‘Big Brother 21’s’ David on how he accurately read the house and Jackson’s ‘big ego’

After David Alexander got banished from “Big Brother 21” on the first day and then impressed us all with his correct read of the house, IDing every member of Gr8ful, when he rejoined in Camp Comeback, many fans were rooting for him to return to the game make some moves. Alas, Cliff Hogg III won the comp Thursday over him, Ovi Kabir and Kemi Fakunle, so David is now returning home not having actually played the game of “Big Brother.” Way harsh, Tai.

What would he have done had he not only won Camp Comeback but gotten to play from the start? And why is he so grossed out by Jackson Michie‘s chicken? Check out our exit interview below.

Gold Derby: Cliff crushed that comp. Were you able to see how well he was doing?
David: Cliff pulled out something amazing and I don’t think there was anything I could’ve done. … By the time he got to three [balls], my game started to fall apart. I think Ovi got one at that point. The writing was on the wall. I didn’t want to not try. [Cliff] got voted out for his game and he used that momentum, and he’s crushed it.

Gold Derby: I think most people wanted you to return because you didn’t get to play and you figured out the house dynamics. Does that take the sting off a little?
David: Yeah, I went in as someone who can read people. I’m a photographer, but I’ve worked in sales. I’ve had to read people as a way of living. That was part of my gameplay tactic. And it was gaining momentum. I hear there was an audience cheering for me. I just lost two competitions for me to stay. It’s just unfortunate the way the cards fell.

SEE ‘Big Brother 21’s’ Kemi sounds off on Jack: He is a ‘raging douche lord’

Gold Derby: You had a great read on the house, but did you see that blindside coming?
David: I did not. I also wasn’t concerned about it. I wasn’t in the game. My mindset was on getting along with everybody, making sure that the big game players and the other players knew that I was supportive of all of them. I wanted to play it safe in case I did come back in and didn’t win HOH. I was just focused on winning the comeback comp.

Gold Derby: Who do you think engineered that blindside?
David: I believe it was the Jack [Matthews] and Jackson alliance. Kat [Dunn] did tell me that she overheard Cliff talking to the feeds about going after the showmances, so the fact that that information got out, it made it easy to flip the votes. As soon as I heard it, I was like, “OK.”

Gold Derby: How would you have played that first week had you not lost the banishment comp?
David: I probably would’ve been part of that large alliance. It would be easy for me to say I would’ve worked with the underdogs and fight from the other side of the house. But other players from old seasons, like Kaycee [Clark] … showed that being part of the big alliance but playing it safe and playing it low-key — which I definitely didn’t do by trying to become Camp Director — could get you far. And I think my personality and just how I would’ve navigated the house would’ve gotten me a long way.

Gold Derby: What was it like for you, not having played the game at all, returning in Camp Comeback and then getting shunned by the mob mentality of the giant alliance because they decided to not talk game with Camp Comeback people?
David: It gave me the opportunity to read the house without getting any details from people and their perspectives. I got to see the house for what it was without anybody’s opinions. I think that allowed me to read the alliances a little better than if I were having game conversations. It also allowed my social game to develop differently. People could chat with me without game talk. I would work out with Jack and see his personality and why he made the decisions that he made. But there dark moments, where people were in their little groups talking game and I had to figure out something to do. Very bored moments, lonely moments, tough moments emotionally.

Gold Derby: What was the biggest giveaway that clued you in that there was this large alliance?
David: Within a few hours of when I walked back in and Jack gave his announcement to the house that anybody who’s in the game shouldn’t talk to me or Ovi because we’re in Camp Comeback. I read the room and there were some people who were smiling and had positive body gestures towards his suggestion. Christie [Murphy] followed it with, “Hey, we’re all Kumbaya here.” Looking at the house, that just didn’t look true and I just started to read that — those two being loud in the room — and then that was just the beginning of me figuring things out. And shout-out to Kat: She got dropped out of her alliance with Michie and she wanted to share information with me because she felt like I was a cool guy, I guess.

