It was the moment Jackson Michie had been waiting for all season: walking out of the Big Brother house and being hit with confetti as the newly crowned winner. But when it finally happened, the 24-year-old barely cracked a smile.
Michie, as it turned out, was too taken aback by accusations of bullying and racism against him to fully revel in his $500,000 win. Shortly before he walked out of the house, Julie Chen told him about concerns that viewers and his fellow houseguests Ovi Kabir, David Alexander and Kemi Fakunle expressed about his behavior throughout the summer.
“There’s a lot of things that you don’t hear in the house, and hearing that on the spot when you’re trying to rally votes for half a million is a lot to take in,” Michie told Entertainment Weekly after the season 21 finale on Wednesday, September 25.
“But also it was a lot of shock in the sense that you couldn’t tell I’m wearing the same clothes that I moved in in. I didn’t pack according to finale night because I didn’t know if I would actually make it,” he continued. “So a lot of it was shock from the questions, shock from actually winning and staying true to my goal of seeing confetti. But nonetheless, it was a lot of excitement on the inside. I just kind of didn’t … it was a lot to handle. I just made half a million for a summer. That’s a pretty good take.”
Even though Ovi, 22, David, 29, and Kemi, 25, called out Michie’s controversial actions on stage, the server was not worried about losing the grand prize to his showmance, Holly Allen.
“I know who I am and I know who I’m not, and I respect women more than anything. I’m very abrasive and I have a lot of energy and passion in everything I say and do. And I’m that way toward everyone,” he told EW. “And is it right? No. I know that I need to work on it and tone it down in a lot of areas, but I don’t see race or gender or anyone when I’m having a conversation. And if someone upsets me, they upset me the same way that a guy would.”
Michie insisted that he never intended to be “demoralizing” or “condescending to women,” so he was surprised to hear that some people felt that way about him.
“I’m an only child and I’m a mama’s boy at heart and I love my mom to death, but I know who I am and I know not. And I truly do respect women,” he said. “I hate that someone may think that out there.”
Now that he has $500,000 in his pocket, the Nashville native hopes to buy a car, settle into an apartment and “take care of a few expenses.” He is also considering splurging on a trip with Holly, 31.
“Whether we are in a relationship or not, it will not change the fact that we will both be in each other’s lives,” he said. “She’s a great girl, and if we don’t end up together and she gets new boyfriend, sorry dude, but I will be one of her best friends. And same for me. So it’s part of the deal.”