Austin Matelson never saw it coming. That was obvious by his lack of shoes as he walked out of the Big Brother house after being voted out by former alliance-partner Vanessa. And he was not happy about it.
“Vanessa completely betrayed me,” says Austin. “I knew it was a possibility because it’s Big Brother, but her whole game was about playing with integrity and not betraying me since we made a final two deal on the second day. She swore to me on her family, her girlfriend, the LGBT community and the Bible and she’ll have to deal with those consequences of making those pledges and going back on it. Then, I thought about Liz. I felt so bad that she would have to stay in that environment. Her heart is too good to play with people like this, and I can’t be there to protect her. That’s the hardest part for me.”
We caught up with Austin on his way to the jury house and here’s what else he had to say about that big blindside, how he would have done had he made it farther in the game, and that hideous ponytail beard.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your biggest mistake this season?
AUSTIN MATELSON: My biggest mistake in the game was trusting Vanessa. It ended up costing me the game! However, ultimately, what sent me home was not being able to win the HoH or veto in the final five scenario. I volunteered to go on the block this week to protect Liz, and I would do that again 1000 times over and have no problem walking out the door because of it. The only thing I have a problem with is the way in which Vanessa went about betraying me.
I feel like we heard a lot about Judas, but saw a lot more Austin this season. You never really did anything too diabolical. Do you think you played too conservative, especially when it came to Vanessa?
I would love to say that I should have taken Vanessa out when I had the chance. However, she positioned herself in a way that made it impossible to take her out. If I had attempted to take her out when Liz or I were in power, she would have come right back during the jury comp since she won that HoH. Then, she would have been after me, even earlier. As far as Judas goes, he’s not some evil manipulator; he’s the manifestation of Austin’s personality who has watched Austin get disappointed and heartbroken by life. He’s there to keep Austin in line, but Austin fell in love and there’s nothing Judas could have done to stop that.
Had you and the twins made it to the final three, do you think Julia would have taken you to the end over her sister?
Absolutely not. I would not have asked either one of them to do so. Working with them, I was aware they would always choose each other over me, and I was okay with that because I already felt a winner in this game because I met Liz. She meant more to me than the grand prize.
You and Liz made a love connection during the game. Can it survive outside the house?
I feel very confidently that it will. Liz and I developed real feelings for each other in a very unreal situation. We felt that fate brought us together. It was a one-in-a-million chance of meeting. Each day, it grew organically. I could never have done this without her. She made this experience meaningful in ways I could have never have imagined. I just hope that she doesn’t feel that I did anything against her, ever. I know people like Vanessa may tell her that, but I’m hoping our love is strong enough to overcome anything associated with Big Brother.
What do you think your conversation with your now-former girlfriend is going to be like after she presumably saw what happened with you and Liz in the house?
I think it’s going to be very difficult. That’s my biggest regret in the game — how things went down in my personal situation. I’m going to take responsibility for my actions, but ultimately, both her and I knew we were growing apart before this experience. I should have been the stronger person and ended it before I came into the house. However, I never thought I would find somebody like Liz, and once I did, the feelings I had inside were too strong for me to deny.
Who among that final five do you think you would have beaten at the end, and who do you think would have beaten you?
I think I would have beaten everybody except Liz, and even Liz could have been close. Ultimately that’s probably why I’m sitting here now.
Would you have taken Liz to the end, even if you thought she could beat you and someone else in the final three couldn’t?
I would have taken Liz to the end if I had the opportunity, because I love her, even though I couldn’t have beaten her.
We’ve saved the most important question for last: What will it take for us to get you to ditch the ponytail beard?
Haha! The ponytail beard is a thing that doesn’t mean that much to me, but because it bothers everybody else, it makes me want to keep it that much more. But, if Liz wants me to cut it off still, I’ll do it.
For more ‘Big Brother’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.