After an incredible season largely dominated by Ika Wong and Demetres Giannitsos, the underdog, the man who had to claw his way from the bottom to the top, Kevin Martin, has won Big Brother Canada 5.
A Breakdown Of Kevin’s Game
Kevin remained in tune with everything that was going on all season and knew how to position himself to advance his game at all times. At the start of the season he had valuable pawns in William, who was connected to Dre, and Gary, allowing him to have information on both sides of the coin while also remaining in a powerful position inside of the core four of that six person alliance. After Ika and Demetres started to swing to the other side, the poker player and his best bud Bruno ensured that they would still have the numbers by bringing Emily, Dillon and Jackie into the fold. This further allowed them to succeed as the three mentioned above were always going to be bigger targets and likelier choices for eviction in the early stages of the game than the two of them. But once Sindy made one of the worst moves in all time Big Brother Canada, putting her best ally on the block and destroying the four person alliance that Kevin was a big part of, the Calgary native’s game was naturally bound to dismantle. His close allies in Sindy and Bruno then went out in successive weeks but he survived, primarily because of the good relationships that he had built in the early stages of the game. If he hadn’t formed such a close connection with William, the poker player would have been gone in the spot that sent Bruno packing, as he was the target until William used the secret veto to save him. While we’re on the topic I love how Kevin recognized that in his answer to William’s jury question. He was absolutely sublime in that jury questioning and this was one of his best answers of the night.
But still after Bruno was gone, Kevin basically had to win out in order to survive as no matter what kind of social maneuvering he could pull off, no one was willing to listen to him or rebuild any type of bond that might have once been there. So winning HOH after Bruno was evicted was absolutely crucial to his game even if it was only enough to send Jackie out the door. Then came the triple eviction and Kevin won again, just when he needed to most, claiming the power of veto for the first time. In that entire triple eviction episode Kevin was amazing. He tried so desperately hard to rally Karen and Dillon against Ika and Demetres and if only he was dealing with self-interested players who didn’t want to settle for second place, they might have actually listened to him. A pattern then started to occur in which he was winning competition after competition. The poker player won the next HOH and POV, resulting in Dillon’s elimination from the game before saving himself again when he needed to most at the final four by winning the Power of Veto. His work ethic in studying for these competitions was beginning to pay off and it paid dividends even more when he won the most important HOH of the season, the one at the final three, which he used to finally evict Demetres.
After a string of amazing competition wins, Kevin was now in the final two against someone that hated his guts and would have never voted for him if she were on the jury, Karen Singbeil. Karen handled the two jury questions she was given decently well but no matter how fantastically well she could have answered those questions, she was never going to win. Kevin was fantastic throughout the jury questioning, handling each and every question with poise and giving just about the most perfect answer he could have given every single time. His answer to Bruno in successfully explaining why his weird play to take Ika off the block and get Dillon out to set himself up to win at the final four was great. Furthermore, I loved his answer to William in saying he wouldn’t be there without him and the secret veto, I loved his answer to Ika in humbly saying that he had made plenty of mistakes but did what he had to do to survive and then I loved how he topped it all off by saying to Demetres “Dude vote for me because you were a beast and I got you out!” Dillon was even grasping at straws for a reason to vote for Karen and couldn’t even find it, especially not when Karen’s answer to his question was so dreadful. In the end, the poker player swept all nine votes, taking the game by a vote of 9-0 to be crowned the winner of Big Brother Canada 5!
Everything Kevin Has Done Well This Season
“My vote is for the best Big Brother Canada player to ever play” – Bruno Ielo on Kevin Martin
Kevin came into this game having studied harder for the final few competitions harder than anyone who has ever played any season of reality TV before him. Before the season even began, he made sure to study every single question from every single past season and it culminated in him winning that final competition against Demetres with ease.
In eulogizing Kevin’s game this season, I would like to compare him to two former winners of Survivor, two winners from back to back seasons in fact, Mike Holloway and Jeremy Collins.
Now Kevin wasn’t as good at Big Brother this season as either Mike or (especially) Jeremy was when they won their seasons of Survivor. But there are many similarities between the poker player and the two great Survivor winners.
Mike (left) is best known for winning Worlds Apart by going on an incredibly immunity win run that lasted six weeks. He won immunity five times after accidentally putting himself on the bottom of the power structure on the season and in the one occasion where he was vulnerable, he had an immunity idol to keep himself safe. This is incredibly similar to Kevin who had to claw his way to the top after Sindy made the stupid move to put Neda on the block, essentially evicting her. From that moment on he was on the bottom. He had to win competition after competition and all three of the most important vetoes of the season to help him make it to the end. Then when it got down to the final three, again when he needed it most, he came up clutch, winning the final HOH Competition and effectively winning the season.
But surprisingly he also has a lot of Jeremy Collins in his win this season. Now Jeremy is one of the best winners of Survivor, so this is high-praise. Kevin came into this season of Big Brother Canada exactly how Jeremy did in Survivor Second Chance. He was relaxed and he told himself that he didn’t even need to win. In his pre-game video, Kevin said that the fact that he was even asked back meant that he had won. He didn’t need to win, all he wanted to do was get back into that house and have fun. This is exactly how Jeremy approached Second Chance, allowing himself to just play relaxed and without any pressure on himself. But the comparisons don’t stop there. Kevin also came into this season talking about wanting to use “meat-shields” and even specifically referencing the Survivor star himself. Kevin wanted all the big targets around him and he successfully accomplished that in the first half of the season. Neda, Bruno and Gary were all extraordinarily tight with the poker player and were all far bigger targets, allowing him to stay safe with ease. Then he started using his social charm to pull in people like William and even Jackie and Dillon at points. But that wasn’t enough as once Bruno was out of the game, he was the next big target and couldn’t simply rely on that social charm to keep himself safe, certainly not with a triple eviction coming. What he needed to do from then on was win and because of how much he studied, he won all those competitions with ease, allowing himself to win the game. This was fantastic work from Kevin and so exciting to see him win week after week when he desperately needed to in order to keep himself in the game. To top it all off, just like Jeremy, he swept all of the votes. Kevin by the way is the first ever Big Brother Canada player to get every single jury vote on route to winning the game.
Hats off to you Kevin! You were my favourite contestant back in BBCAN3 and the main reason for continuing to watch the season even after it all went horribly wrong with all those twists. I am so impressed that coming into this game with the reputation of being sneaky or a strategist or whatever other kind of connotations might come with being a poker player, you still managed to fly under the radar at the beginning and then turn it on when it was required. You managed to overcome a great amount of odds and the beasts that were Ika and Demetres and survive when your back was against the wall for almost the entire second half of the season. Congratulations Kevin on a highly impressive win that will live long in my memory and help to make this BBCAN5 an overall amazing season of reality TV.
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