BIG BROTHER CANADA’S ALEC: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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He was the Social Psychology student from Vancouver who had co-created one of the most memorable alliances in ‘Big Brother’ history known as “The Sheyld”, had a well documented “showmance” (or “no-mance” if you ask him) with the lovely Topaz all while still winning a very important Power of Veto and Head of Household! We’re talking about none other than Alec!

In this exclusive, no holds barred, candid and in-depth interview, Alec opens up about his game play, the show and production, his alliance with Peter, the now infamous “shower incident”, how he believes the game would have been different with one simple move, Jillian and Emmet and his thoughts on his house guests, including ‘Big Brother’ US alumni!

First off, congrats on being chosen as one of the very first house guests on the inaugural season of ‘Big Brother Canada’! Before you even applied, was there any doubt at all that you may not have made it in the house?

Well thanks! Hahaha, there was really no doubt in my mind I’d get cast for BBCAN. I’m under no delusions as to my casting, I clearly wasn’t there to be the funny guy or the charismatic one. I was there because I’m getting a PhD in social psychology and they wanted me messing with people’s heads. Hahahaha

What was the audition process like for you? (i.e.: nerve-wracking, fun, stressful?)

How much can I talk about production without talking about production hahahaah. Nah, as I said, I think in my case I was getting cast because of my profession so I didn’t really feel too much pressure to be an “over-the-top personality” as long as I didn’t lose my fellowship during the audition process I was pretty sure I was gonna make the show hahaha. If anybody asks me what they can do to increase their chances of being cast for the show I always tell them to have an interesting career or life story. That way, even if they don’t get cast for the show, at least they have an interesting career or life story hahaha.

If anyone wants an absolute surefire way of getting cast for Big Brother here’s how to do it (HINT: this will only work for one person so it’s first come first serve). Get certified in FACS coding. That’s it. I think there are around 100 people certified in this in the world and the test is about 30 hours long but I guarantee if you get FACS certified you’ll get cast on Big Brother (Well, I’d cast you hahaha) as long as you play it up right. Anyways, yeah, if there is someone intrepid enough to actually go out and get FACS coding certified, I’d like to see them turn you down because it’s such an easy sell for a casting director. K cool, have fun on the show whoever actually takes my advice.

What was your strategy (if any) before entering the ‘Big Brother Canada’ house and did it change at all once the game started?

I wanted to advertise myself as a threat and a person people would want to align with. People want to align with people who are going to help them get further in the game so if people saw me as someone who was smart and going to be good at physical challenges, then they’d want me on their side. Risky strategy but I think it worked out in the end for the most part. Oh, the second part of your question, the game changes the second you walk in the door. No matter how prepared you think you are for the challenges you face. You aren’t. I was personally scared and desperate immediately after entering the game and I formed the Quattro basically because I realized Tom would be running the show for a little while and I thought he was coming after me so I needed him on my side.

You’re a social psychology student, and had mentioned that the very first night to all the house guests in the family room. Most house guests in the past have lied about their professions to downplay themselves in the game. Do you feel letting everyone know may have hurt your game in any way?

As a fan of the show, I hate people who fly under the radar in Big Brother. I think it’s not fair to the viewers when people who fly under the radar make it far in the game and I never, ever, ever wanted to be someone who flew under the radar… Anyways, that’s my rant about flying under the radar. Actually, one more thing, if your strategy is to fly under the radar then get the fuck off the planet, you’re not entertaining and nobody likes you. There now I’m done. Anyways, like I said, I wanted to be someone with whom people would want to align and luckily, my personality is that of a 5-year-old child so I feel like people in the house quickly forgot that I had a master’s degree in anything. Peter never would have wanted to align with me nor would Emmett or Tom (“2 smart guys, two strong guys”-Tom), as far as I’m concerned, telling people what I did worked out great for me!

Living with siblings can be difficult at times, let alone complete strangers. What was the hardest part about living in the house?

I loved every second of living in that house. The only hard thing was leaving.

For you, which house guest was able to get on your nerves the easiest?

Unless they have nothing to offer because they have one foot out the door, there is much incentive into tricking yourself into genuinely liking your fellow house guests so I didn’t really have too tough a time with anybody. I gotta say though, Topaz and Tom had a very confusing relationship and that was extremely annoying as a BB player and as a guy that had genuine feelings for Topaz. Hahaha,  that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Alec/Peter in DR

Alec and Peter let loose in the Diary Room – the one place in the house where no one can hear you.

Hahaha, I have no idea to be honest. I really just liked him from the minute I spoke to him. I feel like we were both a little bit socially awkward when we came into the house and we were both being extremely fake with everyone haha. There were a lot of people who seemed really superficial at first and I was like “alright, me and this peter guy don’t really belong in this crowd” ahhaha. So I guess it may have been our mutual hatred for making good first impressions with good-looking strangers.

