During his time in the house, he was under the radar playing a middle game and appearing non-threatening to the majority of the house. His strong social game made him well liked among the houseguests, and he proved to be the deciding vote for a number of evictions. It was his vote that ultimately sent the likes of Christine, Maddy and Jared home. In the first HOH he was voted by the majority of the house to be the first off but ultimately fell off second which earned him safety for the week. In week one he aligned with Cassandra forming Beauty and the Brains.
Following Christine's eviction on day 21, Joel and Mitch won the HOH Locked Lips Challenge, with Joel secretly planning a rock/paper/scissors contest that Joel would win, earning him HOH. Joel would make the first big move of the season, nominating Kelsey and Raul for eviction. His ally Loveita, however, got all the blame for it. During his HOH reign, Joel formed an alliance with Dallas and Loveita called the Canadian Original Gangsters. Around the same time, he formed an alliance with Mitch and Loveita called Shut Your Mouth. Kelsey was ultimately evicted during his HOH reign, but returned through a twist following week 5, because of a fake double eviction.
Joel was nominated for eviction with his ally Mitch in Week 6, during Raul's HOH. He was able to survive by a 5-3 vote. With his allies Mitch, Loveita, and Dallas all gone, he formed a 3 person alliance with Tim and Cassandra, known as the Freak Show, which controlled the house for the weeks to follow. Following Jared's eviction on Day 63, Joel was put up alongside his ally Nikki for eviction, when Nick/Phil won HOH, but in the second unanimous vote of the season Nikki was evicted on her birthday. On her way out the door, she declared Joel the winner of the show. During Kelsey's HOH, Joel was put up as a replacement nominee when Tim won the Veto. Joel was evicted on Day 70 by a 2-0 vote, finishing in 5th place.