The show’s finale came down to Mike and Erika. If the other contestants were actually voting for the winner based on merit, there is no reason that Mike’s victory would have been assured, so there was really no other way to go than what happened. While the jury was discussing them even Mike’s best friend Will couldn’t come up with one legitimate thing that would convince people that Mike should win:
“Do I respect the way Erika played this game? Absolutely. She played a phenomenal game. However, as a person, she just kind of disgusts me. I’m not really sure why; I can’t put my finger on it. Am I biased? Absolutely. They played a very similar game if you look at it. And the bottom line is to me, Mike’s was superior.”
“She disgusts me.” And there we have the kickoff off the show’s theme: ‘Let’s Humiliate Erika’. No reason for why she disgusts him. If it’s because she slept with Mike to get closer to winning the game, than you’d have to say the same thing about what Mike did, except for that pesky trend of the public condemn any woman who has sex while congratulating men who do the same. And Janelle was treating this entire speech as total truth, that Erika is awful for some unknown reason but Mike is awesome for playing her. What makes it even sadder is that Janelle was played in the same way (if less catastrophically) and she still tore Erika down every chance she got for the rest of the show.
It came up again when the jury was given the opportunity to ask Erika and Mike questions before the voting. James asked Erika how her game was any different than Alison’s with “the hook-up technique”. Now this was completely off-base: Alison was known in her first season on the show for blatantly declaring in the Diary Room that she was flirting with people that she had no interest in order to use them after they cared about her. That was Mike’s technique, not Erika’s. Erika genuinely cared about Mike during the show, Alison used people. It’s interesting that it’s all the same to James – there is no difference in a woman sleeping with someone she cares about and a woman who did the same just to use people. It’s… what was that word again?- Disgusting. She didn’t live up to the code he’s chosen to set for her, so let’s throw her under the bus. Doesn’t matter in the least why she made that choice.
Probably the worst single moment came when the people who weren’t on the show long enough to make the jury were brought back in. Julie Chen, the host, gave Alison the first opportunity to address the final two:
“Hi, guys. Erika, congratulation on making the final two. Mike, congratulations. You played Erika the whole season long! Better than Big Brother, you played that girl. Erika, I hope you use that money and buy yourself some dignity.”
Was she implying that Mike has any dignity? Because that’s not a quality I think someone who uses someone and then declares them a whore on national television possesses. You’d think Alison, who has now been on 3 reality shows (BB4, TAR5, BB7) and won none of them- actually getting kicked off the latter two in just two episodes each, would be a bit more cautious about throwing that particular stone. This is the woman who during the first episode of the season said that she was probably best known for “being a hooker” while she was in the house the first time. I doubt she thinks Erika lacks dignity, she’s just glad there’s someone else to take the heat. She might as well have said ‘thanks for making a fool of yourself so there’s someone else to laugh at’.