Bitter jury robs Ross Mathews of victory in inaugural Celebrity Big Brother

LAHORE: Celebrity Big Brother America on Sunday crowned its first winner on Sunday leaving many fans including myself shocked of the jury’s decision. The winner Marissa Jaret Winokur took away the grand prize of $250,000 while the runner up Ross Mathews went home with $75,000 the breakdown of which is: $50,000 runner up prize and $25,000 as America’s Favourite Houseguest viewers’ choice award.

As someone who closely follows the game for several years, I can tell the outcome of the jury vote was clearly against the spirit of the game and they apparently took things a little too personal.

The jury comprising the evicted houseguests was clearly bitter probably for being bested by the top 2 of the show voted and they showed it by not crowning Ross Mathews who by any standards played way better game than the opponent Marissa whom the jury crowned as the winner.

Ross Mathews was behind a lot of big moves in the game whereas Marissa was seen more as a floater even though she played crucial role in strategising and aligning with the right people. Many would argue that by playing the better game, Ross probably painted a bigger target on himself. That would have been true had Ross evicted by the houseguests before making it to the final two. But see, he made it to the final two.

It’s true that Marissa after aligning herself with Ross remained loyal to him and protected his and her game but it was Ross who strategised most moves, played part in taking out the targets, won the crucial games he needed to win and dodged attacks.

The jury on the other hand surprised everyone by making excuses like ‘voting for the person who played the straightest game’ or ‘the person who was more upfront with me’ or ‘the person who played with more integrity’ etc to justify their vote against Ross Mathews. The number of times the term ‘straight game’ was used, I started thinking at one point that Ross was probably being targeted for openly being gay. I mean did the jury even know what game they were in? In a game like Big Brother, they are supposed to pull big moves which involves lying, backstabbing, blindsiding people and doing whatever it took to win. You can either be a saint or play Big Brother. And anyone who saw the game can tell Ross wasn’t even that big of a schemer as the show has seen in its history.

My personal favourite houseguest of the season was Shannon Elizabeth and one of the reasons for that is because she is also a super fan of the show. This is why I was even more disappointed when she said she felt like Ross and Marissa backstabbed. She clearly held that against them because when the show’s host Julie Chan asked on the finale night, she said she hoped Ross and Marissa got evicted. If that isn’t being bitter, I don’t know what is.

Had jury given any other reason to justify their votes, I would have given them benefit of the doubt and said they were not bitter but man-o-man, when they opened their mouths, it was an utter disappointment. This game is not about what they made it to be and that is the reason I believe they robbed Ross of the title.

Earlier this month, the American version of Big Brother inaugurated its celebrity version of the show and as a super fan, I was hooked and loved the celebrity cast of the show. 25 days later, the show crowned Marissa as its first winner.

The 11-member cast of the show included Miss Universe 2015 runner up Ariadna Gutiérrez, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville, Mixed Martial artist Chuck Liddell, Big Time Rush singer and actor James Maslow, former actress of The Cosby Show Keshia Knight Pulliam, Broadway actress and the winner of the show Marissa Jaret Winokur, singer and host Mark McGrath, former NBA player Metta World Peace, reality show veteran and former White House aide under Trump administration Omarosa Manigault, TV host and the runner up of the show Ross Mathews and actress Shannon Elizabeth.

Omarosa Manigault’s ‘revelations’ about Trump administration

There were many noteworthy moments in the show and the ones that made headlines were definitely the revelations made by former White House’s Communications Director under Trump administration and American reality TV veteran Omarosa Manigault. Even though she made it evident on the show that she hated that fact that journalists insinuated she got the job because she starred on the reality show Apprentice in 2004 and she was paired with none other than Donald Trump himself.

Following are some of the ‘revelations’ she made which haunted not just her but the viewers as well.

1. We are not gonna be okay under Trump administration

When Ross asked her about her time in the Oval office, she said she was ‘haunted by [president’s] tweets every single day’.

2. We’d be ‘begging’ for Trump if vice president Mike Pence was to become president

She said everyone hates Trump but if something happened to him and Vice President Pence was to take over as President, we’d be ‘begging’ for Trump to return. She said we can’t even imagine how much worse things would be under Pence.

We’re gonna be okay after all

On finale night before getting evicted, she made this big speech about how despite differences, the American people can come together as one nation ‘under God’ and in her interview to the host she gave a rhetorical answer and said if the people stuck together they would be okay and can survive the presidency.


The writer is the Digital Editor, Daily Times and can be reached at He tweets and instagrams @FarhanJanjua

A version of this article appeared in Daily Times, February 28, 2018.