Tyler was literally running the Big Brother 20 house from Day 1. He won the first HOH of the season which kicked off his season-long reign as the mastermind behind nearly every single eviction. But the problem with orchestrating so many evictions is that it's easy to foster a bitter jury — particularly if you don't cop up to your strategy or explain it in a way they can accept. This was the biggest obstacle Tyler faced in the finale, where he stood opposite his ride-or-die Kaycee.
In the end, Tyler lost to Kaycee in a 5-4 vote secured by Bayleigh, the only person Tyler ever really clashed with inside the Big Brother house. However, Tyler didn't go home empty handed. He was shocked to learn that he had scored the honor of being voted America's Favorite Player, a title he more than deserved. He also learned that Angela had seemingly forgiven him for having a secret Final 2 deal with Kaycee, and the pair seem on track to take their romantic relationship to the next level.
So overall, not a bad week to be Tyler. TV Guide chatted with the Season 2 runner-up about why he wasn't able to secure that victory, whether he thinks things would have played out differently if he wasn't so rushed in the finale and how he managed to juggle so many different alliances all summer.
How do you feel this morning about the way everything went down last night?
Tyler: I honestly don't think this is real life. I'm so happy with how things worked out. It worked out exactly how it should have worked out. I can't believe I got America's Favorite. Kaycee deserved it 100 percent. And I couldn't be happier right now. Top of the world, honestly.
Why were you so convinced that America hated you prior to this? You were so shocked when you were named America's Favorite Player.
Tyler: I don't know! I really don't. There was just something in me that was like, okay, you're playing the game but there's something not right. America probably doesn't like you. I don't know, it just kept coming into my head. There are a lot of things that come into your head in that house when you have no connection to anything. But I was like all right, I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing. And good to know that America was supporting me. It was the craziest feeling in the world. It's such a win. I'll never get over it.
You made all these Final 2 deals this season. Why and when did you decide that making these different alliances was the best strategy for your game?
Tyler: Early on. When I won that first HOH, I knew people were going to start latching onto me because they saw me winning competitions, you know. They saw me as a physical threat. And I knew people were going to latch onto me and want me to take them to the end. So I said this before, the one person I went to personally and said, "Hey, let's go the end," was Kaycee on Day 1. Like Sam, JC and Brett, all three of them approached me with Final 2s and I didn't say no and I had to string them along. I felt like it was just best for my game. I knew I was going to get a lot of blood on my hands, especially with Sam. I knew she was going to be personally hurt by it but I felt like what I needed to do to get to the end and it was. It really was.
What was the hardest part of juggling so many different alliances and Final 2 deals?
Tyler: It was — [sighs] — just keeping everybody separated, separated enough where they would not come together and talk about me, about me being their number one. I had to keep people confused about how my number one was. The people that thought they were my number one, I had to keep them thinking that, you know? So, it was just so hard to cover my tracks and build these personal relationships at the same time as the game relationships and I don't know. It was a lot of work. Especially with Sam. [Laughs]
Why did you decide Kaycee was the best person to be your real ride-or-die?
Tyler: Just right off the bat, Kaycee and I clicked. Kaycee's energy and her spirit, I just felt it and I felt like it was so similar to mine. I knew, I knew she was going to be loyal. I just felt it. And she was. She was nothing but loyal the entire game. She's so real and deserving and Kaycee's going to be one of my best friends for the rest of my life, you know. I could never have betrayed her. I couldn't. And I felt like the fact that I went to her with the Final 2, I needed to stay loyal to that.
If you had won Part 3 of the HOH, would you even have considered not bringing Kaycee out of fear that you might not be able to beat her in the finale?
Tyler: No. In my head, honestly, I thought JC would have ran away with it if I was against him. Not only that but the fact that I went to Kaycee with a Final 2 Day 1, I would not betray her. So I actually was going to pick Kaycee.
Given the fact that you had to betray so many of your supposed allies, were you at all concerned about a bitter jury, particularly after what happened last season?
Tyler: Oh, for sure. That was always my biggest concern. Like, I knew early on when I was making all those tight deals and alliances that I was like, all right, this is all going to come back to me. And the biggest thing I was worried about was jury management. I kept thinking "Paul and Josh." I kept thinking that. And it was a hard thing to really get across to the jury, like how genuine my personal relationships with them were and why I had to do certain things in the game to them. And I couldn't do it. I couldn't do it the right way. That's why I lost.
Whose votes do you think were influenced by being bitter toward you?
Tyler: I wouldn't say anyone was particularly bitter. I know Bayleigh — Bayleigh and Rockstar, always in my head I pictured them voting for Kaycee. Like Rockstar had told me, "I always knew you were going to make it to the end." And I was like, "All right Rockstar. I thought you were a superfan. If you thought I did such a good job, why didn't you vote for me?" But I totally understand, because the game nowadays, it's not only about playing a good game, it's about how you build these personal relationships and getting that across to them. And I couldn't do it. Rockstar and Bayleigh, I felt like would always vote for Kaycee no matter what. But Haleigh, I'm really surprised that Haleigh changed her mind and voted for me. I really appreciate that from Haleigh. Her being a superfan and me being a superfan, that was awesome.
You had told Bayleigh that you didn't need her vote earlier in the season and then she wound up being the deciding vote against you. Do you regret saying that now or are you just amused at the irony of the situation?
Tyler: It definitely came back to me. Kaycee and Bayleigh had such a good relationship, I knew that if all went well I'd be sitting in the Final 2 with Kaycee and I knew she wouldn't vote for me. And she would never vote for me, no matter what I did. So I'm not mad about it. I can't be mad about it.
