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Big Brother Season 21 Finale Recap: And the Winner Is...

So, was the winner of Season 21 as predictable as the rest of the season?

Dalene Rovenstine

For BB fans, Big Brother 21 has been a bit of a head scratcher. From questionable, offensive moments on the live feed to the first four houseguests out the door being people of color, it's been a season rife with drama -- and not the good kind.

And yet there were moments when the season seemed to be turning around: Nicole Anthony and Cliff Hogg -- underdogs of the season from the start -- survived the block numerous times and got themselves all the way to final four. There, they had to go head to head with their final four pact partners, Jackson Michie and Holly Allen. In Sunday night's episode, Michie won the final veto and chose his showmance, Holly, to go with him and HOH Nicole to final three. So with Cliff out the door, could Nicole pull out an epic win and turn around season 21? Well...

...Unfortunately, no.

In Wednesday's finale, Holly and Nicole battled it out in comp 2: Foggy Memory. They had to place a number to represent the day in the house with 12 memories on a brain climbing wall. Whoever matched the numbers correctly in the fastest amount of time won. It was mostly a memory comp with a tiny bit of athleticism thrown in. Nicole is -- admittedly -- a brainy gal, not an athletic gal. Holly had worried about memory comps, but it didn't seem to stop her. She beat Nicole by four minutes.

After the comp, Nicole did her best to convince Holly to take her to final two if she happened to win the third competition. Holly seemed to consider it, but it ended up being a moot point.

The showmance went head to head in a live final comp: The Jury Is Out. They had to prove how well they know their fellow houseguests (and remember the summer) by picking a false statement out of three made by each jury member. Holly only missed one question, but that was all it took. She lost to Jackson, who went on to become the final HOH and choose -- no surprise -- to evict Nicole.

Big Brother Racism, Bullying Allegations Addressed by CBS Bosses

During jury questioning, the former houseguests pulled no punches with Michie: Cliff started off by asking if jury management was important to his game play at all (because the jury didn't feel particularly well managed). And then Tommy went straight for the jugular: "Some of the women on the jury feel you were degrading and condescending to them at times. We agree that you played a great game, but we're not sure that we should reward that type of behavior." Thrown a bit off guard, Michie wrote off his behavior as being an intense person.

They went a bit easier on Holly. Christie asked about her game strategy going into the house, which gave Holly the opportunity to talk about how she intentionally flew under the radar. Sis asked about Holly playing Michie's game instead of her own, but Holly says she actually "managed him at times."

In her final speech, Holly framed it as the jury getting to vote for the "frontline soldier or stealthy sniper."

Before getting to jury votes, Julie took the time to address some of the hot-button issues the show has dodged all season. She began by addressing Gr8ful shutting Nicole out of the HOH room. Then she went on to ask Kemi what it was like watching the season back. Kemi said much of what she saw was unforgivable. Jack said his words were from a place of ignorance, and he apologized to Kemi for what he said. Christie, for her part in it, said she didn't know exactly what she said, but she'd give Kemi a call after she watches to apologize. And Jackson spoke up from inside the house to say he didn't know what was said -- but he wanted to apologize anyway. Then Julie put Jackson right on the spot for putting David, Jessica, Cliff, and Kemi up the first week. He was completely shocked by the implication that it was racially motivated.

And that's all we got -- they had to move on to the Nick-Bella-Kat drama. On the one hand, it's nice to see the show finally address what happened this season. On the other, it's a little too little too late. Let's do better next year, BB producers, yeah?

Anyway, the votes came in: Holly got three votes (from Jessica, Nicole, and Kat), and Michie became the winner of Big Brother season 21. He doesn't seem too pleased -- probably because Julie Chen just said he was racist on live national television. But he finally got his confetti.

And we voted correctly, America: Nicole is America's Favorite Houseguest with over a million votes. Now, let's all just start using that energy to manifest Tiffany Haddish joining Celebrity Big Brother Season 3 this winter so we can put this crummy season behind us.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)

Jackson Michie, Julie Chen Moonves, Holly Allen, Nicole Anthony, Big Brother 21

Jackson Michie, Julie Chen Moonves, Holly Allen, Nicole Anthony, Big Brother 21

Monty Briinton, CBS