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Pop Crave spoke with the runner-up of Big Brother 25, Matt Klotz, following Thursday night’s 2-hour grand finale.

Check out the full exit interview below!

Courtesy of CBS

Congratulations on second place! How are you feeling coming out of the finale and finishing second?

I feel good. You know, I came into this game hoping to just make jury. I thought I was gonna get eliminated pretty early, not even make it to jury. Then I made it to jury, then final 2. I think there was a lot of ways this game could have been changed and [its] outcomes. I’m proud of myself for getting to 100 days, the most ever in BB history. 100 days is a long, long time to stay, like mentally stable and everything. You know, that’s a big challenge, and I took that on.

After Jag evicted Bowie, he repeated to you that you were going to win. Bowie even thought the same thing. What did you feel your odds of winning were?

It’s nice hearing that, but I don’t do everything 100%. You know, not everything’s 100%. So, I’m like, ‘Well, you don’t know with the jury.’ I think every season, the jury is different. Sometimes the jury wants a social gamer. Sometimes the jury wants a competitive player, and Jag was a competitive player while I played the social game. So I had no idea what this year was going to be. I mean, I assumed I was gonna get Cirie’s vote. And then I was hoping Cameron and Cory because they had told me I was playing a very good game. Cory said I was playing the best game. So I was assuming I was gonna get his vote. And then I was hoping to get either Bowie’s or Felicia’s vote for the fourth vote.

You said you had planned on taking Jag to the final two if you won the final HoH. Why did you think that was the best decision for yourself?

My whole pitch in this game was being a loyal player and a teammate. I was playing that game with Jag the most. Of course, I was trying to work with everyone, but my loyalty lied with Jag. And if I was to backstab him at final three or final four, how can I do that in my speech—saying I’m a loyal and honest player because I backstabbed my biggest ally? I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to win knowing I played loyal because I don’t know what other speech I could have given. My whole gameplay was being a team player and being loyal with some people in this game.

Jag actually very much considered voting you out last week in the final four. If that happened, how would you have reacted as a juror in a final two scenario?

I think it depends who was sitting next to him. If he was sitting next to Bowie, I still would have voted for Jag because he played a very competitive game the whole season, where Bowie played very well at the end of the season. And it just changes. I would obviously be salty if he voted me out, especially because the whole week four… I saved his game. He was eliminated. I brought it back to life. He wasn’t even supposed to be here at all. So I was hoping that was going to be my advantage too. Especially when it was final four, I was nervous. I was like, ‘Oh, he can literally take the shot.’ And I think what stopped him from taking that shot was me literally saving his butt [in] week four.

During the jury questioning, Jag seemed to take a very offensive approach, with him taking credit for the moves made this season. Did you expect him to fight against you that hard?

Yeah, he did. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s a game, and he did that. I wasn’t prepared for that at all, of course. I was never going to do that; I was just going to kind of be pro-me rather than anti-Jag. But I guess maybe he was a little anti-Matt, and I guess maybe that’s what did the trick, and he won the jury vote.

In your final plea, you mentioned being able to survive in the game had you not used your superpower to save Jag. Who do you think you would have rode out the rest of the game with in that case?

Definitely Cirie. Cirie was my next in line of being final 2 with. I don’t know where her stance was—if she wanted to take me out. I know she wanted to take the guys out. But I always knew everyone wanted Jag out first, so hopefully I was gonna get him in long enough, and if he got kicked off, I could win the last couple challenges and make my way to survive.

You seemed pretty deadset on taking Cirie to the final two until you won HoH at the final 5. What made you rethink things and have her taken out?

I always wanted to take her very far. Final four, final three, final two, potentially. And all of a sudden, Jag and Bowie want Cirie out. I can’t even vote, so I can’t go against it because if I start going against it and start pushing it, that’s gonna make me look sus, and they might start not trusting me, so I have to go along with the plan. I tried to convince [them against] it a little bit, but not push too hard because I didn’t want them to think that I’m working with her. So I kind of let it be, survive two more weeks, [and] get to the final.

