How does Big Brother 21 compare to past seasons?

Big Brother 21: Less than a month until BB21 cast reveal? (BB Celeb House Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS)
Big Brother 21: Less than a month until BB21 cast reveal? (BB Celeb House Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS) /

The season finale of Big Brother 21 aired 5 days ago. One topic of debate often centers around just how good a season was. This article will take a look at Big Brother 21 and compare it to past seasons.

Big Brother 21 concluded Wednesday with Jackson Michie defeating Holly Allen by a vote of 6-3. Since then, one constant debate among Big Brother fans has been about the season’s quality. Some think it was absolutely terrible, some enjoyed it, others thought it fell somewhere in between.

There was a lot to like about Big Brother 21. However, there was also a lot to make you want to cringe and maybe even stop watching entirely. Before we can officially decide how this season compares, lets take a look a back at the good and the bad.

The bad

There were a lot of things that hampered Big Brother 21. One of the most prominent was allegations of racism and discrimination. It all started on Day 1 when Jackson Michie, as Camp Director, chose to banish David Alexander, Kemi Fakunle, Jessica Milagros, and Cliff Hogg III. This sparked allegations that Michie discriminated against race and gender, which Michie has vehemently denied.

Jack Matthews only further escalated this with vicious and derogatory comments he made about Kemi behind her back. Jack was also caught on live feeds making derogatory and racist comments towards houseguests Ovi Kabir and Jessica Milagros. The backlash from viewers prompted producers to warn Jack about his comments.

In addition to allegations of racism and discrimination, the Gr8ful alliance caught heat from fans for an incident that was perceived as them bullying Nicole Anthony. Everything started when Nicole got suspicious about a big alliance (Gr8ful) being spearheaded by Jack and Michie. She confided in Isabella “Bella” Wang with this information because she feared Bella and Nick Maccarone would be targeted by this alliance.

However, Bella was part of this big alliance and immediately told them about it. The rest of Gr8ful swiftly denied the allegations and proceeded to talk very negatively about Nicole behind her back. Furthermore, when Nicole tried to go into the HOH room to talk to those in the room, she was denied entry and Michie slammed the door in her face. This, angered Ovi who marched up to the HOH room to tell them how he felt about it.

Nicole later tried to talk to Jack in the storage room about what had happened. However, he talked to her in a rude and condescending matter before leaving.

The alliance’s denial of Bella’s information about what Nicole said led to HOH Nick to try and backdoor Nicole. However, six members of the Gr8full alliance proved Nicole’s information to be correct when they blindsided Nick and Bella by evicting Cliff.

There were also accusations that Michie cheated the have-not rules. At the beginning of week 4, Cliff (as HOH) was required to name four houseguests to be have nots for the week. One of the have nots was Michie. Even though he was a have not and only allowed to eat slop, Michie was seen on the live feeds stuffing regular food into his pockets and then eating it behind the shower wall. Despite the have not cheating, Michie did not receive any punishment normally given to those who break have not rules from Big Brother.

Additionally, week 5’s Power of Veto Competition caught the attention of PETA for its use of live sheep. In the Power of Veto Competition, sheep were dressed with random numbers and houseguests had to wrangle these sheep into pens. The sheep would have to add up to a certain number. PETA accused Big Brother of animal cruelty saying animals weren’t for entertainment and not yours to abuse. They also called on Big Brother to not commit to using live animals again.

The good

For all the bad there was some good this season. Winner Jackson Michie played one of the best games we’ve seen in recent memory. The only thing that really prevents him from being an upper-echelon winner is all the controversy that came with him in the house.

The middle weeks of the season were particularly good. From week 4 until week 8, power was shifting hands every week, which is what you need in a good season of Big Brother. Jack’s eviction was particularly satisfying given all the nasty comments he had made in the house.

Probably the best part about watching this season was watching Nicole’s growth. When she started off the game she was an outcast in the house who had been bullied by the Gr8ful alliance. However, down the line she became a forced to be reckoned with. She formed a final 4 with Cliff, Michie, and Holly. She had a final 2 with Cliff.

Nicole finally won her first competition on Day 79 and used it to take out Christie Murphy, one of the biggest players in the game. When she finally won, she everyone was universally happy for her, which is rare in the Big Brother house. You could see her growth both as a person and as a player and I think that is a big reason fans loved her so much.

Cliff was another reason this season ended up being as good as it was. A lot of fans give him heat for wanting to keep Holly at the final 5 over Tommy Bracco and rightfully so. However, that shouldn’t overshadow what he did for this season.

You could tell even from his pre-show interviews that Cliff seemed like a lot of fun. Sure enough, he was. He was entertaining in the diary room and his game sense (for the most part) was pretty good. Normally, the older people don’t last very long on Big Brother. However, Cliff did. Despite being evicted twice along the way, Cliff made it all the way to the final 4.

Cliff was also monumental in turning the season around. In week 4, not long after he had been evicted for the 2nd time, Cliff won HOH and nominated Jack and Michie for eviction. However, Jack won the Power of Veto to save himself. Cliff then made a deal with Christie to keep Christie from using the Panic Power. Isabella “Bella” Wang was the replacement nominee and she was evicted.

This got the ball rolling on breaking up the big alliance that had dominated the game. Cliff’s deal making is what really opened up his game. Through some smart deals he made, he was able to get himself to the final 4. His biggest mistake was pushing for Tommy to be evicted over Holly. Had Tommy stayed, there is a greater likelihood Cliff would’ve made it to the final 3 as Michie would have been all alone at 4.

Where does Big Brother 21 rank?

Unfortunately, the bad overshadows the good here and this season slots in at #17 out of 21 seasons. The only seasons behind it are Big Brother 18 (#18), Big Brother 9 (#19), Big Brother 19 (#20), and Big Brother 15 (#21)

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Where does Big Brother 21 rank in your book? Comment below!