Josh Martinez, a haircare sales rep from Miami, Florida, was the winner of Big Brother 19! We spoke with Josh following finale night about how the jury votes played out, why he took Paul to ‘Final Two,’ and about his tactics of going after the other houseguests.
Thanks buddy, thank you so much. Because I knew that with my goodbye messages and
I’ve got to say, a lot of people (including previous BB houseguests and winners) were shocked when you decided to take Paul to the final two with you. Now that you’ve won, how much of that decision was based on loyalty? Or did you have a good idea on how the jury votes would go?
It was based on both, to be honest with you. I thought that I’d be able to beat Paul or Christmas because I knew with my goodbye messages and with my speech at the end, my game would come “full circle” to some people. Also, I wasn’t going to go back on my loyalty to Paul. I gave him my word. Christmas didn’t give me that. A few weeks ago, I said to her, “Would you take me to the end if I took you to the end?” And she told me to take Paul! She may not remember it now, but she did tell me that. As for Paul, we gave each other our word. If I lost to him, I would have walked out of that house happy because I stayed true to myself. I would have kept my word and I stuck by my loyalty.
Some of your bullying tactics were a bit harsh — the banging of the pots and pans. Stuff like that was hard for viewers to watch. Looking back, do you regret some of your behaviour?
To be honest with you, I wasn’t really bullying anyone. It was part of my strategy to expose people’s game and call them out. But I was giving people straight facts on their gameplay. People would say things to me and I would react. I can only control what I did. I can’t control a situation where I’m confronting somebody and other people are jumping in. That’s out of my control. But I did want to throw people off of their game. We were going into mental competitions, so I would bang pots and pans so that they wouldn’t be able to study. I knew that it drove some people crazy and that it could have been much, but it was part of my game to throw them off of their game. I never personally attacked anybody, until I was personally attacked. I can only speak for myself, I would not go for anybody and say any personal things about them. I’d go for their gameplay. Then they would say things about me, and I would defend myself.
It came down to Cody’s vote. How do you feel about that?
Bizarre. I can’t even believe that Cody voted for me. I thought Cody would have voted for Paul! I can’t even get around it. I think from hearing what he said, he respected how straightforward and honest I was. I told people I didn’t like them and that I was targeting them. I think that he respected how I handled myself and carried my gameplay. I’d say it to your face, instead of going behind your back, manipulating, and pulling all these strings. I played a fearless game and I think that he respected it. I’m happy that he voted for me.
He won America’s Favourite Houseguest. Were you surprised?
Honestly, I don’t understand that! I probably had two conversations with Cody the whole time he was there. Everything else was an argument. We instantly became rivals from a game move that I had made (to stick with Christmas) and for him to be upset about that, I didn’t understand. I don’t get how you could stay mad at someone over a game move. But good for him on winning America’s Favourite Houseguest. I don’t know what America has seen… But yeah… Good for him. I’m happy for him. But, I’m shocked.
Are you going to go home and watch this past season?
I’m not going to watch at all! No! I lived it, 24/7, for three months. I know what happened and I don’t need to watch. I don’t have the time or the energy to sit there and watch.
Why do you think you couldn’t have won by having Christmas in your final two?
In my mind, I was like “No, she kills everybody with kindness.” Every person she’d vote out of the house, they were still standing there saying goodbye to her. Everybody loves her. I knew that there was a dislike in the jury for Paul and I but I didn’t know how the jury felt about Christmas. What people may not have seen, was that before Alex and Kevin walked out, they went to Christmas and told her to make it to the end and if she did, they would vote for her to win. Alex is giving her a rose and Kevin is shaking her hand, so obviously she was going to have these two votes and then I wondered about what other conversations she’s had. It came down to that and the conversation we had where she didn’t promise that she’d take me to the Final Two and she said: “I think it’s better for you to take Paul.” And that’s what I did.
You’re an emotional guy.
That’s not a bad thing. As someone who is so in tune with their emotions, what was the hardest move to make?
I think that there were a lot of hard moves for me to make this summer. But it was definitely having to blindside Jason. That was really hard. What I wanted to do was to be straightforward and honest and say, “Listen, I have to let you go because not only are you going to take me to the end over Alex, but I know you won’t take me to the end over Paul.” Because he told me himself that he wouldn’t beat me at the end. He was a beast of a competitor, so I knew that if a shot presented itself to get him out, I had to do it. Also going Alex… I loved that girl in the house. She always had my back. She always stood up for me. Those were two hard moves to do.
What’s next for you? What do you want to do with the money?
Obviously, I need to go to an accountant or a financial advisor! I do want to do something for my parents. They worked so hard and I want to do something nice for them, like take them on a vacation and help them out with whatever I can. I played the game with a heavy heart, thinking about my family the entire time. That’s what made me so emotional all the time. It was also was a dream to be playing in the Big Brother house, but playing with the mentality of “I want to win for my family,” took a huge toll on me… But I won and I want to give back to them.