You and Peter have been compared to “ChillTown” – the historic ‘Big Brother’ alliance made up of Mike “Boogie” and Dr.WIll. What do you say to those comparing you two to possibly the best alliance in the history of the show?

You guys are fucking nuts. Nobody will ever compare to Chilltown, those two are the greatest duo in reality TV history!! Peter and I are just a couple of nerdy jackasses who said mean shit about everyone hahaha.

I am sick of people telling us that we tried to be like Chilltown. Peter and I just had very similar opinions as to how play the game, a deep understanding and respect for the game, and above all else, we just genuinely liked each other and got the feeling that neither one of us would turn on the other one. When you know that someone has your back unconditionally it’s a very good feeling and we both just tried to have as much fun in the house as possible and to soak in every possible moment.

“The Sheyld” was formed to bring an end to injustice in the ‘Big Brother Canada’ house. Do you feel like justice was served?

Hahahahaha, well, as huge, huge mega-fans of Big Brother I feel like Peter and I had a mutual goal of above all else, giving the fans an entertaining season and pushing this shit to a season 2. Watching the episodes and looking back, I’d say we at least contributed to an incredible season and so with that in mind I gotta say, all-in-all… job well fucking done.

 

Alec and Topaz get comfortable, sharing laughs in the stressful game.

Alec and Topaz get comfortable, sharing laughs in the stressful game.

You and Topaz formed an extremely close relationship in the house, better known as a showmance to viewers (or no-mance as you’ve put it) was that part of your strategy early on? To attach yourself to a female competitor or was it something that just happened?

I’m not sure who these delusional assholes are that come on the show and say “I’m gonna get into a showmance and use that as a strategy.” Topaz is friggin gorgeous and has a great personality so I originally thought I had no shot with her at all. Like I said, unless you’re an absolute psychopath, you’re going to be petrified when you come into an environment where within 1 hour, 2 people are nominated, nobody knows anyone, and someone’s dream could be coming to an end that very night!!! We were all terrified and so I initially just searched for any semblance of comfort or acceptance from people around me. Topaz and I got along right off the bat and she made me less scared of this unpredictable and frightening environment, you can’t premeditate something like the instant friendship I formed with Peter, nor the instant connection I had with Topaz. The problems that Topaz and I faced in our relationship happened because our feelings for each other were genuine, not the opposite.

We loved “The Sheyld” but, do you think your game would have been different if you and Topaz stayed aligned (possibly even going after Emmett and Jillian)?

Yeah, definitely if Topaz and I trusted each other more, we could have made it much further in the game. As for Emmett and Jillian, the Sheyld had, what we believed to be, a solid alliance with Emmett since basically day 3 when I put together the Quattro. We’d been 100% with Emmett about everything and wanted him to feel comfortable in a final four scenario so we told him to bring in Jillian. We really believed in the utility of this particular final 4, thus, Peter and I did everything in our power to protect E & J from people who could have been coming after them (Andrew early on, Gary and especially Topaz). In theory the final 4 with Emmett & Jillian would have been very successful and completely hidden from the rest of the house, but Emmett got paranoid that we were going to turn on him or something (To be honest, I still don’t fully understand his logic for turning on me when he did) and told Jillian to put us both up.

During the bridge building competition, you threw it and quit even though you were a shoe-in to win it all. This left a lot of viewers dumb founded. Were you resting more on your social game during that point or did you not believe that you would have been a target and felt 100% safe?

Hahahaha, yeah, I don’t think there has been a BB player in the history of the game who has gone from being quite likable to being a complete fucking asshole fuck-head quite like I did. That’s pretty cool I guess =S. Anyways, yeah that bridge veto was just a shit show of emotions (1) and arrogance (2).

(1) I bought Jillian’s story about her feeling threatened by my conversation with her the night prior (which was actually an excuse devised by Emmett) and felt that, through my actions, I had gotten Peter put up on the block with me, when he otherwise would have been in a relatively safe position. So, anyways, we were able to time how long each person was taking to complete the competition and I knew that Peter had clearly blown everyone’s time out of the water. I was last to attempt the comp and the whole time I was thinking “I’m basically competing at this point to wrestle the veto out of Peter’s hands…” that irked me.

