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Exclusive: Joshuah Welch dishes on 'Big Brother's ninth season


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/08/2008 

Joshuah Welch went eight weeks without finding himself on the chopping block before he became the fifth individual houseguest evicted from Big Brother's ninth season.

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On Thursday, the 25-year-old advertising media buyer from Dallas, TX talked to Reality TV World about numerous aspects of the competition, including why he was the only jury member who voted for Ryan Quicksall instead of Adam Jasinski; his insight on what type of player his original "perfect-match" partner Neil Garcia was; how he's not really as hot-headed as he might have appeared; and why he worked so well with Sharon Obermueller.

Reality TV World:  Seeing as how you were the only one who did so, why did you cast your jury vote for Ryan instead of Adam?

Joshuah:  I felt like Ryan really played a really hard game.  He did manipulate a lot of people, but he definitely laid the groundwork for Adam as far as getting to the Final 2.  He won a lot of competitions and he was willing to make tough decisions, such as Adam obviously didn't want to make the final decision to choose between [Sheila Kennedy] and Ryan. 

[Adam] threw the [final Head of Household] competition, and I just think that people that go out and play every single game deserve to win more than people who throw competitions and allow others to carry them to the end.

Reality TV World:  Were you surprised that none of the other jury members agreed with you about why Adam didn't deserve the money?

Joshuah:  I really am.  I think a lot of the other people let their minds get clouded by the fact that maybe [Ryan's girlfriend and fellow Big Brother ninth-season houseguest Jen Diturno] was haunting them a little bit.  They didn't want Jen to win ultimately since they were together.  But for me, I'm voting on individual basis and Ryan, I thought, deserved to win regardless of if he's with Jen or not.

Reality TV World:  How were you cast for Big Brother and had you applied to the show before?

Joshuah:  I've always watched Big Brother, since about Season 2.  I've always wanted to be on the show, but it just never seemed like it was the right timing for me.

Finally thins year I was home for Thanksgiving and I saw an open casting call in Houston, so I was like, "I'm home for Thanksgiving.  I'm bored.  Why not?"  So I went to the Houston open casting call at a bar and got a call back, and in the call back the casting director basically told me, "I really like you a lot Joshuah, but I really need you to pop.  You really need to do something for this next one."  I was like, "Okay."

So I did a couple shots of Petron, went in there kind of loopy and took off all my clothes and stood there in my cowboy boots and underwear and told them, "Hey I'm Joshuah.  You need to cast me or you're idiots because I'll definitely give you a good show."  That's how I got on there.

Reality TV World:  What was your strategy heading into the house?

Joshuah:  Approaching the game, I was going to go in there and  -- believe it or not -- I was going to try and be under control and try to play a low-key game to the very, very end.  Going into the house, you really don't know what you're working with because you have all these different personalities.  So I thought it would be really good to lay low through most of it -- be everybody's friend, a shoulder to cry on -- just the great all-American guy that everyone could really trust and come to with their secrets and stuff like that.

It's just really hard to say because I went into the house really thinking I could control myself and I could handle the pressure.  As soon as you get thrown in there and the doors lock, the pressure's unbelievable.  Paranoia immediately sets in because you know everyone is talking about you.  You don't know who's scheming against you or who's out to get you -- but you know they are out to get you.  There's only one winner in the game, so you're just really, really worried most of the time that someone's going to try and get you out.

Reality TV World:  How much was your strategy impacted when you learned you'd be competing with a partner?

Joshuah:  I definitely was not planning on going in there and being that gay on TV. (laughing)  I was going to play, I don't know, a more bisexual/flirt-with-everyone role.  That kind of goes out the window when you're cast as being the gay one with the gay partner right at the beginning.  That definitely labels you as the two queens in the house. (laughing)  So that part of my strategy went right out the window.

Reality TV World:  Given keeping the couples format throughout the entire season would have meant the season would have been over in about seven weeks, is it safe to say you suspected that it really wasn't going to be "'Til [Big Brother] death do you part?"  What did you think might happen?

Joshuah:  I really thought it was going to be a short season because it was a replacement show.  You could do partners, you can do half the game in half the amount of time -- in and out of there no problem.  I was really thinking partners to the end.

Reality TV World:  Can you describe what took place leading up to Neil's departure and how you and the rest of the house were informed about it?

Joshuah:  Definitely.  Basically we were all hanging out and he was called to the Diary Room.  Then when Neil went to the Diary Room, he was there for like two hours.  Then all of a sudden I was called to the Diary Room, which was really, really weird because Neil didn't come out of the Diary Room.

