He was unanimously voted out Big Brother. And yet somehow he also won the game.
Jag Bains became the champion of Big Brother Season 25 when he defeated Matt Klotz in the final two games in Thursday’s season finale. Jag Cock-a-Doodle made it to $750,000 by defeating Matt in a 5-2 jury vote – a surprising result for many viewers who felt Matt’s seemingly superior parlor game could carry the day.
When Jag narrowly beat Matt in a tiebreaker in the final Head of Household competition and still took his Minutemen alliance partner to the end, it seemed like it might be the $750,000 mistake that Felicia Cannon keeps talking about spoke. Instead, it showed Jag’s absolute confidence that he could still take home the money without burning his best friend in the game – a friend who saved him with a reset power after Jag was ousted from the House in week four had been voted out.
Jag’s confidence was certainly evident in his final speech to the jury, when he announced in a booming voice, “My hands are covered in your blood. I am the most dominant, masterful and strategic player in this house.” The jury finally agreed and awarded him the title and the associated cash prize. We chatted with the 25-year-old truck company owner just hours after his triumphant win and got to the bottom of Jag’s finals strategy, that confident message to the judges, and whether he really planned on Matt in the Final Four to turn off. (Be sure to read our final Q&A with runner-up Matt, third runner-up Bowie Jane, judge Cameron Hardin and host Julie Chen Moonves.)
WEEKLY ENTERTAINMENT: First of all, congratulations. You must be pretty excited right now.
I BAINS: Thank you. I’m definitely excited. It’s a surreal feeling.
I know you’ve been doing jury calculations in your head. So when you picked Matt to get to the end, what did you think the final vote would be like?
I honestly didn’t know. I thought maybe I could get a few judges to vote for me. I thought I had Cam’s voice. I thought I could get Blue’s voice. Beyond that, it was in the air. And honestly, when I chose Matt, I thought there was a very real chance he could win it all.
Are you surprised by any of the voices?
I was happy with how Cory and America voted. I didn’t know if they would vote for me. I was surprised, I can’t say surprised, but I was really, really relieved by Bowie’s. That was the vote that was most important to me. I Really I wanted her to vote because I feel like I left her out at the very last stage and that can be very hard for anyone sitting out there and she didn’t have the time to process it all. So I was really relieved and grateful that she voted for me.
You appeared super strong and aggressive in your jury answers and closing speech, almost shouting at one point, “My hands are covered in your blood.” Were you afraid that arrogance – or “cock-a-doodle-zoom” so to speak – ness” – could upset some jurors?
Yes, for me it really wasn’t arrogance. I get really passionate. Really passionate. And I’ve always said that you should stand up for yourself. And that’s what I really represented for myself. That’s a hundred days of preparation for this one moment. And this is the only chance I have to tell the jury what game I played and admit everything. As I gave my speech, I knew I was getting passionate, but that was it – that’s me. I played this game, I will stand by it. And at the end of the day, I did I have the blood of many people on my hands. I didn’t lie in my speech, so I just admitted it.
And I thought to myself: If they vote for me because they respect the gameplay, then they will vote for me. And if not, at least I stood up for myself and that’s why I may not have won, but that’s okay. I don’t want to ever regret my speeches or my answers.
How afraid were you that people would deny you the win because you were unanimously eliminated from the game in week four? could be a disqualifying factor for someone?
That was reality. I had thought about every possible scenario that could go wrong or right, and any flaws people might point out in my game. And that was reality. I got voted out and Matt saved me, and that’s the reason I was in the bottom two in the first place. That’s why I had this opportunity. So if someone decides not to vote for me for this reason, that is their decision. But the only thing I can control is how I want to present myself and my game and how I can show everyone, “Yes, I got voted out, but look at everything else I did after that.” Check out my story and my journey in this game. Every week I got better and better at the game.” And that’s a compelling message to share with the judges.
At the Final Four you seemed to be on the verge of voting out Matt instead of Felicia. Was this a serious consideration and if so, what made you change your mind?
I am someone who analyzes every little thing to the core, no matter what. I want to go through each scenario, even if I’m not going to implement it, to make sure I’ve gone through all the reasons and when I have all the information I can make a decision. Ultimately, I knew what type of game I wanted to play. I wanted to play a game where I could look back, hold my head high, and be proud of the decisions I made. And I wanted to play a loyal game.
Matt saved me in that game and he never turned his back on me. I wouldn’t turn my back on him. And so I made the decision to save him and continue to save him and accompany him to the end, staying true to the game I had set out to play, a game of integrity and loyalty to whoever I wanted to be loyal to. And that person was Matt.
There’s also a playful element to this in the sense that how do you think the judges will react if you cut Matt out and don’t bring him to the end? Have you even thought about it?
That was less of a factor for me. Keeping checkmate wasn’t a move. I really thought being loyal to Matt might hurt me more than help me. I really thought that if I took him to the end he could win the whole thing. The reason I weighed everything so heavily is because it had a lot of weight. I really felt like it was a $750,000 decision and that I would actually give him the $750,000.
So it came down to: Do I value money or do I value playing the game in a way that I can be proud of? Do I value my loyalty, my character? And I decided that I got into this game because I wanted to play and be a part of a certain type of game Big Brother was already the greatest success for me. To be the first Sikh Big Brother is already huge. The money and the victory, of course I want to win and that was a goal, but I wasn’t about to sacrifice everything and stab the only person I was loyal to in the back that I promised I would she would endure to the end just to have a slightly better chance.
You’ve talked about being the first Sikh player in franchise history. This responsibility can sometimes carry significant weight. Did you even feel that weight?
Absolutely. I think when I came into the game I was at that weight the whole game. There was just a shift in my mindset, and I think as a viewer you can probably see that. I know I felt it at the start of the game. I was shit. I was loyal to a fault. And I realized: If I’m loyal to everyone, that means I’m loyal to no one. And I decided that I can’t play this game. I can’t represent my entire community. I can only portray myself in the best light possible and hope it portrays my community in a positive light.
And that’s when I decided that I’m still going to be loyal, but I’m going to be loyal to one person, and that one person was Matt. And so I showed who I was, showed my character, and represented my community, while still being able to play the game without just being like, “Okay, vote me out because I’ll feel bad about kicking everyone out.” “ I had to play the game and find common ground where my morals were intact, and that applied to the gameplay as well.
10 competition wins this season, the most in Big Brother Story. At some point, especially after Hisam and Cameron left the house, did you simply expect to win when you entered a competition?
I never expected to win. I had self-confidence, but never became cocky. I’m not someone who has an ego. I was nervous before every competition. I thought to myself: “I have to win this. I have to manage this somehow. This is it.” And I think the competitions are for everyone. They really are. It’s just that I had this fire inside me. I knew I had to win. So I’m really grateful that I achieved these victories. But at no point did I think, “Oh man, this is in the bag,” because I will never exclude anyone from a competition like this.
Okay, the last question is the most obvious: What are you going to do with the money?
That’s the question I should have an answer to, and I know I should because I’ve spent a hundred days in the house thinking about something, but I really don’t know. I didn’t think I would make it this far in the game and win. But what I want to say is that everything I do is for my family. My parents immigrated to this country and sacrificed everything to give me the life I have. And it’s all for her. This is all for my family and this is what I know.
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