'Big Brother 24's' Matthew Turner Responds to Comments on His "Passive" Gameplay

The 23-year-old thrift shop owner also gives his reasoning behind the sole jury vote for Monte, and admits much of the game came into his favor.

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.

Matthew Turner thrives in mess. And this is nothing against his house cleanliness or personal hygiene. But each of the thrift store owner's three times in power corresponded with some of the biggest moves of the season, with Turner left holding the key. Despite the chaos, Turner remained loyal to a select few "bros," most prominently Monte Taylor. And ultimately, it was by his closest ally's hand that Turner's game ended, taking up the last seat on this season's jury.

True to the van life he had recently lived, Turner walked into the house ready to chill, bro down, and generally go with the flow. But things started far from steady when Turner's closest ally Joe "Pooch" Pucciarelli was blindsided, leaving him on the outs. Turner proved, though, he had a fire to make "fire," as he won Head of Household that same night. During his first of three tenures as HoH, he became part of the guys' "Pound" alliance, which then developed into the "Leftovers" with the other outsiders. And with a new wind in his sails, Turner put into place the backdoor of power player Ameerah Jones while also making a public statement against the mistreatment of Taylor Hale. He left the week in a much better position than when he entered it, ready to gobble down any enemies or muffins in his path.

Turner's first HoH reign is a good representation of his time in power: Making some of the biggest moves of the season, but on behalf of others. By the time his second stint came around, he was ready to leave the Leftovers behind in favor of a pact with the showmance Kyle Capener and Alyssa Snider. But after Kyle's previous race-based comments were aired, he was pressured to backdoor and evict his closest ally. Looking for a new number one, he bro'd down one last time with Monte. Working together to swiftly get rid of Michael Bruner in the double eviction, Monte kept Turner safe through to finale night. When Monte won the final HoH, Turner thought he'd be "bussin'" through to the final two chairs. But this time, it was Turner's turn to get bamboozled, as Monte cut him, believing he was the bigger threat to take to the end.

Hours after the finale, Turner talks with Parade.com about why he was the sole jury vote for Monte, why he chose to get rid of Alyssa over Taylor, and how he responds to the comments about his strategy not being active.

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Let's start with your jury vote. When you put your key in the box, you made it clear this was a last-minute decision for you. What was it that put you over the line for Monte ultimately?
Honestly, that was 100% the worst speech anyone has ever given when they put in a key. (Laughs.) But I am happy to own that title. Because at least the jury had a whole entire roundtable session, and they could decide what they were going to do. And my thought was like, "Alright, I'm not voting against Taylor. I have no ill will towards Taylor. I love Taylor." And she didn't even vote me out of the house. If I had any ill will to anyone, it would have been to Monte!

But in the end, I did not want to be the bitter person. And I honestly thought Monte was probably going to win. So I don't want to be the person who's all bitter because they got voted out. So I'll just send my boy vote. I love them both. And honestly, at the end of the day, I spent an equal amount of time with him throughout the summer. Monte and Alyssa were my best friends throughout the entire house. I'm not mad at Monte at all for his decision. I got it. I think if he took me, he probably would have won; my jury management was so bad. But in the end, I was like, "I don't know, I have no time to decide. I'm just voting for someone."

You mention having very little time to interact with the jury. And you thought Monte was going to win. Was there a moment when you got a sense that would not happen?
Well, when I was asking them the vote beforehand, I didn't know. They didn't know if they were allowed to tell me or not. So they were just like, "I don't know." I was like, "Okay, thank you for the help, everybody." (Laughs.) But I was surprised. I mean, I'm very happy that they were pro-Taylor because Taylor played a ruthless game. Her speech summed it up in its entirety. She was resilient. She was one of the nicest people I've ever met throughout the entire summer. And I did not vote against Taylor. I just voted for my boy Monte. I was actually surprised. I thought Monte would win almost unanimously. And that played a percentage of the reason. I didn't want to be on the wrong side. And I was specifically on the exact wrong side and picked the wrong player. (Laughs.)

