Brett Robinson was one of the 16 houseguests on the 20th season of “Big Brother (US).” He was the runner up for the prize of “America’s Favorite Player” and created memorable diary room segments. Robinson was also part of the alliance Level 6, which goes down as one of the greatest alliances in Big Brother history.
Now about five months out of the house, Robinson has big plans for 2019, including expanding his merch line, YouTube, and more.
CelebMix exclusively talked to Brett Robinson about his time on “Big Brother” and his upcoming projects.
CelebMix: How has being on “Big Brother” changed your life?
Brett Robinson: It has changed my life for the better. I came from the security market and I was put into the entertainment market, one that I was not familiar with at all. On a personal level, it was a really crazy experience because it’s only unique to people who are on “Big Brother” and “Survivor” and the reason is you just go from 0 to 100 and there’s no learning curve or grace period. Before I was on the show, I was a pretty normal guy, as far as publicity, and then I gradually became a little bit more recognized, a bit more famous.
I was locked in a cell, essentially and I didn’t get to experience any of that fame, as it came with more followers and more followers and more followers. It was just like “alright you’re super famous and then you’re thrown back into the world” after being totally traumatized in this Big Brother experience and you’re under a microscope now and it’s crazy being recognized mostly everywhere you go. It was, honestly, overwhelming at first, especially going from two extremes.
If you took the moment from when I first walked into the house to the moment when I walked out, it wouldn’t be as extreme, it was almost like I was put at a total deficit going into the house because when I was in there, you don’t use social media anymore. You are not public anymore or communicate with anyone that you are not 100% comfortable with.
Once you’re locked in the house for a couple of weeks, these are your best friends. It’s no different than talking to your best friends everyday. It’s a very different scenario. You’re almost transferred back to what it was like in 2005, when everyone didn’t have social media and a camera.
When you are out, you are thrown into this spectrum of every person that you walk past wants to talk to you and they know everything about you, but you don’t know anything about them, so it’s totally different, overwhelming and crazy. The first month out, it was just a lot. I thought I was ready, but looking back on it I did not know what I was doing and I was not ready for handling that type of quick flash fame. It has settled now. I’ve just grown and learned so much on how to handle it.
It really has changed my life in every aspect. It really has- from a personal standpoint, from a business or professional standpoint, even a social standpoint, but all for the better- all stuff that I was completely aware of I was getting into when I signed up.
CM: Level Six was one of the best alliances ever on ‘Big Brother.’
BR: *laughs* Just to give you some perspective on you saying that right there. When I first walked out of the house, I was so paranoid about being in there, of trusting people, that people that said, “This is the best season in a long time, and level six is the best alliance.” I was still so paranoid that I was like ‘what’s your motive, why are lying?’ And now that it’s settled and people are still saying it, that’s just insane to me. We all just worked so well. We immediately clicked. There was never an issue until we had to turn on each other at the end, which we all knew was something that had to happen.
It was such a cohesive bond immediately and we thrived. I don’t know how to explain it. It was crazy.
CM: Do you think you would ever play again?
BR: Absolutely. No doubt in my mind. If they asked me to go, I would go. I didn’t know what I was doing when I first walked in there. I knew of “Big Brother,” I was not a fan prior to the show, and going in people asked me if I was and I thought I should say ‘yeah.’
Once I learned about it, I was a fan. I was like this is super cool. I didn’t have 16 seasons under my belt, like the other houseguests. I was told ‘Alright, we really like you. You could be on.’ Then I did my research by binge-watching two seasons in like five days, just to understand the show.
CM: How did you feel when you found out you were runner-up for America’s Favorite Player?
BR: That is, hands-down, the most boggling thing, when I found out. I say that because the show is truly what they tell you it is. We do not have communication with the outside world in any way, shape, or form. You don’t see anyone but your houseguests.
You are over analyzing everything. It’s crazy. I guess I just did so much stuff that pissed off people in the house but I knew it was the only way I was going to stay.
I started to think that everyone didn’t like me in their gameplay or had to pretend like they didn’t like me because they were working with me, that I was like ‘America probably hates me. I just have to do whatever I have to to win the game.’
It still weighs on your conscience. It’s against everything I believed walking in there. Now you have to lie to your best friend’s face, you have to deceive people and you have to do whatever to make it in this game, even though you know it’s just a game. But there’s still a guilt that sits on you. I legitimately felt like I was cheating on my girlfriend.
Sitting in the house for 100 days with all of that guilt, I thought everyone hated me. Then to walk out and be runner up for America’s Favorite Player, was the most mind-boggling, I mean absolutely boggling thing.
CM: Did you have a strategy for the “Hide and Go Veto” competition?
BR: Totally. I was like everyone is gunning for me. Tyler (Cripsen) and Angela (Rummans) didn’t want me out, but I didn’t think they would fight their hardest to keep me. The only one I had to worry about from a physical standpoint was Faysal (Shafaat). So I had to use my advantage, which was lifting heavy stuff and I could do it faster than anyone in the house.
