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Spoilers ahead for the August 8 episode of Big Brother.
Back when Big Brother Season 21 first kicked off, Jack Matthews was generating all kinds of buzz for a fun reason: he looked uncannily like Jason Momoa. Then, viewers began to watch him in action in the Big Brother house and hear him saying some troubling things about fellow houseguest Kemi Fakunle. Kemi was eliminated several weeks ago, but Jack's comments about her and the controversy that arose because of them haven't been forgotten. Now, he has explained why he said what he said.
In the August 8 episode, Jack was finally eliminated from the competition, with his bro Jackson Michie living on to fight another day. Holly, Cliff, Nicole, Nick, Tommy, and Kat all voted Jack out of the house, with only Sis and Christie voting to try and evict Michie. Based on social media reactions (and the #JackEvictionParty hashtag), viewers en masse weren't too bummed to say goodbye to Jack as an active competitor. He will still be in the mix as part of the jury.
In his exit interview with Julie Chen-Moonves, she asked him to rewatch video of the comments he made about Kemi, which included calling her a "bitch" and saying that he wanted to "stomp a mudhole" into her chest. Visibly cringing when he realized what he'd be watching, he eventually said this after Julie asked for his thoughts:
Okay, well, I will say that the 'stomp the mudhole' comment is based on something that Sam said last season, when she was frustrated. And I don't think there was any personal vendetta in behind saying that. I think my statements were playful in a group of people. I do apologize for what I said, and that's very sincere. I think Kemi was and is a great person. I think this game and being in 24 hour view of people and you say things and I wouldn`t say that I fully support the things that I said in the way that I said them. If I could take them back, I would. And I wish I could have articulated it in some other way possible. But it doesn't take away the fact that I don't think that Kemi is a wonderful person inside and outside of this house, as a person, absolutely.
According to Jack, the "stomp the mudhole" comment that came across as so distasteful, racist, and even violent was actually based on something from last season rather than any ill wishes for Kemi, and he asserts that his statements "were playful."
Jack also stated that the nature of Big Brother and being on camera for 24 hours a day was a contributing factor to what he said. He was careful to state that he regrets what he said and thinks highly of Kemi as a person. I'm guessing pretty much everybody can believe that Jack regrets saying these things on camera in front of millions of viewers watching from home; whether everybody can agree that he regrets them personally remains to be seen.
Even if he did mean what he said in a playful way, the reaction from viewers was not laughing along with a joke. Speculation spread quickly that he would be voted off after dropping the latest seemingly racist comment, and he certainly didn't last too long following it.
Julie Chen-Moonves did also ask Jack why he was so determined to take out Kemi in the first place, and he said this:
Because she said some bad stuff about my boy Michie! She said stuff about cooking and then I said that he was okay because he cooks for everybody, which by the way, general rule, if you cook for everybody in the house, you should be okay for a little while... Yes, I did get excited a couple times.
Getting "excited" is certainly one way to put it! His determination to take out Kemi stemming from his drive to defend Michie's honor after he cooked for the house seems a little disproportional to me, but the fact of the matter is that neither Jack nor Kemi has the chance to win Season 21 of Big Brother at this point.
Who is going to win now that Jack is out? Tommy is the new Head of Household after winning a dry-ground kayak competition on his birthday, which is really only a sentence that could ever make sense in the context of Big Brother. Keep tuning in to new episodes on CBS (and the live feeds on CBS All Access) for more of the drama as the population of the house gets smaller and smaller.