Monte on his previous comments about Taylor before the showmance
Q: You said a lot more about Taylor [Hale]’s character behind her back. You called her abrasive for wearing her finale outfit. You told Terrance [Higgins] she was condescending and doesn’t understand herself. You were in the room when Terrance called her a sellout. You agreed she needed to be put in her place for making you feel like an idiot after the alleged Paloma [Aguilar] lie. Did you ever consider telling Taylor any of these possibly hurtful things, so she wouldn’t be surprised later, given you guys became intimate?
Monte: I think that when I look back at the season, first of all, I’ve probably forgotten a lot of the things that I’ve said over the course of what was the 82 days in the house. And then also, I would say that in the heat of the moment, there’s definitely emotions that are involved, the stress of the game. And also trying to figure out what’s best to say in response to people is all being factored in based off of what game moves to help you survive, right? So I’ll say that.
And I’ll also say that I’ve had conversations with Taylor about these sorts of comments that have been made and whatever she has seen thus far. And we started to talk through where my head was at at those times when I said those things. Also, you know, becoming more aware of the things that I did not know were happening, like what the actual reality was for that first week for Taylor, which I was nowhere near aware of until after the show.
So throughout that time, I think that while I was in the house, I knew that I definitely wanted to have those conversations with her. And I think you guys may have seen an attempt at that that last week. Right, to sort of bring up how I was feeling, sort of my sentiments towards, you know, what I have come up with based off of my experience. And I think that, unfortunately, with being in the house and playing the game, it’s still, it’s still impacting the way that you view the conversation, right? Like, how honest can you truly be in that moment when this is a very personal conversation that you’re having versus how is this conversation may be impacted by game?
Like will there be 100% transparency, or will there be only 50% transparency? Because you have to say what you need to say in order to make sure that, you know you are aligned with the people that you’re aligned with and you’re surviving that week, in the following week to make sure you advance. So all of that to be said. It’s a lot to consider. And it wasn’t as straightforward as I wish it could have been. As in the outside world, if I really wanted to have that conversation, I think it would have been a lot longer and a lot more transparent.
Monte on his tough breakup talk with Taylor
Q: You validated Taylor’s mistreatment after she took back her headphones and mentioned how long everyone had been away from their family. You even said you would have reacted harsher if it wasn’t for the cameras. Can you explain what you thought the appropriate private reaction was in that situation? I think a lot of fans, specifically, women, honestly really want to know what that could have possibly meant.
Monte: So I’ll say in that moment, I was definitely emotional. I think people may I don’t know how much of the context that people have over that day, but everything happened very rapidly. One thing after another, right? So, you know, where I felt like, you know, I was hurt by the comments that Taylor had made towards my goddaughter. I immediately went to put on my headphones and went to sleep. And then right when I was woken up by her taking off the headphones, it was sort of like back to back things that had happened. And then I went downstairs to go change and do either workout or something. And then Brittany [Hoopes] came down. She had a–I think she approached me about my nap, like how was my nap? And then we talked about the whole headphones thing–.
Q: Fans got to see the whole thing on live feeds. I think they just want to know, what was that harsher reaction you’re alluding to?
Monte: Yeah, honestly, I’m not sure what I was thinking in that moment when I said that, to be honest. That could have been a very emotional comment. That could have been something that I just felt like, you know, I felt hurt. So I wanted maybe her to feel hurt, unfortunately.
And that was just a very immature thing to maybe say in that moment. And, you know, I still haven’t had a conversation with Taylor about that conversation. We’ve talked about other things earlier in the season, but I still do want to talk to her about, you know, where I was heading in my mindset there. Because it was truly out of love like it truly was out of caring for that person and wanting to express how I felt, because if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have said anything. I just would of ignored her and moved on from there. So that’s sort of my perspective.
Q: Taylor took the time to talk about how colorism has affected her life earlier in the season with you. When you were talking to Taylor about how she was being perceived, she asked why Nicole [Layog] and Ameerah [Jones] didn’t get the same treatment. You said you never got that impression from them. But Nicole and Ameerah put you into a tough spot in the storage room over evicting Joe “Pooch” Pucciarelli. Nicole said it’s Pooch, or it’s you. A targeted statement that didn’t get much of a reaction from you. What would you say to those that think your difference in these situations might be related to a colorist bias?
Monte: I can only react with what I was thinking at that time, right? For me, I think that conversation with Nicole and Ameerah was definitely a shocking one and definitely made me very uncomfortable. I will never minimize that to say that, you know, it wasn’t aggressive in the way that they had approached it. I mean, Ameerah was telling me, ‘Why you keep doing competitions, just win a competition.’ Like I talked to many people about that afterwards, and that was sort of the red flag that led us to believe that we couldn’t necessarily work with Ameerah at that time. And what made us think that, OK, there’s something happening on the other side of the house that we’re not a part of.
Whereas I think, unfortunately, you know, by virtue of more time, I’ve had more experiences with Taylor, I’ve had more time to connect with her one on one. And I think naturally when you spend more time with one person, you’re going to find different things that you want to address. And I think with Ameerah and Nicole, Ameerah was there for three weeks. Nicole was there for four.
You know, whereas Taylor and I took it all the way to the–to the end. And a lot of those conversations happened towards the end, right? And like I said, you know, out of me being a caring person and wanting to express how I feel and, and in some effort try to help, I had that conversation with her towards the last week to just express how I felt. But I also knew and had suspicions that, OK, how much of this conversation is going to be tainted by game and saying what we need to say in order to advance our game.
