Before Big Brother Canada‘s third season kicked off, I had the chance to analyze the biographies of the new houseguests. When I read that Zach Oleynik was a university quarterback, I presumed that he would remind me of all the guys that I didn’t get along with in college and that his ego would be his biggest downfall in the house. That said, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Zach became one of my favorite players this season as he effectively managed to hide his physicality by building very strong social relationships. While his decision to put his best ally on the block will be remembered as one of the worst moves of the season, Zach’s ability to put together an army of allies at any given moment has to be appreciated. This was highlighted by Bruno choosing to use his POV to save Zach during the Triple Eviction. While Bruno and Zach had butted heads over the course of the season (with Bruno being instrumental in the vote that sent JP home), Zach’s ability to maintain working relationships with both allies and enemies alike certainly saved him in the game on more than one occasion. I caught up with Zach to discuss his eviction, his decision not to remove JP from the block and his relationship with Bruno in the house. He also offered some details about how he sees his relationship with Ashleigh progressing outside of the house.
Zach Oleynik: Hey!
Murtz Jaffer: Hey Zach. How are you?
ZO: Pretty good. As good as I can be after being evicted. Thank you.
MJ: There is no question that your decision to keep JP on the block after you won the veto is ultimately what turned the tide against Newport and your game in general. Can you explain why you decided to keep your best ally on the block and do you feel like that move is basically responsible for the success that Sarah and Brittnee are currently enjoying?
ZO: Oh. Yes. It has definitely, you know, given Brittnee and Sarah success. What would I say? Yes. Absolutely I regret doing it. The reason that we kind of did it was we were right at the middle of the game, 5 and 4. Jordan had the 4 on the one side, I have the 5 on the other side. And we just tried to dance the fine line of, you know, not burning a bridge with either side. And being able to keep our sides at bay and vote to get out Godfrey. And the thing that we didn’t do is keep the 2 parts aside, you know? They conversed one night and flipped the house. And that is the crazy thing about Big Brother is sometimes you get a little too fancy with it.
MJ: For the majority of this season, it looked like you had things on lockdown and that this game was basically yours. Can you tell me where things went wrong?
ZO: Well. Other than my HOH where Jordan left… I think that, you know, we got hit with some twists and now was hard to get past (the Triple Eviction). You know? I snuck through that and then, you know, just not being able to stay in power. Kind of got myself exposed at the later part of the game and that eventually just kind of burned me to the ground. And as much as I tried to hang on, it was just inevitable that if I didn’t win a competition, I was going to be kissing those doors.
MJ: The Newport strategy that you just talked about to basically work both sides of the house (with you getting information from the Chop Shop and JP working the other side) seemed to be such a great idea. At what point did this strategy stop working?
ZO: Well. Yeah. Exactly. That’s the thing is it stopped working at the point where we got in power and kind of had to expose ourselves, you know? At that point, did we want to win an HOH? Not really. But Godfrey up there scared me a lot because I thought that I would’ve been that guy that he wanted to hit. So I had to take that HOH and then still try to damp the fine line of kind of playing in the middle and of being on both sides. But unfortunately, you do have to expose your cards when you’re an HOH. So that’s kind of what happened. I tried… we tried to stay, you know, set-up all over the house and what eventually happened was we didn’t expose our cards. We put up… I put him up as a pawn and he went home which completely sucked.
MJ: In the triple eviction, you voted to save Willow instead of Kevin or Pili who were both members of the Diaper Alliance. Can you explain why?
ZO: Good question. Bruno used the Veto on me. And basically what happened was when we were in the pantry, I told Bruno, I said ‘I owe you this vote. You just saved my game. You kept me here and I want to vote with you. I owe it to you.’ And basically, his reasoning was, if we kept Pili, she would’ve been tied to Ashleigh and me. And essentially would have made me stronger than him. And then he said, ‘I want to keep Willow’ and I said, ‘I owe it to you to vote with you and keep Willow.’ And what happened was Godfrey flipped. Kept Pili. And the next week, Bruno went before me because of my relationship with Pili. So it ended up hurting him anyways. So the crazy thing is that essentially what happened was the move he wanted to keep Willow, you know, ended up burning him. Pili stayed and I ended up staying because of it. It’s the craziest thing to think about now but yeah! What a crazy turn of events!
MJ: In your opinion, who are the villains of this season. You and the Diaper Alliance or Sarah and Brittnee?
ZO: Oooh. See… That’s a very interesting question because it’s hard for me to see Ashleigh and Pilar, you know, labeled as ‘villains’ because they’re the two kind hearted, easy-going girls. So I think of me and Kev as villains or Sarah and Brittnee. I know Sarah and Brittnee are a little edgy and they like to, you know, spice it up. So I would play them more as villain cards than me and Kev, but you never know. I think it was a good little rivalry.
