LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — In the end, the police officer from Providence, Rhode Island out-smarted an entire house filled with Type A personalities, hunks, models and even a guy who looked like he should be on “Duck Dynasty.”
Derrick Levasseur, the 30-year-old detective who modeled his game play after “Big Brother” superstar Dan Gheesling (winner of “BB” 10 and runner-up in “BB 14”), handily won the 16th season of CBS’s summer hit “Big Brother.”
Levasseur won the $500,000 top prize. The fact he’s been an undercover cop for three years and a detective for seven years prior to that came in most handy. He spent the entire summer telling his cast mates he was a parks and recreation coordinator believing his real occupation would make him a target.
He beat runner-up Cody Califiore by a vote of 7-2.
Califiore, the 23-year-old sales account executive (translation: aspiring male model who rarely appeared with a shirt on all summer) from Hackensack, New Jersey won $50,000.
Sweet-tempered Donny Thompson, the 42-year-old school groundskeeper from Albermarle, North Carolina who had a long beard in the “Duck Dynasty” style won the vote as “America’s Favorite Player” and won $25,000.
Host Julie Chen said more than ten million votes were cast in the on-line and phone balloting for America’s Fave. Thompson got 5 million votes.
After Thompson, the two next biggest “favorites” were Zach Rance (who played the game as something of a villain routinely insulting his fellow house guests calling them things like “dingus” and “Froot-Loop dingus”) and Nicole Franzel, the nurse who had a kissy showmance with fellow house guest Hayden Voss who lists his occupation as a pedicab driver.
Frankie Grande, half-brother to singing sensation Ariana Grande and a YouTube personality in his own right, also became popular while hiding his identity and only revealing who his sibling was when he faced possible eviction.
For the uninitiated, “Big Brother” puts 14-16 strangers of varying ages, genders, sexual orientations, religions and puts them in a “house” (actually a sound stage at CBS Radford). They are filmed 24-7 (even sleeping) by 73 cameras. There is no contact with the outside world (the one exception this season was to tell Frankie his grandfather had died), no TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, phones and house guests only leave when evicted one by one until the final two are left standing. The jury, made up of half the evicted house guests, determines the winner and runner up.
The Zankie bromance, the Nicole and Hayden showmance, and more plot twists and backstabbing than is even regular for a show known for backstabbing, kept viewers enthralled for the summer. Hunky cowboy Caleb’s weak and unrequited pursuit of model Amber (some thought it bordered on stalking) as well as former baseball player Devin’s “house meetings” kept viewers glued to the action.There was also Caleb and Victoria being chained together in skimpy Adam and Eve costumes that left nothing to the imagination for 48 hours (and she had to also shave his head bald) were also season highlights.
Unlike last summer’s cast — known for making racial and homophobic off-the-cuff remarks that even offended host Chen — this group was mostly a love fest. The gay guy and his straight cast mates had no problem cuddling together, hugging and spooning. The bromance between straight Zach and Frankie (they were Zankie) was very popular with viewers. Married Christine, a barista, couldn’t keep her hands off the single Cody. They insisted it was all harmless but the show even felt compelled to interview her husband back home to ask what he made of it.
All season, Derrick had others do his dirty work. He made quick alliances (Cody was one, photographer Victoria another) and won in the end for masterful manipulation with very few people, even his alliance members, knowing he was pulling the strings. For half the summer, he also pulled pranks as part of Team America (three players — Donny and Frankie were the others — chosen by viewers to pull a series of stealth stunts on the house.)
Also enjoyable was watching the house guests every week try to figure out what Donny’s “real” occupation was. He insisted he was a groundskeeper but the fact he was mysterious, kept to himself and had a series of T-shirts for the military, made his competitions feat that he was everything from a paratrooper to a Ninja to Army medic.
Before the 90-minute finale, CBS also announced the popular summer series has been renewed for at least two more seasons.