For a second week in a row on Big Brother: Over the Top, America’s nominee has been evicted from the house.
The latest, Monte Massongill, a 25-year-old from Mississippi, went from Head of Household on week 1 to out the door in week 2 (or “from the penthouse to the doghouse” as Julie Chen would say). During his HOH reign, he painted a large target on his back by putting up Jason Roy, who he later learned was an “American sweetheart.” That was likely one of the big reasons America choose Monte as their nominee and ultimately voted him out as well, giving him a 5-4 vote against Danielle.
Here, he tells EW what he could have done differently in the house, what he now thinks about his tension with Justin Duncan, and who he thinks can win.
First of all, was Big Brother everything you were hoping it would be?
Wow, yes. Everything and more. It’s definitely a very challenging game — both mentally and physically and socially. It is everything they say it is.
So where do you think things went wrong for you?
There were a few aggressive moves I tried to make that put a target on my back — that was maybe already there because who I am gets misread and targeted automatically. Then once I became the first HOH, that put a target on my back even more. And then when all three of my nominees came back, that’s when I was like, “I don’t know how to swing this.” But at the end of the day being the first HOH, I can’t just be a floater up there, wishy-washy. I tried to be aggressive, all or nothing.
Is there anything that you would you do differently looking back on it?
Jason offered for me to weaponize him as a vet instead of trying to target him. And I almost did, but [it was] the first week, so I didn’t have anything against anybody and it was the logical choice to try to get the veteran out when he already had a leg up on all of us. It backfired — and, you know, the rest is history. But that’d be the one thing I’d change: team up with him instead of trying to target him.
Would you have changed your trust in Shane?
Yes, definitely. That was [chuckles] … the first couple days it was good, but as soon as he got tight with Danielle, maybe a “not thinking with the right head” kind of thing was going on. [Laughs] I never did backstab him, but at the same time I knew he would choose her over me.
So you’re not in the house anymore, be honest: What do you think of all these America twists?
Well, it messed my strategy up that’s for sure! [Laughs] Being the first HOH, I had no idea that America had so much impact and I wouldn’t have gone after the American sweetheart Jason.
When I spoke with Cornbread last week, he said you guys didn’t know that Jason was voted into the house…
Oh, no, not at all. If I had known he was voted in, oh goodness, I would have teamed up with Jason like 10 seconds in.
You explained your side of the tension you had with Justin . But did you feel like you were able to clear the air with him before you left the house?
Yes, I believe so. Justin is an incredible guy. He says he’s got a chain of restaurants, which is very respectful. He’s very talented in a lot of things he does. Also, the both of us love to fish. That was a connection with me and him and we’re both from the South, [but] we’re definitely 180-degree people. We definitely have our differences, but that’s what makes the world go ’round. There were a few things he expressed that I didn’t necessarily agree with; I found his treatment toward certain things a little disrespectful, but I’m sure he felt the same way about me in some regards. I think both of those were probably misread on both of our parts. Just our characters are different and at the end of the day, I believe we’re both really strong, good people.
So who do you think the houseguests should be targeting next?
I would say Danielle, honestly, because Danielle is going to twist and turn everything. She’s a good person, as well. She’s very bubbly, very funny. She’s got a fighting spirit, which I can’t say too much about because I’ve got the same spirit in me — maybe that’s why we butt heads. But she’s got a hold on Shane, and Shane is a big player in this game. He’s playing it right — he lucked out by not being HOH first week because he would have been a target like myself. He can kind of lurk in the shadows, but still be a big player without doing much. But, yeah, since she’s got a hold on him and Justin seems to like her, the house should get Danielle out of there just from a strategical standpoint.
Who’s your pick to win it all?
I can honestly see someone like Whitney winning this. Or I could see Jason winning. I’m pulling for Morgan, Whitney, or Shane to win it.
You’d still root for Shane?
Even still — just go ahead and win Shane, buddy. But I don’t think he will. That showmance will be targeted.
For more Big Brother: Over the Top, be sure to read our week 2 recap.