'Big Brother' crowns Jackson Michie winner over Holly Allen after racism and misogyny accusations
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/26/2019
Big Brother crowned Jackson Michie its Season 21 champion over his girlfriend Holly Allen after the nine-person jury voted live for the winner during Wednesday night's 90-minute finale episode on CBS.
After 37 competitions, 13 evictions, and 99 days in the Big Brother house this summer, Michie, a 23-year-old server from Nashville, TN, who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, won the $500,000 grand prize in a 6-3 jury vote against Holly, a 31-year-old wine safari guide from Lander, WY, who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, who had been his ride-or-die ally in the house.
Although winning Big Brother was a dream come true for Michie, he appeared unable to even smile as he exited the house after Julie Chen announced his victory.
Michie appeared sullen and disturbed after several of his fellow cast members, including David Alexander and Kemi Faknule, accused him of making racist comments earlier in the season. Michie was also accused of being "degrading and condescending" to women in the cast at times.
"I did it for my family. I did it for my mom and for my dad, and at the end of the day, what matters to me more than anything is that they're proud of me. I just hope that everything is alright," Michie said after confetti fell from the ceiling.
"It's just... it was just some weird back conversation... we know that, we know that," she said.
Nicole finished Big Brother in third place after Michie won the final Head of Household competition of the summer and voted to evict her.
However, the 24-year-old preschool teacher from Long Island, NY, received $25,000 after more than one million home viewers voted her to be "America's Favorite Houseguest." She defeated Cliff and Tommy for the honor.
The Big Brother broadcast began with Season 2 Big Brother winner Will Kirby hosting the roundtable of jury members, who gathered to debate the merits of the Final 3 houseguests.
Nick pointed out Michie had won nine competitions this summer, but Kat said she believes a social game is more important and developing relationships in the house.
Jessica admitted she'd vote for the person who played the more honest and loyal game, but Kat vouched for Michie and said he was, in fact, loyal. Analyse insisted Michie had screwed up Kat's game, so she was shocked to hear that.
Cliff insisted he wasn't bitter but he wanted Michie to just own his game and admit it was dirty. Cliff didn't want Michie to preach about integrity and his values when he had lied and betrayed so many people.
Tommy said he'd love to award Holly the money, while Christie pointed out Holly had dropped seeds for other people to become enemies and her strategy was "brilliant." Jack also noted Holly had avoided the chopping block for most of the game.
Analyse questioned, however, whether Holly's game was intelligent or just came down to luck.
But Christie acknowledged Holly did a great job "taming the beast," meaning Michie, throughout the season.
It then became time for Part 2 of the final Head of Household competition dubbed "Foggy Memory."
Since Michie won Part 1 of the three-part competition, Holly and Nicole faced off in the second round and were required to match day numbers to certain memories. For example, the players needed to match Kaitlyn Herman's appearance in the house with Day 25 of the game.
The person to correctly match all 12 memories with their corresponding days would win Part 2.
Holly finished with a time of 10 minutes and 38 seconds, while Nicole completed the task in 14 minutes and 38 seconds. Holly therefore won.
Nicole broke down into tears because she felt she could have and should have beaten Holly. Nicole wanted to pull out an underdog win for all the underdogs in the world, but she wasn't able to get the job done.
Nicole therefore thought her only chance to stay in the house would be convincing Holly -- if she happened to win Part 3 against Michie -- to turn on her boyfriend and take her to the end instead.
Nicole explained the jury would probably view Holly as Michie's right-hand man, like she had been riding his coattails all season long. Nicole pointed out Holly had a better chance of winning against her than Michie, a competition beast who often cast a shadow over Holly.
Holly was overwhelmed because she worried about finishing Big Brother in second place to Michie. She knew her chances of winning the $500,000 were better against Nicole, but she didn't know whether she could dump Michie, who had done everything in his power to keep her safe.
Holly was having a moral dilemma, but it ended up being irrelevant because Michie ultimately won Part 3 of the final HoH competition against her.
For Part 3 dubbed "The Jury Is Out," Michie and Holly had to prove how well they remembered the houseguests who went on to sit on the jury.
Holly and Michie were required to watch one video at a time, and each video featured a previously-evicted houseguest making three statements, reminiscing about his or her summer at "Camp BB."
Michie and Holly had to determine which of the three statements was false, and for each correct answer, they'd receive one point. The person with the most points at the end of eight rounds would become the final HoH of the summer.
After Michie won by just one point, he had the power to cast the sole vote to evict -- and so he chose to take Holly to the Final 2 and send Nicole packing.
"I love you both and I can honestly say you are two of the best things to happen to me in this game, inside these walls and outside of it," Michie announced.
"This is tough, and if there's any way I'd want to spend my last week, it's with the two best women in this house. I love you both, but Nicole, I'm sorry, I vote to evict you."
Holly was so glad Michie had given her the opportunity to duke it out against him in the end, while Nicole respected his gameplay and seemed to have no hard feelings.
Nicole then told Julie in her post-eviction interview she had known her chances of going to the Final 2 were "very slim" once Holly lost the final HoH competition.
