interview Winner Ty McDonald on highs, lows
Ty McDonald is the winner of Big Brother Canada 11, and it goes without saying that he had one of the most unexpected runs ever. He went from nearly quitting the game pre-jury to being safe from Whodunnit Week all the way to the final three, when Claudia had a chance to evict him and chose not to.
So what did he have to say about his win after the fact, plus also his lowest point in the house? We broke some of what down with him today.
I know that that everyone who enters the house likes to think that they can win, but two months ago, did you really think you’d be in this position?
Ty I wasn’t thinking I’d be a loser. I’ll say that. I knew that there would be challenges along the way and I would have to figure out a lot of stuff. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a point in the game where I thought the odds were way too stacked against me for me to pull this off. Nonetheless, I kept my composure and kept moving forward. I wasn’t thinking about the endgame. I was just thinking about the next step in front of me.
I have covered various iterations of the franchise for over a decade. You had one of the craziest runs I’ve ever seen over the past few weeks! At one point, you were in the Diary Room about to quit the game and now, you’re here. What did you think was the lowest point of your game, and how did you recover from that?
My lowest point of my game is probably pretty obvious, and it is one of the biggest moments of my game. My guy Zach decided to self-evict, and I was debating to do the same. I’m very glad I didn’t leave obviously. I had to lose the person I wanted to see at the end of the game with me, but I had to then position myself to give me a fighting chance. Once [Zach and Dan] were gone, it was literally me versus the entire house. How was I going to survive that? I figured it out.
You talked a lot about the underrated parts of your social game in your speech. One move that comes to mind is Daniel using the Veto on you in Whodunnit Week — the last time you were vulnerable until the finale. How were you able to build that bond?
What I probably should have highlighted during my jury plea is that I connect with people on a one-to-one basis. I think when we think about someone who has a strong social game, we think about someone who can talk with groups and resonate with groups of people. That doesn’t work well with me, I’m an introvert. I do think I can speak one-to-one with people and connect with them.
The Zach situation, that was the lowest point of my game. However, I was able to make connections with someone like Daniel, who also had a relationship with Zach, and say ‘hey, let’s get through the situation together,’ because I know he felt bad about it. That was an opportunity to create a key relationship. It played out, because it kept me in the game.
There was a stretch where I thought if you lost a comp, you were gone but you kept winning! What was your mindset going into all of these? You’re a physical guy, but I’m sure you knowing being in good shape doesn’t necessarily make you good at these.
For me, it was just about survival. When I go into a comp, my mentality is that it’s just me. If they show the audio during the competitions, I’m still cheering on the people beside me while I’m fighting for my life. I’m not here to tear anybody down; I’m just here to show everyone the competitor that I am. I don’t need to play a dirty game. I’m going to show you why I’m better than you; I don’t need to tell you.
One other important social move was your relationship with Kuzie. It felt like, when she was leaving the game, that she was going to rally people in your favor. Do you get that sense?
My relationship with Kuzie is extremely unique. I think we very quickly bonded on a personal level. However, our games diverted from each other. My trust level with her [wasn’t always there]. However, close to the end of it all, she realized how genuine I was to her in this game and that I genuinely wanted her to do well. So I think she respected that and realized that once her fate was sealed, she had an opportunity to help someone who was trying to help her the entire time.
When Claudia won that final HoH, how nervous were you?
Claudia is an incredible person; I’m so proud of the game she played. Everyone plays this game for different motives. For some people, the money is everything to them. I made it clear on the show that the money wasn’t what I was after. It was just an additional bonus to me to what I came out there to do. It was to make my presence felt and establish my legacy. I wanted people talking about me, saying that I was a force to be reckoned with.
I think Claudia valued the money more than I did, which is fair, but I think she wanted to see somebody represent our season who really played it and didn’t just float or skate their way by. We were both strong players. She was a mini comp beast as well and had a handful of wins. She played a great social game and fought back from adversary.
We both had a level of respect for each other, and we both knew what we wanted to see at the end of the game. I told her that ‘at the end of the game, even if Daniel might have been an easier win for me, I am still going to take you, even if I missed out on $100,000 and I have to take $20K. I would still be proud to say that you were the representative of our season and I am the runner-up.’ I’m just glad she felt the same way.
Finally, once you get out of this crazy press day, what are you going to do next?
I’m going to talk to my friends and family, but I want to watch the season while I’m still in it. I want to be fully immersed and see my story. When you’re in the house and living it, it’s one thing, but you truly don’t know what the outside world is seeing of you. I want to go back and see if there are any moments that I could have handled better. Even with Claudia. I want to go back and say ‘Claudia, I hope you didn’t take this to heart’ or ‘I’m sorry if I did X, Y, or Z.’
I’m looking forward to watching the season back and reconnecting with my friends and family. Then, getting back into the groove of things and transitioning into this new chapter of my life.
What did you think about Ty winning Big Brother Canada 11?
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interview Winner Ty McDonald on highs, lows
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