So, so that’s my perspective on that. I truly did not and would never think that I would treat women of a different shade of color any differently. I mean, my mom’s Puerto Rican. My dad is African-American, dark-skinned, male, and I have plenty of family members who look like Taylor, who look like Nicole, who look like Ameerah. I come from a very diverse background. So it’s, it’s hard for me to feel that way. That that was a bias. But I’m also not neglecting that. It could have been.
Monte on becoming more self-aware
Q: You mentioned to Taylor to watch the show back, and once she gets out she can see how she’s being perceived. Now that you’re out in the world and see how loved she is by the fans and the cast, is there any reassessing on your part on your read on Taylor or your push for her to believe the house’s cold perception of her? Or the read you have on your own personality to become more self-aware like you wanted her to be?
Monte: I mean, I think that there’s definitely, you know, like more of an awareness of how she was playing her game throughout this entire time. When you’re in the house, you have no idea what lying people are doing behind your back. What things are being said, and hence why it makes people react a certain way and do that same thing because they’re trying to protect themselves.
So I think after seeing how much positive feedback she’s been getting from this season, I become more aware of what she’s gone through. Which I did not know while I was in the house. And what led to her being a target that first week.
I mean, my God, like I even told her in the house when she had told me about some conversations she had with Paloma that I just I felt so stupid, you know, I felt dumb. Like I felt like I was completely wrong. And that was only a bit of information that I got from her about that week.
Seeing a lot of what was happening throughout other houseguests, isolating her, you know, especially when there was I think there was a women’s alliance, the Girls’ Girls that sort of kept her on the outs. Like seeing all of that or hearing about all of that play out gives me an entirely different perspective on where she was at throughout the game.
And I’ve also apologized to her about a lot of the things that I’ve said, but also not understanding those things, right? So to me, that that was the biggest surprise to me is just to see how much she had been through and that her story when she had made that speech and finale night, how much it would resonate with people because of the fact that they know how much she’s been through. So yeah, I’m much more aware of that now.
Q: After that breakup talk, Taylor was giving you the space you asked for. Why did you decide to proceed further with that relationship if you felt so disrespected by her? And why did you say after the season you were still open to seeing where things go with her?
Monte: I mean, for me, like I said, that’s just how I felt in that moment. And I also felt alright, in order for me to do like a lot of this is unfortunately, the game has to be factored in. If this was just a person-to-person outside of a game, I think things would have been handled a lot differently. But in that moment, I’m thinking about where I stand in the game and making sure that, alright, if, if I were, if I were to go into this season and think back, like, would a showmance ruin my chances of possibly winning and taking home the 750 K?
So when I thought about Matt “Turner” Turner, I looked at him and I was like, OK, he’s picking up on the fact that like, you know, me and Taylor are getting closer. I need to make sure that I’m playing the best game that I possibly can to make sure that he doesn’t believe that I’m not going to take him in a final two situation. So that’s being considered.
I’m also considering like my focus and what I believe is best for me. Like, I’m looking at how much time that I’ve spent in that house with someone building a relationship and then feeling as if, OK, well, if my mind is on that, but not on the game, like how can I balance both? And I know that we’re only going to be out of the house within three days, and we can chat about this further then.
So to me, I felt like, at that time, the conversations that I really wanted to have with her were only three days away. So why don’t we take a pause and make sure that we’re focusing on our games and making sure that we can do the best job that we can to advance? So that afterwards we can have those conversations and talk through, you know, the reality of how I was feeling and not have any game influencing those conversations. So that’s how I felt.
Q: That’s interesting. I think as a viewer, what I got from the situation, like game wasn’t mentioned almost at all, and it wasn’t like a pin in the conversation. It was like, ‘This is how I feel now, going to take a break.’ And like I, I understand and only as a fan that the house is a pressure cooker. So I just see like there might be other outside stressor factors. But it’s yeah, it’s interesting to me now to hear that game was any part of it. Because to be honest, it seemed like you felt like you’re in a very powerful role. You had two allies with you at the end, and you knew that. You had your pick, and you were very confident you can beat Turner. That’s why you picked him over Brittany. Where I think Taylor had less power and honestly, as a female viewer, I kind of felt bad that I felt even if she felt like she should have stood up for herself, she really couldn’t in that situation if she wanted to be taken to the end. But it’s interesting what you’re saying now. You were putting game into that and saying that’s a whole we’ll talk about it later when it seemed very definitive.
Monte: I mean, in that moment, it’s for me, Nicole, I’m looking at it as why did I come here? You know, like what, what is my main objective here? What am I going to be able to do with winning that 750 K? And we get into those diary rooms, you start thinking about what is the impact of these decisions.
And it’s like, OK, well, I have to make sure that I am prioritizing my game. And maybe I didn’t verbalize that in the show, but that was what I was thinking. And even if I did verbalize it, I don’t know what was shown and what wasn’t right? Like not only to the live feeds, but also to, you know, the viewers of just the shows that aired three times a week.
So that’s a perspective that I hope people can understand and appreciate because I’ve talked to previous houseguests and how much that weighs into decisions is huge. Versus people who haven’t been in the house and are looking at is like, OK, these are two people, and this is how I wish things would have played out. But the game always influences whatever you’re, you’re thinking about while you’re in the house. And for me, that was my main objective was to make sure I can take that 750 K back.
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