After 29 days in the “Celebrity Big Brother” house, one of the five remaining contestants was finally crowned the winner in Wednesday’s Season 2 finale. But was it recording artist Tamar Braxton, Olympian Lolo Jones, NFL superstar Ricky Williams, “Real Housewife” Kandi Burruss or “momager” Dina Lohan? Heading into the two-hour finale, which featured no less than two Head of Household competitions, viewers thought that Kandi SHOULD win but were predicting that Tamar WOULD win. So who ended up as this season’s champion and took home the grand prize of $250,000?
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “Celebrity Big Brother” recap of Season 2, Episode 13 to find out what happened Wednesday, February 13 at 9/8c. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite houseguests on CBS’s reality TV show, who annoys you the most, and what you think of this latest addition to the “Big Brother” winners list. Keep refreshing/reloading this live blog for the most recent updates.
9:00 p.m. — “Previously, on ‘Big Brother’!” Twelve celebrities entered the house hoping to follow in Marissa Jaret Winokur‘s winning footsteps from last year. Speaking of Marissa, she returned in Monday’s episode to help host the high-flying Head of Household competition, “Bats the Musical.” Tonight’s finale will begin with the conclusion of that HOH comp, and then the winner will name two nominees for eviction. Following the Veto challenge and meeting, one houseguest will be evicted live and meet one-on-one with host Julie Chen Moonves. The final four will then compete in the last HOH competition where the winner gets to personally evict two players, thereby choosing the houseguest they want to sit next to in the end. Whew! Did you get all of that?
9:04 p.m. — In the time sensitive HOH competition, Tamar was determined to protect her middle-ground position in the house by winning. Kandi was equally desperate for a win because she knows that in order to win the season she’ll have to win something along the way. Also without a win, Dina was confident that this would be the challenge best suited for her strengths, but she was the first player to be eliminated after she spent too much time away from her clock and ran out of time.
9:07 p.m. — Just when Kandi was getting the hang of the comp, she lost all her pieces to a time crunch, leaving Tamar and Ricky far out in front of her. Ultimately Ricky’s athleticism and smart strategy proved successful and he won, ensuring his own place in the final four and elating his ally Lolo as well. Even Tamar, Ricky’s other ally, was happy.
9:09 p.m. — At his nomination ceremony, Ricky expectedly put Dina and Kandi on the block. He told the women that he did what they should have expected, but Dina (smartly) shaded the decision by saying that clearly they’re the best players in the game if they were the ones he was most threatened by at this point of them. The best part about that shade is that it’s unclear whether Dina actually thinks she’s a threat or if she thinks Ricky’s decision was as dumb as all of us probably think it was!
9:11 p.m. — Later, Ricky and Tamar solidify a final two with each other and discuss the option of backdooring Lolo in the event that Dina or Kandi win the POV and take themselves off the block. Obviously Tamar is on board with that idea from Ricky because it would ensure that she isn’t the one to go on the block.
9:15 p.m. — For the final Veto Comp of the season the houseguests had to “steal” artifacts from past challenges displayed as in a museum, including laser triggers to set off alarms. The first player to snatch four artifacts based on the clues and while avoiding the triggers would win. After all five houseguests ran the course, the final times were revealed: Dina clocked in at 17:34, Tamar at 13:22, Kandi at 9:53, Ricky at 9:21 and Lolo at a winning 5:08! Backdoor plan averted and spot in the final four secured!
9:29 p.m. — With POV in her hands, Lolo talked over all her options with Ricky. From her perspective, Lolo has had fights with a majority of the jury and so Kandi would be her ideal eviction because she is well-liked. In order to force Ricky to vote Kandi out with her, Lolo would save Dina so that Tamar would be the replacement who Ricky would not evict. Lolo presented that option to Tamar who was (obviously) not okay with it and so she told Lolo that she’d willingly vote Kandi out if that’s what the other two wanted. In the end she decided that using the Veto wasn’t worth upsetting Tamar and so she did NOT use the POV, leaving both Dina and Kandi on the block and vulnerable to eviction.
9:32 p.m. — Despite telling Lolo that they’d both vote to evict Kandi, Tamar was dead certain on evicting Dina and Ricky was willingly set up as the potential tie breaker vote though unsure which way he’d go.
9:33 p.m. — Back in the studio with Julie, Anthony Scaramucci sat down to further explain his position as a mole in the first week of the game. He also gave props to Dina for playing a low key game and managing to last all the way until finale night in the house. The Mooch also spoke highly of Kandi, who he called one of the smartest people he’s ever met. Of Donald Trump, Anthony said that he believes he’ll not only survive his first term as POTUS, but also gives him good odds of getting re-elected. His warning for the Democrats was to be wary of running an “establishment candidate” against Trump since Trump himself was no establishment and won in 2016. Do we think The Mooch is as good at political predictions as he was at “playing” the BB game?
9:42 p.m. — With their games on the line, Kandi offered words of appreciation to each of the other houseguests including a big thanks to Tamar for rekindling their friendship and Dina did the same despite being clearly nervous. If we’re being honest, Dina didn’t have much to say to Tamar, probably because she knew she wouldn’t get her vote, and so she spoke more eloquently about Lolo and Ricky. Kandi cracked me up when she said the real reason she wants to stay in the house is to be the Celebrity Big Brother player that survived the block the most, forcing players to have to say her name in future seasons! She is soooo good at personal branding!