SEE ‘Big Brother 21’s Ovi: ‘I feel really dumb’ for forming that sham alliance

Gold Derby: You said on the feeds that Camp Comeback is looking colorful and fans have noted, obviously, that the three of you are minorities. Do you think that was just a pure coincidence?
David: Yeah. I lost the very first competition. I think I went in looking favored, but I think one thing about these competitions is you don’t know how they’re going to play out, how the cards are going to fall, who’s going to get lucky, how you’re going to compete. I got banished first. Ovi got backdoored because Sam [Smith] won a Veto and wanted Cliff to stay because they had the kids connection. I don’t think it was anything from the house that was racial in any way; it just felt like things fell a certain way. Kemi didn’t play the best game socially. I read that when she got in and tried to connect with her, and it was tough trying to connect with her. I could see why the house wasn’t a big fan of her.

Gold Derby: A lot of people in Gr8ful, including Jackson, told you they want you to return and wanted to work with you. Did you believe them?
David: I didn’t believe Jackson. There was a little tension with him and I was trying to play it down by trying to work with him, trying to gain his trust, but I could tell what rooms he was in. Plus, I had a beginning of a showmance with his showmance ex [Kat], you could call it, so I’m sure that didn’t make him feel comfortable at all. Guys can be prideful and he’s got a big ego.

Gold Derby: You wanted to target him if you returned. Why him and not someone else in their alliance?
David: He banished me and I told him not to [in] my last conversation with him before he finalized his decision. I said it would be better for his game if he chose one of the other 12 people to banish, and he stuck with his decision, so I want him to know that he made the wrong decision. That was my plan: show that you could’ve made it far in this game, but you chose to banish me, and now you have to pay for it.

Gold Derby: Your rant about him over-seasoning chicken the other day was hilarious. What does his chicken taste like?
David: It tastes like every seasoning in the cabinet except salt, butter and oil. It’s hard to describe. [Laughs] Everyone, look at the feeds! Literally, we’d take forks and rub seasoning off, and people were getting bold, like, “Jackson, make a few with just salt and pepper.” It’s getting bad. I think it’s not a good sign for his game if you went in cooking for everybody and everybody’s like, “Yay!” And now everybody’s like, “Ugh.” I don’t think he’s going to last long in the game as a result of his cooking.

Gold Derby: How many times did you eat his chicken?
David: I probably ate his chicken the first several days. There was one time when I knew things were turning bad when I ate a hamburger and it tasted exactly like his chicken. I tasted parsley mixed in with the burger and I was like, “Parsley doesn’t go on burgers.” That’s not how I season them, but that’s the Jackson effect on cooking.

SPOILER ALERT: The next two answers reveal who won HOH. If you don’t want to know, scroll to the last question.

Gold Derby: Is there anything you’ve found out since you’ve been out of the house that has changed your opinion about the game?

David: I recently heard that Cliff won HOH. When he beat me, Kemi and Ovi … I told him, “Go destroy ‘em.” I told Cliff, I think within a few hours of me being in the house, that he needed to rally and find people in the house to rally with to fight the big alliance. I didn’t know what the big alliance was or if there was one at that point, but I knew he wasn’t part of it. That’s how the show works. The fact that he A) beat me twice in two competitions and B) now he’s HOH and he’s the oldest guy in the house, he’s going to make it through the fourth eviction and he’s going to change the game. And I want to see that happen.

Gold Derby: Who do you hope are the nominees?
David: I hope he nominates Jack and Jackson. I hope he just goes right at them and makes it difficult. If he can make it three in a row with a Veto win, this could be legendary from a very unlikely source, at least you would’ve thought from the beginning of the season.


SEE ‘Big Brother 21’ spoiler: The Week 4 HOH has been crowned and might actually, finally shake up the game

Gold Derby: Who do you think is playing the best game and the worst game?
David: I think I’m going to agree with everyone in the world right now: Tommy [Bracco] is adorable. He’s loving, he’s caring and he’s funny. He’s a character. You wake up in the morning and you smile because he’s dancing. If you’re sad, he makes you feel good even though you’re not in his alliance or you’re not in the game per se, but he’s someone you can rely on for positive vibes. For worst game, I’m trying to take my personal opinion of Jackson out. I think it might between Kat and Holly [Allen]. I’ve heard a little bit about Bella [Wang], which is not good for her, but I feel like Kat — I don’t know. [Laughs] It’s hard to say. I don’t know who’s playing the worst game. I need to watch it!

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