By Krixia Zhienelle Subingsubing
September 22, 2016|3:12 am

Nicole Franzel Photo: Twitter/CBSBigBrother

Nicole Franzel is crowned as the BB18 Big Winner.

"Big Brother 18" (BB18) has finally crowned its Big Winner tonight, but not before going through some heavily charged drama and tension. "Big Brother" veteran Nicole Franzel won as the new BB18 champion in a 5-4 vote from the members of the Jury House, with newbie Paul Abrahamian coming in second. Both houseguests were awarded $500,000 and $50,000, respectively. It was also a victorious night for three-time evicted houseguest Victor Arroyo, who won $25,000 for being "America's Favorite Player" for the season.

What went before

This is Nicole's second time to join the veteran CBS reality TV show, having been a houseguest in 2014 in "Big Brother" Season 16. She came in seventh place but was one of the three finalists for America's Favorite Player award. Her win in BB18 marks the first time a woman won over a man in the Final Two.

But before she won the competition, she, Paul and James Huling were gunning for the final Head of Household (HoH) title. Paul won the third round and evicted James out of the house, putting himself and Nicole in the Final Two. The decision to crown the BB18 Winner, however, rested in the hands of previously evicted houseguests called "The Jury."

The BB18 jury was split between the two. They felt that Paul was a good player but not necessarily a good person, while Nicole's true intention and her reputation as a "backstabber" and a "snake" preceded her. Paul defended himself by saying he's put his heart and soul into the game despite it being his first time, while Nicole said she was always thinking about strategies since Day One.

Then it was time to vote. James, Victor, Michelle, and Bridgette all voted for Paul, while Corey, Natalie, Paulie and Zakiyah voted for Nicole. Da'Vonne was the swing vote - and she decided to go with Nicole, who then celebrated by running around the show's live set.

New Big Brother: Over the Top

Don't think that "Big Brother" is over yet, however. Another "Big Brother" season will follow at the heels of BB18, and will be called "Big Brother: Over the Top." The new format will be more fan-centric, as viewers are now able to affect nominations, evictions, and season twists.

Still have a hangover over the last season? The new "Big Brother" season will premiere on CBS All Access starting Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 10 p.m.