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Behind the scenes at Big Brother Canada’s shocking finale


Slice’s Big Brother Canada came to a shocking end Thursday night as New Glasgow, NS teacher Jillian MacLaughlin was crowned the winner following an accidental vote by jury member Topaz Brady.

Topaz originally intended to vote for her “best friend in the house” Gary Levy but mistakenly locked in a vote for Jillian, causing a shocking outburst during the live-to-tape finale. Producers had to quickly throw to commercial after Topaz came down to clarify her vote and then insisting it was changed, shocking the audience and host, Arisa Cox. The stunned crowed demanded that producers allow Topaz to correct her vote and even chanted Gary’s name as well as a series of boos.

Following an intense period of disbelief, production on the 2-hour finale resumed with footage of Topaz clearly picking up Jillian’s key instead of Gary’s. As all jury members were made clear of the voting rules, the producers did not allow Topaz to correct her vote, even though her fellow house guests and audience members knew she intended to vote for Gary all along.

Topaz’s mistake awarded Jillian $100,000, a $25,000 gift card to The Brick and a brand new Chevrolet Trax following a 4-3 win, while Gary was awarded $25,000 as runner-up.

MSN had the chance to quickly speak with the house guests following the controversial finale in the backyard of the Big Brother Canada house. Here are our exclusive photos and interviews.

Jillian and Topaz arrived in the backyard towards the end, so let’s get to their reaction first. Although Topaz wasn’t in the backyard for too long, we did manage to get a brief moment with her. Full disclosure, Topaz felt horrible for the voting faux-pas and was completely remorseful. Things between her and Gary were great – he was okay with the outcome and did not hold it against her.

I have so much going through my head! Jillian is a great player, Gary’s a great player – and we all know Gary’s number one priority was to become famous and entertain Canada and that’s exactly what he did. He won my heart and he won Canada’s heart. I am not worried about him, he is going to make it big! He is going to make more than $100,000 in the near future! He’s going to be fine and I love him. We’re going to be life-long friends. I’m happy for Jillian…I am.

MSN: Congratulations Jillian – that was some finale!

 Jillian: Yeah!!!

MSN: What was it like inside the house when Topaz objected to her vote? Were you able to see the confusion? You guys must have been freaking out in there.

 Jillian: We were freaking out because we knew it was a tied vote. I knew how the other two votes were going to go. I believed that Andrew would vote for me and I knew that Peter, who for some reason knew he wouldn’t vote for me!

MSN: Peter was so angry!

 Jillian: I know! Chill out! He’s mad because I got him out! But that’s a good thing – he should I voted him out because I was smart! He shouldn’t hold a grudge.

MSN: Do you feel like your victory is tainted?

Jillian: I would rather have won 4-3 honestly but at the same time, I think that I deserved to be here. I competed so hard this season and I made big moves. I had done a lot in the game – and I only had one life. At the same time, Gary had a crazy twist and played a great game as well. He deserved it as well, but I don’t feel undeserving of this at all. Not in any way.

Definitely the star of the backyard, Gary was a great presence…jumping up and down and holding his little dog-shaped clutch and greeting the media with big hugs.

MSN: Congratulations to the real winner!

Gary: Oh! Stop it!

MSN: So sorry about how things turned out.

Gary: No, it’s fine. I feel like a winner, I really do.

MSN: You were an inspiration to a lot of people…just people who feel that they are different in their own way.

Gary: Unique.

MSN: I thought that was amazing. What was it like getting a chance to go back in the house?

Gary: I definitely felt like [being voted back into the house] was my opportunity to win the game. I was going to stop at nothing to win. I hustled to win the veto, I built alliances, stayed strong to them and earned my spot on the final two. I did an amazing thing that I’m so proud of myself for doing and I don’t regret anything.

MSN: Looking back, are you happy with all the decision you made in this game?

Gary: I’m happy with every single decision that I made because if I didn’t make those decisions, I wouldn’t be standing where I am today. I’m definitely proud of myself.

MSN: Now, one of the viewer’s favourite moments may not necessarily be your favourite moment. It’s when you had the slop meltdown!

Gary: Ah!

MSN: How much of that was real? Or was it all for show?

Gary: That was 100% real! None of me on the show was fake. I eat gourmet. I make fabulous meals for myself! I like to set up the plates, knives and candles in the kitchen – everything is gourmet for me! So, having to just eat green slop for a certain amount of time was really depressing for me. I was scared that I was going to turn into a crazy person. So, that was definitely a lot for me. I was kind of sad because I didn’t want to go through that on TV, but that was all real.

Like Gary before her, Talla was this fresh ball of energy in the backyard and would even ditch her glam high heels for some fluffy comfortable slippers.

MSN: You are wearing Dan Gheesling’s bracelet.

Talla: I love it! 

MSN: What are your thoughts on Emmett giving you that? Do you think that was to secure a jury vote?

