and Vanessa for his moves. There are audio problems and on the third try, Steve says he made moves to get himself into the Scamper Squad and was his own man.

-Becky asks Liz if Austin influenced her too much on strategy. She says she aligned with Austin and Vanessa to keep the target off of her and did her own campaigning, even though Austin helped her out a lot.

-James asks Steve about how he floated for the first half. He claims he didn’t float as he won competitions in the first two weeks and he made alliances to help him in the second half of the game.

-Julia asks Liz about her biggest individual move other than winning comps. She says it was aligning with strong competitors like Vanessa and Austin. Once again, aligning with Vanessa and Austin is her only answer.

-Jackie asks Steve about how his strategy wasn’t weak. He claims it was acting like he didn’t get along with Austin.

-Austin asks Liz about why she deserves to win the money. She goes back to saying that being a twin made her a target and she made herself seem like less of a threat.

Basically, Steve had actual answers about moves he made and things he did while Liz just kept repeating the same two bullet points: Being a twin made her a target and she aligned with Austin and Vanessa.

After the questions, Steve and Liz get to give speeches. Liz admits she wasn’t a superfan and not a gamer, but she loved playing with her twin. Steve explains why he was better than Liz, winning more comps, not having a twin to completely trust and making his own decisions as HoH.

Shelli votes with her heart. Jackie is voting for who has dreamed of this their entire life (so, Steve). Becky praises the Final 3 for being so strong. Meg’s heart is torn and gives credit to big moves. James lets Jesus take the wheel. Julia admits that her vote is very obvious. Austin loves Liz and is proud of Steve, but follows his heart because Judas is gone. Johnny Mac calls Steve the worst alliance member ever and he can’t even think of a good insult for Liz. Vanessa’s vote is for the best representative of this season.

Hmm, this could go either way. Those were mostly good and vague comments, but Jackie clearly voting for Steve tilts in his favor.

The First 6 Return

Now that the votes are locked in, the first six evicted HGs return to discuss the season. Da’Vonne calls out Austin for not being Judas enough. Vanessa admits to being a super rich and successful poker player, winning over $4.5 million. Jason says Vanessa was a great manipulator, but calls her out for crying and not owning her masterful game. Audrey is blonde now and gets emotional talking about how people were inspired by her story of being transgender.

The Final Vote

It all comes down to this. Who did the nine jurors vote to win the game?

Vanessa voted for…Liz
John voted for…Steve
Austin voted for…Liz
Julia voted for…Liz
James voted for…Steve
Meg voted for…Steve
Becky voted for…Steve
Jackie voted for…Steve
Shelli voted for…Steve

Steve Moses is the Winner of Big Brother 17!

Yay! He cries and is very emotional and he definitely deserved to win over Liz. I’m kind of interested that Vanessa voted for Liz. She might claim to be logical, but she voted purely personally and wanted a woman to win. Either way, I think evicting Vanessa and Liz’s bad final speech and answers really helped seal the deal with the others. I think Austin’s Angels just wanted to justify their alliances dominance by having one of them win, but no. None of Austin’s Angels won. No one from the Sixth Sense won. HA!

The Top 3 for Fan Favorite were John, James and Jason!

James Huling won Fan Favorite!

That’s awesome. James deserves it a lot, even though I thought Johnny Mac might take it. And I’m so happy that Jason was in the Top 3 since he was robbed. Like Howard in season 15, Jason is the rarity of making the Top 3 in votes despite being evicted pre-jury. It definitely helps a possible argument to bring him back for another season.

Overall, it was a great ending to a surprisingly good season, definitely better than last year. There was intense game play, some strong competitors and a winner who was self-aware enough to explain and defend his moves against a bitter jury.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.