‘Big Brother’ Season 19 finale recap: Did Paul Abrahamian, Christmas Abbott or Josh Martinez scheme their way to $500,000? [UPDATING LIVE]

A new “Big Brother” winner was crowned on Wednesday night’s live finale, earning a $500,000 cash prize to go along with their new title of Season 19 champ. Paul Abrahamian, Christmas Abbott and Josh Martinez first competed in a three-part battle to become the final Head of Household. That HOH then decided who to evict as juror number nine and who to sit next to as they pleaded their case to a bitter, angry jury. Who secured their own spot in the final two by winning the last HOH competition? Which houseguest was the last to be evicted? Who did the jury vote to become the winner of “Big Brother 19”? And who was named America’s Favorite Player?

Below, check out our minute-by-minute “Big Brother” recap of Season 19 finale and then sound off in the comments section about the night’s most shocking moments. See the complete list of “Big Brother” winners. Keep refreshing/reloading this page as we’ll be updating live.

8:00 p.m. – “Previously, on ‘Big Brother’!” With just four players remaining, Kevin Schlehuber was in the crosshairs of Paul, Christmas and Josh, who had vowed to go the final three together. Knowing he no longer needed to throw competitions to keep blood off his hands, Paul cleaned house by winning both the HOH and Power of Veto. With Kevin and Josh on the block, Paul chose not to use the POV, leading Christmas to cast the sole vote to evict Kevin. Now, the final three will battle it out to become the final HOH, earning the power to evict the final juror and decide who will be the last two standing. A jury of nine evicted houseguests will then vote to award one of them the $500,000 grand prize.

8:12 p.m. – Paul, Christmas and Josh are hanging out in the magical, rainbow, unicorn wonderland trying to win part one of the final HOH competition. In a flashback, Josh reminded viewers that he is completely clueless by saying Paul might be easier to beat in the end than Christmas. I think the egos of these houseguests is what makes them delusional. Josh actually thinks him and Christmas did something in this game other than follow Paul’s orders. But the jury and viewers at home know otherwise.

Anyways, Josh will have to win part two of the HOH competition if he wants to make that decision because he was the first to drop his unicorn tail and fall off the cloud. After 54 minutes, Christmas was the second to drop. In a surprise to nobody, Paul won the endurance competition before fake crying (with no tears) in the diary room hoping to pull at America’s heartstrings.

8:27 p.m. – It is now time for Josh and Christmas to face off in part two of the HOH competition. “Knock ’em Down” is a medieval themed contest in which the duo has to read clues before knocking down cardboard cutouts of houseguests that don’t correspond with those clues with a slingshot. The player to do this the fastest will win. Christmas has terrible aim and keeps knocking down the wrong houseguests despite knowing the answers to the clues.

Josh seems to struggle with aim as well, but not as bad as Christmas. On the other hand, his memory clearly isn’t as good as her. How could he not know that Alex Ow and Jason Dent weren’t on the block three times? Josh ended up winning by just seven minutes, with a time of one hour and 32 minutes. Josh will have to face off in the final HOH against Paul.

8:31 p.m. – Paul is talking to “America” on cameras within the house. He knows the jury probably doesn’t like him, but he knows they don’t like Josh. He’s nearly certain he will win and can’t wait to go home and spread the word of “friendship.” Yawn. Meanwhile, Christmas is heartbroken because she has no control of her destiny at this point. She’s hoping to buy her mother, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, a house.

Josh is wondering who would be best to bring to the final two. He thinks if he makes the big move and evicts Paul, the jury would respect him for making the big move. He is right because the jury knows that Paul has controlled everything in this game. But Josh has been all talk this season, so it will be shocking if he actually makes a move now.

8:40 p.m.Dr. Will Kirby joined the jury to hash out who they should vote for to win the game. Cody believes Kevin Schlehuber will be next to join them because he is the only likable person left. Others felt it would be Christmas. Of course Cody was right. Mark Jansen then mocked Raven Walton and Matt Clines for thinking Christmas would be next, calling them pathetic for thinking they were puppet masters. Wow! These people hate each other.

Nobody was surprised to learn Kevin was betrayed by Paul. Raven feels Josh is being used because everyone knew he was emotionally unstable. Cody has no respect for Josh as a man. Elena Davies doesn’t respect Josh as a human being. That being said, Cody feels Josh at least took action while Paul sat in the shadows like a “wuss.” Interesting.

8:43 p.m. – The house mostly agrees that Christmas got a “cripple pass.” It appears she may have no shot at winning. When asked why Paul should win, Cody said he got the game handed to him on a silver platter with three weeks of safety. But Matt and Raven are still up Paul’s rear and seem to be willing to defend him to the end. They all agreed they thought they would all be in the final three with him at the end. Elena figured out he turned all the couples against each other and didn’t have good jury management. She admits she is a bitter juror.

Dr. Will then challenged the houseguests by asking them if they lied to anyone in the house. He seems to want them to give Paul a break. Raven asks the house if they’re playing “Big Baby.” Interesting, considering the tears she shed after Jason refused to take her or Matt off the block earlier this season. She’s working hard to convince them to vote for Paul. Everyone but Cody was tricked by Paul.

8:47 p.m. – Raven goes off on a tangent about how many surgeries she’s had, getting a big eye roll from Cody. He’s clearly tired of hearing about the long-suffering Raven. She respects Christmas for breaking her foot and recovering in the house. Alex gives Christmas no credit and thinks she should have left the game if she couldn’t compete.