I go in there and there's a cup on the ground, maybe a plate.  Something was left in there.  I was like, "This is weird."  Then they just told me Neil had to leave the game due to a family emergency, you need to pick if you want Sharon or [Jacob Heald] as your replacement.

At that point I was in shock.  I just said, "Sharon."  All of a sudden, Sharon pops out of the door in the Diary Room and we were partners together.  We then go back in the house and we tell the rest of the house, "Okay, basically Neil had to leave due to a family emergency.  Sharon will be his replacement.  That's it.  Please don't discuss it because Neil needs his privacy for his family."

Reality TV World:  What was your reaction when you learned he'd exited the house by choice?

Joshuah:  I was really, really upset.  I really trusted Neil, and I think Neil and I really got along and had a great chemistry.  We just really, really understood each other.  So it was really upsetting for him to leave.  Sharon's a great girl.  I really did like Sharon.  If I had to lose Neil, Sharon was the next best thing for sure.

Reality TV World:  So based on that it was an easy choice for you to bring Sharon back in the house considering your only other option was Jacob?

Joshuah:  For sure.  Especially after Jacob caused a stink in the house regarding the, "[Parker Somerville] is a snake" comment.  I just knew I could not have that as my partner.  So there was really no other option at that point.

Reality TV World:  Since viewers didn't get to see very much of Neil, could you give some thoughts about him as a player in the game?

Joshuah:  I have no doubt that if Neil stayed in the game he could have possibly won.  Neil was a very, very intelligent; very under control; very confident guy.  Definitely whatever I was lacking, he could make up for.  We made a great team and I think he could have ultimately won the game because he was on a great basis with everyone.  He never lost his cool and never even had a temper.

Reality TV World:  What was the producers' explanation for why Jacob and Sharon had been sequestered after leaving the game?  I would have thought that should have made the rest of the houseguests start suspecting that a twist in which at least one previously evicted houseguest was going to re-enter the game was coming.

Joshuah:  No, they never did talk about it.  I thought that was really weird.  I don't know.  There's a lot of questions that I have in my mind that I don't have answers to and I don't know if I ever will have answers to.

Sharon just said as soon as they were evicted they just went straight to a hotel holding period.  I don't know if they maybe knew something was going down or what.  But I was a little suspicious.

Reality TV World:  Why do you think you and Sharon worked so well together?

Joshuah:  Sharon basically let me go out there and do the bullying and let me try to intimidate people and she was behind me and cleaned up the mess.

Reality TV World:  I see.  Good cop, bad cop.

Joshuah:  It was very good cop, bad cop.  It definitely worked.  Whoever I went after, they got evicted.  Me and [Amanda Hansen] got into a fight, Amanda got evicted.  Me and [Allison Nichols] got into a fight, Allison's evicted.

Reality TV World:  You just mentioned the heated arguments you had with Amanda and Allison.  Do you regret the way you acted at all?  Have you had a hard time explaining the behavior to your family?

Joshuah:  I completely regret anything and everything I said to both Amanda and Allison.  I really, firmly believe at that point the pressure was getting to me and I was cracking.  They were really just at the wrong place at the wrong time and made the wrong comment. I really, really regret anything I said about Amanda's father [who committed suicide].  I really regret belittling Allison as well. 

Those things just happen.  I was just under so much pressure and was so stressed out I didn't know what to do.  I hate to say it, but they were just at the wrong place at the wrong time and I accidentally just lost it.  I lost control.  I'm very, very embarrassed by it, and I apologized to both Amanda and her mother as well as Allison and her mother at the finale party.  We all hugged and they understand it was just a moment of insanity.

Reality TV World:  You seemed to get increasingly cocky as the weeks went on and even paraded around wearing a "king" outfit at one point.  You had also gone the entire competition without being placed on the block.  Would you agree that you were being cocky and felt untouchable?

Joshuah:  It's so weird.  I was never really cocky like I was never going to go on the block.  I really thought that people didn't want to put me on the block because they were scared that I was maybe going to say something to them or go off on them.  I thought maybe my attitude with going off on people or my temper was scaring people to the point where they're like, "Well if I put him on the block, I don't want him to go off on me."

Reality TV World:  Interesting.  So it almost became a part of your strategy.

Joshuah:  It really did work.  I wasn't on the block for eight weeks.  That's a long time.  I felt that was a pretty good run. (laughing)

Reality TV World:  You turned on Allison as soon as you learned the story of her and Sheila entering the house as a secretive lesbian couple wasn't true.  Do you have any idea what made them concoct such a story? 

Joshuah:  This is why they told me they came up with it. 

They were spending so much time together, and everyone was like, "Why are you hanging out so much together?  That's really, really weird that you're in an alliance or whatever."  They told me they basically wanted to just come up with a reason why they were so close.  So they just said they were lesbians.

