Interview with 'Big Brother 11' Winner Jordan: "It Was Meant to Be"
Interview with 'Big Brother 11' Winner Jordan: "It Was Meant to Be"
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
In the tense two-hour Big Brother 11 finale, Jordan, the unlikeliest of winners, not only defeated Kevin for the final HoH, but then won out over Natalie by a vote of 5-2, taking home the half million dollars.  The sweet but seemingly naïve girl who wouldn't hurt a fly and didn't make an enemy in the house proved that winning Big Brother isn't just about who has the sneakiest strategy.

In our interview, Jordan talked about how a nice girl finished first, the status of her relationship with Jeff, and how she plans to learn the difference between nectarines and peaches.

Jordan, congratulations and first question: What are you going to do with the half a million dollars?

Well thank you for congratulating me. The first thing I'm gonna to do is put a down payment on a house and you know, pay off a couple bills and probably put a lot of the rest of the money away. A lot of people are askin' me: "You're not goin' on a vacation? You're not gonna do this?" I just don't wanna spend it because it's so much.

I just want to keep it in the bank. I don't want to splurge or anything. So I wanna be smart with the money. I don't want to just blow it because this is really gonna help me and my family out. So yea, just do that. And go back to work, at the salon, and be normal.

Ah, it will probably be pretty hard to be normal since you've been on TV and won half a million dollars and everyone's seen you. I'm wondering, you weren't really a huge fan of the show. You didn't know that much about Big Brother before coming into it so how did that affect what happened once you actually got into the house? How did you deal with the game not being as aware as Ronnie, and Laura, and Kevin, and Natalie are all huge fans? They've watched it a lot, so what was your approach coming in without that knowledge?

Before I would YouTube a couple things on my friend's computer just so I would have a gist of what was goin' on. At first I felt kind of lost and very intimidated because everybody was talkin'. I mean, oh my God, Ronnie was like a Big Brother dictionary. He's kinda like that "one time at band camp." He'd be like "One time on Big Brother, on season 5, blah-blah-blah" and I'd be like, Oh my Gosh. So I really felt like I had a disadvantage and I would always just tell myself just don't trust anyone, lay low. Then I trusted Ronnie right off the bat because he seemed so nice and innocent but really he was one of the biggest liars and manipulators in the game.

Then I told myself, don't do that. I don't lie in real life. I don't think it really gets you anywhere. I'm terrible at lying. Everyone always knows when I am. So I was like, how can I play this game the best I can where people will see what I'm doing and understand and I can figure it out. I was like, just be yourself. If you don't make it far then try your best. I wanted to stay low, not trust people. I wanted to stay true to my alliance which was just Jeff and Michelle towards the middle-to-end. I wanted people to think I was harmless, that I was so sweet and so innocent that they would overlook me. And I think that's why I survived four evictions because every person I went up against I won because they all thought that they were bigger threats than me.

You say you wanted to act all sweet and innocent. Are you not sweet and innocent or were you just being yourself?

I was being myself. Like I'm a neat freak anyways, I always want to clean things. I would clean up somethin' but then there'd be a million dishes and nobody would ever clean 'em. I would just suck it up and do it. I know that sounds weird but that's kind of a strategy too because people would be like, "Awe you're so sweet. You're too nice." People told me, "You're not good at Big Brother." And I'd be like, "Okay." I think I proved to a lot of people in this game that you don't have to lie about everything. You don't have to be a manipulator. You don't have to act like somebody you're not.

You can just go in this game. A  girl, because normally it's guys that win, can actually win this game by being herself, finding someone that you can align with that you really trust. Just go with it. You have to take it week by week and sometimes you might have to plan a little bit, like a week ahead, kind of have a little idea, but normally week by week because things always change in the house. Like an hour could change from three hours from that. It just constantly changes.

