There is no doubt that Willow MacDonald’s vibrant personality on Big Brother Canada had an almost infectious quality to it. The Nova Scotia-born tomboy seemed to be the houseguest that was the most into the Big Brother experience and relished every competition, task, and challenge placed in front of her. An original Chop Shop member at the start of the game, MacDonald’s allegiances began to shift as her feelings for Sarah Hanlon seemed to intensify during the course of the season. One of the victims of this season’s triple eviction twist, I caught up with MacDonald to discuss her emotional reaction to being voted out, her feelings for Sarah and why she seemed so bubbly all the time.
Willow MacDonald: Hi Murtz, it’s Willow!
Murtz Jaffer: Hey, how are you?
WM: I’m good. I can’t believe you are interviewing me! I used to watch all your YouTube videos and your backyard interviews. This is awesome!
MJ: Your reaction to being evicted was one of the most emotional reactions I have seen in reality television. Can you take me back to that moment and if you felt safe even when you found out that it was a triple eviction?
WM: Ohhh, Murtz. I’m not going to lie. When Brittnee won that HOH, it was the best case scenario. We were laughing in the pantry, I don’t know what you guys got to see or what you didn’t get to see but we were doing flips and rolling around. I was like, ‘this is the best ever, this is perfect!’ Sarah and I then get to play the next week. I told them ‘tomorrow is probably going to be endurance, I have got you, this is our time.’ And Sarah and I? We don’t get any blood on our hands. Really, this is perfect.
Out of nowhere Bruno saves Zach and I’m okay with it because Zach will never come after me, Bruno is not going to come after me… I’m actually still like, ‘okay, this is still fine.’ And Britt looks at me and just goes, ‘I’ll go with Willow.’ I couldn’t believe it! But right then and there I was like, ‘I’m on that block I’m going home.’ I knew it, as soon as she said my name I was like devastated. It was horrible. I still can’t believe it. I’m not supposed to be here!
MJ: Things seemed to be going quite well for you, Willow. It looked like you had protection from the Chop Shop and also from Sarah and Brittnee. In that regard, do you feel like your close relationship with Sarah was both an advantage and a disadvantage in the sense that it provided you with a strong ally but also put you on the outs with Brittnee?
WM: Absolutely. I love Sarah. We had such a close relationship. I was so lucky to play like with my best friend but I gave all my time and energy and information to Sarah and I should have brought B in a little closer. Should have gave us like an alliance name, should have made her feel like really a part of it but she’s all about Sarah. B and I definitely butt head sometimes but…
Sarah and I would try to fake fight but we couldn’t stay away from each other. I know that bit me in the butt. I should have kept playing both sides but I started to put all my marbles into one basket with Sarah and I know exactly like B was like… When B put me up there, I know it was strategically (a little bit). Of course she was probably like thinking ah, she might be safe but deep down she was like, ‘I need Sarah all to myself, Willow has weaseled her way in there…’ which I was!
So this was definitely detrimental for my game, trusting and caring for Sarah so much. I should have stepped back a bit, but what can I do?
MJ: You seemed to share a very close relationship with Sarah. Were you guys just friends or something more?
WM: Sarah and I have an amazing relationship. Coming into this house, I was not the person I am now (leaving the house). I didn’t like to show, affection or emotion or really like, everything was joke to me, and to let somebody in was never something I liked to do.
Sarah, I love that girl more than life itself. It wasn’t like a romantic relationship, but it was definitely like, I don’t even know what to call it, it’s definitely a unique relationship. I love that girl, I’m so happy I got to play with her, open up with her.
I literally got to play with my best friend but we have a bond that nobody else will have. I love her but, I don’t even know what to call it! we will just call it Willah! We had this Willah relationship and I’m so grateful that I have that.
MJ: You had very big reactions to all of the different tasks and competitions in the house and often discussed how important it was for you to be liked by Canada. Can you explain why this was so important to you?
WM: I LOVE Big Brother! Since I was 10 I was like, ‘I’m going to be on this show and I’m going to win it.’ I never thought for some reason that there was going to be a Big Brother Canada. I always thought I was going to have to move to the U.S. Marry a U.S. guy and get on the show. And then I got to represent my country and then I got to represent like Nova Scotia and I was like, ‘this is big, I need Canada to be behind me.’