Reality TV World:  Weird.

Joshuah:  That is weird because I would rather you say that you were friends [before coming into the house] than you were lesbians because that means you have a past life together.  You know all about each other, which means if one wins the other wins. 

They were really just trying to come up with an excuse to explain why they were being so close and best friends.  But in the end, it just came off that they were bigger liars than they were.

Reality TV World: Do you think it would have been best for them to just play it out?

Joshuah:  They should have let it play out because believe it or not [Chelsia Hart] and I did not tell anyone other than our partners.  No one would have ever known.  I don't know why they felt the need to tell.  As I said on the show, being a gay man and if you tell me you're gay and you don't want anyone to know, I'm not going to ever release it. 

I don't know.  That blew up in their face and I don't know why they did it.  I'm sure that they regret doing it.

Reality TV World:  Later in the game, you voted to "bring back" James Zinkand rather than whichever previously evicted houseguest America had voted for.  Why did you vote for James?  Do you regret that decision?

Joshuah:  I'm definitely glad that I voted back James because James was a huge target in the house.  And the more targets that are in the house, the less the target is on you.  Plus he's just a competitive guy.  I figured we were in an alliance together and I didn't know who was going to come out of the box.  I knew that if I got James back, our alliance of four would still stand and we would have had each other's backs.

Plus I really didn't know who was in the box.  It could have been Parker, Allison -- I just didn't know.  I thought if I already voted this person out, the last thing I need is to bring them back.

Reality TV World:  So based on that, even if you had known it was Alex who was the previously evicted houseguest America had voted for, you still would have brought James back?

Joshuah: I still would have voted James.

Reality TV World:  The week you were evicted, you were on the block with Sharon after James won Power of Veto.  You seemed confident you'd be staying in the game.  Why was that? 

Joshuah:  I  really thought it was going to be a split house because Ryan and I were in an alliance.  I really thought it was going to be 2-2, and I really thought [reigning HoH Natalie Cunial] was going to keep me.  I honestly did, just because they all felt like Sharon was a stronger physical competitor than I was.  They called Sharon "The Mole." (laughing)  I guess they thought they could trust me more than her. 

The vibe I got was that it was going to be a split house and Natalie was going to keep me.  They kept on reconfirming and reconfirming and reconfirming, and that's the way I felt it was going to go.

Reality TV World:  So what do you think happened?  Do you think you were too confident?

Joshuah:  I think in the end, you're always going to be on the block.  You have to win competitions, and I didn't win veto.  When it comes down to your alliance is not in control and you're relying on other people to make decisions -- especially when it goes to a split decision and the HoH is telling people they don't want to break a tie, because Natalie was saying she didn't want to be put on the spot like that.  I think ultimately that's what really hurt me.  Natalie saying, "I don't want to break a tie."  So they made it so she didn't have to.

Reality TV World:  Were you surprised at how Natalie was able to convince Adam and Ryan to vote against you, or were you more shocked Ryan and Adam listened to her?

Joshuah:  I was surprised at how much people did listen to Natalie.  Natalie to me really only brought one physical threat -- hanging.  She could hang in competitions, but that was really all she had to bring.  It's not like she was the ultimate architect of most of the plans in the house or a good game player.  She really just walked around and just hung out with the guys.  I can't believe they listened to her as much as they did.  I was actually shocked.

Reality TV World:  You've already mentioned your alliance with Ryan.  Were you ever aware of Ryan and Sharon's secret alliance?

Joshuah:  I just recently got finished watching all the tapes and Ryan and Sharon did form an alliance the week I was on the block. So at that point in time it made me realize Ryan was getting rid of me, which is what happened.  He was already moving on to Sharon staying in the house.  That's understandable.  It all makes sense.

Reality TV World:  What was your reaction to that last Final 4 HoH "one more pre-existing relationship" challenge question that ended up costing Sharon the Final 4 HoH crown and led to her subsequent ouster?

Joshuah:  That really, really made me mad because I really wanted Sharon to win.  She was my partner, and I think she deserved to win.  I thought that was just a really shady question.

Reality TV World:  Do you think it was a fair question?

Joshuah:  I don't think the guinea pigs [answer] was fair.  I really don't.  I mean we didn't know they were sisters.  That was never told to us in the game.  We were just supposed to infer this information and I had no clue.

Reality TV World:  Who do you think the Final 3 would have ending up being had Sharon won that Final 4 HoH?

Joshuah:  If Sharon would have won HoH, she would have put the boys up.  Then if Sheila was the vote, Sheila would have probably votes out... You know, I don't know if she would have voted out Ryan or Adam to be honest.

