'Big Brother' Season 15 Winner Andy Herren Was a Floater Who Came Out on Top
Winning an Academy Award, an Olympic gold medal, or a Nobel Peace Prize are prestigious honors, no doubt. But they almost pale in comparison to one of the highest honors of the land, winning a season of Big Brother , don't they? I mean, you kind of have to be all-around brilliant to take home this prestigious title, with the talent to pretend you like your housemates, the athletic prowess to win competitions, and the communication skills to form strong alliances. That specially skilled person who won Big Brother last year and joined this elite group of players, schemers, and some kind-hearted people, too, was potential misogynist Andy Herren. (Apparently, being a kind, considerate person isn't the way to take the cake.)
For Season 15 of CBS' seemingly unstoppable reality TV staple, Herren beat out hated contestant GinaMarie in a 7-2 vote to take home the top prize of $500,000. Herren is an unusual Big Brother winner because on the show, he was actually liked by the other people in the house. He made friends in the house, didn't get caught up in too much drama, and kind of kept a low profile, with the exception of that loud cat shirt he often wore. Basically, he's an inspiration for floaters everywhere that even if they don't win HOH every week or offend everyone in the house on a regular basis, they too can win Big Brother someday. It brings a tear to the eye.
To be fair, Herren actually switched on his sneakiness later in the game. Although he was initially loyal to houseguests Amanda and McCrae, he later turned against them to become a member of "The Exterminators" alliance along with GinaMarie, Judd, and Spencer, which led to Amanda and McCrae's demise. This bold move, along with some late-game HOH wins led to Herren's ultimate success in the game.
Aside from the usual Big Brother drama, last season was particularly memorable for the intolerant remarks from some of the houseguests. While Herren broke some barriers as the first openly gay man to win Big Brother, the season was so riddled with racist, homophobic, and misogynistic remarks from several houseguests during the live Internet feed that CBS had to issue a statement regarding the comments before airing one of last season's episodes. Herren also came under fire for his violent remarks against fellow houseguest Elissa, saying he wanted to punch her in the throat. (Which is where he revealed himself to be not so likable after all.) Before the show, Herren was a speech communications prof at the College of DuPage in Illinois, and in September, his former employer tweeted this:
However, in a recent interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Herren said he has been told he is welcome to return to teaching at the College of DuPage. Herren also plans to co-teach a course on reality TV at Columbia College Chicago.
In addition to Herren's employment status, the biggest change to his life has been that he got rid of that beloved cat T-shirt (pour one out for the homies). He's also been doing a lot of traveling with his prize money, getting a lot of weird online dating messages, and tweeting up a storm. Seriously, if you want some sassy commentary and behind-the-scenes intel on the Big Brother house, look no further than Herren's Twitter feed. And let's just say Herren is having none of Season 16's twists.
We've got a whole summer to get through before we find out who will dethrone Herren and become the new champ of Big Brother. But what kind of people would we be if we didn't start speculating now?