3:04pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Big Brother 15': Nick Uhas on the Moving Company's Collapse and Feelings for GinaMarie
Being a Big Brother mastermind can be a great thing for a houseguest's game, but for Nick Uhas, his smarts and ability to plan weeks in advance contributed to his sudden downfall.
The 28-year-old New Yorker, a self-described X Games-style skater, saw his game unravel after Elissa Slater, voted Big Brother MVP for the second week in a row, threw him up on the nomination block following the Power of Veto. Cracks were already forming in the "boys alliance," the Moving Company, well before. (Members of the group had told McCrae Olson that they were targeting one of his closest allies, Amanda Zuckerman, next.)
Even so, the plan to vote out Elissa seemed solid -- until Wednesday when McCrae defected from the Moving Company, opting instead to take out one of his own alliance members. Uhas' "stealth" game, often compared to that of Dan Gheesling (Big Brother 10 winner and Big Brother 14 runner-up), backfired when the other side of the house kicked him out with a 7-4-0 vote.
In the second post-eviction interview with THR, Uhas discusses his shocking eviction, why he didn't work to shore up more votes, his thoughts on his "showmance" with GinaMarie Zimmerman and if he still would have created the Moving Company.
The Hollywood Reporter: What do you think led to your eviction?
Nick Uhas: The BB MVP has completely changed this season of Big Brother. What it does is it creates so much more tension and so much more paranoia that people tend to game harder, faster. I created the Moving Company so that I’d have a buffer of safety, more or less. But the problem with that is in a [normal] season, we’d have a lot more time to bond and to talk and to build trust. This season things are happening so fast, and with the alliances that are forming and crumbling there wasn’t enough time to build enough trust for the Moving Company to essentially carry me through the first eviction that I was on. I mean, really I was banking on the Moving Company holding me through this so that the next week we could make a new move. The downfall is it was a game of mistrust, and, I guess, paranoia.
THR: Do you think that had there been a couple more weeks, the Moving Company would actually be 100 percent solid and fully trust everyone?
Uhas: I would say a couple more hours, a couple more days. I mean, really what sparked the whole thing is that I went up on the block and because there wasn’t enough time to build this true bond, it allowed people to think, “Hey, we don’t know this guy yet, and if we can take the chance to remove a very good player, we might as well do it because we’re not committed to him; he’s not committed to us. I mean, what has he done for us? Well, essentially, at this point, he’s just kind of gone along with our voting schedule.” And so, in some regards, it makes sense, and if we had more time and if there wasn’t such a need for hardcore gaming because things changed so rapidly inside the house, and even more quickly now that there’s the opportunity to get backd-oored twice with the MVP...
THR: Do you think this season will continue the rapid pace it's on?
Uhas: I honestly think that because of the BB MVP we’re going to see an inverse of all traditional Big Brother setups. My prediction is a lot -- if not all -- of the strong players will get evicted within the first half. What will happen is the BB MVP will put up a strong player ‘cause there’s no reason for them to put up a weak player if you can do it anonymously. So you’re gonna put somebody up that you know the house is gonna swing out, and the house always wants to swing out strong players. For example, last season: Frank [Eudy]. Frank was on the block every single week because he was a strong player. Well, if you can do that with two other candidates on the block who may have alliances, you’re doubling your chances of having an alliance already against you. So I think that probably about halfway, there’s going to be so many weak players in the game that there’s probably gonna be one shepherd and a bunch of sheep. And that’s probably how the game, the second half, will be played.
THR: Is that how you think the season will play out?
Uhas: That’s my belief because that was the Moving Company’s strategy. We wanted to cut the heads off all the snakes, which were essentially the strong players who had a following. If you could collectively bring players together, you were a target. And so we kind of just went down the list. Aaryn [Gries] was on the list, Amanda [Zuckerman] was on the list, Helen [Kim] was on the list. I’m not the smartest person, and so I know that there are other smart people in the house, too, and they’ll figure it out, and they’ll find a way to do just that.
THR: Let’s go back to your eviction. Was there a moment where you you thought, “I think I might be out the door"?
Uhas: Absolutely. It happened about an hour before the actual eviction. What was happening was I was starting to notice bumps or differences between how the Moving Company was treating me specifically. If you walk into a room and the conversation is the same level, the same pace, the same volume, there’s nothing to hide; you’re in on that conversation. If you walk into a room and the pacing changes, the volume goes higher, they’re hiding something from you. That sort of behavior started happening with me and other Moving Company members, and that’s when I started to brainstorm: The only way I could get evicted is if Spencer [Clawson] could somehow control the votes on the other side of the house, and if he had a vendetta against me for whatever reason, even if it was just "I need to get rid of the guy now," he was the only person who could really do it. The only person who could set off a coup successfully would be Spencer, and whether he had help or not, he did [it]. (Elissa and Helen had worked hard all week to shore up votes to evict Nick; Spencer flipped on the last day.)
THR: What could you have done to save yourself?
