After surviving the block in Week 4, thanks to the mere threat of his ride-or-die Christie Murphy’s Panic Power, Jack Matthews had no such advantage this week and was evicted 6-2 on Thursday to become the first juror.
His demise started last week when he betrayed his boy Jackson Michie’s trust, leading to the implosion of the Six Shooters, only to learn that Christie wasn’t as trustworthy as he had thought. But the beta Jason Momoa’s game was his secondary storyline on the show (though broadcast-only viewers would not know it), as he repeatedly made hateful and racist comments about multiple people, but especially about Kemi Fakunle, who’s black and was his main target for weeks.
Julie Chen Moonves went hard on Jack during their chat, busting out receipts with clips of his behavior, for the hottest hot seat interview since she grilled Aaryn Gries about her racist comments on Season 15. What was Jack thinking as he was forced to watch his ugly remarks on live national television? What would he say to Kemi after the show is over? And why did he try to blackmail Kathryn Dunn? He answered these questions and more, via email, in our exit interview below.
Gold Derby: The Six Shooters’ implosion was sparked after you told Tommy [Bracco] that Jackson told you that Holly [Allen] and Kat might know each other. What do you wish you had done with that information instead?
Jack: I mentioned before that I try not to live in regret. But it has crossed my mind and I wish I brought it up to Tommy after the vote. I don’t think it would have made that much of a different [sic] looking at how the HOH and POV competition went. I think it still would have been the same outcome. I think the only different [sic] would be Kat wanting me to stay coming out of it, but we’ll never know.
Gold Derby: You said that you’re done with Christie and you will go after her if you return in a Battle Back. When did you realize Christie didn’t have your back as much as you had hers?
Jack: The moment Cliff [Hogg III] reaffirmed Michie’s story in the boat room on Day 44. When I first asked Cliff about the deal Christie made with Cliff to evict Bella, he said that it wasn’t true. But after asking him again, he did say it was true but it was a different variation [than] what Michie had told me. In the negotiation, she said she was willing to put up Michie and I on the block in weeks to come if she were to win HOH.
Gold Derby: Why did you think blackmailing Kat to get her vote would work?
Jack: Well, I didn’t have much to work with at the time anyway, but I do believe there was an angle I could have played. I ran it about a hundred different ways and I landed in a last-ditch effort that Jackson could hold it over her head. I was never that big of a fan of the plan, but I didn’t have very many options to save my own game.
Gold Derby: The Six Shooters/Gr8ful were in power for much of the game and often trashed and shunned their targets, including when Nicole wasn’t allowed into the HOH room. You told Jess [Milagros] that you didn’t know how it felt to be an outsider and to not get information until this week. Do you regret how you acted toward and what you’ve said about them?
Jack: Absolutely. I stand by what I said, especially in my final week. I don’t think that people were being completely honest with me and I felt left out. And that’s a horrible feeling to feel.
Gold Derby: What were you thinking when Julie showed you those clips of your comments about Kemi and Bella [Wang]?
Jack: At the time, I did not believe my comments were controversial. As far as the first statement with Kemi, in retrospect, that was an ignorant statement. At the time and in the moment, I thought that phrase was expressing frustration, but I can see now how that could be seen as an aggressive statement. As far as Bella, when I had made that statement, it had no correlation to her ethnicity. Knowing coming out of it that it has been tied into that, I will never be able to apologize enough for the interpretation that was given upon what I said. The reference to what I said was based on comments earlier in the evening that the diet Tommy, Christie, Michie and Kat were on, which was slop, recipes were being created of all different sorts and pudding was a new dessert that was brought up. A rice-style pudding that was actually slop pudding. Looking back at it, with now the mentions of Bella and the rice-pudding, I never made a connection until I came out of the house. And for that I am incredibility sorry to Bella if she was offended in any shape or form as well as anybody else that was offended by my statement at the time.
Gold Derby: What would you like to say to Kemi after the show?
Jack: I think Kemi deserves an apology and one of the most sincere ones that I could ever give. Although a million of them will never suffice, I hope that she accepts. Though we were enemies in the house, I hope that we‘re friends outside. The experience that we went through is incredibly unique and something that we share together. She’ll always be a lifelong friend to me.
Gold Derby: Who do you think is playing the most underrated game?
Jack: Two people. I think Holly and Nicole [Anthony].
Gold Derby: How much do you miss your dog?
Jack: I am absolutely torn that I am not going to see her for another 50 days at least. All I want to do is hold her and spend time with her. It’s safe to say we’re going on a long vacation when I come home.
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