Exclusive: Braden Bacha talks about his 'Big Brother' experience
By Reality TV World staff, 07/18/2009
Braden Bacha thought he could breathe a sign of relief when Jessie Godderz, the season's first Head of Household, didn't nominate him for eviction at Big Brother 11's first eviction nomination ceremony.
However his relief proven to be short-lived when Jessie later nominated him as a replacement nominee for Lydia Tavera, leading to Braden being evicted from the Big Brother house at the season's first eviction ceremony.
On Friday, Braden talked to Reality TV World about Chima Simone's surprise final plea statement, his controversial argument in which he used a racial slur and made additional racially-charged comments, his relationship with Jeff Schroeder, and which houseguest's lie he completely believed.
Reality TV World: I'm going to get to all the gameplay stuff in a minute, but since last night's show didn't really give you a chance to do so, I just want to start by giving you a chance to respond to [Chima Simone]'s final plea comments...
Braden: Her bon voyage?
Reality TV World: Yeah, where she called you a "bigot," "racist" and "misogynist."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Chima's "bigot" and "racist" claims were references to a post-Power of Veto Ceremony incident (watch the uncensored video) in which Braden used a racial slur and made additional racially-charged comments during an argument with Lydia and Kevin Campbell.
Thursday night's CBS broadcast only aired in a heavily-edited version of the incident that omitted Braden's comments and made Lydia and Kevin's subsequent responses appear largely unprovoked. The broadcast also censored Chima's live plea mention of the slur as well as her allegation that Braden had also made a sexually derogatory comment about Big Brother host Julie Chen.
Braden: Right. Well, basically Chima needed some votes so she was going to throw me out to the wolves any way that she could and she went about it as bad as it could be, so she -- she's a nasty one. And the world saw that as well, so.
Unfortunately that's how it went and you know, I think Ronnie already decided about making that vote before and prior to that commentary, so you know, that's how it came out.
It was unappropriate [sic] but like I said, she really wanted to stay in the game. And so did it I, but she, you know, went straight forward and went all out.
Reality TV World: So you don't think you made any comments that gave some merit to those accusations?
Braden: Earlier on in an event I made a few that I had apologized about to do [with a] hot and heated situation and lies that were told about me.
But I did apologize before that and we had gone -- we had gotten that over with basically in the game but -- and I felt they had accepted my apologies to an extent so yeah, I thought it was, you know, she needed the votes, so she went out of the way to make it horrific.
Reality TV World: Okay, but apologizing for the comments and making them are two different things, aren't they?
Braden: Well, they sure are man. You're right on with that, buddy.
Reality TV World: So do you think the comments were appropriate?
Braden: Absolutely not, part of the heat of the moment and things got out of hand. And I apologized. It was out of no malice whatsoever did I mean anything by those.
Reality TV World: Why do you think you used those comments?
Braden: I don't know man, because you're stuck in a house with people for like, non-stop for 24 hours and it was, you know, they were jumping around me like crazy animals. So that's that with that, thanks.
Reality TV World: So you don't normally use that type of language?
Braden: No, I'm not -- I grew up in [unintelligible hometown] so my whole baseball team was spanish.
Reality TV World: I'm sorry?
Braden: My whole baseball team growing up was spanish, I get along with them quite well. So yeah, it was out of non-derogatory comments. Unfortunately it came out that way.
Reality TV World: During the final pleas, Chima also claimed you made a sexually derogatory comment about Julie Chen.
Braden: Right, we were just playing a game and everyone was drinking except for me and I was playing 'Simon Says' and I did not mean anything by it.
We are just all joking around and I did not in no way make any comment like that. That was just uttered as for a phrase as well but you know, I did not mean anything by it, I don't know her.
Reality TV World: Do you understand how people could misconstrue your comments?
Braden: Ah, yeah, sure man. A lot of things people can misconstrue.
Reality TV World: Did you get a chance to talk to Julie about it afterwards?
Braden: Yeah, I just apologized. But no, not like, we didn't sit down and have tea or nothing.
Reality TV World: Going forward, is there anything you're taking away from the experience of going through this?