9:46 p.m. — In the vote, Lolo elected to oust Kandi and Tamar chose Dina, forcing a tie for Ricky to break. With audible groans from the audience, Ricky voted out Kandi with no explanation. In her one-on-one with Julie, Kandi was overcome with the emotion of seeing her family in the audience and speaking about how her and Tamar managed to legitimately fix their friendship of over 20 years! Ugh, I’m so happy to hear that they worked through their issues. *heart emoji*
9:55 p.m. — All four houseguests were eligible for the final and most important HOH of the season. To win they competed as judges for the made up show “Celebrity Lookalike Junior” and had to answer questions based on seven videos of the lookalikes making two true and one false statements about that player’s role in the game–the player with the most correct answers would win. After two questions, Ricky and Tamar took a 2-1 lead over Lolo and Dina and after five questions had extended their lead to 5 each to Lolo’s 4 and Dina’s 1. But on the sixth question only Ricky was correct, putting him in the lead on his own, but he was incorrect in the final question while Tamar was correct, setting up a tiebreaker between just the two of them.
10:04 p.m. — In that tiebreaker they had to guess how many hours it was between the first Breaking Celebrity News Alert and when Julie announced the final Breaking Celebrity News Alert. Ricky’s answer was 185 and Tamar’s was 15, but because the correct answer was 436 it meant that Ricky won and would get to decide which two of the women he will evict and which one he will sit next to in the final two!
10:09 p.m. — Dina’s pitch to Ricky was a continuation of her speech to him earlier (a personal connection), Tamar’s was also personal and she called him one of her favorite people in her life and Lolo spoke more to their competitive nature and based on their teamwork throughout the season. Assured at least second place for himself, Ricky evicted Dina and Lolo, thanking both of them for their parts in the game. His eviction of Lolo caused screams from the audience, utter shock from Tamar and immediate signs of betrayal from Lolo! OMG!
10:13 p.m. — The betrayal that Lolo felt was based in the safety she provided him earlier in the game when she chose him over Tom Green and Kato Kaelin. Though she thinks he ultimately may have made the right game decision by going against Tamar instead of her, she also said that she will have a difficult time being friends with him outside of the game now.
10:20 p.m. — While presenting the known jury members with the identities of the final three jury members, Kandi and Lolo’s reveals were the biggest shocks while it seemed most expected to see Dina’s face among them. But the jurors were even more shocked to learn that Tamar was the one Ricky chose to go to the final two with. That set them up with the opportunity to ask questions of the finalists…
10:23 p.m. — Tom wanted to know from Ricky what his biggest game move was to which Ricky said his faith and calm demeanor while being on the block. Tamar said her biggest game move was gunning for Tom and Kato, knowing that they were the biggest threats in the house at the time of her HOH. Natalie Eva Marie wanted to know about their biggest regrets–Ricky’s was not winning the comp that sent Natalie home and Tamar’s was getting too emotional which may have kept her from making more friends. Ryan Lochte asked them each why they should be chosen over the other to which Tamar spoke about her superfandom of the show and her limited lying in order to get to the end. Ricky said that he played hard and served as an adviser to others in the game.
10:27 p.m. — In her closing argument, Tamar told the jury about her personal journey through life and the difficulties she’s faced and how proud she is to have overcome them both outside and inside the house. Ricky spoke about his goal to show his true self on the show and offered more advice to them about the opportunities they have as celebrities to be proper role models. Based on the facial expressions of the jurors both during the questioning and the closing statements, I’d say that Tamar has more respect, but let’s see!
10:30 p.m. — Jonathan Bennett based his vote on the person that had his back as much as they could, Ryan, Joey Lawrence and Kato all gave vague congratulations to both, Natalie expressed how difficult the decision was for her between the two members of her Bedroom Alliance, Tom voted for the one that made him laugh the most, Kandi said “glad one of us made it” (!!), Dina seemed flustered as ever and Lolo sternly declared her vote was based on deals (nodding at Ricky) or heart (nodding at Tamar). Interesting!
10:38 p.m. — With their votes locked, Julie opened the floor to questions directed at the jurors. Jonathan said one of the biggest surprises to him was that anyone thought he was a threat in the first week because in his normal life he’s never considered a threat. Tom admitted that the time in the house was much more stressful and dramatically competitive than he thought it would be, but coming out of the house and seeing the positive reception made it all worth it. Kato said the toughest part was having to sleep with a bunch people that snore and Tamar admitted to being the Power of the Publicist recipient while apologizing for having to lie about it.
10:50 p.m. — One by one Julie revealed the juror votes: Jonathan for Tamar, Ryan for Tamar, Joey for Tamar, Kato for Tamar and clinching it… Natalie for Tamar! That’s five and we know Kandi was also Tamar, too, right? Whew!
10:56 p.m. — Julie revealed that the other four votes all voted for Tamar, making it a clean sweep and unanimous vote… the second in Big Brother history (the other was season 10 when Dan Gheesling won). The other winner to anoint was the America’s Favorite Houseguest prize and that went to Tom! Certainly the two funniest players in the game so well deserved on both ends! Such a great season! You agree, right? If not, yell at me in the comments!