By Hannah DiPilato
Wednesday night, the 22nd season of the reality show Big Brother on CBS came to an end. Cody Calafiore took home the grand prize of $500,000 after an unanimous vote.
The season premiered August 5th, a much later start than previous years due to the pandemic, which led to a later finale.
Calafiore, Enzo Palumbo and Nicole Franzel were the final three players in the house. Franzel won the first round of the three-part Head of Household competition. Calafiore beat Palumbo by a landslide in part two. Calafiore finished the competition in 4 minutes and 49 seconds while it took Palumbo 37 minutes and 38 seconds.
Palumbo, discouraged about his time, gave a very emotional speech that left Calafiore and Franzel in tears. He expressed feeling like a failure while explaining the other two players should choose each other for the final two. After he stormed off in frustration, Calafiore and Franzel had to move on to part three of the competition.
Calafiore took the win of the final HOH competition and had to choose who to have sit next to him for the final vote. He chose to eliminate Franzel and take Palumbo to the final two. Franzel was in shock at the fact she was voted out.
“You know, I was so hurt and it’s so crazy to say because him and I got so close this season and he was like a brother to me. It just hurts,” said Franzel according to Entertainment Weekly.
Franzel then joined the jury, which consists of players that were voted out throughout the season and choose the final winner between the final two. The jury speculated in the last few episodes who they thought played the best game, but also pointed out flaws in the games of everyone in the final three.
Both Calafiore and Palumbo had a chance to plead their case to the jury. Each jury member was able to ask one of the final two players one question to help them choose a winner. Both players advocated for themselves well, but with Cody playing such a strong mental and physical game, he was victorious.
When Big Brother host Julie Chen Moonves started revealing the votes that were all in favor of Calafiore, we quickly learned he was going to win. With a vote of nine to zero, Calafiore took the crown with all jury members in agreement that he played the best game.
Palumbo gave his co-star and friend a hug congratulating him and didn’t look too distraught about the loss. He said he would be using his second-place prize of $50,000 strictly on his two children.
Calafiore exited the house and was met with confetti and his former housemates to congratulate him. His family was also present virtually, beaming with pride for Calafiore. He expressed that he did not know what he would do with the grand prize money.
It was also revealed on finale night that player Da’Vonne Rogers won America’s vote for favorite houseguest and was rewarded with a prize of $25,000. In an interview with Rogers after the show, she revealed that if Calafiore would have taken Franzel to sit next to him in the finale instead of Palumbo, he would’ve had less of a chance to win.
“If it were Nicole and Cody, Cody would have won, but it wouldn’t have been a unanimous vote,” said Rogers. She said that players Memphis, Christmas, Kevin and David would have voted for Franzel over Calafiore.
Although the results of the finale didn’t come as a huge surprise to most fans, Calafiore played an excellent game until the end. He made all the right plays to guarantee his prize of $500,000.