Derrick Levasseur pulled off the perfect game last night on Big Brother 16 when he was crowned the winner after 97 days of maintaining control of his game and house while avoiding ever being named as a nominee. Today I spoke with Derrick about his game, the moves he made, and what it was all like.
Matthew Boyer – Big Brother Network (BBN): Congratulations on your win. That was an impressive and well-earned victory last night.
Derrick Levasseur: Yeah, it worked out well. You know what, I trusted my boy Cody regardless of who won and it worked out pretty well.
BBN: Right there on that, your trust in Cody. Did you ever consider throwing Round 3 or were you going full steam to win that?
Derrick: Although I trusted him 110%, I was not going to throw that competition and have something go wrong because you never know in the game of Big Brother. I was absolutely trying to beat him. The questions got me a little thrown off because to be honest with you, I think the Jurors switched up a couple of their opinions to throw us off. They got me on a couple of them, but it came down to the tie-breaker and he was the closest. More power to him. Kudos to him.
BBN: At what point in the season did you say to yourself, “okay, I’ve got this. I’m going to win.”?
Derrick: I definitely saw a light. I knew what I had to do to have the best opportunity and I needed two alliance members in the F3 with me regardless of who won the Final HoH if I didn’t do it myself that they would bring me. I knew I had Cody and he didn’t know how close I was with Victoria. I also had Victoria who didn’t know how close I was with Cody. It worked out perfectly.
Caleb was really the last big move I had to make and at that point was when I really knew my chances of being in the F2 were almost 100%.
BBN: Looking at those Jury votes, 7-2. What do you think cost you those two votes?
Derrick: I don’t want to speculate, but I will tell you this. Donny pegged me pretty early as to what type of player I was and I did put him on the Block one week, but Cody put him on the Block twice. Frankly, I think it came down to a personal opinion. I don’t think he based it on game. I think he based on who he liked more, which happens. I think he liked Cody more in the game. I think he thought he was more genuine in the game and that’s what he based his decision upon. I respect that.
As far as Jocasta, she was completely off-base. What she’s referring to is that we prayed together every night. I guess she was assuming that was a strategy, but it really wasn’t. I was praying because I’m not a very religious person outside of the house. I thought it was not only a chance for us to bond but to talk about my grandfather who passed away, talk about my kid, and I actually enjoyed it.
I guess she thought it was a strategic move, but I don’t know why. She wasn’t really winning any comps at the time. I think she was hurt or felt betrayed. Again, I respect her decision and admire her as a person. I personally wouldn’t have played the way she played, but if she was able to win playing the way she intended on playing it would have been phenomenal.
BBN: Let’s jump to Team America. You surprised a lot of HGs with that. How did joining Team America impact your strategy?
Derrick: Being part of a team, it was tough. My methodology behind everything was kept close to the chest. So when we discussed how to complete these missions they, Donny and Frankie, would get an idea of how my mind works. I didn’t like doing that. It was something that I knew we had an obligation to do and I wasn’t going to deviate from that because I felt like we had a responsibility to America to attempt these missions.
As far as Donny is concerned, I knew very early on he was coming after me. I kinda put that aside to keep my obligations to Team America intact. But when I brought him upstairs for one of the missions and he didn’t want to do it for his own personal game and even made the comment, “I’m not here for Team America. I’m here for Donny Thompson.” I felt like that was enough for the Feedsters to know Derrick’s got to do what he’s got to do now. That’s what I needed to hear to in order to know it’s time to play this game and Donny was going to have to go.
BBN: Speaking of Donny having to go and Team America. We saw the mission where you could choose your own adventure. Why didn’t you consider keeping Donny and getting what looked to be an easy $5K then evicting him the next week?
Derrick: First and foremost, the way the mission was designed it had to be in play before the Veto ceremony. So we were kinda mixed on would it even apply. They wouldn’t tell you and that’s why we failed some of the ones we thought we passed. We didn’t know that for certain.
Give credit where credit’s due, Donny was an incredible player and if I wasn’t playing against him I would have been a huge fan of him. He had a heart of a lion and played incredible under pressure. You know what, if you gave him an opportunity then he’s going to capitalize on it. That’s what we knew with him.
Frankly, to try and flip the house to keep him when Cody and them were so adamant to get rid of him, it would have raised some red flags.
BBN: Preseason you told me you’d start a tight alliance with one player and that’s what you did. Did you go in there, profile the HGs, and pick Cody for it or did you two come together organically?
Derrick: It was a couple of things. I noticed with the Bomb Squad that he was kinda on the low end of the totem pole and so was I. That’s what I used to start our initial conversation. I saw him as a very candid, trustworthy guy. In addition he’s not a bad looking guy so I knew he could play another facet of the game I couldn’t play because of my marriage. I thought that was advantageous to get in with some of the girls.
BBN: Your Hitmen alliance appeared solid, but was there ever a time when you thought you’d have to cut Cody and take Victoria?
Derrick: Not at all. I knew if I took Victoria it wasn’t a guarantee I would win because I knew there would be some people who had made some comments about taking Victoria. Out of spite they could have voted to give her the money.
There was a time when Cody and Christine were getting very close and I was concerned that if Christine was playing a similar game to mine that he might consider taking her to the F2. It was Week 9 I came to that realization and Week 12 I sent her home.
BBN: Tell us about Photogate where you sent back your HoH photo from home. There was a lot of speculation on what was going on there and who was in the photo.
Derrick: I’m glad you brought that up. I want to discuss it. Very simple. It was actually a picture of my father, his wife, and my daughter. It was a little grainy and I didn’t know what they were trying to do here. Because we were on the Double Evict I put it in the DR and asked if I could get another one. They never got it back to me.
There were rumors that I was upset about the picture, but the letter was from my father as well and I read that out loud to all the Feedsters. It wasn’t something I was offended by. It was my daughter and my father and his wife. I had no problem with it. I asked if I could get a different one and just never got another photo.
BBN: What’s next for you now that you’ve received this big payday. Are you going right back to work or taking some time off?
Derrick: I’m actually going to have to go straight back to work. I burned all my vacation time. As far as what the future holds, I’d love to have some way to stay more in touch with the game than just watching. I don’t know what that might be, but I’m hoping some doors are opening.
I would love to be involved in this game on a daily basis like you are because I love this game. I think it’s an awesome experience for someone to have and an even better experience to watch.
BBN: Congratulations again on your win. It was a masterful game to watch this season and I’m very happy that you were able to pull it off and prove how a smart game can earn the victory.
Watch Derrick’s preseason interview with us and see how his initial plans matched up with his experience and the way he ended up playing Big Brother.