When AJ Burman was eliminated from Big Brother Canada, I thought that I would lose all interest in the show. The core appeal of Big Brother, however, is its absolutely addictive nature and even though my friend was evicted, I absolutely had to know who would end up as the game’s ultimate victor. Just like when your favorite team is eliminated from the playoffs and you find yourself latching onto to the next best team, with AJ out of the running, my support immediately transferred over to his best friend and closest ally in the house, Andrew Monaghan. I thought Andrew was one of the best players this season. He waited for the bigger players to take each other out and then started racking up competition wins, proving that he was anything but a floater. I also felt a bond with Andrew as a result of our unique interaction at the taping of the first episode. When Andrew was waiting to be introduced to the live audience, I was sitting relatively close to the holding area and we high-fived on his way down the stairs. It was ironic that he ended up becoming best friends with my best friends and it was clear that Andrew Monaghan was who I wanted to be crowned as the first winner of Big Brother Canada. He was well on his way to doing so after making an East Coast alliance with Canada’s version of Brenchel, Emmett and Jillian, while keeping his secret Stooge alliance with Talla intact. In the end, though, much like AJ, Andrew was done in by a twist that saw Garry voted back into the game. I caught up with Andrew just before he was sent to the jury house to talk about what went wrong, his relationship with AJ and if he faults Jemmett for keeping an easier player to beat over him.
Murtz Jaffer: Not sure if you remember, but I was the guy that you high-fived on your way down the stairs when you made your way into the Big Brother House for the first time and ironically, you ended up becoming allies with my best friend AJ. Twists seemed to effect both your games adversely and yet the unexpected is what Big Brother is known for. Can you elaborate with your thoughts on twists and how much you think they affected how you did?
Andrew Monaghan: Murtz of course I remember that high five, it was the most special moment to me at that point in the competition. After our tender hand embrace, I knew that I would find a special friend in AJ. The two twists that really affected AJ and I were the instant eviction and Gary coming back in to the house. Obviously it’s the worst situation in this competition when you’re put on the block with your best friend – your “manmance.” On top of that to not be able to have either of us play to save our lives in the veto – that’s about as twisted as you can get. AJ unfortunately got the worse end of that because he went home and I didn’t. To top it off, his future wife is the one that put him on the block so I don’t hear any wedding bells in the future for AJ and Topaz.
For me, Gary coming back was the worst twist of all. It made it feel like my HOH win and the following POV win to secure my nominations became worthless. It was very deflating as a competitor. You also believe that you’ve made it to the final four when in fact you just played two weeks in the final five. That’s why I like to call it “the final 4.5.”
MJ: Ultimately, the East Coast alliance chose to keep Talla over you. Can you fault them for keeping someone who is easier to beat in competitions and how much do you think keeping people in the game because they ‘deserve’ it should factor into people’s decisions about who to evict?
AM: Of course I can fault them for keeping Talla because it sucks. I hate this decision because it obviously got me out of the game and I feel like it’s a very weak move. Emmett, Jillian and myself had many conversations about how Talla did not deserve to be there, she was a floater. They were obviously lying to me, Emmett specifically. He decided to change his strategy. He made the right decision because I would have gotten him out over Jillian.
There are times in the house when you do want to take a threat out over a weaker player because you feel like you can get to them later. There is no blueprint for this competition. You have to live in the moment and live with the decisions that you made at that time. I’m sure Alec and Peter hated the decision that the East coast alliance had made about getting them out before weaker players but I’m sure we can all talk about that in the jury house.
MJ: You clicked with AJ right away and at the beginning of the game it seemed like your only alliance was with each other. Can you talk about your relationship and were the two of you involved in any bigger alliances that we didn’t know about?
AJ and I did not click right away. He would never let me speak. After a few days, I knew that I could tell AJ to shut the f**k up and let me talk. Once we came to that understanding that we could be real with each other, we found out that we had many things in common. We were great for each other because we had good conversations – some completely not related to the competition. Sports, family, life… and his basement.
We were working together but we were never really part of any other alliance. I think people underestimated us in many ways. Me specifically, not so much AJ. They felt like they could use us and not have to make any deals.
MJ: Thanks Andrew.
Tags: Big Brother Canada, murtz, Murtz Jaffer