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'Big Brother' host Julie Chen: I think James Huling voting Corey Brooks out cost him the game, Victor Arroyo will probably win fan-favorite


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/21/2016 

Big Brother is wrapping up its 18th season in just a few hours, and host Julie Chen has shared some final thoughts on Corey Brooks, James Huling and Victor Arroyo.

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When looking back on the game as a whole, Chen admitted to The Hollywood Reporter she was most excited to see Corey Brooks evicted from the house, however, she thought it was a terrible move on Huling's part to take him out instead of Nicole Franzel when the veteran player had the choice.

"As someone who works on the show, I want a close vote. And I honestly think James made a mistake for his game, because if he kept Corey he would have had a better chance to win," Chen explained.

"Corey would have taken James to the final two over [Paul Abrahamian]. And if James sat next to Corey in the end, my calculations show that James would win over Corey. So he cost himself the game."

Chen seems pretty certain of one thing -- Huling can't beat Abrahamian if the guys make it to the Final 2.

"And with Nicole," Chen continued, "the swing vote is [Da.Vonne Rogers] from my calculations. Da'Vonne likes James, but according to her jury house interview she said, 'Love her or hate her, you got to give it up for Nicole because she is playing the game.'"

The houseguest Chen seems to admire most this season, however, was the two-time comeback kid.

"There were more twists than ever, I feel. I like the twists that work, and everything worked this year. It would have been incredible if Victor won. If he won all those battles and made it back in what a great story," Chen told The Reporter.

Arroyo was evicted from the game a total of three times and accumulated an impressive number of competition wins. He first beat a handful of evicted houseguests for a spot back in the house, and after his second eviction, he battled against several jury members for another chance.

Arroyo's time on the show officially came to an end once Franzel and Brooks betrayed their Final 4 alliance, which also included Abrahamian. Arroyo said his downfall in the game was being too trusting.

"I know some people who are like, 'Oh, I'm a purist, it wasn't fair. Once [Victor] was evicted, he was evicted.' But guess what? Every year we've had someone who's evicted that gets a second chance for one reason or another, but they've never lasted very long. He earned his place," Chen insisted.

In fact, Chen revealed she thinks Arroyo "is going to win" the title of "America's Favorite Houseguest," which comes with a prize of $25,000.

Arroyo's shot to win the honor is likely because he showed many sides of himself this season, not just an aggressive competition beast.

"He's won the respect of a lot of people because you really got to know him when he went back in the house," Chen explained. "When he left, he was this young hotdog and you didn't really get to know what a sweet guy he is and good competitor he is."

Big Brother's finale airs September 21 at 9:30PM ET/PT on CBS, immediately following Survivor's premiere. Either Abrahamian, Franzel or Huling will walk away with $500,000. The runner-up will receive $50,000.


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