Through the early stages of “Big Brother Canada” this season it felt as though brothers Philippe and Nicholas Paquette were going to be in big danger of going home for a variety of reasons. They were big threats in terms of winning competitions, were playing several sides of the house, and had had specific people targeting them.
Yet, the two guys persevered, and they managed to win enough at the end to get the grand prize and the title of co-winners. It’s certainly not what many expected going into the season given the twist, but they pulled it off! We spoke with the two earlier today about the game, being a target, and how they were able to be so successful.
CarterMatt – Phil, I spoke to you going into the game, and I know you said that you wanted to play the game with a guys’ alliance. Little did you know your guys’ alliance was with your brother! How much of your original plan were you able to implement?
Phil – Going in the house I know I wanted to work with some sort of athletic kind of guy, someone I’d click with on the outside. Of course, that all changed knowing that my brother would be my alliance member and we’d be playing as one. Yet, I do think I stayed true to my original intention. I wanted to make relationships that were real and genuine, and we both succeeded in doing that.
Nick, you came into the house and everyone was already there, and you had your brother already present with the group. What was your immediate reaction to finding all this out?
Nick – So I walk in the door and I’m already nervous, because there’s a lot of good-looking girls there, a lot of guys, and I’m living my dream! Then I say my brother sitting there on the couch, and I know that he’s been there for a little while based on the expression that he had. I knew from that moment I had to change my whole entire game. I wouldn’t be able to play the same one, and I knew my brother was a really strong player and he knew ‘Big Brother’ inside and out. So, I knew we could work together, and I knew I would be able to pull through on some comps.
Phil, I know Arisa kind of blew up your spot when you and Nick acted like you didn’t know each other. Do you think you would be able to play the game in secret, and nobody would have ever figured out you were brothers?
Phil – I think that we could have definitely pulled off that we weren’t brothers in real life. For a little while after Arisa came on the screen, people still doubted that we were seriously brothers. I think the fact that we looked so different, we could have used that to our advantage and had an undercover alliance.
Nick – It would’ve been really hard! People do figure out the truth one way or another, but I’m glad things worked out and we got a chance to work together from the beginning. It was amazing.
Phil – It would have been harder to play against each other knowing that we love each other so much. We had our own relationship issues but ‘Big Brother’ brought us so close.
I’m sure when you first heard the twist, Nick, it made you think that you were going to have a big target on your back, but do you think in the end it helped you with your game?
Nick – I think it had pros and cons. I don’t think it was necessarily either. Coming into it we had a huge target on our backs, and we had to work really hard using our social game to get that off of us. I think my brother used me to level his head, and I think I used him for emotional support. I think that our game ended up working because we are really strong and we bring different things to the relationship.
Phil – We were brothers in the house with high stress, and we did our best to level each other out, balance each other, and help each other. It was amazing for us to do it together. It was no different than Jared, Kelsey, or other people who had a really strong connection and trusted each other 100%. The difference was that it was my brother, and we were one person.
One of the bigger challenge for you guys was that there were a lot of alliances, but over the course of the season there was no real super-close alliance that you had with other people in the same way that others did. Phil, did that make it tough to constantly have to move around in the game figure out what was next?
Phil – I think I quickly picked up on the fact that building alliances quickly was probably the wrong thing to do. The right thing to do was to build real relationships and show people that they can trust us. People are going through highs and lows. Let’s say that someone is coming out of HoH; they’re a small investment, so if we show the same amount of attention to everyone and be friendly to everyone, [it can help]. We did play a strong middle game, especially with us being wild cards. The house got divided really early, so if we had picked a side, we would have been at the top of the list to get picked off. We had to play a middle game, and we leveraged that.
Nick – We just tried to stay under the radar as much as possible. We weren’t trying to win competitions. Eventually when the target got too big and people started coming after us, that’s when we woke up and decided to start winning some competitions and look after ourselves as lone rangers.
Nick, you really dominated some of the later challenges. How did you hope with the pressure of that, and is there anything that you did to help prepare to succeed?
Nick – The real trick for me is that I didn’t put pressure on myself. I’m kind of a low-stress guy, so I just told myself that I had a lot of time to study. There’s a lot of downtime in this house, so you can use that time to your advantage, it can help you in winning these challenges. Another thing: Cold showers. There’s a lot of waiting right before a comp, so if you can keep yourself awake and focused in, that’s a real secret to winning comps in ‘Big Brother.’
Phil – Shock therapy!
Phil, who did you think was the biggest threat to the two of you throughout the game?
Phil – I played the game knowing that anyone could pull something off. Everyone can take a seat, and everyone can take you out. I don’t think of anyone as a big threat. Maybe Tim?
Nick – Power is an illusion in this house. There’s always a twist or turn that could happen. For example, Cassandra’s father coming in and winning the competition for her. We never saw Cassandra as a competition threat, but ‘Big Brother’ comes in and throws these curveballs at you because they know you can’t anticipate everything. So we just kept a cool head.
Phil – Cassandra was close to Tim and Joel, and throughout the game, Tim had been our biggest ally and our biggest enemy come the end.
Nick, when you guys and Kelsey were in the final two, what was your confidence level that you had the votes to win?
Nick – Oh man, so going into it I knew we had a really great track record in terms of wins. I know that everybody didn’t see all of our social game in the house. Much of it was undercover which was why it was so strong, which could have came back and bit us. I was prepared either way, but as soon as the jury started laying down their votes and we got a sense of what it would be, I wasn’t really sure that we had it. I was just glad that it was so unanimous.
Phil – I was just hoping the jury would make the right decision. We sat on the block once all season, and we won seven competitions and everyone considered us a friend in the jury.
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