Uhas: The crazy thing is that this is my most vulnerable week out of the entire Big Brother summer because I had set up the Moving Company, a secret alliance, and then I had joined a fake alliance, The Blondetourage. The other side of the house was controlled by Spencer, Howard [Overby] and McCrae. Really this was the only week that I was on the block that I had little support, or I guess you could say a little stress from the Moving Company due to time. Even going into next week, I would’ve had enough support from The Blondetourage and their outliers that we could've swung votes either way. I really just fell into the perfect storm -- and I saw it coming. I guess you could say I got myself on the block. I wasn’t quick enough to reply to Elissa [Slater] to tell her that Kaitlin [Barnaby] was a good option [to put on] the block. But again, there was a reason for that. I didn’t want to create distrust with me and The Blondetourage because they needed to trust me in order for me to move the Moving Company game with Jeremy on The Blondetourage side. It just didn’t work out that way.
THR: So there was absolutely nothing you could’ve said or promised to have secured one or two votes?
Uhas: I had thought about that, but my gut reaction was that if I get into desperate mode and start going out there and promising them that they have to keep me here, then that’s going to degrade the word of the other members of the Moving Company. Then that itself would implode the Moving Company. Because I brought the Moving Company together, that was the last thing I wanted to do. And so all I needed was to get past this eviction and then things could’ve came back to normal and we could’ve moved forward and done damage control.
THR: Had things stayed the same and Elissa went home on Thursday, what would have been the next move?
Uhas: Eliminating Amanda at all costs. She was onto the Moving Company. She was connecting dots and whether she was public with it or not, we basically all figured out that she was onto us; she knew there was something up, and she was smart enough to get people behind her -- other than McCrae, even though he was a part of the Moving Company -- to actually take action on it. And so we were threatened by her and we wanted to get rid of her ASAP.
THR: Why, then, did members of the Moving Company let McCrae know that that they were targeting Amanda next -- his closest ally? Was that a dumb move?
Uhas: I don’t think that the Moving Company members understood how deeply involved McCrae was with Amanda and had we had a better understanding of how deep his game had gone -- not just how deep his relationship had gone -- we would’ve made a different decision. But because we formed so early and we had somewhat blind trust, we just gave him the benefit of the doubt because he kept his word the first time around. He kept his word with me; he didn’t put me on the block for his HOH, and so McCrae was somewhat on my good side.
THR: Looking back, would you still form the Moving Company? Would you have aligned other people?
Uhas: I would’ve done this. Looking back, to be 1,000 percent honest with you, I would’ve done nothing different. But now, knowing information, I would have done this: I would have formed the Moving Company and then spent more time building a relationship between myself, GinaMarie and Helen because I think had we spent more time with Helen, we could’ve cleared ourselves on the other side of the house “secretly”enough, but I was duped into thinking that Helen was too public in order to do that because of all of my information. If you were working with her at all, the house, the whole house would know.
THR: So the Moving Company would still consist of the same people, but you would've worked on the side alliances more.
Uhas: Absolutely. I would’ve had a backup to the Moving Company.
THR: Let’s talk about GinaMarie. After your eviction, she was absolutely hysterical, crying for hours and hours and hours. Are your feelings toward her real?
Uhas: GinaMarie was a faux-mance that turned into a "showmance" and then once I began to see that these emotions were real -- we’re in the Big Brother house, so you’ve got to take everything with a grain of salt. Once I started to feel that she was actually into me, I really wanted to protect her from herself. So I almost wanted to contain her emotions so that somewhere down the line, if the Moving Company had to remove her from the game, it wouldn’t be such a hard cut. In all honesty I did care about her. You’d have to be a total cyborg to not have any feelings in that situation. She trusted me and she treated me very well, and when she’s out of the house, I’m keeping my word and we’re gonna go on our first date -- a monster truck rally.
THR: CBS has aired some of the houseguests' racist remarks, especially those said by Aaryn [Gries]. Were you privy to that while you were in the house and what are your thoughts on the whole situation?
Uhas: I was more blindsided by this information than I was my own eviction. When I came out of the house, I didn’t understand why there were so many comments about [the particular remark made by Chen on the July 11 episode]: “Hey, we can see and hear everything you do.” I wasn’t connecting the dots because there must’ve been a lot of conversations that I wasn’t in on, and there must have been words exchanged that I was completely oblivious to, because I don’t condone this behavior, and I would not participate in it. It was a shock to me.
THR: Who do you think has the best chance of making it far?
Uhas: Currently Helen has a very good position. If she can keep up her faux-public "I’m here for the experience" game, she’ll go far. But as soon as she gets too involved with people, that could potentially turn on her because there is the BB MVP. If she becomes too strong too fast, she might get backd-oored like many other strong players -- including myself. McCrae also has a very good shot because he is so low-key. He knows the game so well that he’ll be overlooked so much, like [Big Brother 14 winner] Ian [Terry] last season. He could have a very good chance of going very far.
Big Brother next airs at 8 p.m. on Sunday on CBS.