Sarah Hanlon, the 27-year-old free spirit from Toronto was named winner of the third season of Global’s Big Brother Canada. The final Head of Household competition saw Godfrey Mangqiza (also of Toronto) win and evict Ashleigh Wood (from Calgary).
The jury of nine voted for Sarah to win, 7-2, taking home a grand prize of $100,000, a $25,000 home shopping spree from The Brick, and a $10,000 trip of a lifetime courtesy of Twistos. As with previous seasons, The TV Watercooler made it the Big Brother Canada house following on Thursday, following Wednesday’s big 2-hour finale and spoke with the three finalists. Check out our interviews and photos below!
Interview with Sarah, winner of Big Brother Canada season 3
How does it feel now that all these cameras have been turned off?
It’s awesome to be in the house and not be stressed out! I can be chatty!
Knowing what you’ve signed up for, were there any moments you had throughout your typical day inside the house where you felt like you just needed one moment without a camera watching you?
I think other people felt that more than me… I’m an open book. I’m transparent. I live my life by those rules… Live your life as if everyone is watching and you should never be ashamed of anything you do. I mean changing was a little bit difficult! I didn’t want a boob slip, but I think a couple of may have happened. The screenshots can live on forever. But what are you going to do? It’s a body part. Big deal.
Congratulations on winning! Has it sunk in yet?
It has not sunk in and I have not slept a wink. I could not sleep at all last night. I’m just reeling. I can’t believe it!
Your family was in the audience. What was that reunion like?
Oh my god, it was amazing. We only had a short time together but it was everything that I needed.
Your boyfriend was also here. Did you manage to spend some time together?
Oh yeah, we just squeezed each other and didn’t let each other go. He told me how proud he was and I told him how proud I was of him. We’ve been together for a long time now — attached at the hip — we don’t even go grocery shopping without each other, so I know it was hard for him as well.
What was the first thing that you got to do after the finale last night?
Fast food! McChicken… A poutine and a cheeseburger! I go all out.
What’s the first thing that you will do when you go home?
Sit with my dogs and my partner. I’ll binge-watch the show! I will not stop until it’s all done.
Are there any moments that you are afraid to watch?
No! I’m excited to see it all. I’ve got to take it all with a grain of salt, I’m prepared that it’s going to be rough but it may be a little easier for me to watch since I’ve taken it home. I can just watch and laugh it off.
Did you get to reunite with Willow following the finale?
She really liked you.
I loved her too! She’s a beautiful person. It’s hard in this house. There’s so much self-doubt and awkwardness where you are questioning everything that you do and can feel like you don’t deserve anything. So to have a person in the house who truly values you as a person, can hug you and tell you that you’re awesome no matter what, it meant the world to me. I hope I did the same for her. We both kind of felt on the outs a lot. She felt alone and not really anybody’s first choice. I really wanted her to know that it had nothing to do with her, she’s a beautiful person inside and out.
You represented the underdogs!
I hope so!
You definitely did. Zach had that house.
He did, right? At a certain point, I was like “Am I crazy? What is going on here?” I started getting really paranoid and even thought that Zach and Bruno were related. People were ready to hand him the prize.
Did you ever have a moment where you felt like you should join that side?
Well, first night I put him up and then when I saw that everybody put up Sindy and Risha of all people… These are your biggest targets? I was scared. Well, that’s the guy you’ve got to go to and try to pacify him. I did that until I could make a move and I had to make a move against J.P. and lines were then drawn.
A lot of women on reality television have said that women can never work together because they can never trust each other. You and Brittnee proved that all wrong.
We proved that wrong! I trusted her from day one. We did it! I kept saying that as long as there’s another smart and intelligent free-thinking woman in there, I’ll be okay. I never thought that I’d be a part of a power duo! But we did it! We pulled it off. Willow and I also had a great relationship as did Ashleigh and Pilar. Naeha and I would have rocked this thing too. Me, Brit and Naeha would have been an awesome trio. Women were nominated seven times before a man was put up. Kevin was the only man. I tried to shake these women and say “Listen, we’ve got to watch out for each other or we’re screwed here.” And it’s not just that it was men versus women, but these men were professional athletes and stuff! How were we supposed to do anything? A model, stoner and a beauty pageant queen… Like come on!
