**NOTE: This recap contains spoilers. Please do not read on unless you want to find out what happened on "Big Brother Canada"!**
"I really love the whole fairy tale scenario of sitting next to Neda at the end. As good as that fairy tale ending sounds, I want to have the best possible chance of winning my [$100,000]," says Jon.
With the strength of a thousand "Hundos" (which, naturally, was trending on Twitter in Canada last night), Jon does just that. The self-proclaimed "Goofy Newfie" takes Sabrina as his Final Two partner, ousting Neda, his "sister" and master-strategist superfan, in the process. Winning by a vote of 6-1, the smiling 23-year-old student earns his big cheque, after admittedly going into the game with very little, or "diddly-squat" knowledge of it.
But that's exactly where Neda made her big misstep. Throughout the game, the 22-year-old Vancouver stylist held pow-wow study sessions with Jon, and sometimes Heather, in between her nuanced manipulation of Jon's physical powers to get the pair to the Finals. She underestimated him and his desire to learn or memorize every element of the game. Jon worked harder because he knew he had more to cram. Ultimately, it was her pupil who saw through her own plan to boot him at the end, and take Sabrina, a presumed "easier win" to the coveted Final Two spot.
"I'm in the Final Three in "Big Brother," and after all the work I've put in to this game, I couldn't be happier right now," says Neda.
After the stamina (not endurance) "Big Brother Bailout" HoH v.1 competition, where Neda dangerously flirted with a wardrobe malfunction, it became a matter of "How bad do you want it?" Though Sabrina's mascara was "burning [her] eyes off," she channeled her love for Leonardo DiCaprio in "Titanic" (seriously), to power through two hours in the tempestuous storm. But, it wasn't enough, as Jon took home the big win in the first event.
The strength of Sabrina's game should not be overlooked. The hairstylist-makeup artist created the all-powerful First Five alliance, before circumstances took her farther with just her Gremlin co-founder Rachelle, and eventually, an alliance of one. Initially, sure, she was certainly overbearing and laid down many histrionic, teary rants, but her ability to influence others with her words is, by far, her greatest talent. Sabrina's an expert in persuasive language, probably best of anyone in the house, even ranking amongst other "Big Brother" greats. It takes more than just a mouth to convince a house who can't stand you -- sometimes -- to keep you through six nominations. Sabrina's a dangerous player, and yes, she makes "really f**king good TV." It's what we want. She also won a mental HoH just when she needed to, again proving Neda's overstudying and lack of trust in the strength of her gameplay was her downfall.
We see this mastery at work when Jon approaches Sabrina for a Final Two deal, following his first HoH event victory. Staring at the 6'5'' former hockey player, Sabrina doesn't flinch. She's cold, authentic, genuine, and locks eyes with Jon, before telling him, "It's like really, really tight with you guys [Jon and Neda, if they were to go to the Final Two together]. But with me, it's a guarantee that you'll win." She doesn't even blink, beg, or go any further than her earnestness. She reflects his energy, and plays it cool, agreeing to a deal before admitting in the diary room, that, "I don't want to rely on him, I need to win [the next HoH event]."
She doesn't win it, but it doesn't matter. Yes, Neda made many of Jon's moves for him, but, he's no dummy. He knows it, and cuts her at the Final Three, keeping his new promise to Sabrina.
As Neda leaves, she admits to Arisa she was planning to do the same thing to Jon if she was in his HoH position, and even votes for him to win.
"I'm voting for the person who played the best, slash, my game," says Neda, as she casts her vote.
Sabrina's verbal magic couldn't save her from Jon's undeniable physical record, competition wins, and eviction of his biggest ally. Even though she overcame more adversity in the game, despite Jon's dislocated shoulder on Day 13, her arguments only earned her a $20,000 cheque, and a spot in the "Big Brother Canada" hall of fame. This is incredibly impressive. Hopefully this isn't the last we see of Sabrina, on TV. Plus, she snapped a selfie with "Big Brother 15" favourite Amanda Zuckerman after the show. What more could you want?
So, where does that leave us? Season 2 of "Big Brother Canada" started off incredibly slow due to sloppy frills, and even sloppier editing. Did we really need the "MYSTERY HG?!" contest to suck up prime real estate and airtime in the early episodes? Allison hardly had a "hand" in contributing to the season, anyway, even though she did coerce a good cry out of Sabrina. Oh, there's her cringemance, too. Gross. That twist, or the bogus War Room, did not connect with audiences looking for strategy, interpersonal relationships and betrayal. Instead, it made the viewing way more passive, not interactive, which, of course, was the intent.
Canada still could have had a jury vote this season, even if there was no bonus contestant. The online interaction and engagement with the show is one of its strong suits, it didn't need many more ideas. Besides, Canada's reign as HoH was an excellent Power Shift, broke up the First Five, and gave Jon and Neda the wakeup call they needed to seize control of the house.
As for Neda, well, a little more confidence in her endgame could have gone a long way. Canada's on your side, girl! Long live the superfan.
Still, the season was superb. Unpredictable, full of excellent casting and even better challenges -- Ika shredding letters is a reality TV hall of fame moment, at the very least -- I can't wait to see how the show continues to improve with Season 3, if Slice/Shaw opts to renew it. They should.
There has been no news regarding a Season 3 of "Big Brother Canada," but we'll be the first to let you know if/when we hear something. We were also at the live finale.