Last night, the winner of the inaugural season of Celebrity Big Brother—in the U.S.—was revealed and Marissa Jaret Winokur took home the $250,000 grand prize. RuPaul’s Drag Race judge, Ross Mathews, was the runner-up and walked away with $50,000.
On the show it was Omarosa’s remarks about her time in the Donald Trump White House that made headlines, but viewers—especially gay men—noticed a strong alliance forming in the Big Brother house, one they were probably familiar with: The bond between a gay man and his best girl friend.
On the season finale multiple members of the house remarked how Mathews and Winokur were inseparable from day one. Both were Big Brother super fans, and Mathews knew how to play the game, joining multiple alliances, while Winokur mostly played nice cop and kept everyone entertained by her nonstop talking. Many thought Mathews would make it to the final two, but Winokur making it as far as she did was a surprise.
— Jenay (@Jenay_Lyn) February 26, 2018
In the end, after Winokur winning the final Head of House, she chose to evict Mark McGrath and Ariadna Gutiérrez, and brought Mathews with her to the final two. The evicted members of the house returned to vote who between the two best friends would walk away the winner, and with a vote of 6-3, Winokur won. Mathews placed second and was voted America’s Favorite Houseguest, earning him an extra $25,000.
“I wouldn’t have been able to be where I was if it weren’t for him,” Winokur told Entertainment Weekly, after her win. “I knew the two of us had a partnership and I thought maybe he was gonna take me to the final two and I was just going to say, ’Yeah, he deserves to win.’ And then I was like, ’Oh, I brought him!’ And it was kind of hitting me while I was doing it, oh I can win.”
“The truth was, I couldn’t have not taken him. I wouldn’t have been in the final four if not for him. That felt like the right thing. I know it’s Big Brother. I know it’s a game. But I’m also a mother. It was the more human thing to do. I said 10 times in the house, it’s not worth $250,000 to backstab or hurt my friends. I always said I wasn’t going to do that.”
— Global TV (@GlobalTV) February 26, 2018
On multiple occasions Mathews and Winokur called their friendship “ride or die”—something many gay men can relate to when they think about their best girl friend. A quarter of a million dollars is a nice bonus, but these two walked away with something far more valuable: A best friend for life.