Then I brought in my security background. So, standard security practice is anyone can give out any piece of information that they want, so you just want to make sure what you are doing is so exhausting, that they end up saying ‘Screw it.’
First step: They’re limited. They have two minutes to go into the house and get back in time, so I needed to maximize how much time it would take to get this plan in action. Put it on the other side of the house. It will take them longer to get there. Then I’m gonna funnel them all through one path, and find the heaviest stuff that I can and throw it on top, the point was that by the time they got through all of it, they would just say ‘I’ll look somewhere else.’
CM: Looking back, do you think you would do anything differently/ any regrets?
BR: Totally. A lot of stuff, but hindsight is 20/20, you never know and every season is different. I guess I would say, there’s a lot of what-ifs, it’s hard to say. I don’t regret anything I did because I made that choice at that time because I knew I was the lowest man on the totem pole. I might have made it to 4th place or 3rd, but I wasn’t going to go to final two with anyone.
My only regret this season was exposing how close I was to Winston (Hines).
CM: How was your episode on ‘Bold and the Beautiful?’
BR: It was a blast! It was crazy and surreal for me because I was a big fan of the show, “Blue Mountain State,” and the actor who played Alex in it is on B&tB now. It was fun. That was the first real scripted show I had ever done, so to have lines and actually be on a set was a very eye-opening and cool experience.
Everyone was so inviting. Tyler and I were just standing there like, ‘What do we do?’ and everyone was like here’s what you’re supposed to do and everyone on set was so helpful.
We were so new to the acting scene, which I do want to get more into and I do plan to do more auditions.
CM: You just released some merch. What can fans expect from that in the future?
BR: Yes, so much exciting stuff! Right now it’s just a standard t-shirt- my own line of apparel. It’s something I believe in. I am a huge fan of athletic wear and comfortable clothes. It took me a bit longer to get stuff out there because I didn’t want to do it cheaply. I wanted it to be super comfortable and trendy. More gym apparel is coming. It was something I have wanted to do for a long time and now I have the means to do so.
Hats are coming out in the next few weeks. When I got out of the house, everyone asked me, ‘Where did you get that hat that you wore all season?’ I tried to imitate that as much as I could, but with my own style. It’s a black hat with a leather patch on it. I am only going to make something that I like to wear too.
I also have the ‘El Cockaroach’ sweatshirt, which I love.
CM: You have talked about starting a YouTube channel. What kind of content would you like to post on it?
BR: I am so excited to talk about this YouTube channel. I just got off the phone with Winston. I have already started shooting some content. We are going to get some stuff out there soon.
As far as content, I’m going to do everything. I’m going to do lifestyle, my everyday routine, gym workouts, meal plans, but also Winston and I have some funny skits, some funny stuff coming. We are going pure humor style. We want to start our own little web series.
We will probably bring Sam (Bledsoe), JC (Monduix), Rachel (Swindler), Tyler, and Angela on.
It’s going to be a growing process.
CM: A lot of fans have been telling you to come to their city. Are you planning any meet and greets? With Winston?
BR: Yes. There’s been a little dilemma. Apparently, with the holidays no one wanted to work in December. *laughs* Winston and I are trying to get some stuff together. Our next three big cities that we have planned are Boston (Brett’s hometown), Louisville/Lexington area (Winston’s hometown), and then Philadelphia, and potentially New York City.
We talked to past BB people. I talked to Mark (Jansen) and Elena (Davies) (season 19) about doing something in Dallas,TX, and then we will take it from there based on the demand.
Winston and I are in the process of moving together in the LA/San Diego area, so it will probably be around the April timeframe.
CM: What would you like to tell all of your supporters? Thank you, advice, etc.
BR: I want to start off with how absolutely grateful I am and excited and happy and joyful for all of their love and support. It’s been so nice coming out of an overwhelming scenario. The amount of outreach that I have gotten has just fueled me to do more.
For the first 50 people, maybe more, who buy merch, I will be including a signed picture and a couple other little treats in there for the die-hard fans that I could not have done anything without. I am so appreciative for everything they have done.
I want to throw some advice out to the die-hard BB fans. I would say go tot the casting calls, make a video. Put a little effort in. Don’t just show up and wing it. Find out what makes you unique, what makes you different than the other 100,000 people applying. Pick a few stories about what makes you unique, refine it so it is well said and thorough and don’t include a lot of ‘um’s’. If you are going to submit a video, put a little effort in.
Don’t send in your reel that you were sending to ‘The Bachelor’ just because you want to be on TV. Say why you’re different, why you would crush the game, make it condensed but appropriate length, and just be yourself. Be bold enough to have your own opinion.
The last thing I want to say to my supporters is give me feedback. What do you want to see? If there is demand for something, I want to do anything I can to appease those needs.
CM: Is there anything else you have coming up that you would like to talk about?
BR: Winston and I have a very exciting project that could be coming soon, but that is all I can say at this point and time.
Thank you, Brett, for taking time out of your schedule to talk to us. We appreciate it and are so excited for all of your upcoming projects.
What are you most excited for? Having Brad and Chad back together again? Hearing about his Big Brother experience? Let us know on Twitter at @CelebMix.