Audrey Middleton was the latest houseguest to be evicted from the 17th season if Big Brother. We caught up with Audrey following her eviction to discuss the pressure she may have felt playing as the game’s first ever transgender contestant, her regrets from her final week in the house and who she’s rooting for.
Can you explain to us the pressure of playing Big Brother as the first ever transgender contestant? Was there a lot of pressure to perform and make it far?
The pressure is unmeasurable. From one perspective, this was totally radical to my life outside of the show. I’m a complete introvert and here I am stepping out on a platform for millions of people to judge me. To not just come out on the platform itself but to come out on it as the first transgender person, it was a lot of pressure.
However, this experience was greater than just myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I had the courage to do it and have then exemplify the willingness and the same courage to other people from the same suppressed minority or any suppressed minority in general. That if you can put your mind to something, you can do it. People will always have an opinion of you but at the end of the day, the most important thing is the opinion that you have of yourself.
Did you feel that you weren’t only playing for yourself, but a community that hadn’t been represented on this show before?
I did feel that I’m on this platform and I have to do something constructive with it because the transgender community is just now something that people are being educated on and have to make sure that I don’t make a complete ass of myself on television!
I hope that viewers can separate me as a person and me as a crazy weirdo game player! My head was in the right spot going into it. I felt that I had the right strategy but then when I opened that door, I don’t know where it went. It just left my brain!
Do you have any regrets from your final week inside the house? You failed to show up to the Power of Veto ceremony. You even obtained a penalty that last week.
Obviously as a super fan, I regret not going to the Veto ceremony and accepting the penalty. In my defence, even though I feel that excuses cheapen an apology, I’m really sorry to the fans because I know they were disappointed. But when you’re in the house, the pressure and emotions are so overwhelming and it was something extremely difficult for me to stomach, especially being a real authentic super fan. My emotions completely dominated my thought process and I felt like I had to take care of myself. “I can’t stomach this right now. I just need to lay in the ‘Have-Not’ chair and chill.”
Da’Vonne accused the houseguests for not evicting you sooner simply because you were transgender and didn’t want to deal with how it would look to viewers. Looking back, do you think this is true?
Absolutely not! I feel that the people who didn’t like me in the house, genuinely just didn’t like me. I felt no prejudice in the house. I felt that the moment I said that I was transgender, they accepted it and embraced it. From that moment on, it was game on. I honestly felt that it wasn’t even in anyone’s thought process. I wanted an authentic experience. I didn’t want people to give me special treatment or treat me poorly. I wanted people to like me based on my gameplay in the house. I wanted it to be real.
Looking back, what’s the one thing you would have done differently inside the house?
Instead of putting blanket over my head, I would have shoved a blanket down my throat. No words would have come out of my mouth. Day one, two and three, I was in a great place with everybody and then it all went downhill.
What are some of the friendships/relationships that you hope to continue outside of the house?
I can definitely see that everyone is going to be peachy outside of the house. I’ve made up with Da’Vonne! We’re good and we hung out. I look forward to catching up with Vanessa and Shelli post show.
Who are you rooting for to either go far and/or win?
As a fan, I have to respect Vanessa’s game play. I really like strong female characters and I feel that the show hasn’t had that in a long time. She’s doing great at that. I have personal experiences with her and know how good she is. I look forward to seeing how she transgresses throughout the rest of the season.
Big Brother airs Sundays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Global and CBS.