Most of the controversial Big Brother 15 comments have been hurled in Howard Overby and Candice Stewart's direction. So following his eviction last night, ETonline caught up with Overby to talk about enduring this season's racially charged house, get his real thoughts on Aaryn Gries' racist leanings and find out who he thinks has the best shot to win it all.
ETonline: How was your Big Brother 15 experience?
Howard Overby: My experience has been life changing. I was always a fan of Big Brother, but I never thought about being on it. Being in the house was a blast; there wasn't a day that went by that I wasn't amazed by being in that house. The personal experience, the spiritual renewal and the personal maturity I underwent means more to me than anything.
ETonline: After the mattress flipping incident, you said that Candice helped snuff out your temper. Do you think having her in the house was better or worse for your game?
Overby: Yes and no. Yes because Candice was able to retaliate in a way I couldn't and I was able to resolve things in a way she couldn't. Knowing me personally, she knew if I fired back the situation could escalate quickly. My job ultimately became to protect her and maneuver her as far as I could. I knew she was a live wire -- especially in a situation where people have the numbers. It's very intimidating. Plus, they know how to get to you and how to get a rise out of you, so that was tough too. It didn't help because I don't think a lot of those things would have been said if I was in the house by myself. I don't think [Aaryn] would have said to me what she said to Candice.
ETonline: Does it surprise you that Aaryn and GinaMarie have lost jobs as a result of their racist comments?
Overby: I'm not surprised. I don't feel happy or vindicated about it. People make mistakes, I see [Aaryn] as an immature kid. GinaMarie has less of an excuse, she's a bit older, but I think there is an attention-seeking thing in the house and she gets carried away in the moment. That reveals, maybe, her real thoughts. Aaryn is hardcore. She won't apologize for it. I had a couple of talks with her where we buried the hatchet. Aaryn claims she's not a racist, says a lot of these things were made up, which I just ignored because that's not what she’s portraying. I wish it never happened. It's crazy to hear about the backlash. I pray for every castmate.
ETonline: Do you think Aaryn's racist?
Overby: I can't say if she is or isn't a racist; that's something that's portrayed by your actions. If your actions are racist, maybe you are. I hope it's not something that's ingrained in her by her upbringing and that it's just immaturity and being uncomfortable in front of the cameras. But I was always taught when a person is angry, scared or in power, that's when the real person comes out. And in those situations, that's what came out of Aaryn. I'll be interested to see what her attitude is when she comes out of the house. I'm not perfect, I've made mistakes and been forgiven, so I'm always open to forgive.
ETonline: Looking at the remaining players, who do you think stands the best chance at winning?
Overby: I would like to answer that threefold: McCrae. He's a historian of the game and in a great position because Amanda is his henchman. His hands are clean and everyone likes him, so if he takes her to the final two, no one will give her the money. Then, Helen. She's freakishly devious. Unless someone makes a power move, she's got control of the house. And then the wild card is Andy. He has no enemies in the house, he's fun and easy-going, I don't think he's lied once in the house and he's playing the game I wanted to play. Other than that, my personal favorite is Candice. I hope she lasts long.
Big Brother airs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on CBS.