Was that blowout with Bayleigh really part of your strategy?
Tyler: Oh no. That was totally not. I really thought she was the hacker. I really did adore Bayleigh as a person, you know. But I thought she was the hacker. I had a lot of people telling me she was the hacker. And she had a power app. I knew she had to go. I was just trying to get across to her that I didn't mean it, but it didn't work.
It felt as though the finale was really rushed in order to make room for things like Swaggy and Bayleigh's engagement. Do you think you had enough time with the jury for the interviews and final speeches to properly plead your case and explain your gameplay?
Tyler: No. I really, really felt rushed. That's how it works, you have to be ready for anything like that. But I did feel rushed. I really didn't feel like I had enough time. But yeah, I wish there was a little bit more time, for sure. But it's okay. I was such a nervous wreck, I was barely able to talk. So I don't know if I would have been able to get any good points across if I did have more time. So yeah, I do wish I had more time.
What do you wish you had been able to say to the jury that you didn't have time for last night?
Tyler: I just wish that I had really laid out my game in more detail, you know. I don't think they understood how much I was behind the scenes, how much of a superfan I was of this game, how much I understood what was going on. I couldn't get that across. There were so many different points I wanted to bring up, like with Brett. Every time Brett was against the wall, I was in on the ideas to keep him safe, I was in the ideas to cover up the votes, like every time. And I wish I had had more time to get that across.
Do you think things would have been differently had you had more time to speak with the jury?
Tyler: Um, maybe. I feel like I could have possibly gotten Scottie's vote if I had a little bit more time. But with Scottie, he said it was all about loyalty and respect and I wish I could have made the point — I wish I could have said that Kaycee and I worked together since Day 1 and how I was going to pick Kaycee. I feel like that might have gotten Scottie's vote. Or if I had even won the final HOH, that might have gotten his vote. But yeah, that's probably the one thing.
You orchestrated the eviction of several of your friends and allies; which was the most difficult for you?
Tyler: Um, the most difficult was probably Brett. I knew Brett's Final 2 with me was probably genuine. I really felt it. I was good friends with Brett. I knew Brett was loyal — to me at least. When he started breaking the whole Level 6 thing, I knew I had to do it. But it was definitely hard. It was definitely hard.
You fell in love with Angela this season, but you still wound up staying loyal to Kaycee over her. Were you worried that your Final 2 with Kaycee would affect your relationship with Angela at all out of the game?
Tyler: Yeah, I really was. Kaycee and I talked about telling Angela. I really wanted to tell Angela about what was going to happen, about the Final 2 with Kaycee, but I left it up to Kaycee but Kaycee didn't know the extent of what Angela and I had. So game-wise I tried to stay on the right path, but it destroyed me not telling Angela. This past week has been the hardest thing. I was so worried that she was going to hate me for not telling her and that's all I've been thinking about lately. So I'm really happy that she's not as mad as I thought.
Are you really planning on moving in with Angela in Los Angeles?
Tyler: Yup. If she's down, I'm down. 100 percent. I just want to go hang out with her right now. It was the hardest week being away from her. And I cannot wait. I'm so happy to see her again.
Do you have a first real-world date planned for you and Angela yet?
Tyler: We're going to see how things go, you know? I didn't think I could actually fall in love with somebody. But she's perfect so if it all works out, I'm so down for it. I'm looking forward to the future, 100 percent.
The discussions surrounding your gameplay in the early weeks, both in the house and outside it, largely centered around your relationship with Kaitlyn. How do you imagine things would have played out differently had Kaitlyn managed to complete that puzzle and return to the game?
Tyler: That would have been an awkward conversation to have with her because I just voted her out. Because I really think she felt that I was that one vote [to keep her]. I was the only one she hugged. I was going to tell her. I was going to have to tell her. That would have been awkward. I feel like I probably would not have made it far had she finished that puzzle.
Kaitlyn did enter the house with a boyfriend. Looking back on that relationship, do you think it was inappropriate at all?
Tyler: Um, I wouldn't say it was inappropriate. There was always something in me that was, like, questioning Kaitlyn and I knew I just had to play the game. It was a super genuine friendship with Kaitlyn. It really was. I adore Kaitlyn and it was easy to hang out with her all the time, as much as it seemed to other people that she was just following me around. Like, I really love hanging out with Kaitlyn. I feel like I'm going to be such good friends with Kaitlyn. And I knew I needed Kaitlyn for game reasons, so no. I wouldn't say that at all.
You lied a lot this summer, and were really good at it! Did it kind of freak you out a little how easy it was to manipulate everyone?
Tyler: Yeah, I mean it was weird. I didn't expect it. I was kind of scared of myself after a while. And I just kind of had to make myself believe certain things. I made myself believe I only watched Season 16 and Season 19 and those were the only seasons I could ever talk about, you know? It really freaked me out. I feel like I got really good at lying and I can't wait to just be truthful and honest for the rest of my life and not tell a single lie ever again. It's going to be so nice.
Was it hard to keep your superfan status under wraps, especially when you saw Zingbot and the former houseguests?
Tyler: It was the hardest thing! The hardest thing you can imagine. When Josh and Paul and Derrick and Victor and [Victor and Nicole] got engaged, I wanted to cry. Like cry when they came. The hardest thing to keep a secret. That was definitely the hardest thing.
If there was one thing this season that you could go back and redo or change, what would it be?
Tyler: I really don't think I could have won. Maybe my goodbye messages, I could have made them out a little bit better and been more kind, I guess, in my goodbye messages. And maybe my finale speech could have been a little bit different. But honestly, other than that, what was meant to happen happened. And Kaycee deserved it 100 percent, so I really wouldn't change anything.
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