I think it definitely helped not knowing because you talk about someone who's themselves and sweet and nice can win. That's really never happened before. It's always the bad person, the sneaking liar and that's why everyone said you were terrible at this game because no one like you has ever won this.

I think it was meant to be. I think things happen for a reason. I was spotted at work. Most of these people had been trying out over and over again to be on Big Brother and I got it the first shot and got on. I didn't even think I would make it the first time, through the whole tryouts. And then wasn't even that big of a fan and then won it, after everything. I'm so proud of myself. And too, I was always scared that people would think that Jeff carried me through the game and I think I proved it to myself and everyone else. I won those last HOHs on my own. I didn't need anyone else and the reason why I made it in the finals and I won is because I won those competitions so I got to pick who I wanted to take.

You definitely did and I'm wondering about that. You brought that up a lot during the speeches you got to give to the jury and did you practice those a lot because talking to fans and other people who watch you really nailed those speeches. I think that's part of the reason why you won because you gave a great explanation for why you deserved it. Had you practiced that or prepared what you would say?

I think everybody knows I'm not really the best public speaker. I always get so nervous, especially on Thursdays I would always just ramble on. I kind of had an outline of what I wanted to do because we had five days to think about everything and that time I was thinkin' of scenarios: Who I would be up against, disadvantages, advantages, just everything. But honestly I was just preparing my speech of what I would say to Kevin of why he should keep me. I didn't even think that I would win it at first on my own. And Kevin, honestly, he kept sayin' to Natalie, "I know I'll win if I get to the final two" the whole time with me and Natalie he was so confident, so confident. I think he thought, "I can beat Jordan" that she's no competition. With the speech I kind of had and outline of what I wanted to do but I didn't have it exactly prepared word-for-word of what I wanted to say. I knew I'd get nervous and I'd forget and then I'd start rambling because that's what I normally do.

You definitely seemed shocked a lot during the finale when it was revealed that Natalie's really 24 and not 18, and even when some of the votes like Jessie and Lydia voted for you to win. Which of those did you find more shocking?

The most shocking vote was Jessie's because I would have bet the $500,000 on it that he would not pick me, he would definitely pick Natalie. But now looking at it she said she did not leave him a nice goodbye message. He might have found out she was engaged. He really liked Natalie, basically spilled his heart out to her and she turned him down and maybe he was bitter about that? I was never close to Jessie. I didn't think he really cared for me too much so I was very, very shocked about him. Lydia, I wasn't real shocked by her because when Natalie was talkin' to the jury Lydia kept making these faces like "ugh" and I knew then that she's definitely not votin' for Natalie.

What about you and Jeff? Because you two really did become America's sweethearts. Obviously you won, he was voted America's favorite overwhelmingly and he half-jokingly said that if he won the half million that he'd take you to Hawaii. So, have you had a lot of time to talk with him outside of the house yet?

Actually, outside of the house I have not. Last night we kept trying to talk to each other and somebody would be pulling him away. Somebody would say "Can I take a picture?" I'd be like ok. And so many people were talking to me that it was impossible to just talk to him. Then, I actually called him last night but he was already asleep. I talked to him today and I think we'll probably hang out tonight. But, I don't know. He hasn't really given me a final answer on Hawaii yet. Hopefully he does take me. Right now I don't know what's going to happen because he lives in Chicago, I live in Charlotte. I don't know. We'll see what happens. I don't know what's going to happen.

Finally, a lot of fans found this very endearing so I want to ask, do you now know the difference between a nectarine and a peach?

Oh my Lord. You know what? I can honestly say, and I told Natalie and Kevin this before we left, I said when I get back home I'm gonna go to the grocery store and I'm gonna grab a peach and a nectarine and I'm gonna take a taste of both of 'em and I'm gonna look at 'em because when Kevin had it cut up in little pieces it looked like a peach and it tasted like a peach. My mom never gets nectarines back at home and maybe that's why it confused me. But no, I still want to say it's a peach but I guess I was wrong.

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of CBS)