Not enough savagery. That’s what Big Brother 23 houseguest Travis Long credits to him being the first one sent packing during the Thursday, July 15, live eviction.
Us Weekly caught up with the 22-year-old tech sales consultant after his ousting where he recognized his lack of strategy in the first week of the game. “I fell for some big homies in the house really early,” Travis told Us. “And I think I held our personal relationships above my own strategy, and I had the poorly calculated mindset to assume that they held our personal relationship over their own strategy as well.”
The Austin native also explained how Head of Household Brandon “Frenchie” French, who promised him safety during the premiere, went back on his word. “I think it was an absolute s–tstorm,” Travis said of the farmer’s HOH reign. “Just a smorgasbord of promises made for the most random of reasons.”
He went on to say that assurance from Frenchie “ended up being total, complete and utter garbage,” which is why he let his allies in the house know before the eviction. “I just wanted to make people aware that he’s a liar,” Travis said. “And he kind of marks himself as this man of transparency and kept promises. And that’s just total scheisse.”
Ultimately, Travis went home in an 11-2 vote over Alyssa Lopez.
You can watch our full interview above or scroll down to read what Travis told Us about his strategy – or lack thereof – as well as his reaction to Tiffany Mitchell and Derek Frazier voting in his favor, Kyland Young’s HOH win and much more.
Big Brother airs on CBS Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.
Us Weekly: Being first out is tough. How are you feeling this morning?
Travis Long: I’m feeling absolutely amped just to have been a part of the entire experience. I think I made some really, really good connections, for better or for [worse], for what it was. I think maybe trying to make such buddy-buddy friendships with people that early on instead of talking strategy resulted in me being first one out of the house. But ultimately, I’m very grateful and it’s just who I am. I wouldn’t change a thing about my game. I’m really excited for having been a part of it all.
Us: So, what do you think ultimately sent you home over Alyssa?
TL: I think the workings of an early alliance already forming were just already in motion. It was a mix of that and the results of a series of unfortunate events that led early targets of Frenchie’s into safety and the sights just zooming in more and more on the last few bucks in the field and me being the biggest target left.
Us: The vote was 11-2. What was your reaction to that? Do you know who voted for you to stay?
TL: I have no idea who voted for me to stay. I guess I have a couple of big homies still gunning for me after all. I thought it was going to be unanimous for me to leave, so I was actually surprised to hear two people put up the risk of being targeted. I mean, that’s kind of an easy thing to go after and to target someone for, so good on them. I don’t know if it was for strategy or for their relationship with me, but I’m grateful for the two votes of confidence.
Us: So Tiffany and Derek F were the two that voted to evict Alyssa. What do you think about that?
TL: Derek F did? Not Derek X?
Us: F, yeah.
TL: That’s a weird one. I mean, Tiffany makes sense. She kind of told me if anything was unanimous, she would kind of want to toss one out there just to maybe target Derek X as having done so later on in the game. That was just kind of a card up her sleeve that she would utilize. And I was like, “Good on you. Do do your thing, Ma.” And Derek F is a total wildcard. I didn’t even have a rock-solid conversation or one-on-one with him, because I felt he was completely sold into the early alliance that was forming, you know, The Slaughterhouse gang. And yeah, that’s a weird one. Maybe he had the same idea as Tiffany, I think is what it came down to, more so than wanting to save me, and just wanting to infuse some chaos into the house.
Us: Yeah, I believe it was a rogue vote.
TL: I think you’re right in that assumption that it was kind of just a rogue vote.
Us: Are you surprised to hear that Kyland and Claire, who are on your team, voted to evict you?
TL: Nope, because they were doing what was good for their game and we had a discussion beforehand that said the ball was in my court, as much as it could be in terms of having conversations with other people and coming back to them and letting them know if I had swayed four other votes for them to hop on board and to keep me. And that didn’t really happen. I had no confirmation from another four that, you know, I’d be staying. So I, of course, said to do what’s best for [their] game. And they did. They upheld the objectives of the current Head of Household and kept the targets off their backs.
Us: Julie Chen asked you, but tell me a little bit more about blowing up Frenchie’s game before the eviction. What did you say and who did you say it to?
TL: Yeah, so my objective in doing that kind of right before the live show was in no way to sway votes in my direction. The entire purpose was kind of just to inject some longevity, another card, into the sleeves of some of my confidantes in the game. So I only told a select few people. I think it was Derek X, just because I’d say we were, like, the showmance that never was. So I was going to tell him anything I could to help him out. I think I told Brent for kind of the same reason. I was falling in love with his muscles and his pretty eyes and his “Joisey” accent. And then, my own team – so Kyland and Tiffany and Claire. Just being that I have a desire to see longevity in their game over the game of anyone else not on my team. So I told them the same thing, that Frenchie made a promise to me from day one and then upheld and reiterated that promise throughout the entirety of the week. Even when I gave him multiple outs, like, “Dude, that was kind of a bold promise to make. Are you sure?” And he very much affirmed with a stern handshake and a mark on his word as a man that I would not be going home, and that I had safety with him. And that just ended up being total, complete and utter garbage. And so I just wanted to make people aware that he’s a liar. And he kind of marks himself as this man of transparency and kept promises. And that’s just total shiza. So I just wanted them to know, not to even tell people in that moment to blow up his game in front of everyone, but for them to have that card up their sleeve to use when needed and to keep to themselves when not.
