NOTE: This article contains spoilers. Please do not read on unless you’ve seen the finale of Big Brother Season 21.
In the three-part final Head of Household (HOH) competition, season-long frontrunner Michie managed to pull off the victory, leaving Nicole Anthony and Holly Allen to battle it out in order to face him.
Holly beat Nicole in part two of the HOH competition.
In the final round of the three-part HOH competition the showmance had to battle it out which resulted in Michie winning over Holly.
Michie decided to bring his showmance partner Holly to the finale two and the pair fielded questions from the jury members.
In the end, Michie was crowned the champion of Big Brother, defeating Holly in a vote of six to three to win the title and $500,000.
Moments before Michie was crowned the winner of the half-million dollars and was about to walk out of the house, host Julie Chen hit him with allegations of bullying and possible racism.
Michie looked stunned when he was on stage and barely smiled after his win.
When his parents greeted him on stage after the win he told them, “I’m not a racist.”
Global News spoke with Michie about the allegations and his time in the house after his win.
Global News: How does it feel to win the game?
Jackson Michie: It is shocking, exciting, terrifying, all of the above. It was what I came here to do and I wanted confetti and I got it. It is a very, very surreal moment and it came with a pretty paycheck. I’m excited as time has gone on and hours have rolled by it has started to sink and become more of a reality that I won Big Brother 21. It is wild to me but I love it.
Do you think that you’re one of the best players in Big Brother history?
Far from it. For me I’m just a 24-year-old guy who used to bartend in Nashville. I don’t think of myself as anything special in particular. I came in here with the job to do and I want to play the best version of Big Brother that I could and I didn’t want to leave anything undone. I wanted every aspect of Big Brother, I wanted to leave it all the house and I did. To say that I’m one of the greatest is a huge compliment but I don’t think that of myself. I had a lot of fun and I tried to strategize as best I could, I tried to compete as best I could and played the game to the best of my ability and I’m just glad that it was victorious for me.
Was there ever a doubt in your mind that you wouldn’t win?
Look at my outfit from last night. I didn’t pack anything for finale night honestly because although I knew that I could win, I’m a very realistic person. I mean I had a 6.25 per cent chance of making it to first place and I’ve had a lot of things in life look like they’re gonna go my way and then ripped out from underneath me. Even being on the show was surprising to me I didn’t think I’d make it. But then getting in the house my mom and I even said before moving in, ‘Oh my gosh you’re going to be on Big Brother.’ We never once said, ‘Oh my gosh I might win Big Brother.‘ I knew I could do it but I didn’t think it was very likely honestly. But I started seeing the stars starting to align and realized that it was a very, very possible opportunity. Holly and I, we made it to the final two just like we always planned.
How did you feel when Julie told you what a lot of viewers thought of you after watching this season with the allegations of bullying and racism?
The situation with Nicole, I’ve been bullied a lot in my life. I do not support bullying. In that situation it was a game move because Nicole was a true friend, and I got caught telling her things. I faked going along with it, which is not right on a personal level. But on a game level I was not trying to expose myself. And there’s a difference and I should have recognized that and I’m the first one that own up to my mistakes. When I shut her out of the door of the HOH room it was not to belittle her. Truly I love Nicole and we have a great relationship. I did not want her coming into a room infested with sharks that were gonna chew her up and spit her out. I didn’t want to see that happen to her. I’m very aggressive, I’m very intense and very abrasive and it came across in a way that was not intended. There was truly me not wanting her to go in there and have nine people jump on her.
The racism thing especially, I’m not racist whatsoever. Everything that I did in this game was strictly game. I’ve never considered race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, none of those things were factors for me. I saw 16 competitors, 16 houseguests, 16 people, all equal ready to play this game. And the reasons why I did the things I did were only game. That’s why I was just so shocked in that chair (when Julie brought up the accusations) because up until that point race never came to mind. It never crossed my mind once and to hear that caught me off guard because it was never my intention. I didn’t banish anyone based on race. I never evicted anyone based on race or nominated anyone based on race. I never cast votes against anyone based on race. It was strictly game. I came here to win and I came here to beat 15 equal opportunity individuals and that was why I came here to do and I did. But it was never about gender or race or anything of those factors.
Are you going to watch the season back and try to learn from what the viewers saw?
