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But first, before JC Mounduix, Tyler Crispen or Kaycee Clark walk away with the winning title and $500,000 grand prize, their fate lies in the hands of a jury of their peers.
While a lot of the attention this season has been on host Julie Chen, who’s called herself on air Julie Chen Moonves in support of husband (and ousted CBS CEO) Leslie Moonves, the game itself has been a favorite for viewers this year.
It has been a summer of blindsides, split votes, epic new competitions, power shifts and a cast of some of the most standout characters to ever play the game.
Of the crop of contestants with some of the biggest personalities of the season there are early evictees Rachel Swindler, Kaitlyn Herman, Winston Hines, Swaggy C Williams and Steve Arienta.
And although they’re technically not on this season’s jury and don’t get to vote for the winner on finale night, The Hollywood Reporter reunited the players by phone to look back at their season and find out who they would vote for to win it all.
What do you think all five of you have in common in terms of why you were evicted earlier in the game?
Rachel: We do all have very big personalities and it was about playing a little too hard. A lot of this game has to do with luck. Some of us just were dealt a shitty hand.
Who would you say got dealt the worst hand in the game?
Winston: I’m going to take this over and say myself. (Laughs.)
Rachel: Steve got dealt the shittiest hand.
Kaitlyn: Let’s be real. It’s Steve. Sam should not have been there! If I didn’t vote to evict Steve I would have immediately seen what the power was and that Tyler lied to me. And then I would have put Tyler up for lying to me.
Winston: Everybody trusted him and that’s why he’s at the end.
Kaitlyn: He has the most trusting eyes. (Laughs.) That’s the problem.
Steve, which side of the house were you rooting for all summer?
Steve: This season has been like no other season. There were two huge factions formed right at the beginning. I was rooting for both at the same time. I wanted Scottie and “FOUTTE” to do well and then I saw the loyalty “Level Six” had. I’m a big loyalty guy.
Winston: Preach, Steve!
Steve: I was torn. It’s like watching a football game where you like all the players on each team and you just want to see a good game.
Rachel: You’re a gentleman and a scholar, Steve!
Why was there such a divide in the house from the beginning?
Kaitlyn: It was automatic from the first competition. It was who you spent the most time with within the first few hours. The first few hours you’re in the house are major.
Rachel: When I first walked into the house the people I clicked with were Angela, Winston and Brett and I knew right off the gate that I’m working with these people. It was immediate. And Swaggy played right out the gate very bold and in your face and wasn’t afraid to draw that line. And the line was drawn. That’s where it started and it kept going.
Swaggy C: Winston, I’ve always wondered, is this what caused the tension between me and you?
Winston: It was in the house the way you walked by the memory wall every morning and acted like you were shooting a gun at my head. I thought that was disrespectful and I was pissed off.
Swaggy C: The first time I said I wanted you out of the house was when you said me and Bayleigh were in a showmance. As far as shooting the gun I was doing that to say I want to evict all of them. If you felt disrespected I will be a man and apologize for that.
Winston: I appreciate that.
Brett thought about targeting Kaycee and Angela. Winston and Rachel, if you were in the house would you have done the same?
Winston: At some point. He had the right mindset. If you want to win the game you have to make dirty moves. He just didn’t take the opportunity to form a bond with Sam and JC to make that move one week earlier before he approached Tyler about it.
Rachel: Why go to Tyler? Tyler has been close to Kaycee since day one and if you know anything about Big Brother the bonds formed at the beginning of the game are the strongest. It was dumb of him to go to Tyler to try and make that move. But it is what it is; at least he tried to play.
Is there anyone in the game that you wish you aligned with? Or was there anyone you aligned with that you wish you didn’t?
Swaggy C: There wasn’t a single person in the house I cared to align with. I really trusted Tyler and wanted him in my group and he had to choose sides, Level Six or my side and he chose their side. I’m not mad at Tyler — it ended up working for him. Somebody I wish I didn’t align with was Kaitlyn, because if it wasn’t for her, FOUTTE … wouldn’t have been as bad as it was.
Kaitlyn: That’s extremely fair. In my defense, the reason I made the decision I did was I trusted Tyler and he knew I’d be easily manipulated. He made me believe that voting to evict Steve I would be doing right by my alliance, which wasn’t true. And I knew Swaggy was talking about me and I had to take out the only person in the house who was verbally talking about me and saying I’m sketchy.
Rachel, when Kaitlyn first met you she said your aura was red. Have you talked about that?
Rachel: She’s not lying! (Laughs.) When I got out of the house my friends said, “Kaitlyn said your aura was red!”
Kaitlyn: Rachel’s aura is red! And that’s not a bad thing.
What moment in the house do you wish you got to be there for?
Steve: The season.
Kaitlyn: (Laughs.) The whole thing.
Swaggy C: When Bayleigh and Tyler were arguing. That wouldn’t have happened if I was in the house and everybody knows that. And that fight had a lot of meaning behind the scenes.
Rachel: I just wish I could have gone in the house, went up to Angela and said, “What’s wrong with you?”
The one competition everyone talked about this season was the bonus life puzzle. Does anyone here think they could have completed the puzzle?
Swaggy C: In a second. Kaitlyn could have finished it herself. As she was walking up the stairs after the vote you could see it in her face that she mentally checked out. She was just done with it all.
