Cliff Hogg (‘Big Brother’ 21) exit interview: ‘I was perhaps too trusting in gentleman’s agreements,’ he says after Michie’s betrayal

After 93 days in the “Big Brother” house, Cliff Hogg was sent packing on Thursday’s live eviction episode when Jackson Michie cast the sole vote to send the 54-year old engineer to jury. Although Nicole Anthony was the reigning Head of Household and had nominated Holly Allen and Michie for eviction, Michie won the most important Power of Veto of the summer, giving him the only vote on eviction night. Despite what Cliff may have thought, there was no chance Michie was going to save Cliff over his girlfriend Holly. Thankfully, host Julie Chen Moonves was waiting outside to ask Cliff what all of America wanted to know: “What was he thinking?!”

“I think I was getting a little too dependent on Michie and Holly,” Cliff admits. “I knew [Michie] was a strong person and I thought I could ride behind him. I was really thinking at some point someone else would get a shot to take Michie out and then I wouldn’t have to deal with this whole final four and everything else. I think I just trusted him to falter where he never really did.”

Next Julie asks,”You and Nicole had this game locked up. You just had to get rid of the other power duo. All you had to do was keep Tommy, so why did you evict him?”

“It was a strange situation,” Cliff responds. “Nicole was a little closer to Tommy and I was a little closer to Holly and Michie so we had a little bit of conflict. I was scared of Tommy. I really thought we were going to have a lot more mental competitions coming up and I knew how strong Tommy was with that. I also expected that he would be much more likely to take Nicole going forward than myself.”

But wasn’t Cliff jumping a step ahead? “I really went in thinking, ‘I didn’t get in this game to come in third place,'” he points out. “I was playing it for first. We were bouncing back and forth between Tommy and Holly.”

Julie then doubles down and asks Cliff about his crazy “deal” with Michie. “Didn’t you get ahead of yourself a few days ago?” she asks. “You’re trying to cut a final two deal with Michie, while also telling him he’s not in your final two?”

“I was perhaps too trusting in gentleman’s agreements,” Cliff responds as if he still doesn’t understand how outrageous that proposal was. “I wanted to make clear to him what the conditions were. I didn’t want to have a situation where I was going to have to go against my word with him or with Nicole. So I spelled it out. I don’t think that’s the reason he flipped. I think there were a lot of things beyond that.”

But in what world does Michie take Cliff Hogg over his girlfriend to the final two? “It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?” Cliff questions with a laugh. “He had always been truthful with me. I was gullible. I looked him in the eyes, we shook hands, he said he was gonna do it and I fell for it. I got played.”

If roles were reversed and Michie and Holly threatened to keep Tommy over Cliff or Nicole, would Cliff have trusted them moving forward?

“I get the point,” Cliff reiterates. “I absolutely get the point. That final four was set up many weeks ago and it was an agreement between a lot of people saying we’re gonna watch each others’ backs. We’re gonna take care of each other. I didn’t see it as the same level of agreement as a handshake between two guys. It’s my mistake. My fault.”

So what were Cliff’s final thoughts? “I love ‘Big Brother,’ guys! I love it!” Cliff now joins Jack Matthews, Kathryn Dunn, Analyse Talavera, Nick Maccarone, Jessica Milagros, Christie Murphy and Tommy Bracco as Juror #8 and will vote to crown Michie, Holly or Nicole as the winner during the September 25 season finale.

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