‘Big Brother 17’ exclusive: Jace Agolli on early eviction, bond with Austin, and that Steve conversation
Jace Agolli was definitely a big player in the amount of time he was on “Big Brother 17,” and within just a handful of shows, he also became somewhat of a lightning rod of controversy. He fought hard at almost every turn, whether that was in competitions or when he was on the block in danger of being evicted.
It’s been a few days now since his eviction, and Jace does have a lot to say not just about his moves on the show, but also the reaction to a few specific moments on the feeds. Specifically, we’re talking about a conversation with Steve that led to accusations of him being a bully. He talks about that and many other topics in the interview below.
CarterMatt – It’s been a few days, so let’s start with this: How are you doing now? Have you recovered from the house, and have you watched any of the old episodes?
Jace Agolli – Let me tell you the honest truth: I haven’t gone back to watch any of the episodes. I don’t like watching myself on-camera. I have all of the updates still, Twitter, I’ve been reading up on Joker’s Updates. I’ve been reading up on everything with the show. I’m just not really watching it.
I’m still kind of bummed about how it played out. It was also kind of tough to get out and realize that I was depicted as this giant bully. There’s a lot of things I didn’t expect, especially this giant controversy. There’s a lot of support and a lot of haters, so it’s hard to know what you’re coming out to. It was just hard to be in there and targeted so quickly and not really get the opportunity to play.
Let’s talk about that first and foremost. You’re an athletic guy, and someone who was saying preseason that you were going to fight really hard. You had to know you would be a big target, right?
I totally expected that, but I am a Georgia southern boy. In the south we’re raised a little bit differently when it comes to honor. I met some southern guys in the house, James and Clay. Truthfully, because they were southerners, and because they knew I was a southerner, there was this unspoken agreement. You are supposed to have a little more respect for one another and be a little more honest with one another. They violated the southern bro code! I put a little too much trust in those people. Believe me, I knew that I was going to be a target, but I know that there are good people in the game of ‘Big Brother,’ and there are people who [are honorable].
I was banking on a lot of things, I wasn’t going to throw competitions, I was going to be a beast. I’ve seen people do it before; Hayden from season 12 was a beast. He won the game. It’s doable, but I just didn’t play it exactly as I wanted to.
It’s interesting you bring up the whole southern part of this, because I feel like early in the game you’re probably just looking for any random clues to trust people because you’ve just met them. You don’t have much else to go one.
100%, and believe me and as Spencer said in season 15, ‘I don’t trust any of these people.’ I didn’t trust them to that degree, but you have to put a minute amount of trust in people if you want to get further in the game. Every fan knows this. The people I truly trusted in there are Clay, I don’t trust the twins now but at the time very much so, very much so Austin, and Vanessa, as well. They were the only people who were really shooting straight. I was in there for two weeks. 15 days is a lot longer in that house [than it is in real life]. 24 hours with no technology whatsoever with 16 people, especially if the yard is closed and you’re stuck inside, it gets pretty dang crazy.
So when did your bond with Austin start? That happened before the live feeds came on.
We just bonded very quickly. He is a very dynamic, multi-layered level person. He’s much more than long hair and tattoos, and I like to think of myself as more than long hair and tattoos. There’s much more behind that. When you get to know somebody on a deeper level and you get to know somebody on so many different things, [it can just click]. He’s a trainer, I’m a trainer. We both like history, we both like to crack stupid jokes. We like to make fun of ourselves. That is mostly what we were doing. A lot of our conversations on the live feed were about what we were going to do make feeders crack up as much as we could.
I’ll give you credit for this: You fought really hard to stay in that house, and upon thinking about it I’m not sure there is anything that you could have done after you were nominated to save yourself. Is there anything that you have thought of over the past few days that you wish you would have done?
I tried so many different tactics. I tried tactics that I haven’t really seen anybody use. If you watch the feeds I have 7-10 different ideas in a four-day period. I was give up the truth to certain people, I would say this or I would say that. I even went up to Audrey at the end, man, because she is so good at manipulating people. She came up with the best plan, to trick James about the whole song [that James thought about ‘performing’ when Jace was nominated]. It was fantastic, but other people just weren’t on board.