Talla: You know what? This is what has been baffling me. That day, he said “I want to give you something…remind me.” I was like, “What the hell does he want to give me? Some slop or something!” But then he had given me the bracelet. Was it for the jury vote? I don’t so. I don’t think he would give me something like this just for a jury vote. This is very, very important. He knows how much I love Dan. I’m so glad that I got this!

MSN: What are your thoughts on how it ended?

Talla: I think that is the type of drama that does happen in the house. I do feel bad for Topaz because I know that she’s going to have to live with that forever. But at the end of the day, I knew who I was voting for. You have to put your nervousness aside in those moments – but it can be really hard to do that. That is something that I feel bad for her.

MSN: You have been quite the Internet sensation.

Talla: I heard! That makes me so happy!

MSN: Do you know what GIFs are?

Talla: Well, no.

MSN: Okay, so they’re animated images that your fans or fans of the show have been making and posting them on social media sites like Tumblr.

Talla: I’m so excited but I don’t understand!

MSN: It’s like a flashing image of your funny moments.

Talla: OH MY GOSH! I love it!

What was odd to us is that we also saw Emmett wearing a wristband similar to what he gave Talla. Did Talla later give it back to him after our interview with her? Did Dan originally leave two wristbands behind? Or did Dan give him another one on finale night?

Most of the other house guests came down in pairs, first up were Alec and Peter – aka “The Shyeld” – yes, with a Y because “Why Not?”

MSN: What did you guys think of Topaz’s mistake?

Peter: I think that the finale of the show will guarantee us a season two.

Alec: I feel like there will be an asterisk next to Jillian’s name as winner of Big Brother Canada. I feel like the jury alliance that we formulated and tried so hard to maintain in the jury house dissolved because of a mistake. But you know what, at least Gary knows that he should have won. I don’t think that Gary cared so much about the money. I think he just wanted to be out there. I think he’s out there now and that’s good for him.

MSN: Do you think Jillian should have accepted this prize?

Peter: Well, rules are rules. Topaz made a mistake and unfortunately, it cost Gary a lot of money. But yeah, Jillian should accept it. That’s the nature of the game.

Alec: Jillian, I think really truly believes that she deserved that victory and I don’t think any amount of talking to her will convince her that she didn’t earn her Big Brother win. What I think Jillian should do is buy Topaz quite a few adult beverages!

Peter: I agree!

MSN: You had time in the jury house to reflect on your game play, looking back, what would you guys have done differently?

Alec: Oh god, YES. My biggest regret is evicting AJ. We would have skated to the very end. That instant eviction was good for the show, but…

Peter: Ultimately, that instant eviction is what lead us down the path of our demises.

MSN: AJ couldn’t even compete for veto, that was truly unfair.

Next up was Andrew.

MSN: What are your thoughts on Topaz’s mistake?

Andrew: Topaz putting in the wrong key was unfortunate, but there’s only two keys to select. Maybe she was concentrating on her speech instead of looking down. It’s going to taint this victory for Jillian and that’s unfortunate. I feel bad for everybody involved, but it’s a competition and you’ve got to pick the right key. It’s not for me to decide what should have been done, all I know is that I picked Jillian’s key because that’s the person I wanted to vote for and that’s the key I wanted to put in there.

MSN: So no hard feelings to your fellow “East Coast” alliance members?

Andrew: No hard feelings but Emmett should have kept me. We definitely could have gone to the final three. Jillian obviously did not trust me enough to not tell Emmett but I feel like maybe they were a bit smart because I think I would have beat both of them in the final two.

Tom and Liza later made their rounds and they had quite a bit to say…especially Emmett who was evicted by Gary in the first hour of the finale.

MSN: That was quite the finale.

Liza: Shocking drama! Tonight on Big Brother, drama erupted when Topaz made a fool of herself on national television!

Tom: I was sleeping the whole time! What happened?

MSN: You think she was asleep during the vote?

Tom: She was sleepwalking! She woke up to do her makeup and her hair and fell back asleep. She ruined Gary’s chance…Gary was going to win…and, I couldn’t be happier!

Liza: Topaz is going to have to live with that error.

MSN: So, you guys wanted Jillian to win?

Tom: I wanted Jillian to win, but not in a million years would I have thought that Emmett gets kicked out third, that Gary loses because of his best friend Topaz and Jillian slides by with the win! I mean, I don’t think I have to have sex anymore, I just had the best orgasm of my life!

MSN: Any hard feelings between yourself and Emmett?

Tom: After what happened to Emmett tonight, I think I can move past it because he deserved that. If you want to sit back and be a tough guy, play a tough game and throw your friends under the bus…

Liza: Emmett screwed Tom and I – as well as a lot of other people in that house. We took pleasure in watching him get screwed right back.

Tom: I loved it!

Liza: Suck it, milkman!

Tom: I met Emmett’s family. I shook hands with them, looked at Emmett and he looked at me with these sad little puppy eyes like he did week one on the block!

Liza: Emmett getting evicted was a victory. I don’t give a shit about what happens next! It was brilliant.

Suzette and Danielle were up next and were quite tame compared to the previous two.

