The 27-year-old personal trainer also addresses personal comments he made towards winner Taylor Hale at the beginning and end of the game.
Big Brother's house is open once more! Every week, Parade.com's Mike Bloom will be bringing you interviews with this season's houseguests as they get evicted from the game.
For Monte Taylor, the past 82 days have been all about Taylor. Not only in his last name. The personal trainer earned some social capital early on, which he used to help lead a house-wide charge against Taylor Hale the very first week. When she ended up staying, they got closer as members of several different alliances and eventually even had a brief fling as a showmance. And Taylor was his first choice to go to the end, feeling he could easily beat her. But in this case, Monte's last name preceded him. It was a costly error for him, as he lost handily to Taylor in the jury vote.
Monte made a good first impression in the game (even if your mileage may vary on his actual impressions). He quickly got in with the men and ended up beating the drum the loudest to evict Taylor after believing a lie from Paloma Aguilar. But when he and his "Po's Pack" allies conflicted over the place to blindside Joe "Pooch" Pucciarelli, Monte sought greener pastures. Thus came the "Leftovers," and within it the "Pound" of the men who felt out of the Pooch vote. The new counter alliance ran the house for the next month, with Monte playing his part during his first Head of Household reign. While wielding the power of nomination, he did draw eyes from the other side of the house for his deceit, and his name started to show up on the list of possible targets.
But Monte was able to put in the individual work to counteract the growing target on his back. Despite the Pound losing a few dogs along the way, Monte locked down a relationship with Matthew Turner and a "gentleman's agreement" to go to the end together. He also surprisingly got closer with Taylor, culminating in a romance between the two in true "enemies to lovers" style (though things somewhat went back to enemies when he became unhappy with her). Monte moved forward with his two closest allies, winning clutch competitions along the way to get his handpicked endgame. That culminated in the final HoH, which Monte won and chose to take Taylor, feeling she was the easier opponent. But that error proved critical, as Taylor's social game and story won the day, leaving Monte empty-handed.
Hours after the finale, Monte talks with Parade.com about how surprised he was by the final jury outcome, his relationship with Taylor (and various comments he made about her), and how he looks back on his "honest, loyal" game.
Related: Everything to Know About Big Brother 24 (Including Who's Been Evicted)
I can't imagine what you're going through right now. How are you feeling?
I mean, for me, Mike, to be honest with you, initially, I was a bit confused, a bit surprised by the way the jury votes ended up landing. But after hearing Taylor's speech and the way that she communicated her story throughout her time in the Big Brother house, I was not surprised that they resonated with that, and I'm not surprised that anybody who was watching would have resonated with wanting Taylor to win, given how effectively she communicated her story.
So in my mind, of course, I'm going to look at myself and say, "Could I have done anything differently as far as my game goes to make sure that I was in the best position to win?" I can't think of anything at the moment. And I've heard different conversations around whether choosing Turner would have been better. But with the information I had, I think I did the best job that I could. And I'm happy to lose to the first African-American woman to win Big Brother. I'm glad to be a part of it.
So which votes are you most surprised by?
So we'll start off with Terrance, for sure. He's somebody that always talked about how important it was to make big moves. And me evicting Turner at the end, I thought, would solidify that vote. Kyle, we have been close to working together all throughout the season. And especially with our alliance in the Pound, which then started the Leftovers. I thought he would resonate with my game, especially how logical he is around how to play the game of Big Brother.
Joseph, for sure, was a huge surprise for me. I thought from our conversations, where he told me specifically that if he wasn't going to win, he would want to see me win. And that was unprompted. That was something that he just told me outright very early in the season. So I thought I could surely count on his vote. And then Indy was a little bit of a surprise too. But again, with the powerful sentiments around the vote and what it could mean for women in this game, I think it makes sense that she did vote that way. Even Michael, to an extent, was a little bit of a surprise.
Let's talk about your relationship with Taylor. You start the game leading the charge to evict her after you think she lied about Paloma targeting you. And even after that's outed as false, you still want to get rid of her. You grow closer with her, eventually getting into a showmance. But throughout the season, you made constant comments about how she's not a good representative for Black women, she's cold-hearted, and implied that there was reason for people like Paloma, Daniel, and Nicole to go after her. How do you reconcile your relationship and the things you said?
Well, first and foremost, I think being in that house and playing the game can definitely have an impact on my thoughts. When I communicate to folks who I'm talking to, the amount of stress and the amount of mental instability at times can be a huge factor into what I've said. And I want to apologize for anything that has come across or that was offensive or anything that was negative towards Taylor. So I just want to say that outright.
But as far as our relationship goes, yes, it has been a roller coaster. I was operating based off of information that I had at that time during that first week. And everything that I had at that moment would lead me to believe that her intentions were not in the right place in that communication that she shared with me about Paloma. I was clearly wrong. Even after all of that stuff went down, I think it might have been a few weeks ago, Taylor and I had a conversation about how Paloma told her right after she had been put up as a replacement nominee, which opened my eyes. I was like, "Oh my God. She was ousted from the beginning, without people knowing about her. They were already saying they didn't want to work with her, even as a girls' alliance." So that definitely changed my perspective.
And as far as the things that have happened recently, and things that I may have said recently, again, I've expressed how I felt in those moments. And if I said anything that came across the wrong way, or that was offensive, I apologize. And in the heat of those moments, being in a very stressful environment, there can be time where you slip up, and perhaps I did. I don't remember those times. So you saying it now is definitely something that I'm going to need to reflect on.
You said throughout the season that you felt the person who won the season should play an honest game, something you also claimed in your jury speech. How do you ultimately look back on the game you played after 82 days in the house?
I'm proud of the way I played the game. I look back at my game, and I felt like I was as loyal as I possibly could be, as transparent as I possibly could be, to the people I was aligned with. I felt as though if anything were to change on that front, it was based off of information that was clearly opposing the trust that I may have established with those people. So to me, I felt really good about how I played this game.
Even in deciding to take Taylor over Turner. I mean, there were two instances where I could have evicted Turner. I could have put him in a position to be evicted the week prior and the week before that one. So I felt as though there were plenty of opportunities where I could have taken that shot. But I didn't because I wanted to see him go as far as possible until I felt it may have jeopardized my chances of winning 750k. So that's how I feel about my game. I definitely had some things where maybe I would have tried to address them differently with people outside of my alliance. But whoever I was aligned to, I truly felt like they had my game in their hands.
Next, check out our interview with Big Brother 24 winner Taylor Hale.