Ring, ring! Who’s there? Chilltown, baby! Big Brother Season 2 winner Dr. Will Kirby is set to return to the CBS house — but not as a contestant. The scheming former player (who became a reality TV supervillain back in 2001) exclusively spoke to Us Weekly about heading back to the show to host the jury roundtable for the third consecutive year.
Kirby, 42, sat down with the kicked-out house guests in a pre-taped interview, which will air during the highly anticipated series finale on Wednesday, Sept. 23. But unlike the last two seasons (in 2013 and 2014), the Los Angeles dermatologist insists that it's a toss-up on which final three — Vanessa Rousso, Steve Moses, or Liz Nolan — will take home the $500,000 grand prize.
"Austin [Matelson] and Julia [Nolan] – it’s no secret that they want Liz to win. But everyone else is genuinely, genuinely torn. And I think all of them have merits," Kirby told Us. "Steve really peaked at the right time and they underestimated him. Vanessa’s really calculating and might not be that fun, but she’s an amazing competitor and has a really good social game. And then Liz came in with a bull's-eye on her."
He added: "I don’t know who’s going to win. In the past it’s been pretty predictable. Last year I felt it was a big letdown because everybody knew Derrick [Levasseur] was going to win. But honest to God, anyone this year can win the show. That’s what fans want to see."
Kirby also hopes that viewers want to see him back on TV. The dad of two, who keeps busy with his practice and businesses such as Strike/Social and Laseraway.net, aims to join Survivor when he's 57 and his 3-year-old daughter, Scarlett, is off to college. (Kirby and his wife, Erin Brodie, are also parents to son William "Cash" Cassius, 2.)
"The contestants [will be] 22 years old – they will have no idea the pain that I’m about to bring them," he said, laughing. "Because I will just seem like the sweet little old, benevolent, nerdy dermatologist, and then I’m just going to unleash the gates of hell."
In fact, he already knows what his luxury item will be. He quipped: "I’ll bring a Chilltown hat. You can tell Jeff Probst and Mark Burnett to get ready in 15 years."
Kirby might be ready for Survivor, but some fans will always remember him as the best player in Big Brother history. Check out what he told Us about his Chilltown days in our Now and Then series:
US WEEKLY: What was it like to win Season 2?
WILL KIRBY: I was a manipulator so I should have been hated, but the irony was I was really well liked…[Fans] want someone who’s forthright and comfortable with who they are, and that is definitely what I brought to the table. I was manipulative and ruthless, but I was unrelentingly ruthless. And I think that’s what people responded to.
US: Would you say how you came off in the house is how you are in the real world?
WK: I think people are always shocked because I’m not the extrovert I was in the house…I also understood that the reason we were there was for entertainment. You can be a phenomenal player and not entertaining, so you can be easily unforgettable.
US: Are you still close with your Chill-town buddy Mike “Boogie” Malin?
WK: Yeah, Boogie is one of my really good friends. He’s just a wonderful, wonderful guy. He’s a perfect example of somebody who had a rough go-around the first time with reality TV and went back and won the show [in All-Stars Season 7].
US: What’s one of your most memorable moments in the house?
WK: I guess the most surreal moment — first time I played Big Brother 9/11 happened when I was in the house. I don’t know if this is too morbid but it was just bizarre because the house is located near an airport and planes fly over it just constantly, and there were just no planes. Even as isolated as we were we picked up on that pretty quickly and then the show ended shortly there after and the world was just a different place.
US: It’s been years and yet it still seems like you’re everyone’s favorite player ever. How does that feel?
WK: It feels f—king awesome! It feels awesome. It really is nice to be recognized for something that you enjoyed…I would never want my kids to go on it. But for me it was the right decision at the right time and luckily it worked out well.
US: Is the house mentally exhausting?
WK: I’m not trying to compare this to war or compare it to some of the horrors of modern society, but you absolutely — in a really, really real way — leave with post-traumatic stress order. You’re paranoid, and you’re anxious, and you’re depressed. And that’s true for everyone I’ve ever met from the show. Humans aren’t meant to live like that.
US: What do you think of Season 10 winner Dan Gheesling? Viewers often compare you.
WK: I think Dan is an excellent player. I mean I’m an old timer. I played years ago. I have nothing but great things to say about his gameplay. He sort of watched what I did and sort of paid homage to me a lot.
US: Would you have liked if your season had more twists like veto competitions or the challenge of eating slop?
WK: I’m a purist. My game would not have done well in the modern version. And the reason is mine is psychological warfare…In my season there were so few contests and so you could really rely on a social game to win it. And these days you can’t do that. You can’t just have a social game. You have to be social at the right time, you have to have wins at the right time, and you have to have the right amount of luck.
US: Would you be up for an All-Stars season?
WK: I’m very good at math and statistically the chances of me winning again are very small. Right now I can walk around and pretend that I’m the greatest reality contestant of all time, whether that’s true or not is debatable. But if I go back I will almost definitely lose and as a result I will have tainted my legacy.
Big Brother’s Season 17 series finale airs at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
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