What went through your mind when Canadian awarded you the special prize but you had to be “Have Nots?
It was awful. I came here to play the game and win, but I really wanted Canada’s respect. I also wanted to represent as many people as I could. I tried to respect everybody in the house, so when they voted me a Have Not, I felt like I had failed and that they must not like me for a reason. And then when I found out about the special prize, it was the exact opposite! I was thrilled and thought that no matter what happens, I did my job here. People wanted to see us succeed.
Did finding out how much Canada loved you guys give you a boost?
I was like “We need to do this for Canada.”
What was the hardest moment inside the house for you?
Definitely thinking that Canada hated us. That was so hard. I was devastated. The Willow vote mess up as well. Not only on a personal level did I think that I just voted out one of my closest friend’s in the house, but on a game level, that was a number. Brittnee may have never trusted Willow, but I did 100%. It was hard for me to know that I could have saved her but I sent her out the door. I hope it came across that I tried to do the best for my game. I thought they were going to vote Kevin out for sure and I knew even if I gave her my one vote it would be tied.
What was the hardest challenge to compete in?
“End of Days” for sure! That was insane. It was so gross.
What’s next for you?
Anything to get out there. I’ve always wanted to write or act. Do some comedy! Canada voted for my standup, which means the world to me. Now that I have a little bit of money, I don’t have to work every single day, all day long, so maybe I’ll have some freedom to do that kind of stuff.
Interview with Godfrey, runner up on Big Brother Canada season three
When did you realize that your strategy was working?
To be honest, the minute I realized that my strategy was working was right after the Triple Eviction.
That was just a few weeks ago.
Yes, when I found out that it was just working in general, that would definitely have to be the J.P. eviction. This was a guy who was not a psychical threat by any means possible and yet I still was able to convince people to vote him out of the house. That’s when I knew that playing dumb has been working. I built the weak persona and I sold it.
You have a girlfriend outside the house and yet you kept flirting with Brittnee!
Hey man! In the game, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Flirting with Brittnee was my first attempt to build a relationship with her. I wanted to build a playful brother/sister vibe with her and it worked. That really brought us closer together. We really formed a bond and she saw me as this harmless guy who just wants to flirt. I think it made her more trusting of me.
Did the house know you had a girlfriend?
I kept it a secret. They found out later on. These girls like to dig in and ask you questions. They’re some investigators! They found out. My girlfriend understood though. The kid’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.
You did win some money…
I think $20,000 is a lot, especially when you’re a student.
You also won the $5,000 in the comp.
Oh yeah — don’t forget that! It’s going to help me out. It’s just the amount of money I need. I’m not a materialistic guy who will want to buy out the latest brands, it’s family first and get my school done. I’m taking this whole experience for what it was. It helped me learn a lot about myself and other people.
What was the first thing you did when you got out of the house?
The first thing I did was listen to music. I turned on the radio! I just wanted to know what big hits are there. What new song is everybody getting crazy about. All you’ve got in this house are people and they’re stories.
What about when you get back home?
Just catch up with family. See what went down. Catch up with media, all of that. Just relax.
How do you think this experience has changed you?
It has taught me to appreciate the journey. When I came into this house, all I could think about was getting to the end. But then I saw so many people leave before me I realized that they all shared the same dream that I had. They wanted it just as bad as I had and yet their dreams were crushed. I don’t want to be that guy who just came in and didn’t cease the moment and didn’t enjoy their experience. Go with the punches and enjoy the experiences. At the end, there’s going to be a winner and there’s going to be a loser. The true reward is the relationships that you form in there and inspire the audience that is watching.
You congratulated Sarah when she won. It was very classy. You don’t get much classy stuff on reality television.
Thank you very much. That’s another point I wanted to bring up. So many times we glorify people who backstab, lie and cheat. At the end of the day, these are not the characteristics that are going to help you in the real world. I’m just happy to have played game where I know I didn’t burn people that badly. Of course I played both sides, but I feel that it was a more honourable game. I was humbled in defeat because I know Sarah earned.
Did you ever practice your speeches beforehand? Those were some memorable speeches. It made for great TV.
