Big Brother Canada‘s Season 5 was a nail-biting few months of failed alliances, steamy showmances and shocking twists. But with a season beginning with eight newbies mixed with eight returning players, what else could fans expect? Thursday night’s finale wrapped up the tumultuous fifth season with a big finish as veteran player Kevin Martin walked away with the grand prize in a surprise unanimous jury vote. The Season 3 vet was sitting beside newbie player Karen Singbeil, after beating out “comp beast” Demetres Giannitsos and sending him out as second runner up.
The TV Junkies had the chance to chat with the three runner-ups to chat about their time in the house, including the jury’s decision to name Kevin as the winner of Season 5.
“Kevin had some good relationships coming in, but I think they voted for the best player,” Demetres tells The TV Junkies. “He played a pretty flawless game. Everyone always wants to come in, lay low and then turn it up in the second half and that’s exactly what he did.”
Runner-up Karen, despite beating the odds to become the oldest player in Big Brother Canada history to make it to the final two, says she wasn’t surprised in the least at how far she managed to go in the game. “I said to myself if I make it past the third week I’ll be there at the end,” Karen explains.
Demetres, who sat next to his showmance Ika Wong in the jury, doesn’t have any hard feelings about getting cut just before final two, and knows just how hard it is to get to the end. “It felt like [each competition] was bigger than the next,” he says. “The more you win, the more you have to win.”
Watchers of this season, from the fans to even the show’s producers, knew full well that the women of Big Brother Canada were running the house nearly from start to finish, with fan favorite Ika standing out as one of the best competitors in the game. For her, it was something she knew she was capable of since her first time in the house in Season 2. “I felt like this was my second chance to show people that yes, I am loud and crazy, and entertaining, but I also understand the game,” she says. “I wanted people to know that about me.”
Still, she also admits that there was more to her game this season than smart strategic moves. “When you’re put in a house you get lucky with the situation, the twists, the people you make connections with, and those things carry you through the game,” she explains. “I feel it worked well for me this season.”
For her showmance partner, Demetres, their relationship was also a big part of what kept him going in the game. “Even on a sanity level to have someone that you can actually talk to and get away from the game,” he says. “It was something we had that a lot of people didn’t.”
To have the support of the fans, for Ika, is another level entirely. “It feels amazing to have people respect you, care about you, dedicate their time and lives, and invest themselves into someone they don’t know, just out of pure love and support,” she says. “I’m so grateful and appreciative. I feel so privileged that people like me and respect me, and are proud of the game I played.”
The TV Junkies also had the chance to sit down with the winner of Big Brother Canada Season 5 to get his perspective on his victory, his relationship with William and this season’s shifting alliances. Read the full interview below.
The TV Junkies: At what point in the finale night did you realize you were going to win Big Brother Canada?
Kevin Martin: After I beat Demetres and evicted him I thought it was mine. Until then I never considered myself a winner. When I buzzed in and Arisa [Cox] said, “Congratulations, Kevin, you’re the final HoH” I thought I had it.
TTVJ: Were you able to hear much from the audience when you won that last competition?
KM: They were excited. There were a ton of people cheering for Demetres obviously, he is loved, but I saw some support in the audience for me, which was really cool.
TTVJ: I actually had a chance to be in the audience for the finale, and we were all gasping each time you and Demetres locked in your answers because we could see what they were on the teleprompter.
KM: I’m glad I nailed it. I went 5/5 in that final HoH, I had to win. Demetres was going to evict me, I was going to evict Demetres, we knew it.
TTVJ: It ended up being a unanimous vote for you to win. Was that a surprise to you?
KM: For sure. I didn’t think Dillon would vote for me after what I did to him in the final five, making him a replacement nominee, and I didn’t know if I had Dre’s vote. It was very cool that they weren’t bitter and that they gave me the 9-0 vote, that felt really good.
TTVJ: Did you get to chat much with the jury after your win?
KM: I haven’t had a chance. They scoop you up right away, and I haven’t had the chance to really talk about what happened. I want to catch up with Jackie, with Bruno, I want to catch up with these people and ask them how it was from their perspective.
TTVJ: One of the big talking points this season has been your relationship with William. From the audience’s perspective it seemed more strategy than anything, which did work out for you with the secret power of veto, obviously. But were there genuine feelings there at all?
KM: There was a point where we did have genuine feelings and it could have gone down that road, but I felt like I put a stop to it. We really like each other, he’s super attractive, he’s so hot, and we have a genuine awesome relationship, but for me, I came in here and I put the game first. I put the game above every single relationship. [William and I] will be friends for a long time, but I put a stop to the feelings because I felt like I was here for the game.
TTVJ: The relationship did end up working to your benefit, whether or not there were genuine feelings, with William saving you with the Secret Power of Veto.
KM: For sure, absolutely, and I feel I would have benefit his game if he had stayed a little while longer. I got in that majority alliance with The Six, and I said I need a friend on the other side of the house, and that was William because we clicked. It saved my game, because he used that secret POV on me.
TTVJ: The alliances this season weren’t the strongest. In past Big Brother seasons in Canada and the U.S. there are alliances that stick, but this year—
KM: There was nothing. They were the wax paper alliances, they fell apart. Oh yeah, it was so crazy because things changed within hours this season. I made a lot of alliances for short term safety. I made alliances just to make it through to the next week. I had some allegiances that would have made it to the end. I wouldn’t have turned on Sindy, Neda, or Bruno until deep into the game, so I did have my loyalties. I wouldn’t have turned on William either, I wish I could have saved him in the triple eviction.
TTVJ: At that point, though, you had to save yourself.
KM: I had to save myself. Oh yeah, that veto was getting used on me and nobody else.
TTVJ: That triple eviction was such a great moment, because obviously you were evicted in the last triple eviction in Season 3. I remember watching and wondering if history was about to repeat itself.
KM: I bet everyone thought I was going out in that triple because I couldn’t compete in the HoH. To put those blocks in and hit that buzzer to save myself from the exact fate that did me in last time? It was chilling. It was one of my favorite moments.
TTVJ: It has been a great story this season watching you go from walking in, wanting to redeem yourself, to actually winning.
KM: Thank you so much, I appreciate it. It was sloppy along the way, trust me, there were a lot of mistakes, but in the end I did grin it out and I’m very proud of what I did in this house. I really am.
TTVJ: Do you think if you had been up against Ika or Demetres in the final two that you would be sitting here now?
KM: I didn’t think so. I have massive respect for them, I thought I would lose to them, but I talked to some of the jury and, based on their reaction, I think I would have won 5-4 or 6-3. It would have been close. I had some friends in that jury, so I think I would have closely beat them. That’s me talking to the jury after, but, before I talked to them, I thought I would have lost.
TTVJ: So, what do you plan to do with that prize money?
KM: It’s going in a nice little investment fund and I’m going to use it very strategically. I’ll touch it a little bit, have some fun, but it’s going to go right towards my career and I can’t wait.
Were you shocked by the winner of Big Brother Canada Season 5? Sound off in the comments below.
Big Brother Canada airs on Global. A sixth season has yet to be announced.
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.