(2) Aside from the emotional component of feeling bad about taking the win from Peter, you must also remember that I’m an asshole. I truly believed at that moment that I was better than having to rely on a Veto for my safety in the game and that I could talk my way out of any situation no matter how sticky it may be. I fully believed that I could make a compelling case to Andrew as to why he should work with Peter and myself instead of E & J and if I were able to convince Andrew, then Talla would go along with him. On paper my pitch to Andrew actually makes total sense: A) Up to that point I had never lied to Andrew, nor would I in the game. B) Emmett had turned his back on me, his once trusted ally and would do it to him as well (he did by the way). C) He’d have a better chance in a final 4 scenario with him and Talla against me and Peter than Emmett and Jillian because they are better at comps. D) I was coming after Emmett and Jillian and they were coming after me and my allies (thus buying him safety and amnesty from the crosshairs until we’d taken each other out of the game) E) Topaz clearly tried to get him out just the week before and I had sacrificed my game to keep him. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyways, Andrew knows evicting me over Topaz made no sense for his game (he even told me in jury house), and any fan that wants to argue the opposite is welcome to tweet me.

 

Alec is evicted from the 'Big Brother Canada' house

Alec is evicted from the ‘Big Brother Canada’ house

We have to ask about the “shower incident”. What was going through your mind when you saw Tom enter the bathroom? And, to put it to rest, were the tears real, fake, or part of your game play (to garner more sympathy)?

I had no clue Tom was gonna whip the shower door open and it took me by surprise. I think that’s a mean thing to do to somebody but Tom really didn’t do it maliciously, he really had no idea it would affect me in that way at all. I’ll give you the full low-down of what actually happened because I’m not sure if the footage is available to see everything (in fact, I know it isn’t). . .

So Tom whips open the door. I’m pissed about it, I basically bitch about it to Andrew who was there at the time, and I tell him not to tell anybody because I don’t want it to be a big deal. I go to the DR, because I want to be alone, I have it in my head that I might lose my position at UBC if there are photos of my dong floating around the internet which stirs up all kinds of emotions about what I’m doing there and did I make a mistake by coming (as an aside: I am a self-conscious person and to this day feel like people will have a much more difficult time taking my research seriously now that I’ve done the show). I try to hide from the cameras and have a bit of a cry by myself, but I didn’t know the DR camera could swivel and there’s some footage of me trying to escape the camera and bawling like a 5-year old. I compose myself, come out and pull Tom away from everyone and tell him that I didn’t like what he did but I know he didn’t do it maliciously and that I just want to put it past us (this made the episode). I then go and talk to Topaz on the couch and she tells me that she heard about what happened (there’s a YouTube clip of this I think), I am shocked that she’d heard about it because I have no idea that anyone else knows at that point (I told Andrew not to tell anybody and why would Tom or Liza tell anybody when clearly what Tom did is something he should want to keep to himself if he cares about his reputation in the house). Anyways, Topaz tells me that Tom went around telling the rest of the house about what happened, in my head I’m thinking… fuck… I didn’t want anybody knowing about this and now he’s going around telling people (you can see me tearing up a bit when she tells me that Tom’s told everyone) I say I don’t want to talk about it anymore and we go on talking about other things. Then Peter comes up to us out of nowhere and says “hey, do you want me to stab him,” for some reason this is an EXTREMELY powerful moment for me, perhaps because I was upset Peter had found out and I didn’t want him to see an emotional side of me, perhaps because this pale, skinny, nerdy stranger who only cared about one thing in the world, Big Brother, is now caring enough about me to stand up for me to someone who could clearly fuck him up? I don’t know but for whatever reason I become overwhelmed with emotion, immediately start bawling and try to search for a place to be alone. I get up off the couch and try to go to the main bedroom but Andrew is turning the corner and I give him a big hug and just start crying hysterically. I don’t know, I feel like there is so much faking of friendships and relationships going on in that house that when something completely separate from the game crops up and you realize who your true friends are, it’s incredibly overwhelming. It was for me anyway.

But yeah, to put it to rest, honestly, knowing how much of an asshole I am, wouldn’t it make complete sense (even if the tears and emotions were real) for me to lie and tell people who I was faking it as part of a strategy. Just the fact that (even with my extreeeeemely inflated ego about how well I played the game pre-jury), I haven’t tried to claim it was a premeditated strategy should let people know how genuine my emotions were at that time. If there is someone out there who’s badass enough to fake something like that though, I tip my cap to them, but in terms of being a person, in life, I’m pretty glad it’s not me lol.

On finale night, what was going through your mind when you heard host Arisa Cox reveal that Topaz voted for Jillian to win?

“Oh god, the Sheyld’s finally on the wrong side of a vote.”

Lastly, it’s time for a little name game. I’m going to shoot out some names of your house guests as well as ‘Big Brother’ alumni, and we’d like you to answer with the first word that comes to mind.
Topaz : Enigmatic
Talla : Hilarious
Emmett : Cooler-than-me
Peter : All-Star
Julie Chen : hahahahahhahaha!
Arisa Cox : Hostytron
Dan Gheesling : STARCRAFT 2
Mike “Boogie” : Prophet
WIll Kirby : The greatest man the world will ever know
Jeff & Jordan : Also-cooler-than-me
Rachel & Brandon : ADOPT ME

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