It is unknown where in the world Sarah Hanlon was hiding before coming on Big Brother, but reality shows now seem emptier without someone like her on them, let alone winning them. Born from the nightmares of conservatives, 2015 was a year destined to let everyone know that reality shows would be better with a pot smoking, social justice conscious, queer leaning Canadian woman on them, because the result from 100% of case studies has determined they are forces for good as well as highly entertaining television.
Although at first it didn’t seem like Sarah would make it far due to her unfortunate choice of allies, filled to the brim with people who would all leave early like Naeha, Sindy and Johnny. It would take some lucky twists for Sarah and her side to gain traction because the opposite side of the house continuously grew in strength the more Sarah lost people, and she seemed destined to continuously lose people. Luckily for Sarah, Brittnee Blair was on her side, and the two became the alliance known as “The Fembots” – much like her robot namesake, Brittnee would continuously win competitions for them so they could exploit fractures in the opposing side and gain traction even when the numbers were down, and it became a recurring pattern in the season of Sarah thinking of a plan, and Brittnee winning competitions and enacting them (although Brittnee was a force in her own right, just not as transmittable to television as Sarah was).
But of course, Sarah was not just notable for her gameplay that eventually netted her a win, she was also extremely notable for her character moments – this ranged from talking about pot on national television with abandon, teary meltdowns over losing competitions or allies, and even emotionally charged attacks against her enemies or sometimes friends. The only time this was for the lesser was when she attacked Brittnee via confessional when Sarah herself was on the block, deeming Brittnee useless and no help, but for every other instance she was hilarious and on point in her theatrics. Often her meltdowns would be over gaining shortness of breath in a Veto competition, or via having to enact some convoluted plan after which she would cry her eyes out because it inadvertantly affected an ally. There was not an instance in her season in which Sarah was bad television or even boring television – she was constantly delivering.
And in one of the greatest Big Brother results ever, she ended up winning the season. In a franchise so known for its lopsided male-to-female winner ratio, Sarah’s victory helped push the scales if only just a little bit further to balance, which seemed to be a theme throughout the year with Katie Price’s victory in February and Chloe Wilburn’s in July. While she’s not the highest placed contestant from her season on this list (there’s 11 more contestants to go overall and 2 are still from her season), she definitely made a big enough impact to reach the Top 12 of the year.