Reality TV World:  That speech you gave after your eviction was pretty impressive.  Did you plan that out?

Joshuah:  I had two options.  I had the crazy option and I had the inspirational option.  I thought that after seeing Chelsia's speech the week before, it would probably best if I just sort of said something inspirational after all the explosions I had in the game to show people that I do have a softer side and that -- believe it or not -- even though I did lose my temper a few times, I am a good guy.  I am true to myself.  I do stand up for what I believe in. 

Even though I looked like I can be a raging lunatic at times, I'm a softy.  I'm a good guy.  I wasn't really portrayed in that light a lot of time, but all my friends and family know that's who I am.  That's why I was happy to leave, because I knew I would have them to come home to.

Reality TV World:  After you were evicted you told host Julie Chen it was a good thing they got you out when they did.  What would your strategy of been moving forward?

Joshuah:  Definitely if I won HoH, I definitely was going to get out the guys.  The guys were definitely the stronger threats in the game.  I knew the guys were working together, they weren't ever going to leave each other's side.  So I knew we had to get them out.  I would have rather worked with the girls than the guys, and I figured in the end I could beat the girls instead of the guys.

Reality TV World:  Who would have been your ideal Final 3?  Final 2?

Joshuah:  My idea Final 3 would have been myself, Sharon and Sheila.

Reality TV World:  Which would you have taken to Final 2?

Joshuah:  I would have taken Sharon.

Reality TV World:  Were you aware of Adam's "retards" comment before you left the Big Brother house?  What's was your reaction to it once you became aware of it?

Joshuah:  Inside the house I never heard it until Sheila ran around the house telling people about it.  Since I never actually heard Adam say it, I couldn't understand the context.  I just didn't really know.

But I definitely can understand America's problem with it -- with hearing it being said.  You shouldn't really make fun of people with disabilities and call them that -- especially when you work in that industry where you're trying to raise money for them.  It just seemed really hypocritical and odd for him to make a comment like that -- or a really bad slip of the tongue.

Reality TV World:  What was your reaction to that incident where Jen called Ryan "racist" and then tried to explain she'd only actually said he has "race issues?" 

Joshuah:  I thought that was kind of a low blow.  And it's kind of scary because no one really knows in the house what's being said about them and it really affects your family when you get out of the house.  So I would hate for Ryan's family to think he's racist because Jen was making that comment.

Whether or not it's true, I have no clue.  But I have met his family and they seem like they're great people.  Ryan does too.  I just think it was something she was trying to use as a campaign tactic.

Reality TV World:  Were you surprised to hear Ryan say he still wants to continue his relationship with Jen?

Joshuah:  I was shocked.  It's not like she was just trying to say, "You need to get Ryan out because he's a strong player."  She was actually using some strong tactics -- and some really, really racy tactics in that house.

Reality TV World:  What was living in the jury house like?  Did everyone get along with each other for the most part?

Joshuah:  As soon as you get evicted and you walk out those doors it's just like a breath of fresh air -- a weight's been lifted off your shoulders.  You go the jury house, and everyone there is getting along because we're all out of the game.  We have no reason to really go after each other.  Everyone's doing their own thing, everyone's just trying to get through the rest of the time having a good time.  Nobody wants to fight anymore.  All the bickering is over with.  It's really just relaxing in the house.  We'd just be waiting to see who pops who pops through the door.

Reality TV World:  During one of his post-finale interviews, James said he had been "open" with the house about being a bisexual. Were you aware it? 

Joshuah:  James really only made a few comments to me about being in a "gay situation."  I think he said he used to dance at a gay club once.  As far as I knew he was just a dancer at a gay bar.  I never really knew if there was any gay sex involved.  I knew that he had done that before, but I didn't really think he actually had gay sex.

Reality TV World:  Did he talk to Chelsia about it?

Joshuah:  Chelsia, I think she maybe had a slight clue.  But I don't think she knew the severity of what was going on. (laughing)

Reality TV World:  What was the most difficult part of your time in the house?

Joshuah:  I'm going to say the hardest part for me was probably whenever Ryan was HoH and the whole time I was thinking he was going to backdoor me because I came up with the plan to backdoor [Matt McDonald].  That whole time just wondering if I was about to get backdoored and sitting there and not knowing what was going to happen.  I was just so, so nervous that I was going to have to go.

Reality TV World:  So what's next for you? You already mentioned you're back to work, right?

Joshuah: Well I went back to work on Monday as you just said.  I'm back with my friends and family, and I'm just really enjoying right now being out in the real world around real people that aren't all trying to evict me from my house. (laughing)

(Photo credit CBS)


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