Nicole Wins 'Big Brother 18' & Makes History In The Process

It's been a long, tough summer full of alliances, backstabbing, fights, and explosive evictions, but, finally, we have a Big Brother champion. Nicole won Big Brother 18 after a long-fought season, taking home the $500,000 prize. Kicking off the BB18 finale, James, Paul, and Nicole were all sitting pretty in the final three, but the three quickly dwindled down to two when Paul brought Nicole to the end. Nicole ended up taking home the top prize and marking a major BB first, while Paul earned $50,000 for coming in second.

In early jury conversations, the jurors seemed pretty split between Paul and Nicole. Even Da'Vonne, who came into the house hating Nicole, had to compliment her savvy gameplay. And, in the end, it was Da'Vonne's vote that declared Nicole the winner of Big Brother 18. Talk about a twist. And when Nicole won the title of Big Brother 18 champion, she actually made history as the first woman to ever win the game against a man in the final two, as Julie Chen announced during the finale.

But, before Nicole was declared the winner, the finale started right away with the final HOH competition, which was in three parts. First, James, Paul, and Nicole faced off in a three-way endurance comp, which Paul won. By winning, Paul made sure he got to sit out the second competition and guaranteed himself a spot in the final HOH comp, leaving James and Nicole to go head to head in a second competition. The second comp, part memory trivia, part physical, had both James and Nicole racing against each other to see who could complete the comp the fastest. Nicole ended up beating James' butt, completing the comp in less than half the time.

Finally, the third part of the comp had Nicole and Paul face off in a trivia game about the Jury Members. Paul won the game, earning him a spot in the final two. As HOH, it was then Paul's turn to choose who he wanted to take with him to the final two, and he chose Nicole. She worked hard in that last comp, and he felt that she was more loyal to him than James had been. After the votes were counted, Paul might have regretted his decision, but there's no point in dwelling on what might have been. This is Big Brother, after all.

Images: Sonja Flemming/CBS; Giphy