Bayleigh Dayton was the fifth All-Star to be evicted this season on Big Brother. We had the opportunity to speak with Bayleigh following her eviction to discuss the racial bias inside Big Brother and other reality shows, Tyler’s vendetta against her and if Christmas is anyone’s “untouchable.”
Looking back, do you feel that perhaps you and Da’Vonne may have trusted the wrong people at the start of the game? Could you have formed a stronger alliance with Kaysar and Janelle, which could have resulted in a different outcome?
Yes and no. I loved Janelle from the day we walked into the Big Brother house and made it clear to every single person. As far as Janelle and Kaysar, the problem was with the Safety Suite. They made themselves huge targets, so not attaching myself to them was a very hard decision to make because I wanted to work with them. Those were my people, but I knew that it was just a matter of time that I was next on the list. It still happened that way.
As for as Da’Vonne is concerned… We’re two different people. She picked Dani. I picked Janelle. We had opposite choices of who we wanted to work with. We had to compromise and because of that compromise, we ended up being in the middle and never really made a strong alliance to either side.
Unfortunately, racial bias has been something that has always been present in the Big Brother house since the show does mirror a more heightened version of American society. Your gameplay this season was much more passive than what we are used to seeing in Big Brother Season 20 or on MTV’s The Challenge. Can you walk us through the decision you might have made before going into the house on why you decided to play the game this way?
The first time, I played as I am, as a human. Where, if people are going to attack me, then I’m going to attack back. I now know the game. I’ve watched the game. I know how much of a pressure cooker that environment it is. You’re walking around eggshells… You’re walking around pins and needles. You have to play passively or else anything you do will be used against you. Especially with the heightened times [we’re living in]. Especially with me being an African American woman. There are already some difficulties playing [this]game.
When it comes to The Challenge, their culture is different. You have to show your strength or else they’ll walk all over you. Me being passive on The Challenge, I’d be chewed out and spit out. I had to stand up for myself and because I stood up for myself so early in the game, people respected me. It lasted awhile and gave me some kind of protection.
In this game, you can’t do that because they take that as a sign of weakness or vulnerability. So, it’s just pivoting. You have to realize and recognize what type of environment you’re in. I knew this was the Big Brother house and I knew that things would be different for me than they are on The Challenge and I just had to adjust.
Could it also be the ratio of persons of colour?
Absolutely! And that a huge dynamic. This is what we were kind of joking about amongst ourselves in the Big Brother house. We were excited that there were three of us! That’s a big deal.
Going into it, I thought I’d have to do it alone but when I saw Da’Vonne, and then David, I was jumping for joy because it meant that if I were to leave, there’s still hope that there is diversity within the house.
It’s definitely difficult with us being persons of colour coming in and doing the mental gymnastics and jump through the social hoops knowing that our culture and experiences are so different.
It’s Season 22 and things are still like that. At what point do you think that production or CBS will make things a little more equal? What needs to be done for that to happen?
Like you said, this is a smaller version and a heightened sense of the world. So yes, it’s 2020 and it’s still going on in the world. At what point do you think the world will stop and realize that things need to change? Production will catch up when the world catches up.
If you behaved the way that Christmas behaved this week. You would have been called the “Angry Black Woman.”
How hard was it to rein it in?
I got to watch the clip finally this morning and even watching it, I was cringing because it was difficult. It was so difficult. I pulled strength from Da’Vonne as well because she was like “I’m going to walk away.” I thought, “Good for you.” Because if she had stayed and continued and there was an exchange, there would have been that outcome .
For me, it was a smidge easier because I didn’t start the argument. When I came in, I was 100% calm. Christmas was up there, and I didn’t even have time to catch up. I also didn’t really approach the situation with the awareness that “Hey! This is potentially a trap. Don’t fall into it!” I’m so happy that I had self-control and that awareness was there because the way she behaved, if I met her at that [same]level, it would have been extremely bad.
It really makes it obvious that the odds are stacked against persons of colour on a reality program like this.
When did you and Da’Vonne decide that the message of Black Lives Matter outweighed the game for you?
I think that her and I knew it separately before we came into the game. Then, when we linked with each other, it was amplified. I felt that if I was sitting here and felt so passionately about this experience, then she is sitting here with that same experience and passionate about, then it must be a real thing. It must be a real problem.
I’m so happy that Da’Vonne was there [with me], because even with this program, people still may make comments about playing the race card. If it was just me, people could get away with saying that. There was more than one of us and we were both feeling the same thing. It proves that we have the receipts. It’s not just me pulling the race card. This is me actually living my experience and my experience is valued and that my feelings are valid.
Tyler admitted that he was targeting you. Does this vendetta date back to Big Brother Season 20? Or did something recent happen?
Yes, absolutely. Tyler and I eventually discussed it. He was holding a grudge since Big Brother Season 20. It’s frustrating because I don’t like that narrative. It’s as if I was the only one that did things wrong to him. Tyler made my life on that game a living you know what. He flat out told me that he didn’t want my vote. So, he’s holding a grudge because I didn’t give him a vote that he didn’t want?