MJ: There have been so many twists on Big Brother this season with the biggest one being Brittnee being able to replace both of Ashleigh’s nominations. Because of these twists, do you think that this season’s winner will be the best player or simply the luckiest?
ZO: Oooh. Very good question. Brittnee’s… Brittnee’s power was something that flipped my game a 100% because I was really, really set-up going in to that Final 5 with Ashleigh and Pilar and Bruno. Do we think the winner [is the best or the luckiest], you know, I think… I think both. I think that you have to still play a good game, no matter what to get to the end of Big Brother. You have to play a good social game. You have to win competitions, make moves, etc. But you have to have luck on your side. So the twists add a heavy element of luck and so do the competition this year. But, you know what, you still got to be a good player to beat through these twists. So definitely, a good heavy dosage of both.
MJ: Your relationship with Bruno was one of my favorite parts of the season. Can you talk about how it started and how shocked you were when he decided to use the Triple Eviction veto on you?
ZO: Hmm. Yes. This is a very, I love answering questions with this, Bruno was a very loyal guy and he had that sense of just… you know, he wanted to grab on to a guy in the game and just roll together. And I saw that develop throughout the game. Me and him always had a pretty good relationship throughout the Chop Shop, etc. And I saw him the way he campaigned for Graig, when he was tight with Graig. Then he moved onto Bobby. And the thing is when I realized Bobby was going, the night before I pulled Bruno in and I said, ‘you know what. I owe it to you to give some loyalty back to you in this game. You are very loyal guy.’ And I knew that he was going to be alone in the game once Bobby left. So I pulled him in the night before the Triple Eviction. I said, ‘I want to do that.’ I don’t know if people saw that or not but it was in a room upstairs and I just said, ‘hey Bruno. Me and you… a little side thing.’ And the next night, the Triple Eviction happened. Bruno won the Veto and used it on me. And yes, I was very, very surprised at the same time. I kind of had that little hidden side deal in my pocket that nobody in the house knew about. And it ended up saving me, I couldn’t believe he actually was very loyal to it as he was saying the night before. But I was very, very happy. Surprised. And felt blessed to be in the house that night.
MJ: You seemed to rub Godfrey the wrong way and his speech where he said that he wanted to be the one to get your blood on his hands was a definite highlight. Can you elaborate on your relationship with Godfrey and if you feel he is a good player or one who is simply in the right place at the right time?
ZO: Yeah. You know. It depends what you define a good player as because Godfrey, you know, he didn’t really seem to play for the first long portion of the game. And then he kind of got digging away at a couple of girls saying that he wanted, you know, the guys out and me out. And that was right before my HOH so I kind of started to just see him as a wild card, you know? I pretty… I had a pretty good read on most of the house. On where their heads were at and who they were aligned with but Godfrey? Never had a read on the guy. Because he never really grabbed onto anyone. He just kind of solo rolled the whole game. Call it a floater or call it, you know, maybe good gameplay. Whatever it is, it worked for him. And it just kind of got to the position where I wanted to get him out because I wanted wild cards out that I didn’t have a read on. And if they won, my life was in jeopardy. So that’s where it started. I put him on the block and essentially wanted him out that week and then from there on out, you know, I was never really that scared of him. Because he was such a… he never really wanted to expose his cards. He didn’t really like competition or do well on them. So for the most part, he was just there and there was bigger fish to fry at that point. So now, I would be very surprised if he is not in the Final 3 with these girls battling back and forth now. And he might win second place. I don’t see him winning first though.
MJ: With regard to your relationship with Ashleigh, is it one that you plan on continuing after the show?
ZO: Yeah. I think I’m going to just see what happens with Ashleigh. She’s a very, very good girl. Kind-hearted, genuine and just the type of girl that I usually date in the real world. That’s why we kind of magnetized in the house. We just… I just… Just kind of happened. And I was trying to balance game and showmance because I was a game player first, I really was. But that was something that was very very nice and genuine to have in the house. And I’ll see what happens outside the house.
MJ: And finally Zach, who do you think is playing the best game right now?
ZO: Brittnee, Sarah and Ashleigh are all playing very good games. And they all have their own arguments. I think that Ashleigh has picked it up over this end of the game and she’s winning competitions. She’s showing people that she’s a legitimate player in this game. Yes, I’m tied to her, I have a bias thinking that, you know? If she gets to the end, she deserves it. I think Sarah’s social game is unbelievable. She’s done a lot of work in this house without actually getting her hands dirty. So credit to that and at the same time, Brittnee, 5 times on the block. Got rid of 5 people. I think that argument right there from a game player standpoint is something that deserves to win the game. Just with how many people she’s got out. Her HOHs runs plus her power. So her being the leading runner right now.
MJ: Amazing. Zach. Thank you so much. I look forward to meeting you at the finale.
ZO: Right on. Thank you very much. Great, great questions.
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Tags: Big Brother Canada, murtz, Murtz Jaffer