Braden: Yeah, it was um, super intense being in there and being, you know, stuck in a house for, non-stop for seven days. It gets repetitive and obnoxious and some things end up that are said around the house.
Reality TV World: What made you decide to go on the show?
Braden: A new experience. I hadn't been on the show, something to try out, you know? I like challenges in life.
Reality TV World: How did you end up on the cast, how were you cast on it?
Braden: It just looked like a really cool show so I just went and turned my stuff in and you know, tried to go for it, and had a couple of castings and -- you know, I'm the California kid so I fit in.
Reality TV World: What was your initial reaction when you got in there and Julie announced the clique twist?
Braden: I was excited, I just didn't know which clique I was going in because I was friends with everyone in high school.
Reality TV World: Did you view the twist as a positive or a negative?
Braden: Oh, it was great being next to two beautiful women, I'll tell you that.
Reality TV World: Out of everyone who was in the house, who would you have chosen if you'd had the chance -- would they have been the two?
Braden: Sure. Yeah, I could have used maybe a stronger male as well but that's how it unraveled and they both stood by me and voted for mew at the end so you know, I wouldn't take that back for anything. I have a lot of respect for those two.
Reality TV World: Jeff seemed to fall out of his "Athletes" clique almost immediately. Why do you think that was the case?
Braden: Jessie's used to having people come up to him and kiss his butt. So when -- Jeff didn't really feel like as if, you know. He gave him three tries to -- Jeff and Jessie approached each other three times and with nothing being said and no friendship starting, they -- Jeff was over it, you know?
You can only do so much. You know you don't kick a horse when it's dead so he moved on and that's how Jeff and I became closer friends in the game.
Reality TV World: So is that why you think you hit off with Jeff as well as you did?
Braden: I thought I hit it off with most of the people in the house. Jeff and I just had a good understanding about reality and, you know, inner beauty and like knowing yourself. You know, being real to yourself basically.
A lot of people were fake in there -- actually most of them -- but it was good to have a relation [sic] with someone that you could actually believe in.
Reality TV World: So would you consider him your closest relationship in the house?
Braden: I would hope so. He just seemed -- you know I can read people pretty well, unfortunately I didn't read Lydia very well and she went behind my back, but Jeff definitely is an outstanding citizen.
Reality TV World: Speaking a little bit about some of that "fakeness" you were talking about, during the initial introductions, [Natalie Martinez] had told everyone she was only 18 years old. Did you believe that or were you skeptical of it?
Reality TV World: Yeah.
Braden: She told people she's only 18 years old?
Reality TV World: I believe that's what it was, no?
Braden: Right. Yeah, she just got out of high school.
Reality TV World: Okay, well, she's actually not 18. I believe that she's actually 24.
Reality TV World: Yeah. I believe it's 24 -- it's either 22 or 24, I don't have it in front of me.
[A CBS publicist pipes in and confirms Natalie is actually 24 years old]
Braden: (Laughs some more)
Reality TV World: So I guess that's something you weren't skeptical of while you were in there then?
Braden: I knew she was a firecracker. I told her to apply for the police academy.
Reality TV World: Given the show's history, was there anyone in there that you were kind of skeptical of, that you know, might secretly be some type of 'America's Player' twist or was being less than forthcoming about themselves?
Braden: I had a fishy [sense] about Ronnie the whole time. Even just looking at his eyes and the way he cackled and how odd he was. I definitely knew he was just kind of like a psychopathic genius.
Reality TV World: During that initial Wedgie challenge [which determined the first Head of Household], were you surprised that you were one of the last three people left or were you kind of expecting that?
Braden: I was hoping to go all the way, mate.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised that Natalie and Russell were the other two folks there [in the Final 3 with you]?
Braden: Well Natalie is a hundred pounds and Russell, I was surprised because just before that he was like 'Oh, I just got shoulder surgery.' I could tell that he was hurting but Natalie was up there stronger than an ox.
Reality TV World: After that challenge, [Laura Crosby] made some [Diary Room] statements were she said she had quit the competition on purpose because she didn't want to come across as a physical threat...
