'Big Brother 17' Winner Talks Being Bullied by Vanessa and What Fans Didn't See

"Know who your character is, know who you want to portray," Steve Moses tells THR about his winning strategy.
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Steve Moses

One of Big Brother's biggest fans walked away with the ultimate prize Wednesday.

"I won by one question tonight, and that would have been the difference between winning and third place," Steve Moses told The Hollywood Reporter after he was crowned Big Brother 17's winner.

This season saw a mix of recruits and superfans like Austin and Steve who dreamt of the day they would step inside the Big Brother house. "You get too many superfans in there it just gets nerdy and bad," fan favorite Johnny Mac told THR. "They should recruit a good amount of people." Luckily for die-hard followers, one of their own made it to the end and took home the $500,000 prize. Moses spoke with THR about taking out Vanessa, whether or not she bullied him, and if he's returning to the game anytime soon. 

Sometimes the way Vanessa talked to you could be perceived as bullying. Did you think she was ever bullying you?

I never thought that for a minute. When do you think she was bullying me?

The way she would raise her voice at you and talk down to you …

I never got that impression. Maybe she did. If that's the case I totally missed it. Morals or ethics don't belong in this game, any sense of right [or] wrong I left at the front door, and if other people do that I can't blame them. Any words that are strategy, that aren't physical threats, are fair game. Evel Dick [Donato], that was strategy. He was bullying, but it didn't bother me on an ethical level because that was his strategy. It bothers me if it's personal and you're doing that for no reason, but if it's your game then you have every right to make it your strategy. Vanessa, that was her strategy. I do admit she did a little bit of intimidation, but that was her gameplay. Absolutely no hard feelings. 

As a superfan, do you have a favorite showmance from the show's history?

I thought it was strange that [Clay] threw away his game for Shelli. I thought that was really strange. Because Austin didn't. He won that "Bowlerina" and he said, "Sorry, twins are going up, I'm safe!" I'll never forget that speech [Austin] had because Julia arguably made the worst move of the season by choosing to go against him in the comp. 

You know a lot about the show. Had Julia gone back on her decision in the competition to go against Austin do you think that would have been fair in Big Brother rules? She didn't do it, but would she have been allowed to?

I don't think Julia wanted to change her mind. The way Vanessa talked her into it was, if Austin wins, you go up. Julia was only looking at that week and not the big picture, and that was her big mistake.

Speaking of Julia, was she someone you would have pursued a showmance with?

If there's anyone in this cast, it would have been Julia. But I'm like, "No showmances." 

You said in your eviction speech you played your first Truth or Dare? in the Big Brother house. Half a million dollars richer, what other firsts are you expecting?

Winning was not a possibility. Winning was not a thought that crossed my mind so I have no idea. 

After that moment you win, you walk out of the house, the camera cuts — what do fans not get to see?

I talked to some Big Brother employees before I started talking to the press, yes. They pulled me aside for a minute. I got to talk to my parents for a little bit too. Apparently my mom was an overriding theme this season. 

Becky's standing right next to you right now. You were very expressive about targeting her in the diary rooms. Where did that come from?

First of all, I love her. All game, nothing personal. In week two, I went up to her to talk about nominations. I offered her, "Hey, if you don't put me up, I won't put you up the next two weeks if I win HoH." It was never a possibility because I was throwing every HoH for probably the first half of the game. So I tried building bridges and connections with her, [but] she wouldn't do it. 

Why don't you think you guys could build a connection?

I couldn't talk to her game-wise. When I offered her a deal she would act like I just threw a hot potato at her! So I'm like, "I don't know what to do with this!" Honestly, I think it was played up to be more than it was. 

What do you think of past superfans coming into the house and not playing the game maybe the way they wanted to?

People go in with expectations of knowing how it works, and they miss a lot of the details. They see the big-picture gameplay in the episodes, but there's so much of the little conversations you miss if all you see is the show. Christine last year, she just got pushed around. She should have stayed with Nicole and did exactly what I did in final six. 

If you were asked to come back to play, would you?

No, no, I'm done. I'm so happy and thankful I got this experience — never doing it again. One hundred percent no. I definitely want to stay in the Big Brother community, maybe be part of the media, write about it, do interviews. Like Derrick wrote this year?

How do you know that?

It was announced. I read his letter before I left. Just like people were on "Survivor Sucks" talking about a "twin twist" before I left. Which is weird because I had no idea until Da'Vonne and Jason flat-out told me. I read about twins online, so actually that first week I was looking for twins, didn't find it. Liz and Julia were both in the house two days before I could tell them apart. I struggled with that way more than anyone else did. They fooled me completely. 

What don't fans get to see about houseguests getting picked to be on the show and brought to Los Angeles?

I don't think I'm allowed to talk about that. I think I signed some contract saying that's a no-no. I don't want to get sued.

What is your advice for getting on the show?

Know who your character is, know who you want to portray. For example, I decided I'm the nerdy superfan — no, I'm sorry, I'm nerdy and I'm the cute little kid. Being a fan of the show didn't come out of my mouth until very late in the casting process. They had no idea through the majority of the casting process. You want to say something different from the person before you and the person after you. You're not going to stand out if you talk about being a fan. Make yourself a funny cartoon character that's really extreme.

Were you happy Steve was victorious this season? Is he the best superfan to ever play the game? Do you think superfans will forever be targeted in the game now? What do you think about Johnny Mac saying recruits are necessary for the game. Debate in the comments below!

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