Jag and Bowie actually had a final two of their own, which now doesn’t really mean much of anything, but what do you make of all the gaming that was going on behind your back?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. I mean, I felt I was being the most loyal now. You know, I wasn’t making final two promises with anyone besides Cirie. I just wanted to stick with my gut, and it was being loyal to one person. And I didn’t want to be the person making all these promises and then backstabbing people if I was in the end of the game and I broke all these promises with everyone in jury. So I had to watch with my promises, and I made sure I had made very few promises. I never asked a single person for their jury vote. I never asked anyone to take me with them. I played this game myself, and I can say I’m proud because I didn’t need to promise anyone anything to make the final two.

Did you consider Jag’s dominance in the game as a threat to you at any point, or were you more comfortable with him because he was on your side?

Yeah. It was obviously having a great teammate that is great at comps, but it also made him a target. He was a bigger target than me, and that’s why I took him [further] strategically. Because as long as Jag’s in this house, no one’s gonna take a shot at me until Jag’s out. So he was my shield; I needed Jag to survive as long as he could so that I could survive. That was my strategy: project Jag, because if Jag’s protected, my game is protected. No one was gonna take me out before Jag.

I’d love to hear your take on Bowie’s presence in the Mafia alliance because, from a viewer’s perspective, she rode you and Jag’s coattails, despite her contributing to the group with three HoH wins under her belt.

She obviously contributed towards the end because she was winning those HoHs. She got three HoH wins at the end. She took her shot at Cameron, and that was our plan. She took her shot at America, and that was a plan. And then her shot at Felicia, technically, because she won HoH that week. She contributed. If it wasn’t Bowie, and it was someone else, then me and Jag could have been picked off those ones, and having Bowie on our team was very crucial for us to survive to the end because if it was someone else, one of us would have went home.

You had some choice words about Cory and America this week, specifically America. Do you think there’s any chance of building a friendship with them outside of the house now that the stress of the game isn’t on you?

Yeah, no, definitely. I think that’s when we’d get carried away a little bit. Everyone is family in this game. We live with each other 24/7. We’re sleeping in the same room, we’re eating everything together, and that’s where I’m coming from. I roast my friends hard. And so I was definitely doing that to America and Cory. But at the end of the day, I love them like they’re family to me, and I know we’re going to be friends after all of this. They’re not going to feel any bad blood. It may be seen that [way] from the outside view, but not everyone sees everything. That’s just my relationship. I know all my boys get roasted hard by me because that’s how I am. It’s out of love. I meant nothing out of that.

You and Jag had a hilarious reaction to finding out that Jared and Cirie are related. We didn’t get to see exactly what you were saying to each other on the live show, though. What were you guys saying?

I was saying… I guessed it was Felicia and Jared, maybe? Obviously, I said Cory and America [laughs]. And then I was like, ‘Alright, for real, guess.’ I didn’t think that, you know? Cirie the whole time kind of played jokes on me, actually, now that I think about it. She’s like, ‘You would love my family. I can’t wait for you to meet my sons and my husband after all this.’ I was excited. And I’m like, ‘Oh, I guess at the end of the day, I already met your son.’ I think they played that lie very, very good. No one knew except for Izzy, of course. That was pretty cool. That was a pretty cool secret to find out.

What you’ve been able to accomplish for the deaf and disability communities at large has already been so impactful. How do you hope to inspire new players who may feel like their disability is holding them back from applying to the show?

You know, there’s obviously never been a deaf player on this show ever before. I just did it for the first time. I was the pilot. I was like the trial run, and I just made it to final two right off the bat. I made it 100 days, and I did it. So that just proves once again that anything is doable. You gotta put your mind to the thing, and you gotta believe in yourself because the worst enemy at the end of the day is yourself, so if you’re telling yourself you can’t, then you can’t. If you tell yourself you can, you can.

The Big Brother Reindeer Games were announced by Julie during the finale. Would you be open to returning for the two-week event, or is it too soon?

I’m down for anything. Honestly. Everything has been fun. I’m down for it.

Courtesy of CBS

Big Brother returns for its 26th season next summer on CBS.