I wanted people to look up to me because I know there are so many players that I looked up to my whole life (from all the Big Brother seasons). So I wanted to make sure I had a good impact on all the superfans, on all the fans that weren’t too sure. I wanted to make sure that when I went into that Big Brother house, I was representing everyone because not many people get to do this and I have the chance. I don’t want to take it for granted.
I was excited about everything! Tasks! Punishments! Have Not’s! I wanted do it all! I loved everything about Big Brother!
MJ: East Coasters have done quite well on Big Brother. Jillian and Jon both won. Was there any kind of a pressure on you to do just as well?
WM: Absolutely. I put so much pressure myself. Again, one of my huge downfalls I did… going into this I was like, ‘okay, I gotta make Emmett and Jillian proud, I gotta make John proud… I have to go and kill this! I have to, I am an East Coaster!’ Seeing Pili in there with me too, I was like, we have to represent. There were no new Newfies this year! We had no Newfies… the only people from the East Coast were the two people from Nova Scotia, so I was like ‘we have to represent for all four of them, we have to!’
I didn’t want to let the East Coast down, wanted to make John proud and I was like, this is it. We are going for a triple right here. I truly believed that but I definitely put way too much pressure on myself. I think that it shows in how I did in the competitions and stuff. I just wanted to win so bad when I should have just been like ‘go with it’ but what can I do? Murtz, this is killing me!
MJ: There was a point in the season where you decided to jump from the Chop Shop to Sarah. Can you take me back to that moment and when did you decide to switch allegiances?
WM: This was one of the best days for me in my life and in the game. For a while I noticed that Zach was not being true to the Chop Shop. I just wanted to make a Brigade alliance. I just wanted to get to the Final 5 or get to Final 6 and then play it from there.
I was like can’t we just have this one alliance? But no, it never works out! It like never happens! Stupid Willow. I would think of ways. I’m like okay… (and I was really close to Sarah). Probably from like week one. We connected, we had a lot in common, I knew that girl was a genius and I was like, ‘I need to work with her.’ But people would feed me stuff. So I watched a lot, people would talk to me a lot and I was just waiting for the perfect time. I wanted JP out and they did it for me and that’s when I knew, I was like, ‘this is perfect.’ Then the Chop Shop got blown up and I was like, “this is literally the fire under my butt.’ Sindy pretty much told me like, ‘no one thinks you are playing, pretty much you suck, wake up, and pick a side.’ And I was like you know what, ‘I don’t have anyone right now, Zach is not my boy. I’m giving it all to Sarah. I’m putting my life on the line but at least I played the game, at least I tried, at least I made a big move.’
So I gave Sarah all of my information, which was a ton. I think we talked for two and half hours in the have not room and I gave her everything and she gave me everything and we were laughing. We knew everyone’s game and that’s why I did it, because Zack wasn’t being true, they got out JP and I started to realize that the Chop Shop is not loyal. Nobody is really loyal, take one person and go with it.
MJ: There were a lot of twists on Big Brother this season and I am sure that there will be many more. As the victim of a twist, do you feel like they add a necessary element to the game or do you feel like a player who was in a fairly good position such as yourself can be unjustly evicted?
WM: These twists were crazy this year! I can’t wait to watch the season! I love the twists, and they are a part of the game. You take the twists out it’s not Big Brother right? Yeah it sucks. It hurts to go out on in a triple eviction (which I did call), I knew it was going to be a triple eviction. To be out like that, part of me kind of feels like, ‘okay well, that’s how they had to get you out.’ So I feel a little better. I like to call that “a backdoor on a triple eviction.” Whether it was planned or not, I don’t know but I’m going to say that to make myself feel better but I love the twists. Yeah that’s how they get you but I mean that’s Big Brother. You have to ride it out.
If you can live a week in the Big Brother house, you are doing well. The twists? Keep them coming. I loved them. I’m not mad at the twists. That’s the game. I love how they keep getting like harder and crazier… like nuts!
