‘Big Brother’ Finale: Will Kirby Reveals a ‘Very’ Angry Jury
A long summer of backstabbing, tears and groan-inducing puns finally comes to an end Wednesday night as Big Brother crowns its seventeenth winner. In the finale, Dr. Will Kirby—the fan-favorite winner of season two who is widely considered the game’s greatest player—returns for a third time to host the jury roundtable. He’ll sit down with those bitter bunnies to flesh out which of the finalists—Vanessa, Steve or Liz—deserves their vote to take home the $500,000 prize. We caught up with Kirby to find out what went down and how he expects the vote will turn out.
What do you think of the final three?
My honest opinion, which I think is very different than the general consensus, is that this is a phenomenal final three. This is the third year that I’ve hosted the jury roundtable, but it’s the first year where any of the three actually can win. I think both Vanessa and Steve are extremely qualified to win. I remain unconvinced that Liz is as strong a competitor as those two. However, she’s got at least two votes in the jury, and this comes down to a statistical place. To be honest, last year, Derrick was the runaway winner, and that was the consensus among the jury. I had a real uphill battle trying to get them to consider anything [else]. This year, that wasn’t the case with the jury. There was a healthy debate about which of the three was going to win.
How bitter is the jury this year?
They’re extremely pissed off. In fact, I had to ask them to stop talking over each other and to give each other basic respect. They were not even listening to each other. They’re very angry, and the emotion is pretty raw for some of them.
Which jury member surprised you the most at the roundtable?
I think James is extremely logical. It takes awhile to decompress from the show, I can tell you that firsthand. So when you’re in the jury house, you’re thinking of your moves and what you could have done. Jealousy is a very primal human emotion, and there’s a tremendous amount of jealousy on the jury. [But] I was shocked by James being able to sort of take a step back and kind of logically dissect his mistakes and offer up regrets. I feel like he’s really coming to terms with the Kubler-Ross stages of dying.
When Austin came to the jury house last week, he seemed like he was gearing up to be particularly vicious. Was he pretty cutthroat at the roundtable?
Here’s the thing. When you say “cutthroat” or “vicious” that, in my mind, implies you’re logical. I think Vanessa evicted him, and he’s obviously super hurt by that. So he’s hellbent on turning the jury against her. The problem is, the jury doesn’t really like him, so that could easily backfire. If someone you don’t like gives you advice, why would you follow it? He somehow thinks that he’s this phenomenal public speaker and he’s this motivator, and he’s convinced himself that he’s going to convince the jury to vote which way he wants. But the jury was kind of rolling eyes at him when he was explaining what they should do.
Do you think the jury will vote based on game play or go off their emotions?
You know, they’re hyper-aware of how they’re being perceived by the public—so much, in fact, that they almost can’t make decisions on their own. They’re making decisions that they think the public would like. I said to them, “What the public really responds to—because I’ve been doing this a long time, guys—is authenticity.” They like it when you’re genuine. If you say, “Hey, I’m super bitter, and I’m not casting my vote so much for one person, as I am against someone else,” then America will respect that. That can be your legacy. But if you just kind of make up false reasons why you’re going to vote for someone, the public sees that, and then you’re just kind of a joke in the annals of Big Brother history.
CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves recently said that “usually you have one or two disappointments” in the show’s casting, but this year there were “five or six.” Do you agree?
He’s absolutely, unequivocally, 100 percent wrong. You can’t predict who you’re going to fall in love with. It takes awhile for these things to work out and to mature and to evolve. If you really break it down, what happened is big personalities got eliminated very, very quickly. We watch the show for entertainment, and when some of the better “entertainers” are eliminated quickly, then maybe that middle group doesn’t seem comparatively as interesting. So the dilemma we have is, the jury is not the most dynamic, outgoing group of individuals. But this isn’t Jersey Shore. You can’t have people flipping tables and slapping each other, or you just don’t have a show… I stand by the casting decisions. It’s a very difficult job to find 16 different people who are available, who are interesting, who are STD-free and who have big personalities to appear on the show.
There’s been a lot of chatter online that the show is in need of some kind of revamp or structural changes. What are you thoughts on that?
Everybody’s a Monday morning quarterback. I can’t tell you how many times someone will come up to me who’s unbelievably boring and go, “You know what, I’d be amazing on that show!” And I’m like, “You’re not even amazing here at the grocery store.” The truth is, most people are, like, unrelentingly boring. The show gets consistent ratings, and as you know all too well, TV is changing. I played 14 years ago on Big Brother, and it’s changed dramatically since then. [But] the truth is, Big Brother’s a staple that provides consistent ratings over time. Could you make the show different? Of course you could. [But] it’s pure speculation as to how that would affect it. Maybe that would be terrible and it would kill the franchise.
Who’s going to win the season?
If you put a gun to my head and made me guess right now, knowing that I have no influence, I think Steve will probably win. I’m reluctantly saying that, and it’s against my nature, but I’ll just go ahead and float it out there that I think he’ll probably win.
Who do you think will win America’s vote for favorite houseguest, which comes with a $25,000 prize?
You know what, you really have to look at the core demographic of America, and I think we watch it for the young flesh and for the entertainment. I think America will probably think that Johnny Mac was the most entertaining because he was just a real odd character—his bizarre laugh, his sort of Bobcat Goldthwait pent-up, waiting-to-explode-underlying anxiety was just kind of bizarre and fascinating to watch.
You’ve met him in real life now. Is there something wrong with him?
I’m a board-certified dermatologist. I am not a psychologist. I think there’s something wrong with every single person who plays on Big Brother, including myself. But there is definitely something wrong with all the jury members.
Who deserves a chance to come back and play again?
What’s fascinating to me [is] you can see they’re all kind of digesting what happened, and they’re all finagling this mythical all-stars spot that may or may not exist. I’ve seen that the last three years in a row. The jury members literally pull me aside at the end and are like, “Hey, could you put in a good word for me with all-stars?” It’s like, one, I know this is going to come as a shock, but my power at CBS is slightly lower than the janitor who just got fired for meth addiction. No one gives a s—t what I think. And two, you were on the show five minutes ago! Why didn’t you play then?