Winston: With it being a live show there’s so much pressure.
Kaitlyn: I hate to talk about it and get emotional, but it was truly one of the most embarrassing moments to look back on. People think it was so easy, but it was live television and right before the vote Tyler told me I was not staying. I was sitting on that couch and I knew what was going to happen. And then you see a plus one on the screen and I fell to the ground because I thought it meant that I got to stay. I didn’t think I needed to do anything. Then you have to go upstairs and complete it and you have a one-minute commercial break where production is telling you the rules, but you’re not really sure what the rules are. I’ll never forget the moment where I put everything under the glass door and I go to lift it and I feel this voice and energy saying, “Stop. This is not for you anymore.” And you see me stop. I wasn’t meant to be there anymore.
Swaggy C: That’s crazy how it happened. CBS thought she was going to get it. I was with CBS as it was going on because I was meeting Bayleigh’s family and everyone was freaking out and texting that you didn’t do it.
Rachel: I wanted you to get back in, Kaitlyn.
Winston: It would have been great TV.
There were a few showmances this season. Which one was the most genuine?
Steve: It will all depend on the sacrifices everyone makes outside of the house. All of them genuinely care for each other.
Rachel: Swaggy and Bayleigh are genuine.
Kaitlyn: That’s the deepest connection.
Rachel: I know that Angela talked about Tyler early on and there has been something there from the start. They were being smart and not making it something. I’m interested to see how Tyler and Angela will work outside of the house. Their love connection is real, but how deep it will be outside I can’t say for sure.
Kaitlyn: I believe it too. I’m such a fan of love and there are really no hard feelings. The relationship between Angela and Tyler is very genuine. Tyler has changed since being with Angela. Does anyone else agree with that? Rachel, you don’t think that Tyler has changed?
Rachel: (Laughs.) I wouldn’t say he has changed, but I understand why you think that.
Kaitlyn: OK, cool. Moving on.
Swaggy C: Fessy liked Haleigh from the start. He liked Angela originally, but after Angela it was Fessy and Haleigh. It really depends on Haleigh. I’m the biggest cheerleader for them, but I’m not too sure. As far as Angela and Tyler I thought that was fake until the episode before Angela got evicted. She was blushing in the diary room saying, “I have a soul. I have a heart.” And I said, “She does like him.” My red flag was when they said they could evict each other. Fessy would never evict Haleigh. You couldn’t pay me to evict Bayleigh.
Who has your vote to win the game this season?
Kaitlyn: They all did something right. They’re all there for a reason.
Winston: JC getting there the way he has was amazing. He was with the right people the whole time and played both sides. But the most deserving is Tyler.
Kaitlyn: The person who is most deserving is Kaycee. She laid low in the beginning and was so kind to everyone. She would wake up in the morning, make sure everyone had a hug and had the coffee made. Tyler manipulated me on an emotional level and a game level.
Swaggy C: Angela deserves to be there more than Kaycee. She was the one who was front and center. Kaycee won comps, but did nothing with it. She didn’t make a single move. Whatever Tyler said, Kaycee would have done. She’ll probably win, but does she deserve it? No. Tyler is number one, JC is number two and Angela is number three. Tyler made every move from day one. Kaycee started playing at day 60.
Rachel: I was the closest with Kaycee since day one and she was playing the game from the beginning. She had a very similar game to me. I like to treat people with respect and be nice.
Swaggy C: Who did Tyler disrespect?
Rachel: I’m not saying Tyler did.
Kaitlyn: We all know what Tyler did to me on an emotional level. He didn’t have to do that. He didn’t have to pretend he was in love with me to get me to make moves.
Winston: The game itself was played the best by Tyler. They may need to change the voting style in the next couple of years because people vote emotionally.
Rachel: Both of them are deserving, but I would vote for Kaycee.
Steve: Let them split it! It would be a toss up between Kaycee and Tyler, and I would lean Tyler.
Who should win “America’s Favorite Houseguest” if it’s not you?
Swaggy C: Haleigh should win it. And Brett deserves to win it. I was actually cheering for him to win the game.
Steve: Sam, she needs it. Give her that money.
Kaitlyn: That’s actually really sad that you said that.
Steve: I’m sorry. She went through hell in that house.
Kaitlyn: She also slut-shamed me on national television.
Who will you stay in touch with after the show?
Winston: I hate everyone.
Rachel: I love my cast.
Swaggy C: Bayleigh, Fessy, Rockstar, Haleigh, Steve and Scottie, even though he voted to evict me.
Steve: I hope to talk to everyone after the game.
Rachel: I’m going to be in your life forever.
Swaggy C: (Laughs.) I keep saying that every single one of my castmates I really do hope the best for. It doesn’t mean I have to keep up with everybody because I don’t like everybody, but if you go on to be a multimillionaire or on another show I’ll be the first one cheering for you. I hope the best for everyone.
Kaitlyn: Swaggy, are we going to hug?
Big Brother’s season 20 finale airs Wednesday night on CBS.
Now, if this jury was voting Tyler beats Kaycee 3-2. But how will finale night play out? What are you looking forward to most? Sound off in the comments section below and stay tuned to the Live Feed for all things Big Brother.
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