Every winner of Big Brother has had to make big moves in order to come out on top. Indeed, most, if not all of the winners had to accomplish some type of feat to be in the final two, even if it was just winning the last competitions that helped get them there.
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When it comes to the 10 best winners of Big Brother, they have had some memorable moments in the game. Some of these moves actually helped them become the winner while others were memorable for other reasons. In every case, though, they have become iconic.
10 Ian Terry (Season 14) – Orchestrating Mike’s Eviction
Not only did Ian win against Dan Gheesling, one of the best to ever play the game, but he also orchestrated the eviction of Mike “Boogie” Malin, one of Big Brother’s most prominent players to date. Ian was part of Boogie’s alliance and seemingly the least threatening of the bunch — until he proved that he wasn’t.
Right after Boogie’s eviction, which was an iconic scene that led right back to Ian, Ian stepped on the gas and won a total of four HoH competitions as well as two critical Vetos, ensuring his spot in the finale. Ian was the ultimate underdog who proved that underdogs can be serious threats.
9 Nicole Franzel (Season 18) – Being Announced As Winner
Not only was she the first woman to win against a male competitor, but Nicole also bested the cocky and arrogant Paul Abrahamian, who believed he ran the game the entire time and was a shoo-in to win. Little did he know that many on the jury held a grudge and decided to award the win to Nicole.
Both Nicole and Paul looked equally shocked when she was declared winner, and Nicole running through confetti to accept her prize was an iconic moment for the three-time player. Paul remains one of the Big Brother players who had the greatest downfalls, and while Nicole can’t be credited with making any big moves herself, her win in and of itself was iconic.
8 Cody Calafiore (Season 22) – Evicting Nicole
While it seemed likely right from the beginning that Cody was going to win given his physical prowess, leadership position in a dominant alliance, and general likability, his most memorable moment was when he evicted Nicole in the final minutes of the game, choosing to sit beside Enzo in the final two instead.
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Nicole was not only heartbroken as she believed he was going to honor their final two alliance, but she was also visibly angered and bitter. While Cody seemed like he truly felt bad about the decision, it remains his most memorable move in the game.
7 Dan Gheesling (Season 10) – Dan’s Funeral In Season 14
Dan’s Funeral has become a thing of legend in the Big Brother game; a strategy that not only saved him from eviction but also helped get him to the final two. Indeed, while this was Dan’s most iconic move, he did not make it in the season he won (season 10); this happened in season 14, in which he placed second to Ian Terry.
Dan had many iconic moves throughout his two times playing the game, but the funeral, where he called out his ally and pretended she had betrayed him (failing to fill her in on the ruse first to ensure an authentic reaction) was a genius move and a scene fans love to watch over and over again.
6 Will Kirby (Season 2) – Manipulating Janelle In Season 7
Will remains one of the best to ever play Big Brother. And while his diary room sessions with Mike “Boogie” Malin where they mocked and laughed at the people they had backstabbed have become the most iconic scenes from his season, Dr. Will, as he is known, had some other memorable scenes that involved only himself.
Fans of the first All-Stars might not have viewed it as an iconic scene. However, now that there’s a new legion of fans of the show who have gotten to know and love Janelle, watching how he manipulated her to vote out her best friend Marcellas has become a heart-wrenching and cringe-worthy scene. It was one of the worst things Will Kirby ever did in Big Brother.
5 Steve Moses (Season 17) – Voting Out Vanessa
Throughout the entire season, Vanessa Rousso was the expected winner. It seemed even the houseguests relented to the fact that she was obviously running the show and was the one to beat. The fact that she was so well-liked meant that even though people knew she had a good chance at making it to the finals, they still didn’t go against her.
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Indeed, Vanessa made it right up to the end. That is, until Steve Moses, who had been seemingly quiet and in the background for much of the season, pulled out a win when it mattered most and did the unthinkable: voted out the woman everyone thought would win. It turned out to be the right move as not only did Steve win himself, but an informal poll afterward confirmed that if Steve had taken Vanessa to the finals with him, he would have lost.
4 Andy Herren (Season 15) – The Rogue Vote
Andy might be one of the more controversial winners, a “floater” who some felt didn’t deserve to win the top prize. However, Andy did make some quiet but critical moves in the game. He flipped back and forth from one alliance to the next, which made people believe him to be disloyal.
But his biggest move was convincing McCrae to vote out someone he was aligned with and who would never go against him. He lied about a rogue vote being attributed to Elissa, causing friction within their friendship. McCrae listened and ended up going out the door next while Andy won four competitions in a row to secure the win in the end.
3 Hayden Moss (Season 12) – Big Reveal To Britney
It wasn’t just Hayden’s most iconic moment, but the most iconic moment for his entire alliance, which ran the game for its entire duration. Called the Brigade, comprised of Hayden, Enzo, and Lane, and Matt (until he got backstabbed), they were one of the most entertaining alliances on Big Brother.
When Hayden, the obvious leader, finally made it to the end with his two buds, they decided to break the news together to Britney about the alliance. She was the last woman standing and they did not want to give her false hope that she had a shot to stay. It was both heartbreaking for her and the final confirmation for the trio that they had made it to the end.
2 Rachel Reilly (Season 13) – Yelling “Floaters, You Better Grab A Life Vest!” In Season 12
It remains one of the most memorable quotes on Big Brother: when Rachel, angered by the houseguests who were seemingly coasting through the game, yelled “Floaters, you better grab a life vest!” in season 12. Rachel, of course, won many competitions and appreciated the integrity of the game, which meant playing hard and trying her best.
While Rachel had many memorable moments throughout the two seasons she played, including in season 13 when she didn’t make it to the end, this remains one for which she is often noted.
1 Xavier (Season 23) – Lucious
The latest winner of the series, Xavier made history for a number of reasons. Most notably, he became the first Black winner in the show’s U.S. history (with the exception of Tamar Braxton’s win of the first edition of Celebrity Big Brother). He also joins the ranks of a select few who have won by unanimous vote, including Big Brother legends like Dan Gheesling and Cody Calafiore. He is also the first winner to receive the enhanced prize of $750,000 over the usual $500,000.
With all of these accolades, along with that intense eviction scene with Kyland, Xavier’s most iconic scene involves his return from 24 hours of solitary dressed as his alter-ego Lucious. A supposed character created out of his intense boredom, he emerged walking down the stairs with an unbuttoned top, afro wig, sunglasses, and an exaggeratedly smooth gait. It was a moment of laughter that was needed among the houseguests.
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