Matt Klotz did something pretty extraordinary on Big Brother. He made it all the way to the very end of a game built on whispers, even though he is deaf. Matt became the season 25 runner-up on Thursday’s live finale when he was defeated by his Minutemen alliance-partner Jag Bains 5 to 2 in a jury vote.
Even though Jag set a franchise record with 10 competition wins and was seen as the driving strategic force of the pair, Matt was well-liked by the house and was seen as having the superior social game and a strong chance at taking the crown. Ultimately, however, the jury rewarded Jag as the person they saw as being the leader of the unstoppable duo.
Did Matt think he was going to win once Jag brought him to the final two? Which votes from the jury surprised him? How does he feel about his performance in the final Q&A with the folks deciding his fate? We asked the 27-year-old Deaflympics gold medalist all that and more when we spoke just a few hours after he walked outside of the house. (also make sure to read our finale Q&As with winner Jag and host Julie Chen Moonves.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, congratulations dude. 100 days. That is no joke at all.
MATT KLOTZ: Thank you. Yeah, 100 days hits you when you get there. It was a long journey.
I’m sure you were doing jury math in your head in terms of how you would do in a final two against Jag, so once it was you two sitting at the end, what did you think that final vote was going to be?
I thought it was going to come down really close. I thought it’d be maybe a 4-3. I know Cameron had told me I was playing a very good game, so I was counting his vote. And then Cory, before his eviction, also told me, “You’re playing the best game.” So I was counting those two votes. I was hoping for Cirie, and I said that fourth vote was going to be either coming from Bowie or Felicia. And so those were the four votes I was counting on.
Talking to the jury with $750,000 on the line is a stressful situation. How do you think you did with the jury as they were asking you questions and trying to get you to open up about your big game moves?
Yeah, I think an on-the-spot speech, I’m not the best at that. I’ve got to focus to just hear the questions, so I’m not really prepared of all that. And then when that happened, I kind of thought, “Okay, that’s a pretty critical question.” I never even thought about that before this day. I had never really paid attention to what questions would be asked, so I was very unprepared. I was just kind of unprepared on the questions, but I know in my heart I played my best game, and I got to the final two playing my game. I got there, so it definitely worked. Whether the jury agreed with it or not, that’s up to the jury.
Did it surprise you how aggressive Jag was answering questions to the jury and almost yelling at them “My hands are covered in your blood?”
Yeah, he spoke very well. He was definitely very good with his questions and I realized and was like, “Oh, yeah, he’s killing me on these questions.” He did a good job delivering that speech. Sometimes that’s what happens when you come down to the jury votes, and it’s whoever sounds more confident in what their plan was. My plan was never to be kind of sneaking around and stuff. My plan was just being loyal, sticking with my bro, and getting to the farthest way. He took a lot of shots. I think he played a very good physical, competitive game, and I played a very good social game.
It looked like he was telling you right after he selected you to go to the final two that you had won and were going to get the jury votes.
Yeah, I was like, “Bro, you have no idea with jury.” And every jury’s different and you can’t guarantee anything. When he said that, I was like, “Honestly, if they’re going to vote who played more strategically, you’re going to win.”
I kind of knew if this jury’s going to vote off of wins and game stuff, he’s going to win; if this jury’s going to vote off of promises, social game, and trusting, I was going to win, because I think my social game was definitely better. I was more comforting, more approachable in this game, where he was more of a threat. So it just came down to what the jury really wanted the winner to be. Some jury people want a social game player. And then some just want the comp beast player.
Honestly, Matt, when he took you to the final two, I think most people thought you were going to win because of what you are saying with the social game. So it was a little surprising for many viewers as well. And just to be clear, if you win that final HOH, you take Jag to the end, right?
Yeah, because there have been times where we had saved each other in this game. We had big targets on our back, at the beginning of the game, I saved him with the superpower I had in week four. And then he had the sole vote to evict, and he could have evicted me and he didn’t. That was himself repaying the favor to what I had done. He wasn’t going to be there, and if he wasn’t going to be there, I probably wouldn’t have gone this far.
We protected each other. We just worked together so well. I obviously don’t see the off-camera stuff, but I think out of the whole cast, me and Jag were the best duo in his house. And there’s a reason why me and him sat in the end of the chairs, whether it was comp beast-wise or social game, we both got there together.
So if Jag had taken Bowie Jane to the end instead, and if he hadn’t repaid that favor right there at the final three, what do you do with your jury vote?
It goes back and forth. Bowie was kind of slept on. She won three HOHs all of a sudden after winning nothing all season, and she was just getting up there all of a sudden. She was doing great. I think, ultimately, I might’ve voted for Jag because I know he played a great game. He had a target on his back most of the time, and that’s what my strategy was. As long as Jag is in this game, I’m going to be safe, because they’re going for Jag first, not me. And that was my strategy too. He’s my shield, so as long as he’s in, I’m going to be okay. No one wanted to take the shot. I wasn’t going to take the shot, that’s my bro. Someone else had to get the shot, and that’s where it went to the final two with us.
Were you aware that Jag also kinda, sorta had a final two deal with Bowie Jane?
Yeah, I had the nervous chills and my body went numb when he was giving that final two speech, I was like, “Oh, no.” I thought, maybe I got fooled again. I kind of sensed something with Jag and Bowie, because when I was in the HOH room, I noticed how close they were getting. I was upstairs, they were downstairs all the time studying together, talking, and then I’m in the HOH room, I can see what’s going on.
Three hours later, they go to the bathroom at the same time at 2:00 AM. I know something’s going on there, but ultimately I was like, Jag keeps promising me, saying, “You’re good, you’re good.” Yeah, I should have saw that coming a little bit, but I didn’t want to be paranoid, and I just kept my trust in him.
Did you know that Jag seemed to very seriously consider voting you out at the final four instead of Felicia?
Yeah, I wasn’t sure. What’s hard in this game — me and Jag worked well together, but when you get far in this game, Jag clearly thought I was going to win. So if he’s thinking money, he’s like, “I’ve got to cut Matt off, because I think he’s going to win,” so why wouldn’t he take that move? That’s a big move on his part, taking that risk.
Because that’s how I was thinking a little bit too. I obviously didn’t get those wins early or that late. And you kind of have to think about who can you win against when you’re on the final two. I think he thought that his hardest chances were to win against was me, and he was wrong, because he won.
How difficult was it for you being deaf in that house since Big Brother is often a game played in whispers?
Yes, a house full of whispers. It was a big challenge. I mean, I get a hundred days like that — obviously, the first half was the hardest part. The last half got easier when the house got smaller, less people, easier to talk one-on-one with some people, but something I couldn’t do was be in group conversation when it’s whispering in a room. That was an impossible feat for me, and I tried to maneuver around that. That was kind of what most people saw.
That’s one of the major reasons why I decided to live in the Have-Not room. I don’t think that’s ever happened in any other season. I spent the whole season basically in the Have-Not room, because that was my way of getting away, pulling in people one-on-one, actually having a normal conversation without having to hear whispers, because whispers definitely pissed me off. But I found a way to get through, I found a way to push through and make it work, and adapt to the situation, and I think that’s why I got to day 100, because there were a lot of things against me.
Before I let you go, you know this last one is coming: What sort of future are you looking for with Reilly outside of the house?
I knew that one was coming. Yeah, me and Reilly will have a good talk. It’s been 84 days since I’ve seen her. She got evicted early, and then I made it all the way through to the end. I think Reilly knows a lot more about me, because she’s been watching the show. I don’t know much, but I’m excited to get to know more of the rest of her and spend time with her.
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