I will 100 per cent watch the season back. I made my bed and I have to lay in it. Then again I’ve made mistakes in life and I will always own up to those. I’m the first one to admit when I’m wrong and I’ve said things in the heat of the moment and I will watch it back. I want to see exactly where I’ve gone wrong. I want to grow from this experience as best I can. A mistake once is a lesson learned, a mistake twice is a lesson lost and I want to use my mistakes as a way of bettering myself as a young man. I just turned 24 and have a lot of life left to live and watching this season is a necessary part of growing. I probably will not watch the feeds but it’s kind of like getting cheated on. I want to know every detail of what happened. I want to know exactly what people are referencing and I want to know exactly I was depicted. While it’s fresh I want to be able to use my platform to explain myself and own up to the things where I went wrong because I’m not going to deny my mistakes. All I can do is try and put my best foot forward and grow as best I can from here.
Are you worried about the way Big Brother nation might treat you after all of this?
Everyone has an opinion and in high school, college, growing up a lot more people disliked me than they did like me. A lot of those people that disliked me never even had a conversation with me and never met me. I knew coming into this show that a lot of people would like me but a whole lot more people wouldn’t. And I’m OK with that. I will be upset about the things that go against my character like the (accusations of) female disrespect and racism because those are two things that I do not stand for. All the other opinions about what people think of me, the way that I walked around the house, or the way that I ate food or whatever it might be I don’t care about that. Those are personal opinions and I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. I have my family, I have my friends and the people that love me and that’s all I need.
Speaking of food, there were rumours going around from the Live Feed watchers that you were secretly eating in the shower when you were a “have not.” Were those rumours true?
There’s not and if there was I would have been properly penalized. There’s also a lot of cameras and microphones and Big Brother is always watching and Big Brother would have seen if I’d done any of those things. At no point did I ever sneak food while I was a “have not.” I volunteer to be have not. I wanted the Big Brother experience, I wanted to say that I was a have not to go through that. I respect this game too much, I love this game too much to try and cut corners or cheat my way through anything. And I fully embrace being a have not. I hated it, I was cranky, I was grumpy, I was abrasive but that was part of it. I was watching people eat watermelons around me and I wanted some but I never once caved and I can say that with all honesty.
Being a have not is all part of the Big Brother experience.
It is! Being punished and being on the block. It all is and that is why I wanted to do it all. I can truly look back on this and say that I did everything possible on Big Brother.
Did you ever think you’d be in a showmance?
I’m not necessarily against showmances. What I am against is the death sentence of being in a showmance. Essentially every showmance that has ever been on this show have been taken out or split up because they were in a showmance. I think other than all-stars, Holly and I might be the only showmance that made it to finale two. Ultimately I think if it weren’t for Holly I might not have made it to finale night so it was probably one of the best things to happen to me because we always had each other’s backs. It was so psychologically rewarding to have someone you can confide in, that you can trust, that you can have in your corner because being in that house will drive you insane more than we could ever imagine.
What was the biggest lie you told in the house?
Definitely the Tommy (Bracco) lie because that really broke my heart. I can count on one hand the other things in my life that truly made me cry like that. And it was killing me because I love Tommy and I did not want to see and hurt and I know how much he loves this game. But when I realized Cliff and Nicole were potentially wavering on keeping him I had to act and I had to act quick. Even though they say that they were thinking about keeping Holly that night before eviction, if Tommy had 16 more hours he would have been able to flip Nicole and Cliff to vote out Holly. If I didn’t do anything Holly was gonna go. I
Were you shocked that Cliff Hogg actually thought you would actually bring him to the final over Holly?
Cliff was making a lot of deals at the very end. It was unfortunate because we had one deal and I know people are rolling their eyes thinking that it’s Big Brother dude get over it, handshakes don’t mean anything. But Cliff and I are cut from the same cloth and a handshake and our word is our bond. And it means a lot to us. So when I shook his hand on that final four deal and they started wavering on it that means the deals are off for me. I’m not going to be moral and honest and put an effort to those that do not reciprocate it.
Would you do anything differently?
I can’t say I would. No regrets in life. You can’t have regrets because even the worst things that happened leads you to where you are today and where I am right now. The biggest mistakes have gotten me here and I’ve grown from them. I won this game playing the game that I played and I don’t think I would have changed anything because I got the result I wanted. Even the negative things that come from this and the negative things that will continue to come from this will help me grow as an individual. It’s not about what has happened it’s about what will happen going forward for myself and how I use my mistakes to better grow. I wouldn’t change a thing.
What’s the first thing you’re going to do after you finish your press day and step into the real world again?
Holly and I are going to Disney World or Bora Bora. We need some downtime and vacation in our lives.
(This interview has been edited and condensed.)