Perfect redemption

Cody Calafiore wins Big Brother: All-Stars with perfect game, avenges falling short in first go around



Cody Calafiore (middle) celebrates making it to the final three with fellow houseguests Nicole Franzel and Enzo Palumbo in season 22 of the CBS reality TV show “Big Brother.” “Big Brother: All-Stars” came to its conclusion last night. Calafiore dominated the game and it all paid off when he won the $500,000 grand prize by a 9-0 vote over Palumbo. Whether it be socially or strategically effective or being a competition beast, Calafiore played every aspect of the Big Brother game flawlessly, and earned the victory after losing in the first round six years ago.

Back in August, Cody Calafiore entered the Big Brother house as one of 16 All-Stars with no other goal than first place. Nearly three months later, several weeks of skillfully strategic gameplay brought Calafiore all the way back to finale night. This time around, he won with a unanimous 9-0 vote to complete a perfect game.

In a season among all-star houseguests, he flawlessly maneuvered the game week after week. He made big decisions when he needed to and never took a day off within the game. Because of this performance, he is definitely one of the greatest to ever play the game.

Coming into Big Brother: All-Stars, Calafiore made it his goal to be the entire package.

— Sports Editor Daniel Stackhouse

Calafiore first played the game in 2014 as a houseguest on Big Brother 16. In the early days of the game he teamed up with the eventual winner of that season Derrick Levasseur and the two formed “The Hitmen.” The two ran the entire season from start to finish.

Levasseur served as the man calling the shots between the two and making all the major strategic decisions. Whereas Calafiore played a fantastic social game in getting all sorts of information to give to Levasseur as well as winning several competitions, including three Head of Household and three Power of Veto competitions, that helped keep their game going.

Even though the social and competition aspects of his game were strong, his dependence on Levasseur on strategic gameplay came to bite him. With the final Head of Household under his belt, he chose his loyalty to his final two rather than Victoria Rafaeli, who the season’s jurors admit Califiore would have easily beaten. Instead, he got crushed in the jury vote by Levasseur 7-2.

Coming into Big Brother: All-Stars, Calafiore made it his goal to be the entire package. He wanted to be somebody that thrived in the game socially, physically, and strategically. In order to take the first step, he took control of the game in taking the first HOH competition to get the game going.

For the first few days of the game, he made three final two alliances. One with season 18 winner Nicole Franzel, one with season 10 runner-up Memphis Garrett called “The Commission,” and one with season 12 third-place finisher Enzo Palumbo called “The Root.” Calafiore continued to play the social game and get close and aligned with most of his fellow houseguests.

With all of the solid relationships and reliable alliance, Cody had all of his bases covered early on in the game. Most notable, “The Commission,” Franzel, Christmas Abbott, Dani Briones, and Tyler Crispen to form “The Committee.” That alliance ran through the entire game, taking out any and all opposition.

When he had the opportunity to vie for power, he did not waste those chances.

— Sports Editor Daniel Stackhouse

Though Calafiore could have just sat and watched with the position that he was in, he kept on playing the game day after day. He was in several important conversations even when he did not have any HOH or POV to use. Midway through the game, he was able to convince his fellow alliance members to convict Da’vonne Rogers, even though the initial plan was to backdoor David Alexander, and it worked and Rogers was out of the house.

When he had the opportunity to vie for power, he did not waste those chances. Over the course of the season, Calafiore won four HOHs and four POVs. He used those powers to keep the entire game within the palm of his hand.

When the competition dwindled down to final six, and one of his loyalties in Briones out of the house, he began to pick his shots carefully and never missed. It began in top six when he won HOH and successfully targeted and evicted Crispen, whose loyalty had been in question for several weeks.

The following week, Franzel swept the week and targeted Garrett in her HOH reign. Calafiore followed through and encouraged her to take out Garrett, and successfully did so by the end of the week. In the final four, with Palumbo having already won the HOH and clinched top three, Calafiore put it upon himself to win the final POV and clinch his own spot in the final three.

With the sole vote to evict, he took out Abbott, the only person in the final four he was not aligned with. Now in the final three, Calafiore had two of his final twos with Franzel and Palumbo intact. Even though he was in a great spot to win, he gunned for the final HOH to ensure he could control his own destiny.

This win has put Calafiore into discussions of him being one of the greatest players in the show’s history. 

— Sports Editor Daniel Stackhouse

In part one, he fell short of winning an endurance competition to Franzel, forcing him to take on Palumbo in part two. He smoked Palumbo in part two in a memory and matching competition, completing about eight times faster than Palumbo. In the final part of the competition, he edged out Franzel to win the final HOH of the season.

Calafiore had to make the toughest decision of his game yet: Would he take Franzel or Palumbo to the final two? With tears in his eyes, he mustered up the courage to confidently evict Franzel, keeping “The Root” together and in the final two chairs. After 85 days, Calafiore had never been put on the nomination block once.

Following a stream of questions by the season’s jury, the 11 members of the jury cast their votes for the winner of Big Brother: All-Stars. Calafiore unanimously defeated Palumbo by a jury vote of 9-0. The two men walked out of the house, Calafiore being $500,000 richer and an all-star among all-stars.

Only once before has a perfect game been accomplished, that by Dan Gheesling when he won Big Brother 10 all the way back in 2008. Many fans consider this season to have been boring and predictable. While that may be true, this was only because Calafiore controlled the game from start to finish.

No other houseguest could lay a scratch on him. He played probably the most well-rounded game in the history of Big Brother. He took several things from his previous romp and applied himself and got all the way to the end. This win has put Calafiore into discussions of him being one of the greatest players in the show’s history.