How do you look back on your decision to ride to the end with Monte, considering the fact that he cut you on the last day?
There are so many times in this game where I had to decide between a personal decision and a game decision. And I feel like there's no way to balance the weight when you don't know how this whole thing is being edited. I don't know what other people are saying. I'm second-guessing literally everything anyone is telling me. And I'm by no means a veteran at Big Brother. I've seen my fair share of seasons, but again, I just don't know everyone else's perspective. So I think that Monte would have taken me to the end, but apparently, that wasn't the case. And I understand his reason. But it would have served him well to take me because I heard he would have won otherwise. 

One big turning point for your endgame came when you decided to vote out Alyssa over Taylor, essentially picking Monte over one of your closest friendships in the house. Talk to me about that decision.
I thought it would have been the best-case scenario for me not to abandon my final two with Monte. If I told him I was going to keep our Final Three with Monte and Taylor and then kicked Taylor out, it just wouldn't have served me well, from my perspective. And again, I love Alyssa. She was one of my best friends throughout the entire summer. But she did not win a comp, and I couldn't necessarily rely on her for my safety. I think it would have been more her relying on me for safety. She wasn't able to win a comp. And so I just couldn't put my eggs in that basket.

Your three HoH reigns were some of the most eventful of the season. But in the roundtable, some jurors questioned whether that reflected well on you. And in general, there was discussion about you being passive in your gameplay. Does that perception surprise you at all?
Just to be as self-aware as possible...no. Because there were a lot of times where I  feel like I fell into situations. That's why I feel like I just stumbled throughout the season and did good. At a certain point, of course, I will happily take credit for a lot of the things. But like when the Leftovers are forming, I felt like I was watching a movie! It was a lot of Kyle, Joseph, and Monte talking about it. And granted, I think without me making that trigger pull up and putting up Ameerah, it would not have necessarily happened.

And that's when Po's Pack was a thing. I don't know a ton of alliances. The Oasis was my only saving grace there. But that obviously was nonexistent. I think I was the second-best competitor in the game at the end of the day. I think I came in second a ton of times. I won the most HoHs, tied with Michael. And then I won more HoH comps than Michael, because I won that wiener comp. So I understand both sides. I think I did as best as I could. And if someone's perspective is that I played too passive, well, then live and let live.

How do you look back on your game generally? At one point in the middle of the season, you actually told the cameras you had no idea what you were doing. But despite that, you still seemed to have a laissez-faire attitude about it, generally enjoying the gameplay no matter the quality.
Oh, absolutely. I'm glad you described it like that, because I couldn't say it any better myself. Like I said, I feel like I fell into a lot of good situations and a lot of bad situations. And I had to balance it out. And I'm just happy to be here at the end of the day. There were some harder days than others, though, like when Alyssa got voted out, and the whole blow-up with Brittany happened. I don't know what's shown, so I'm just going from what I remember. That was a tough day. Being a Have-Not was a tough day. Jasmine's birthday was painfully boring. But I did my best. And even when I failed, when I was beat, when I was in third place, I was like, "Well, I'm not mad." I got further than I thought! I thought there was a chance I would have been out Week One. So the fact that I wasn't and I made it to jury and made to the Final Three? I can't complain.

You talk about those tight friendships you made. But, you also had a habit of betraying those friendships to vote them out in the pursuit of going with "the house." How do you look ahead to the relationships you hope to maintain now that you're out of the house?
We're getting to connect with everybody right after. Right when the show was over. I was able to talk with all of my former housemates. I will say I have an incredibly well-maintained relationship with Alyssa. She and I are very tight, no surprise. Michael and I are tight. I thought everyone would just be over me because I did so many wild moves. And everyone welcomed me with open arms and said, "Hey, listen, it's a game. No one's mad at you here." I'm tight with Michael. I'm tight with Brittany. I'm tight with Alyssa. I felt very bad for Pooch. Pooch was one of my favorite people I've ever met in my life. And he doesn't mind that I voted him out Week One or Two or whatever it was. So I have equally maintained all my relationships outside the game. I was worried that they would all be just in the dirt. But I love everybody in the cast, and I'm happy they all love me.

Next, check out our interview with Big Brother 24 runner-up Monte Taylor.