8:56 p.m. – Time for the final HOH! Paul and Josh are playing “Scales of Just Us” to test how well they know the jury. They must decide how jurors completed certain statements. Whoever has the most correct after eight rounds will win the final HOH!

Paul got question one right and Josh got it wrong. You could hear sighs in the live audience. He’s clearly not America’s favorite. Josh tied it up in round two, inspiring audible noises of glee from the crowd. After a few more questions in which both players answered incorrectly, Josh took a two-point lead and won the final HOH 4-2! He will now decide who to compete against for the half-million dollars! Who will each choose? Be smart Josh!

9:04 p.m. – The jury might respect Josh for winning the final HOH, but if he chooses Paul, will it only prove how in his head Paul was able to be? Not choosing Christmas at this point could cost him $500,000. Will he finally make the move he has been talking about all season?

Paul pleaded his case to Josh by basically saying he’s the only reason Josh is there. Christmas has no fight in her and just thanked both of them for an amazing summer.

And Josh evicted…Christmas! What a fool. He thinks he has a better shot against Paul and is playing for his family. He probably just lost his family $500,000.

9:09 p.m. – Christmas is crying, but tells Julie Chen she is proud of Josh for thinking strategically. She thinks he made the ultimate game move, but he actually did the opposite of that. She actually believes Josh has a better chance to win against Paul. It’s hard to watch all of the delusion walk out of this house. “Good for you,” Julie said when Christmas said she was proud of herself.

9:20 p.m. – The jury is ushered onto the stage to find out who will join them. They predicted it would be Christmas, but were just as gobsmacked as the rest of America to find out it was Josh who evicted her.

Elena told Paul they jury felt Paul orchestrated bullying tactics in the house. Paul denied it and said he was the mediator.

Matt told Josh the jury doesn’t feel he had a strategy. Josh said he was a superfan and said his biggest move was to align with the “outsiders” of Christmas, Alex, Jason and Paul. He also said getting rid of Alex was a big move because she would have beaten him in the end.

Alex asked Paul why he destroyed his friendships or alliances. Paul said he got people as far as he could, but refused to toss his game for someone else to win.

Cody told Josh the jury felt he played a bigger part in Paul’s game than his own. Josh said he downplayed his own intelligence. The jury snickered at that.

Jason asked Paul why he lied to the jurors faces before they left knowing the jury would compare notes. Paul said he only followed what the house wanted, but wanted to maintain friendships.

Mark asked Josh why he cried after he would instigate arguments. Josh said one of his strategies was to call out everyone’s game moves. He said he really did feel bad after doing so sometimes.

Christmas asked Josh a question that was so stupid I won’t even type it out. It had nothing to do with the game.

9:23 p.m. – Personal thoughts: Josh acting like he was smarter than everyone else isn’t helping his cause. The jury seems both amused and annoyed by his statements. Taking Paul to the end with him was a terrible move and he really deserves to lose for it.

9:30 p.m. – Final statements to the jury:

Paul said he was immediately put at a disadvantage because everyone knew who he was and how he played. He used his social game to control the numbers. He strategically pitted the final three pairs against each other so he was never in danger. He fought his way to the end without touching the block the entire season.

Josh said he had to expose the shady games of others. He made alliances with people who won most of the HOH’s. He stupidly mentioned evicting Jessica Graf which clearly irked Cody. He said he took shots, made moves and took out strong players. You can tell the jury doesn’t want to give the win to Paul, but is Josh a ridiculous second option?

9:42 p.m. – Evicted houseguests Jessica, Cameron Heard, Dominique Cooper, Jillian Parker and Ramses Soto joined the panel to share their thoughts about watching the season play out from home. Apparently Megan Lowder was too traumatized to return.

Jessica told the jurors that they should have listened to her when she warned them against Paul. She told them that none of them were more important to Paul than the others and that he often laughed at them in the diary room. They were then showed a highlight reel of them all saying they trusted Paul. Everyone but Cody laughed. Cody looked absolutely furious. Jessica then said she would have voted for Paul to win if she had made it to jury.

Paul is loving this tribute to himself while everyone talks about how smart he is. When it was shown how Josh told everyone going to jury about his alliance with Paul and Christmas, Paul looked heated. He said “you suck.” Apparently Paul thinks only he had the right to play head games with other houseguests. He then said Josh acted cowardly.

Cameron said he was shocked at the lack of motivation among the houseguests. Everyone was either playing for their showmance or Paul and it was frustrating to watch.

9:53 p.m. – Let’s see how the votes played out:

Christmas – Paul

Kevin – Paul

Alex – Josh

Raven – Paul

Jason – Josh

Matt – Paul

Mark – Josh

Elena – Josh

Cody – Josh

WOW! Josh won “Big Brother” by a vote of 5-4. The absolute devastation on Paul’s face was painful but…amusing? He couldn’t even bring himself to come out of the house until he took a few moments to himself. I guess I did not give Josh credit and he wasn’t a total fool to bring Paul to the end. What a shocking finale! Julie rubbed it in by reading Cody’s vote last as well, Paul’s achilles heel all season long. Josh is crying with joy of course. Paul is being comforted by his co-puppet master Raven. He appears shocked at the result and blamed the jury for not making the right choice.

America’s Favorite Player and the winner of $25,000 is: Cody! Rubbing salt in Paul’s wounds. Cody’s only response was “it doesn’t make sense.” Kevin and Jason were the other two in the running.

Congrats to Josh for one of the most shocking upsets in “Big Brother” history and to Cody for going from the most hated player in week one to America’s Favorite by the finale.

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