LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — In the end, the win was apparently in the cards. But the scheming poker player ended up getting played herself.
Vanessa Rousso, the 32-year-old pro poker player from Las Vegas, the schemer who plotted the exit of just about every house guest in “Big Brother 17,” was herself sent packing on this evening’s shocking finale.
Vanessa, who made an alliance with just about everyone in the house before she plotted their demise and turned on them, found herself turned on by a nerd 10 years her junior.
The ultimate winner? Steve Moses, the 22-year-old bespectacled audio engineering college student who played much of the season under the radar. A real-life Sheldon from “Big Bang Theory,” he beat runner-up Liz Nolan by a vote of 6-3.
The 90-minute finale aired live Wednesday on CBS.
For the uninitiated, “Big Brother” features 14-16 real people (and in seasons past a lot of scantily clad models) vying for a $500,000 top prize. Each week, one of the house guests is evicted, usually a person considered a strong game player and threat to the other house guests, or someone getting on everyone’s collective nerves. Houseguests are filmed 24-7, can’t leave the house and are cut off from the outside world, with no newspapers, TV or electronic devices. The final three make it to the end, this season 98 days from beginning to end.
This summer, the show decidedly cast more real-looking folks including a supermarket checker, sales clerks, a dentist and a tattooed pro-wrestler. The show was more about plotting and less about skin and shirtless hunks, but ratings remained high as the players took more cerebral turns backstabbing each other. It didn’t hurt that some of the contestants, namely Steve “the epitome of a super fan!,” dentist Johnny McGuire AKA Johnny Mac, and Austin Matelson, the tattoed hairy pro-wrestler, were lifelong fans who knew the game inside and out.
Fans of the show get hooked with three episodes on network TV per week, “Big Brother After Dark,” a live two-hour unedited “late-night” feed on POP (formerly the TV Guide Channel) and live internet feeds 24-7.
Steve won the final Head of Household challenge and had to decide to evict Vanessa or Liz.
This season featured the show’s first-ever transgender contestant (Audrey Middleton, 25, from Villa Rica, Ga.) as well as having twins Liz and Julia (23, from Miami) alternate for several weeks before the unsuspecting house guests started to notice subtle differences between the two and the secret was blown.
Liz won $50,000 as the runner-up.
The audience also voted for “America’s Favorite House Guest,” and finalists included James Huling (the 31-year old Asian cowboy/retail associate from South Carolina), Johnny Mac (who channeled previous winner Dan Gheesling, even down to his speech patterns) and Jason Roy (the openly gay and quick-witted 25-year-old supermarket cashier who wanted to win the top prize, he would constantly say, “to get out of my mother’s basement.”)
James won the $25,000 prize as “America’s Fave.”
In the final tally, Liz got votes from Vanessa, Austin (no surprise since they made out most of the summer) and Julia, her twin. Steven got votes from Johnny Mac, Shelli, James, Meg, Becky and Jackie.
CBS2’s Entertainment Reporter Suzanne Marques spoke to Steve minutes after winning. And did he have plans for the cash?
“Winning,” he said, “not a possibility. Didn’t think about it. I have no idea. Money was zero reason [I did this.] I was looking for a cool life experience. Money has nothing to do with why I did this. Nothing.”
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