By Mark Drum
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I’ll get into Friday’s episode recapped with highlights from the season including the tears, showmances and memories from season 18 of Big Brother, but first we are down to the final three houseguests. James, the Staff Recruiter from Wichita Falls, TX; Nicole, the ER Nurse from Ubly, MI; and Paul, the Clothing Designer from Tarzana, CA. All three have had their own strengths and weaknesses in the game. With three opportunities for houseguests to come back into the game, starting the season off in teams and having the final six be a part of the duo, these three houseguests have survived though all of it. Here’s my quick recap of the episode but also a breakdown of why each should win Big Brother and who I predict should win.

Celebrating The Final Three

At the conclusion of Wednesday’s episode, the houseguests were celebrating making it to the final three after James evicted Corey from the house. Nicole was sad that Corey left his pillow of his dog, but had it to keep her company. Meanwhile for Paul hours before eviction, started to lay groundwork to make sure he would be in the final two, by talking to both James and Nicole separately. Highlights from their breakfast meal celebration the following day we learned more about Mr. Jenkin’s Bridgette’s therapy plant; Paulie did not play this game without showing lots of emotions and reflecting on their fallen houseguests who have been evicted. During the memoriam of evicted houseguests, they included Victor three times for his three evictions and Pablo the inflatable Pelican that was Paul’s bud in the Big Brother House.

My Prediction For Part One of HOH

At the conclusion of Friday’s episode, the start of the final HOH competition began. This competition had endurance and a cat inspired theme. The houseguests were dressed up as cats that had to chase around a light across the backyard. When the light stopped at a specific spot the houseguests needed to get on an object to hold on to. But once the light moved again they’d have to chase it until it stopped again. For this competition I predict James will win this because of how well he has done in endurance competitions. But Nicole and Paul will give him a run for his money.

My Prediction for Part Two of HOH

The second competition is usually a memory of who was evicted when or who was the HOH for each week. So you can expect this going to Paul or Nicole. But if both are competing in this then it’ll go to the person with the better memory. I predict Nicole will win this especially being a fan of the show since she was eight years old. However, if it’s Paul and James in this second competition then Paul will win over James because James’ memory for things isn’t as great and has proven that he does not do well with memory challenges.

My Prediction for Part Three & Eviction

In the final competition for HOH it’s a classic Big Brother game in the theme of balance. The two houseguests that won the first two parts of the final HOH will be placed on a scale and asked a series of questions about the jury members. The questions will be about moments that happened in the Big Brother house. I predict our Michigander Nicole to win this. But Paul could take this away from her as his social game was really great this season getting to know the houseguests. If my prediction of Nicole winning is to happen, she’ll evict Paul, leaving herself and James as the final two.

Who should win BB18?

For the sake of given one chance to play this game, Paul should win this season of Big Brother. He was the target from the very beginning but used his social game to keep him in this game. Paul also won competitions when he needed to the most to guarantee his safety. Paul’s game could be similar to that of another Michigander, season 10 winner and season 14 runner up Dan Gheesling. The reason being is that Dan started his season off as a target but then slowly worked his way to the finale. He even was even in a duo as well. Nicole and James may have already competed once, this season was new too, but having the slight edge over Paul seems a bit unfair. So for “friendship,” Paul should win.

Who I want to BB18?

As a Michigander, Nicole is who I want to win. She came into this season as a veteran but also came into the season with a lot to prove. She may have been in a showmance again but having strong alliances to protect her as well as winning a few HOH competitions shows she has the physical and mental abilities. Nicole is also a super fan and is very knowledgeable in what to expect in a game where the theme is to “expect the unexpected.” With each twist Nicole has been able to get through from her alliances and her social skills. Even though our other Michigander Michelle called her a “snake,” Dan was “Judas,” so maybe having a nickname that’s negative is a Michigander thing. Plus, Nicole would be the first female to win Big Brother against a male competitor. Since season two there has not been a female winner who won against a male in the final. Can she break this curse of females losing? I think so!

The Cons Of The Final Three

Paul – Being a pawn week after week, going along with whoever was in power and not really winning comps could be seen as a negative to the jury. Also Paul has been a floater this entire season. Paul’s guaranteed votes from jury would be Victor and Paulie. The jury is mainly comprised of women and so if Paul were to take Nicole, he may lose because the ladies might what to see a female win over a man. But “friendship” has prevailed all season so we’ll see.

James – From the beginning he’s been in strong alliances controlling the game. James lacks the confidence in making big moves and remembering things. So when it comes time to make his final plea with the jury, he’ll have to be perfect and convincing to win over Paul or Nicole. He’ll have Natalie’s vote but that could be it. James does have going for him is his likeability, he’s had a good social game even though some of his pranks were not well received.

Nicole – The Michigander has been called a “snake” and backstabbed more people this season than her previous. But Nicole has been playing the game since day one. If she goes to the final two against Paul, she’ll have to explain some of her game moves to the jury. If Nicole can convince Michelle into voting for her she might have a chance. Otherwise, she’ll settle for runner up or even third place if James or Paul do not pick her to final two.

Who will win BB18 America’s Favorite?

I believe Natalie will win this season’s America’s Favorite Houseguest because of her happy, peppy and cheerful personality throughout this season. She was the recipient of the first America’s Care Package this season and was in a showmance with one of the final three houseguests who also was America’s favorite his season. A dark horse could be either Victor, Paul or Michelle in winning this too. Each of them showed their personalities throughout the season, whether it was “friendship,” fighting their way back into the game or vomiting and crying. It will be interesting to see who America crowns as this seasons favorite.

Who will win BB18?

By a vote of 7-2 Nicole will win BB18 against James if she is able to choose who she sits with in the finals. If Paul decides who he selects in the finals, I believe Nicole will win by a vote of 5-4 just edging out Paul in votes. As I’ve mentioned before James is playing for second place at this point and if he does make it into the final two, I predict he’d choose Nicole over Paul because they’re both veterans and they both earned their way into the final by playing Big Brother. If James does win the final HOH, he’d give Nicole a good run but she would still win by a vote of 5-4. I think this season will be a tight race in votes, but if the final two is James and Paul then Paul would win 8-1.

Will any of my predictions be correct? Tune in Wednesday at 9:30pm on CBS Detroit 62, after the Season Premiere of Survivor Generations for the 90-minute Season finale of Big Brother 18. If you’re interested in applying for the next summer season go to for more details!  Don’t forget this Friday will be the start of Big Brother Over The Top exclusively online for CBS All Access members!

Mark Drum is a Farmington Hills, MI native and Big Brother fan since 2000. Mark is a graduate from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Theatre Arts.


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