TV Article

The Winner and the Whiner

On the ''Big Brother'' finale, Maggie just edges out the slightly more dislikable Ivette

MAGGIE'S FARM She rode herd on the Friendsheep
Image credit: Maggie Ausburn: Cliff Lipson
MAGGIE'S FARM She rode herd on the Friendsheep

The ''Big Brother'' finale: The head nerd wins

It's gonna feel pretty lonely at the top for ol' Nurse Ratched.

But I sense Maggie suspected that when the Chen-o-matic named her the winner of Big Brother 6. That shell-shocked look didn't belong to somebody who was quietly asking herself, ''Gee, where shall I spend my spoils first, Wal-Mart or the Piggly Wiggly?'' Nope, that was the face of a woman frightened by what could be waiting outside the Big Brother door — because it sure as hell won't be a sea of fans. No wonder she hesitated before leaving the house.

But I did kinda think Ivette had it in the bag. Granted, I went into this finale believing she had made a catastrophic error by not taking Janelle to the final two, but then we didn't know until tonight just how sickly loyal she was to her peeps and what they would do had she brought Janelle to the end instead of Maggie: The Friendsheep had promised to turn on any member who turned against them in the end. So ghetto girl's hands were tied; she had to take Maggie. But that didn't mean she had to throw in the towel before the jury even voted. What was with the cop-out speech about how she didn't want to say that she deserves the money more than Maggie but she nevertheless deserves the money? What, like CBS was going to suddenly change its mind and give away two jackpots of $500K? Why do most reality-show contestants suddenly try to grow a conscience come clinch time and sound all humble-like when what they really should be doing is talking about how smart and courageous and invincible they are? Even a desperate plea by Ivette for her family back home would have been better than that weak crap she dished out at the end. No wonder she ultimately lost.

Now the final votes from April, Beau, James, Rachel, and Janelle — those didn't surprise me. But Howie's kinda did. I have to assume he just found Maggie to be the lesser of two evils, so he begrudgingly gave her the cash. And Jen — well, just when I thought I couldn't dislike this woman more, she goes and blames Ivette for making her vote out Kaysar, and she votes for Maggie. Call me an amnesiac, but I don't remember Ivette being the only one trying to persuade Jen to turn on our boy. Go on all you want about the undue pressure from your group, Jen, but take responsibility for your decision as head of household. And while you're at it, wipe that fake smile off your face, and I swear if I see your eyes roll back in your head one more time I'm gonna snap your bra strap so hard your boobs are gonna jettison off your chest. Cherish this final time in front of the camera, you little weasel, because your 15 minutes are so over.

As one of America's many Sovereign sympathizers, I came into this finale kicking and screaming, but I'm damn glad I showed. Those precious minutes in the sequester house and the subsequent reunion during the live show were almost better than a moment alone with Kaysar (notice I said almost). Even the Chenbot was at her best (cue shots of a frozen hell), with fun quips about Howie's popularity and the rift between the groups. Hate him or hate him, but who doesn't have newfound respect for James and his telling it like it is — pointing out how Maggie had everybody doing her dirty work, which is why she outlasted them all. I was a little surprised by how deep Rachel's hatred for Maggie was — she called the nurse a big piece of trash! [Our mistake: Rachel called Ivette trash (thanks, readers!)] — but I just slapped my knee and laughed when Janelle talked about how Maggie ''sucks so bad'' and when Howie brought everyone back to reality by saying that America's two least favorite players were now competing for the cash. Though after hearing the studio audience roar for Janelle and Kaysar, I'm pretty sure Cappy and his kids already knew that. (Oh, and April? Like we're gonna buy that you ''just can't remember saying'' how we are a collective piece of s--- for giving Janelle the America's choice prize.)

Satisfied? Hell, no. This is all too similar to the finale of BB4, when the equally unlikable Jun and Allison made it to the end and we didn't care who got the cash. But it was great fun rooting for the Sovereign Six while simultaneously loathing the Nerd Herd, so I'm sad to see the season end. But before I go, here's a promise. Use the space below to bitch and moan about the finale, but also use it to post your biggest complaints about the show and how you'd like to see it change. I'll send your suggestions to the producers. (I can't promise that they'll read them, but...) Don't bother complaining about casting though; the day we see a realistic cross section of America in the BB house is the day ABC announces that Bea Arthur is the newest Desperate Housewife. We're stuck with the pretty faces and bods, guys, so let's move on.

Me? I'd like fewer food challenges and more chances to bring back our favorite players. I'd like to institute a moratorium on Julie's ''but first'' and ''put your bag down there.'' I'd like to call for a total ban on any and all body glitter. I want the old music back. I want a reunion show. I want Kaysar to explore a career in modeling, preferably one involving a clothes-free photo shoot.

So what do you want?

Originally posted Sep 20, 2005
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