Braden: Who, Laura?
Reality TV World: Yeah, Laura.
Braden: Oh she did a great job. She was the fourth person up, or the fourth person to [be left].
Reality TV World: Yeah, exactly -- she was claiming that when she did quit she actually quit on purpose.
Braden: Oh, she had to give up. I saw her shaking and I gave her my mad props. I think she did an incredible job.
Reality TV World: Okay, so she never told you that story then?
Braden: No, she's awesome.
Reality TV World: So your belief is that she went as far as she could and when she quit it was because she couldn't go anymore?
Braden: Yeah, well you know when something's going into your ying-yang and stuff like that it's painful.
Reality TV World: Did you ever consider quitting on purpose so that people wouldn't see you as a big threat?
Braden: I'm not a quitter.
Reality TV World: What was your take on that incident where Russell attacked Jeff over his "technotronics" word?
Braden: I think it was deeper than that. I think it was because Jeff wasn't kissing butt to the rest of the team, but it was warming up to that, definitely.
I think it was immature and pathetic and you don't want to do that to someone of that statue [sic]. Jeff's a well spoken man and I have nothing but respect for him, so.
Reality TV World: Russell seemed to be playing the game pretty hard right from the beginning. Were you aware of how much of that was going on while you were in the house or were you surprised to see him come out that strong?
Braden: I could see it in him. Maybe not at first but I knew it, you know, that he had it going on, so. He's a hustler and he's just got to be careful working out too hard, he might have passed out or something in that heat.
Reality TV World: There was speculation after the veto competition that Jeff actually threw it on purpose with the "technotronics" thing. Do you buy that?
Braden: I thought it was a great word and it's probably going to go in the dictionary after Big Brother.
Reality TV World: Who do you think are the strongest competitors in there right now?
Braden: I'd like to say just Jeff and [Casey Turner] because they're brilliant and they're going about the game in the right way. Unfortunately they got dealt a bad hand this last vote and they've put all their cards on the line for me and I have mad respect for them. But at the end it's going to pay off, I hope.
Reality TV World: Who do you think the weakest people in there are?
Braden: I think once Russell's intimidation gets shown to the point where people aren't scared of him, that's definitely one. And also Natalie -- she has a lot of bite, you know, but she does not, she does not have what it takes to make it all the way.
Reality TV World: You seemed to decide pretty quick that Russell was telling you the truth when he claimed that Lydia was the one that had pushed to put you up. Was there any particular reason why?
Braden: I had something in the beginning -- earlier on, even before that veto ceremony -- inside that Kevin and Lydia were very suspicious, just the way they were acting. But I think that whole side knew what was going on.
And yeah, I just wanted to get to the bottom of it, it started bothering me quite a bit and when you're stuck in the house you want to find out what's going on. Unfortunately it came out the wrong way at the end but I did serve the house and I think that's what the audience wanted and I'm happy that it got a little nuts in there because it was fun.
Reality TV World: So do you still believe Russell was telling you the truth there?
Braden: Russell did a good job whatever he did. But I get that they all had an understanding, they're all going with it.
Reality TV World: Did you ever get the word back to Russell, Jessie or Natalie that Ronnie had given you the head's up that they were going to be putting you up?
Braden: No. No, because I'm pretty strong with my word. If not the strongest person in the house with my word. So I didn't want to -- because at that point I thought Ronnie was a strong competitor for our side.
Reality TV World: So you believed Ronnie right away when he told you that?
Braden: To a certain point. I don't believe everything I hear, in that house especially.
Reality TV World: There seemed to be a pretty strong reaction from some of the houseguests to the "Have Nots" room. What was your own reaction? It really didn't look that bad on TV.
Braden: It's almost like, from what I assume from movies, prison. Almost like 'the hole.' Especially being around all the food in front of your face, that takes -- it's degrading.
It's unhealthy you know to be around smells, aromas. The beds were rock hard. There was slightly a pillow, it was almost like a T-shirt they used for comfort. it was tough. One blanket. I definitely would not want to be in there.