When 25-year-old gym manager Victor Arroyo was evicted on day 23 of Big Brother 18, he didn’t have many fans or any real support in the BB fan community. Aside from having a supposed showmance with Natalie that ended before the feeds even turned on and making fun of her pants on his way out, America did not really have an impression of who Victor even was at his initial eviction.
In his first arch this season he came in, blew up his own game, called himself ridiculous names, and was sent out with only one vote from his best friend to keep him. Not only did he not earn any favor from his fellow houseguests, he had earned no favor from America. He was written off as another pompous douchebag that we have grown so accustom to seeing on our TVs season after season (think BB15’s “Cherokee Wonder” Jeremy McGuire).
At that point in the season, no one had the desire to see him come back into the house again. I remember the outcry on social media during the time of the Battle Back. If I correctly recall everyone wanted Glenn, Bronte, Tiffany, or even Jozae to return. These options were at least good TV, but what exactly had Victor even done?
America was not happy when he reentered the house on day 37. Had he remained evicted though, he would have been remembered as a one-dimensional character that had nothing to really offer the season. We at home, and even his fellow housemates, would never have seen his fight, his true character, and his heart.
Victor came back in the house and was integrated into the game in a way that he had never been before (thanks to Paul). He was making real friendships, he was solidifying deals, and he was playing his best game without ever losing sight of who he is and what he was doing this for. Victor made major moves in this game before he went to meet Julie for a second time, and he and Paul gave us all something to root for at home.
In a season of twists, the redemptive arch of his character was something no Big Brother fan saw coming. He has taken us on a roller coaster this summer from hating him for picking on Natalie to legitimately rooting for him to take home America’s Favorite Player.
In a game as ugly as Big Brother very rarely do we have a character who’s true to himself and has come off as universally loved by America as Victor has this season. There is a reason the jury was in tears seeing that he had been evicted and had no chance of winning. He has been such a strong and compelling character, something this game has not seen in many seasons.
Victor may not have come out of the game a half million dollars richer, but he changed his own story arch and America’s overall opinion of him. If his run on season 18 isn’t worthy of an All-Stars appearance, I don’t know what is.