MSN: If you were members of the jury, how would you have voted?

Danielle: Oh, Gary! Definitely Gary.

Suzette: Gary all the way!

Danielle: I love Gary so much! I was so up there and then when everything happened, I was crying.

Suzette: It was really a shock. I’m just really upset with the way things played out.

Danielle: It’s upsetting for both of them because Jillian kind of got robbed of the glorified win that she could have had, so now she’s left feeling guilty. Either way, it’s not really beneficial.

MSN: Do you think they should have re-done the votes?

Suzette: It’s hard to say. In the Big Brother house, they are very clear on the rules. They make sure that people know what they are doing and give you a minute to think about what you are doing and I don’t know where her head was at, but it’s really disturbing.

MSN: Having had the chance of seeing the entire season, was there anything that you found was edited differently?

Danielle: Yes, things are definitely edited for story purposes and for dramatic reasons, but we all signed the contract. It is a TV show, we’re here for entertainment value. You know, don’t be upset with your cut! You’re a TV star! Sure, things got cut or it seemed like things were shown differently than they actually were but what are you going to do?

Suzette: There’s Big Brother After Dark and there were 24-hour live feeds, so everybody is able to make their own conscious decision about what’s really going on. In the house, everything is surreal – we don’t really know where people’s minds are at, so sometimes we see drama and you don’t know if it’s a ploy or if it’s for a purpose. There’s a lot going on! Trust me!

Aneal and Kat were next:

MSN: What kind of finale was that?

Aneal: EPIC!

Kat: Epic is the right word for it, I think!

Aneal: In capital letters!

Kat: Honestly, as if it wasn’t already such a big thing for Canada to have its own Big Brother and for its first season to be so successful and so much fun to watch with an amazing cast, but man! Was that a finale!

MSN: What was your reaction to Topaz standing up and making her way down to Arisa?

Kat: Our jaws still hurt!

Aneal: I still can’t process it all.

Kat: Yeah, we know what happened but it’s like, “I can’t believe that’s happened.”

MSN: If you had a chance to vote along with the jury, how would those votes have gone?

Aneal: Jillian.

Kat: I think it depends on who stabbed you in the back on the way to jury. That’s how I feel. Both of them deserved to be there though.

Next up was AJ, who was the first jury member.

MSN: Some finale!

AJ: Another controversy! A self-made twist!

MSN: How does Topaz seem to you?

AJ: I’ve seen Topaz and she seems to be in good spirits. I don’t think Gary and Topaz have really had a chance to talk. I met Topaz’s family and she seems okay. But yeah, people make mistakes and I don’t know what’s going to come out of this. I voted the way I wanted to and I’m happy with my vote. I gave it to Gary because I got closer to him in the jury house and I didn’t have a problem with the twist [of him being voted back in by the viewers] but I lost on a twist – he went back in on a twist.

MSN: You didn’t even get the chance to play veto.

AJ: I did not. It upset me. I mean, I’m not Mr. Competitor, but however I never got the chance to play with my life on the line. With myself and Andrew on the block together, I knew the votes could have gone either way. Other things like backdooring or if Topaz had more time to put someone else on the block, or if Peter and Alec could have stuck with Topaz, we spoke a lot about those options in the jury. Alec, Peter and Topaz – they’re entire games were destroyed.

MSN: If Gary hadn’t been in the jury house with you, would your vote had been different if the only experience you had with him was from inside the house?

AJ: I don’t think so because in my opinion, Gary had also made the strongest move in the game. He made a move to take out Tom and Liza. Her perfected, with the help of his alliance, what we call “front-dooring,” where he put Tom and Liza up on the block, telling everyone that Liza was gone and then switched the votes to Tom. And then Liza went off next week. Andrew might not have put Liza up and he went with the house and then she became the house target so it was a brilliant move. Gary was the HoH at the time, I felt like he won a lot of competitions and I think that Gary played a great game. I think that Jillian is a great person. I think that she played a very solid game. She was a competition queen – but to me, she wasn’t very big on social. Gary was, so I gave him my vote. But I’m still very happy for Jillian.


Lastly, we got to speak with Emmett for a brief moment and just had to ask him about how he felt about his former “bromance” partner, Tom.

MSN: How’s your relationship with Tom this evening? Tom and Liza still seem quite bitter after all these weeks.

Emmett:  Yeah, I think that my relationship with Tom is fine…but that chick on his arm though – hey, I’m not going to give her anything but it is what it is. I’m not bitter towards her, but if she wants to be bitter towards me, then she can just go for it. I don’t really care. I’m not going to give her anything back, so it is what it is. Tom is a great guy but we just couldn’t work together in the end. I just had to kind of pull back and do what was best for my game.

Emmett and Tom did manage to patch things up. They gave each other a big hug and later posed for pictures together.

And after 10 weeks, that’s a wrap on season one of Big Brother Canada  -- looking forward to an announcement of a second season. It’s been a great ride.

-- Jeevan Brar





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