Us: He definitely seemed to make a lot of promises. What did you think of his HOH reign as a whole?
TL:I think it was an absolute s–tstorm, just a smorgasbord of promises made for the most random of reasons. I mean, at one point he told me – and I came to find out this was like a crock of BS too – he talked to Claire at some point, and she was just like, “Am I safe?” And he made a promise. This is what he told me, like, verbatim: “I made a promise to her on my children that she would not be going home.” And I was like, “What the hell? Why would you make that kind of promise?” And he’s like, “I don’t know, man. I just made it.” And then I go talk to Claire and she’s like, “Dude, he never said that.” And so it was just things like that. First of all, it’s weird to lie about your kids. Making promises about your kids. But that’s neither here nor there. So it’s just things like that, you know, that it just ended up being royal BS.
Us: What did you think about Derek X when he used the veto?
TL: I mean, this is a game of worrying about yourself moreso than personal relationships and kicking it with the homies. I mean, it makes total sense to me. He would have came off as a total liar to Kyland after having already come off as a liar to Frenchie about things. He was really trying to save face and do what’s best for his game, despite the fact that that resulted in his showmance partner being tossed up on the block. So it sucked for me, but it made sense for him, and I couldn’t argue against his own game for himself.
Us: Who was the person you trusted the most in the house? Who was your closest ally?
TL: It’s funny. I would say I trusted Derek X the most, but he just absolutely toileted my game on multiple occurrences, just because the dude has a beautifully loud, wide open mouth, and he simply can’t keep information in. He knows that. I told him that directly before leaving. I was like, “Dude, you gotta keep the trap shut. Flies are going to get in there.” And it happened where I would tell him information, he would tell me information that he knew and I found it to be true and accurate. I found him on a personal level to be wanting to assist me. But, it goes to show again, personal relationships don’t really save the game, and it’s all about strategy. When it comes to your closest confidante just royally torching your strategy by telling everyone and their mama things that he shouldn’t, it means nothing.
Us: What is your reaction to Kyland winning HOH?
TL: I am mega excited big Ky guy took the W for the Queens. It royally blows that I couldn’t be a part of the Queens safety this week. Of course, that’s how the cookie crumbles, right? I would not have guessed or expected the Queens to win. I’ve just seen Ky do a couple of comps that he seemed to just absolutely have his lunch eaten in. He didn’t seem to be a very big competitor. I don’t know what the competition was, but he took the W and that’s fantastic.
Us: Who do you think he should target?
TL: I think he is going to target Christian for the sole purpose of upholding Frenchie’s objectives in the house. Again, I think Frenchie has a huge sway in the house vote. And I think Christian is a big competitor. He’s like a more handsome version of me. He’s like another saucy surfer guy walking around and those are like easy pickins for some reason in the beginning. So yeah, I think Christian might be bye-bye.
Us: Do you think though that Kyland has a case to say, “Listen, Frenchie put me up. So I can just put him up”?
TL: I think he has a case, absolutely. I mean, if I were still there, I would totally have a case, but neither of us would have done so, at least this early in the game. So no, I don’t think he will for the sole purpose of keeping a strong ally with sway in the house on his side at this point. I think it’s too early to make, or he will think it’s too late to make, a huge game move that it would take. And I think it would take essentially a total flip in the house to have Frenchie’s ass headed back to his farm.
Us: Whose game are you most impressed by? Who do you think has what it takes to possibly win at the end?
TL: I will give Frenchie, despite all of the dishonesty, the lack of transparency, he has up kept those [relationships], for the most part, really well. I think the only person that has gotten royally boned from his dishonesty, at this point, was ya boy, who has no say anymore in the house. And so good on him for eliminating that. And I think there’s not a lot left at this point to target him, at least right now. So I think Frenchie will go really far. I think, however, Ky will take the $750,000 home. I mean, he, like, massages everyone in the house. That’s a testament to how close he is with everyone. Everyone’s like, “Ooh, yeah. Mr. Gleaming White Teeth touched my shoulders.” He’s a beautiful person, a beautiful personality. He was raised around sisters. He knows how to have an ear with all the women in the house. I think that’s huge because when there are, like, preschool antics in there where girls usually go with girls, and guys usually go with guys, I actually think Kyland would definitely have both sides there. And that’s a unique position that he and only he is in. So yeah, I see him going to the very end.
Us: Would you ever want to play Big Brother again?
TL: Yeah, absolutely. I think what I’m most grateful for in this experience is what it taught me about myself in that there’s not as much savagery in my bones as I thought. I think I love a little too deeply and a little too quickly. I fell for some big homies in the house really early. And I think I held our personal relationships above my own strategy, and I had the poorly calculated mindset to assume that they held our personal relationship over their own strategy as well. And it just comes back to me wanting to be besties with everyone in the world, and Big Brother not operating like that. So I would come back. I’d have to slap myself around in the mirror a few times and tell myself to put on my mean mug to go back. I think it would take some serious change in my personality and me as a person to be successful in the game if I came back.