Nicole said she had remained hopeful and kept faith that if she was meant to be in the Final 2, she would be. Nicole therefore was not shocked by Michie's decision, nor had she been expecting him to take her all the way.
"I learned so much about myself. This hasn't been a game for me. This has been such a transformative experience," Nicole shared.
"I have learned so much about myself and who I am... I said coming into this house, 'I'm a butterfly,' but I wasn't. I was such a caterpillar, and I spread my wings and I love myself. I've learned to love myself."
The jury was then able to confront Holly and Michie and ask them several questions.
Michie explained jury management was very important to him but he was left alone on Day 44 and had to take shots at certain people in order to survive. Michie alleged everything he had done was "game related" and nothing personal.
"I was honest when I didn't want to be, I was loyal when I didn't have to be, and I only lied when I needed to," Michie insisted.
"Everything I did was to get me and the one person that's always had my back -- her [Holly] -- into these two chairs. It was never personal; it was always game. And everything was well thought out and strategic."
Holly explained her strategy going into the game was to play under the radar and so she had downplayed a lot of her strengths at first.
Holly said she downplayed her performance in mental comps and chose not to talk about her academic and professional achievements in life.
Holly said, however, she had absorbed information like a sponge, won competitions when she needed to, adapted to situations that were thrown at her, and pulled out tricks when necessary.
Tommy then said he wasn't sure whether the jury should reward Michie for his behavior given some of the women had considered him degrading and condescending.
Michie told the jury he had never demoralized a woman or made jokes or slanderous remarks about them. Michie said he can be passionate and intense at times but never meant to offend or disrespect women in the house. In fact, Michie said he respects women more than anything, just like his mother.
Afterward, Holly insisted she and Michie played "drastically different games" and never even had a Final 2 deal with each other.
Holly said she went after big targets, big fish, in the house -- such as Nick, which wasn't the best move for Michie's game at the time. Holly argued she also had to manage Michie and his emotions at times so he wouldn't get himself into trouble.
"We worked together a lot, but I played a very, very different game than she did," Holly said.
Michie then noted he deserved to win over Holly because he chose to leave bigger targets in the house as shields and disarm the people around them. Michie said his strategy and logic laid the tracks for his competition wins and he did a lot behind the scenes.
Holly told the jury that she deserved the money because she chose the hardest route to play. She claimed to play with integrity and honesty, and she was proud of the way she had been a straight shooter with everyone.
Holly added she was never really a target in the house, although she and Michie were targeted as a duo.
Holly insisted she managed her relationships with everyone well and was able to rely on her social game and wit. Holly clearly felt underestimated but told the jury all of her moves had been calculative.
"It's whether you want the front-lines soldier or whether you want the stealthy sniper who takes big shots that matter while maintaining the peace," Holly said, adding that she was a powerful yet graceful force in the game.
Before the jury's votes were announced, an intense discussion unfolded about bullying and racism during the season.
Ovi Kabir said Nicole had been mistreated in the house, especially when a large alliance had locked her out of the Head of Household room. Nicole, however, said she chose to forgive and move on.
Kemi also alleged the following houseguests had "extremely disappointing" behavior this season: Jack, Michie, Christie and Nick.
"I hope when you watch footage back from this season, you can understand why it was perceived the way that it was," Kemi declared.
"A lot of the things that were said to me and about several other houseguests are completely inexcusable and unforgivable. I hope you can leave this experience better people than you came into this as."
Jack owned up to being ignorant and seemed to issue a sincere apology, and Christie said she'd give Kemi a personal phone call apologizing once she remembers saying something offensive.
As for Michie, he wasn't sure what Kemi was referencing.
"But if I, at any point, offended you on a personal level, I am very sorry... I do like you as a person and I'm sorry if I ever upset or offended you," Michie said.
Kemi said the houseguests need to understand what they're apologizing for in order to accept their apologies.
And then Michie was accused of banishing David, Kemi and Jessica at the beginning of the game when he was "Camp Director" because they are minorities. (He also banished Cliff, and some critics say that was discrimination against Cliff's age).
Michie appeared shocked by such an allegation, saying the color of their skin was "absolutely not" why he had made those decisions.
"I'm not racist... This is all based on first impressions. The three people that raised their hands [to be Camp Director] exemplified strength and courage and maturity... I [thought] I could potentially have my game threatened by these individuals," Michie explained.
"It had nothing to do with race or age or gender or minority, ever... This was strictly players against players... Race, age, religion gender -- none of that ever had anything to do with decisions I made."
David did apparently come to the conclusion Michie's banishment decisions were not race-related, however, he stood by the fact he and Jack had made "implied biases" behind closed doors.
In addition, Isabella Wang called Nick out for having a romance with Kat in the jury house although he had told Bella that he loved her before her eviction.
Nick took responsibility for his actions, admitting he just pursued feelings for Kat but had nothing against Bella.
"Nick, you made a commitment to me. I just said, 'Please, don't make me look stupid,' and you made me look stupid. So, I was really, really hurt by that. And you know what? No one deserves to feel that way," Bella said.