Going back, I would’ve started a rumor earlier in the week. Something about another person in the house, maybe to deflect. Specifically Jackie. I was going to go in on Jackie a little bit more, but I didn’t want to attack her because she’s not a bad person. Originally I was going to make up a rumor about her and Jeff and how much money they made [on ‘The Amazing Race’], but it turns out I can’t make rumors about that. Basically I needed a rumor about Jackie that would make people want to get her out of the game, and that is difficult for me to do.
Were you surprised at all by how little attention people seem to be giving to Jeff and Jackie and the fact that they are a pair?
I was in shock! The fact that [they both] were not on the block the first week shocked me. That would’ve been such a power move! Get rid of the only freaking alliance secured in the house. You bet your a** that they are in an alliance. There’s no way. Okay, they had a fight, but every couple fight, but the fact of the matter remains that they spent a month together abroad, spending the night in the same hotel room every single night.
Is there anyone in the game who you are incredibly impressed with?
I’m so impressed with Vanessa because it seemed like she was playing a soft game but she’s actually not soft at all. She even tricked me. Impressive competition-wise, Becky is a beast. I’m not the biggest fan of Becky, we don’t get along, but competitively she’s really good. Game smarts, Jason and Steve know the most about the game out of anyone in the house. If you have a question about the game, ask them.
Clay really impressed me with his deceitfulness, and that he could stab me in the back like that.
You brought up earlier that you were unhappy with how you feel like you are getting a hard time on social media. Are there any specific things you want to clear up that you feel are misconceptions?
Absolutely. I want people to know that I don’t condone bullying in any shape or form. I was bullied heavily from grades 6-10. Here’s something for the social networks if you guys want to make fun of me: My nickname was ‘fetus,’ and it wasn’t by choice. I was very small. I didn’t grow until I was 16 years old and I was 5’2”.
So real bullying is hurtful, it’s mean. I was not trying to be a bully. I was using a tactic towards Steve. I regret the way it came across and I could have definitely toned it down, but I was fighting for my life at that point in the game and I didn’t know what else to do. He had already crossed me, and I didn’t want him to cross me again. I was nervous he was going to run around and tell everyone about our conversation. So I was intimidating as I could possibly be.
I just want to make it clear that I am friends with Steve, and I love the kid and I do want to see him do well in the game. I think everyone will understand that when he gets out of the game and we’re buds.
The interesting thing was that even with [that conversation], Steve was still wanting to vote for you to stay.
I was mostly upset with because he knew about the backdoor since day 2. He’s awesome. We aligned in the very beginning: It was me, him, and Austin. I would’ve worked with him all the way to the end, I would’ve carried him the entire game. He’s got all of the smarts that I don’t have and I have all of the physicality that he doesn’t have. The two of us combined could’ve won the freaking game. I told him that, and he knew that … So obviously people are going to cling to one moment when it looks like I’m going to destroy the kid, but in actuality there are so many moments online about us joking around and having fun together. There is one seven-minute clip out there about Jace and Steve talking about d**ks.
How impressed are you that Liz and Julia managed to pull off the Twin Twist while you were in there? Did you have suspect anything?
The fact that they pulled it off while I was in there is incredible. I don’t know if they showed this on the feeds, but I slept in the same bed as them a couple of nights. I don’t know which twin I slept with. We were really close! I noticed minute differences, but I thought I was going crazy. I noticed more things after I got put on the block, so I thought I was going more crazy. I was in such a tight spot and I was trying to do everything that It could to stay alive.
There’s minor differences in their bodies. One girl is a little bit leaner, one nose is a little different, and I would notice small things. They also talk differently. One talks really fast and one talks slow. I would figure these things out, but I didn’t think Twin Twist for some reason. It was right under my nose. If I had another week or two, I would’ve figured it out without question because I was closest with them.
So is there anything you feel like you learned about yourself through this crazy game?
For me personally, it would’ve been a lot better for me to ask questions instead of answer them. I was a little too vocal in the game … If I would have toned it down in the first part of the game and not done so well in the first competition, I may still be in there.
As with the show, Jace ended this with shouting out his Instagram and Twitter pages.
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