I just said whatever the hell came out on top of my head! [Laughs] I wanted to feel in the heat of the moment. If I felt like calling somebody out, I was going to do it.
Interview with Ashleigh, second runner up on Big Brother Canada season three
Before going into the house, you wanted to play under the radar. That didn’t really happen as you aligned yourself with the biggest clique.
I tried to be under the radar but there was just something natural that I just gravitated towards them. I also said that I could separate my emotions from this game and lie and do all that kind of stuff but it’s so different when you’re living with these people 24/7 and you just naturally gravitate towards some people, whether you are playing a game or not, emotions are so hard to fight off. Yes, it’s a game but once you’re here living it, it’s so hard to separate your emotions. I spent a lot of time with them and trusted them.
Especially with Zach.
Yes, especially with Zach.
How did that begin? Did he hit on you first?
I’m very reserved when it comes to that kind of stuff. I’m actually more shy when it comes to that. He did one night just planted one on me in the bedroom! I’m sure that was scene! I was like “Wow, what just happened?” I did have a wall up at first and wanted to be very careful in case he was playing me.
Were you playing him for awhile just to see where he was at?
Yes, I guess there was kind of a mutual “I’m not sure where your head is at kind of thing,” but he’s an awesome guy. I care about him a lot.
I’m sure you’ve gotten this question a lot but I’ve got to ask… What’s next for you two?
I have no idea. I care about Zach a lot. We’ll see how things go. No matter what, I know we’re going to hang out this summer. If anything, we’re going to be life-long friends. It’s going to be awesome.
You got to spend five minutes with the jury, what was that quick process like?
Yes, five minutes in the box! Coming out on stage and seeing the jury, there was so much excitement. I miss those people so much. Everyday I missed a different person for a different reason. I genuinely loved every person that was sitting there. It was hard for me to not go over there, grab and hug them. I had to just sit down and compose myself because we’re still doing a show.
Did you get a chance to strategize?
Not really. During commercial breaks we didn’t really have a lot of time to do any of that. I already knew what I was going to do between Godfrey and Sarah, I was going to vote for Sarah because from what I saw, Godfrey was under the radar and said he was going to do a bunch of things but never really did them. He didn’t want to get any blood on his hands and that’s boring. But I played the same game at the beginning. Near the end, I had to start winning.
Yes, you kept winning…It surprised a lot of people. Not that you couldn’t do it, but just that we didn’t see that side of you.
It wasn’t expected. I obviously milked the whole “I’m the youngest competitor and I’m bold and weak” at the beginning and I aligned myself with people who were viewed more as a threat. I knew they would go after them first and then when I really needed to, I banged up those comps and I tried. I got close.
Pilar told me how you both knew that the house would go after the men in the showmance first.
That’s always how it tends to be. Maybe they don’t dissect the whole showmance thing well enough. I think people always automatically assume that the guys are the most fierce competitors who are better at comps… Yes, Zach had an amazing social game and he was behind a lot of people going out, so I think people picked up on that. I think that’s what made him a little more intense than what I did. I played a little bit under the radar, dare I say it, Godfrey still but picked it up later in the game. That’s what I think Godfrey was lacking in his game.
Were you worried at all that by aligning yourself with Zach and this big group, you’d be alienating yourself from the viewers since the audience usually roots for the underdog?
Yes. Exactly. Even with the whole “Have Not” thing, I knew that there was no way that Canada hated Sarah and Brittnee. They were Canada’s sweethearts and I knew that Canada loved them. I questioned it in the house and said “There’s got to be something more to it.” But Bruno would tell me “Don’t say that. You’re going to feel bad if they’re really hurting in there right now.” I had a gut feeling that it wasn’t the case and I didn’t really think too much about Canada not liking the whole showmances and stuff but it happened naturally and it wasn’t something that I was going to say no to just because Canada didn’t like it. I thought it was best for my game and I did what I could.
How was the process of evicting the jury member?
The only time I have ever blown up in the house was then with Godfrey. He even told me that he was trying to push our buttons and he did! Sarah and I were so frustrated. He talked in a circle over and over again. He was trying to get under our skin and I let him. He pissed me off and I cracked! But we’re good now.