‘Big Brother 17’ finale exclusive: Steve Moses on winning, playing with Vanessa, specific moves

steveSteve Moses is a guy who, early on in “Big Brother” this season, was easy to root for. He was the underdog and a social outcast among some people in the house, and it took winning a Veto in the early going to secure his safety and pave the path to the winner’s circle.

He persevered through many challenges in the game, and always made sure that he was never sent home. This is why he now has $500,000 after winning the final Head of Household and making easily the biggest move of the game in sending home Vanessa at final three. We had a chance to speak with him this morning about his entire experience, some specific moves, and also why he is not interested in going through this again now that he’s won the game.

CarterMatt – At times during the first week, it was easier to worry that you could be a target since you were a little more of an outcast in some alliances. In the house, did you get a sense that you were being perceived as a threat?

Steve – What happens in the first week is that nobody ever knows what to do. There’s no alliances, there’s no friendships, and everyone is just looking to start fresh. You are just looking at someone to point a finger at. The Ian Terry philosophy that he used for week one that I wanted to [use], as well, is ‘don’t be that guy.’ That’s how you get through week one … I don’t think anyone saw me as a threat; I just think I was an easy first person when nobody knew what to do.

What I think was interesting is that we heard time and time again from people throughout the game was ‘we need to get Steve out,’ because they knew that you were the sort of person who could put together a good speech and win as a super-fan at the end. Yet, they never went through with it. What did you do to make sure that never happened?

A huge part of my strategy was to always make sure that there were bigger targets than me in the house. I had the Goblins around, and they were [the target of] Austwins when they were in power. Once we got to final six then the Austwins were the big threat. I made sure that there was always someone in line in front of me, because you don’t have to be everyone’s closest ally. You just have to not be their target.

Early in the game, I know not everyone loved the way that Jace was talking to you when he was campaigning [for you] to be evicted, and I know he felt bad about it after the fact. Did you have any chance to talk to him last night?

We talked very briefly, but I’ll say that the thought of him being too mean to me hadn’t crossed my mind until everyone was telling me. I never had that thought, because I understand that it’s a game; he’s doing what he has to, to stay. That’s how the game works, and if he thinks that this is going to get him to stay, then he has to execute it. He’s just making game moves, and I’m not going to have a personal grudge against a strategic decision.

In general, is that your philosophy on everything that happened in the game this season? Do you feel like everything that was done in the house is [done], and you can just move forward?

Absolutely. My feelings don’t matter, ever [in the game]. What matters is what is going to get me furthest. When I was Head of Household, it wasn’t who I like or who I didn’t like or what I wanted to do. It didn’t matter. What mattered was what was most likely to get me further in the game. I never put any emotion or feelings into any decisions I made or way that I acted.

There were a few people in the game who I think had a real idea of what Vanessa was doing: I think you understood, I think Johnny Mac understood, and I think Austin understood at least at times. (Note: Becky also understood, at a certain time, and that’s an unfortunate omission in the question.) When did you first start to realize that Vanessa was someone you could hitch your wagon to, but not someone you wanted to face at the end?

It was when she got Austin to put up me and Johnny Mac the week before Johnny Mac came back. How she got Austin to put up me and Johnny Mac and not Meg and James is another great move on her part that I’ll never understand, but it made sense. Vanessa wanted me to herself, and she wanted to [get rid of John]. It made a whole lot of sense on her end; how she got Austin to think that it made a lot of sense for his game is something that I’ll never understand.

Was Shelli leaving the game something that forced Vanessa to work more with you? Something she always said was that she never had someone who was her first option, and I think with Clay gone she could’ve been that. Did you think that Shelli leaving helped you?

No I don’t. I think Vanessa was loyal to me over Shelli, and I think the reason why was that I was playing the blindly loyal minion. I was working day in and day out to make sure that Vanessa trusted me 100%, that I would do what she said 100%, and I would be whatever she wanted me to be. I made that clear, and Shelli was her own person. I [acted like] I wasn’t my own person to Vanessa, even though I was. If it came to a position where she had to choose between me and Shelli, she would have picked the person she had more control over. I made sure that would be me.

One of the things that I know people appreciated with you in the game is how you would sometimes go into rooms and have conversations out loud. Was that something you were consciously doing for the feedsters, or just a way of talking things out?

100% communicating to the feedsters. I understand being a feedster myself for a long time, I understand what’s cool on the feeds. I know what’s cool on the feeds is when houseguests are talking directly to the feedsters. Also in life I do talk to myself a lot, I’m not going to deny that. (Laughs.) I like to get my thoughts out, get things organized.

When you were Head of Household during the [first] Double Eviction I know a lot of people had strong opinions about you going after Jackie. I liked the move because it was a way for you to try to just get out of that the smallest group of people angry at you. Was that something that was on your mind?

That was definitely on my mind, but I didn’t have a whole lot of time to think that through because again, I didn’t want that HoH. I tried to throw it, so it was very much a last-minute decision. What it ultimately came down to was that I had Scamper Squad and I had Rockstars, and that leaves me Meg, James, Jackie, and Becky. Jackie was the most distant from me, and she was also the best competitor. So, there you go.

So flash-forward to last night, where you made the big move to get Vanessa out of the game. When you did that, did you think that 100% she was going to vote for you to win?

I thought she was going to vote for me to win. I was positive I had her vote, because she would have had my vote had she done the same thing to me.

So are you then shocked she voted for Liz? That was the one vote that surprised me.

That really surprised me, as well.

Have you talked with her about it yet?

She said that she and Liz made a promise to vote for each other if one of them made it to the finals, and she wanted to keep that promise.

In terms of a broader subject, what over the past 12 hours has really surprised you to learn, other than of course Vanessa having [her job]? I know you were even suspicious about that reading her HoH blog.

Johnny Mac is a superfan! I had no idea. He had me fooled there 100%. I was also surprised that America [was not voting], because there’s always something where America is voting. Last year it was Team America and the year before MVP. I kept wondering what America was voting on, and then realized that there [was nothing] this year. I was waiting for this big reveal and there was nothing.

How much time have you had to spend with your family since coming out of the house?

A little bit. There was a wrap party last night, and I spent some time there, but got out really quickly to talk with my mom and my dad, how they’re doing because I think the summer was so hard on them. Also, the rest of my family because they were so worried about me all of the time. I was like crying in my HoH room because I didn’t know if I made the right move about throwing the final four Veto. Just to get everyone back together and realize everyone was okay was [nice].

Finally, I know you said here and there on the feeds that you never thought you would make it far and that winning wasn’t really on your radar; you just wanted the experience to do it. With that, is this something you really feel a want or need to do again?

I’m so happy and grateful I got to do this, but I’m not going to play again. I got exactly what I wanted and more, everything that I loved and more, everything that I hated and more. It was the good, the bad, and the ugly. I know how many other fans would have loved to be in my shoes, and I am so grateful for that. But I can’t do this again. I don’t have the emotional strength for it. (Laughs.)

Well you can go back next summer and just be a fan again!

Yeah! Like hopefully I can be involved in the community and be a voice talking about the game, but I don’t hope to come back as a houseguest.

Last night, we went through many of the Big Jeff interviews in the CBS backyard, and you can head over here to get some other updates from those! Also, you can sign up here in the event you want some more TV updates on everything we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)

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