MJ: Who do you think voted to keep you safe in the Triple Eviction?
WM: Oh Murtz. Oh my god. Okay well, let me break this down for you. Again, I don’t know what you guys saw, but when I went into the pantry and I begged for my life, Godfrey was pretty much straight up and like, “Yo man, I don’t know man.” But Godfrey, Zach and Bruno were straight up and were like, ‘we’re going to keep you, we’re going to save you. You are okay.’ And a part of me was like that was too easy but I don’t know.
My heart just thought that Sarah would give me her vote. That’s my girl, she would give it to me. I just had a feeling it was like ‘no, they are going to keep Pili.’ It was a smart decision to keep Pili. I’m looking at this logically and looking this as like a superfan. I’m looking at this as a player and I’m like, ‘no, like I’m going, I’m going’ and then I didn’t get to hear the votes.
The whole time though, I thought that Sarah was the only one that voted to keep me safe… maybe and then I was like, ‘no, maybe she didn’t to save her butt too.’ Bruno has come into jury and has let me know that him, and Zach had voted to save me, that was the plan and Sarah didn’t. She voted for Pili and I’m devastated.
I still need more answers though. Like I can kind of see why Sarah had done that. I don’t know if Zach really did but why would they lie? I needed to talk to everyone. I need more information but at least I know now that Bruno voted for me and it’s looking like Sarah is the reason I’m sitting here. I need more information, I need talk to them, I need to know what was going on, people coming into the jury!
MJ: If you could have done anything differently, what would it have been?
WM: If I could have done anything differently, I wish that I put down a 30 instead of a 75 in retribution and I probably would have won that HOH and put up Zach and Kevin (with Zach going home hopefully). B would have seen I was loyal, I was working for them and then I would have got her trust again. Again I would have had an HOH win helping me. Show that I am a player, that I am trying to play this game, I am trying to make big moves, trying to get these people, and I’m working with these girls. Also, I wish I would have been a little closer with B again. Just pulled her in and gave us an alliance name rah rah. That’s the one thing I wish I would have done.
MJ: You are such a superfan of Big Brother. Do you feel like your knowledge of the show helped or hurt you on the show?
WM: For the first little bit, I think it kind of hurt me. I would like overanalyze everything. I would like jump in and be like, ‘oh no but they didn’t do this season and they didn’t do that.’ I was always overthinking things and people who didn’t really get to watch the show or know what was coming… they kind of were just like, ‘I’ll just ride this out’ which was good. The anticipation of them I think was less. I think that’s why John did so well last year. He didn’t know much about the game and so he was just like, ‘give me this surprise!’ Me? I was trying to figure out every single thing and every single move. It was driving me nuts! I don’t know if you guys noticed that, I literally wouldn’t sleep and just be ‘oh it is triple eviction, oh somebody is coming back…’
I’m giving myself anxiety in that house already on top of the anxiety I was feeling. So it was definitely just hurting myself but I think being a superfan in there and being around other superfans helped me bond with them. I could understand certain game moves and it helped myself in the game for sure. 100%. It definitely came with pros and cons but I’m happy I’m a superfan and I’m a superfan till I die. If you are a super fan you should definitely try and you should definitely play the game!
MJ: What was the best part about being on the show?
WM: Oh my God, the best part? The best part was just playing the game. I love Big Brother. I got to play it 24/7 for 49 days, seven weeks. Not many people can say that. I love Big Brother so much! Always on live feeds, always trying to figure it out.
I would play the game even when I was at home, I actually got to play them! I played in the HOHs, I played in the vetos. Everyday I was working, trying to…you think we are not really playing; you are always playing that game. It’s never a rest day. It’s never like ‘oh we are not talking game.’ Even when you think you are not talking game, you are talking game. The whole part was just being on the show and playing Big Brother 24/7.
MJ: Amazing Willow, thank you so much!
WM: Thank you Murtz, I can’t wait to meet you!
MJ: Very soon! Only a couple of weeks.
WM: Can’t wait!
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Tags: Big Brother Canada, murtz, Murtz Jaffer