“How about you take your mistake and say, ‘I screwed up. Let’s start over.” And that’s what I thought we were doing but he could not follow through with his half of that deal. That’s why he eventually had to clear his conscious. He felt guilty.
Looking back, do you really think it was genuine that he wanted to put himself on the block this past week?
I think so. Like I said in the house, and I know it’s so hard because not everyone has seen the live feeds, so I want to make sure that I re-iterate. He misses Angela like crazy. I know they haven’t been apart since we first did the show. I know how attached I am to Swaggy, so that’s a valid feeling. I know that having me in the house brings Tyler so much anxiety.
I do wish he was less sloppy about the execution of that plan. I don’t think it was necessary for him to bring in the social cause and kind of get everybody’s hopes up. When he gets out and can defend himself, and explain where his head was at that moment, then I think we can have that conversation. Right now, I just want to know where he even was.
Did Christmas really make a strong game move by putting yourself and Da’Vonne on the block just because Da’Vonne was your “untouchable?” Everyone has “untouchables.”
No. Christmas thinks that she has made this ultimate move in Big Brother and kind of revealed her weaknesses, if I’m being honest. There were multiple couples in the house who have said they are best friends in the house. “What you’re saying is that Da’Vonne and I are the only couple that you don’t want to work with. We’re not valuable to you in this game because we’re a couple.” Then she said, “Well, you’re the only confirmed one.” That’s not true. That’s not true.
Tyler was her “untouchable.” Do you think Christmas is anyone’s untouchable?
No. I don’t. I really don’t. It’s weird because even though she thinks that she’s Tyler’s untouchable. She’s not Tyler’s untouchable. Tyler is worried about Tyler. Tyler has only ever been worried about Tyler. Tyler legitimately sent his future wife to jury. Tyler ain’t worried about Christmas!
Did you patch things up with Tyler and Christmas before you left?
Yes, I don’t ever want to leave things on a negative note. I definitely told Tyler that when we’re out of here to circle around and chat about everything and clear things up. Tyler and I have known each other for a while now so owe each other the decency to talk about things.
As for as Christmas is concerned, I want to chat about things with her once she gets out of the house. I know for a fact that Christmas might have questions and she might want to understanding things better. I’m open to discussing those things with her. That matters to me and I don’t mind giving people hugs and ending things on a good note because I feel comfortable about how I carry myself.
A hug doesn’t just fix things. Asking someone “Can I hug you?” will not fix things.
No. I’m glad you understand that. I gave her that hug. I hope she feels better.
Who reached out to who first? Did you go to them to smooth things over or did they come to you?
They both came to me. [Laughs] I think I’m a little intimidating. My energy projects. If I don’t want you in my space, then you’ll know that I don’t want you in my space. There was a guard that was let down and I think they realized that I could be approached, and they came.
I’m not sure what you know yet but there has been some bullying with Ian and his autism.
Did you experience that firsthand in the house or are you only finding out about it now?
No and it’s so frustrating to hear about it because I feel very protective over Ian. What Ian goes through is a very visual thing. We all see it. We all experience it. We all experience the energy shift. I’m a human that has anxiety and I experience it. He experiences anxiety differently than me, but I know how it feels. So, when he’s going into his moods, you can see it all over his face. Ian keeps his emotions on his exterior. I used to make it a point to go talk to him and try to walk him through it.
I’ve never seen anybody poke fun of him, but it’s very upsetting to hear that people have.
Were you able to strategize at all with David?
We’re all trying to wonder what’s going on.
Yeah. He’s a very stubborn man. I have been able to sit and talk with him and I think that unfortunately, I’m the only person that can sit and talk to him and get an honest answer! In his words, he knows what’s going on and he wants everyone to continue to think that he’s dumb. He has told me that he does have a plan and that he’s going to execute it.
So, we’ll see! I’m very interested to see what this plan is.
Dani won HOH. Is Da’Vonne a threat? Or can we all rest easy this week?
Right? I hope that she can rest easy because Dani has promised her over and over again that she’ll never be touched in the game. But we obviously know that Big Brother is a game of manipulation and lies, so we’ll see if she follows through. I hope that we can take a breather this week. I pray that we can take a breather this week.
Would you support a scenario where Dani actually does backdoor Tyler this week?
Absolutely, I would! I would! I think it would be a beautiful version of karma. He already told me that if he’s the first one in jury, he’s given me the greenlight to tweet about it and cackle! Oh, I would love it.
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Bayleigh Dayton was the fifth All-Star to be evicted this season on Big Brother. We had the opportunity to speak with Bayleigh following her eviction to discuss the racial bias inside Big Brother and other reality shows, Tyler’s vendetta against her and if Christmas is anyone’s “untouchable.” #BigBrother #BB22 #bayleighdayton #bigbrotherallstars #BBBayleigh
Big Brother will next air on Sunday (September 13) at 8 p.m. ET/PT The series will air on a special night this week, Tuesday (September 15) at 8 p.m. ET/PT, instead of Wednesday. This will be followed by the next live eviction episode on Thursday (September 17) at 8 p.m. ET/PT.