LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Josh Martinez, who shed more tears than any contestant in “Big Brother” history, was named the winner in the season 19 finale Wednesday night.
Martinez, a fast-talking emotional 23-year-old hair care salesman from Miami, cried some more when he realized the top prize of the summer — $500,000 — was his.
Paul Abrahamian, last year’s runner up, also came in second this year. He won $50,000 for his efforts.
Christmas Joy Abbott, 35, the fitness trainer and athlete who broke her foot during the summer but still stayed in the competition, came in third.
Josh’s win comes as a bit of a surprise as he was an early target in the house. Often home sick and sick of his fellow houseguests, he was an early and easy target for eviction. He was often called out by the others for crying, whining or suggesting others were out to get him. (He was mostly right.)
Shocking that Paul came in second, again, was the fact he played a superior social game. The entire house, with the exception of Cody, trusted him even while he was lying to their faces. He never got blood on his hands, often having others do his bidding. When he’s not playing “Big Brother,” Paul owns a clothing line called Deadskull. Given his game play and stealth abilities, he really should be working for the CIA. And maybe he does.
Army veteran Cody, brooding and moody, was a likely favorite before the season started but the house ended up turning on him when he tried to backdoor favorite Paul.
Josh lashed out at Cody, often, and then turned his sights on Mark (the bodybuilder who also did his share of crying). Mark and Josh eventually buried the hatchet but not before Josh became a fan favorite banging pans in Mark’s face accompanied by circus music.
In his diary interviews, Josh started calling all his enemies “meatballs.” Eventually, the nickname stuck to him.
After he won the next to last Head of Household competition, Josh remarked that he was one of the final two standing. “I never thought I would get this far,” he said, underscoring something longtime fans were also feeling.
The final jury vote went 5-4 for Josh. In the ultimate irony, the tie-breaking vote came from Cody, who hated Paul on sight. The Paul votes were Christmas, Kevin, Raven and Matt. The Josh votes came from Alex, Jason, Mark, Elena and Cody.
At the finale, host Julie Chen announced that Kevin, Cody and Jason were the top vote getters for America’s Favorite Houseguest. She also said more than 15 million votes were cast. Cody won the $25,000 that accompanies that prize.
Josh told CBS2 Entertainment Reporter Suzanne Marques that no one was more surprised at the win than he was. “I’m here,” he exclaimed.
As for his plans with the money, he said he first wants to take care of his family and maybe take them on a vacation.
He also plans on doing some travel of his own. The final 3 made a pact — whoever won was taking the other two on a nice trip.
“We’re going to travel the world together,” he said.