Breakout Big Brother stars of the 2010s: Big Brother 21

Nicole Anthony, houseguest on the CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Nicole Anthony, houseguest on the CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

With the decade almost in the rear view mirror, we’re taking a look at the past ten years in Big Brother, this time with a look at the breakout star of BB21.

With the 2010s soon to be in the rearview mirror, we decided to look back at Big Brother seasons of the past decade. Over the next several days, we will look at the most notable breakout player from each season (in our opinion) this decade. This will mean Big Brother 12 to Big Brother 21 with Over the Top and Celebrity versions included.

Next up, we will be examining the breakout star of Big Brother 21. Big Brother 21 is one of the worst seasons of all time. There was just so much controversy surrounding the season that it was simply difficult to enjoy. However, there were a few bright lights in this otherwise miserable season. No light shined brighter than Nicole Anthony.

Big Brother 21’s breakout star: Nicole Anthony

Nicole started off Big Brother 21 in a weak position. She was outside the Gr8ful alliance controlling the game. She tried to form an alliance known as the Black Widows with Jessica Milagros, Kemi Fakunle, and Isabella “Bella” Wang. However, Wang wanted no part of it and told HOH Jack Matthews of this alliance. As a result, her allies Jessica and Kemi became targets. Kemi was evicted in a 10-1 vote.

The lone vote to keep Kemi came from Michie, who intended to pin it on Nick Maccarone. However, Nick won HOH in week 3, unknowingly saving himself in the process. Needing to find someone else to blame the hinky vote on, Michie blamed Nicole for it. However, Nick wasn’t buying it.

During the early part of the week, Nicole formed an alliance with Cliff Hogg III and Camp Comeback member Ovi Kabir called “Fellowship of the Zing.” This alliance was quickly exposed when Christie Murphy overheard Cliff’s strategy talk with the cameras, making Cliff a target.

Later in the week, Nicole feared that members of the majority alliance were going to turn on Nick and Bella, so she told Bella about it. However, Bella told this to the rest of the Gr8ful alliance, who denied the accusations. This led to Nicole being the target of a major bullying incident. It also made her Nick’s target for the week. When Kathryn “Kat” Dunn won the Power of Veto, she used it to save Jessica. Nicole was nominated in Jessica’s place.

Nick and Bella wanted Nicole gone. However, 6 members of Gr8ful broke off from the alliance and formed the Six Shooters. The Six Shooters blindsided Nicole’s ally Cliff by evicting him that week in a 6-4 vote.

Nicole took full advantage of her new life in the game. Her ally Cliff came back into the game by winning the Camp Comeback Competition. In week 6, Cliff and Nicole helped form the Cliff’s Angels alliance with Jessica and Kat. Together, they successfully took out the ringleader of the Six Shooters alliance, Jack Matthews.

In week 8 when Michie won HOH, Nicole and Cliff cemented a final 4 deal with him and Holly Allen. This took her all the way to the final 4.

On Day 79 at the back end of the double eviction, Nicole finally won her first competition of the season when she won HOH. She nominated Tommy Bracco and Christie for eviction, with the intention of evicting Christie. When Cliff won the Power of Veto, he kept her nominations the same. Christie was then evicted in a 3-0 vote.

At the final 5, Michie won HOH and nominated Cliff and Tommy for eviction, with the intention of evicting Tommy. Nicole won the Power of Veto that week and used it to save Cliff. This forced Holly to be nominated as the replacement. With Cliff and Nicole controlling the votes, Nicole wanted to make a deal with Tommy and evict Holly.

However, Cliff wanted no part of this and tried to steer her toward evicting Tommy. Michie overheard them making a deal with Tommy and used the information to lie about Tommy. Holly then made a deal with Cliff and Nicole to throw both the HOH and POV at final 4. Cliff and Nicole took this deal and Tommy was evicted in a 2-0 vote.

At final 4, Nicole won HOH after both Cliff and Holly threw it to her. Nicole nominated Michie and Holly, with the intention of evicting Michie. However, Michie won the POV and saved himself. Cliff was the replacement nominee by default. Michie chose to evict Cliff, leaving Nicole all by herself in the final 3.

At the final 3, Nicole lost both parts of the final HOH. That didn’t stop her from trying to convince Holly from trying to take her to the final 2. Nicole pointed out Michie’s resume and how dumb it would be to take him to the end. Nicole’s work went down the drain when Michie won HOH. Michie chose to evict Nicole on finale night, making her the final member of the jury.

Later on finale night, Nicole gave her jury vote to Holly. She was also one of the 3 finalists for America’s Favorite Player. She won America’s Favorite Player garnering over 1,000,000 votes.

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You could have made cases for Cliff, Kat, or even Michie to be the breakout star of Big Brother 21. However, Nicole stood out far above the rest. Nicole was easily the most popular player of the season and had an amazing of age story on the show. Her perseverance under long odds, massive popularity, and overall gameplay earn her the nod as the breakout star of Big Brother 21.

Who is your breakout star of Big Brother 21? Let us know in the comments!