By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
Law enforcement professionals tend to get a bad rap on reality shows. Fans seem to believe that because of their profession they must have some ‘spider-sense’ that automatically determines who is lying and who is not at any given moment.
As Big Brother 20’s Steve Arienta, who worked 10-plus years as detective with the New York City Police Department and is currently a Professor of Criminal Justice at Westchester Community College, points out, things are not that simple.
“A lot of it has nothing to do anything. When you’re an undercover detective or a cop, the truth of the matter is you’re trying to build a case. If there is no case to be made, you cannot make one out of thin air. The biggest thing about undercover work is keeping your cover. In Big Brother, you put so much effort into keeping your cover, making your cover believable; you might miss certain things when they are said to you. While I will say the skills are a positive, they can be a negative because you are not looking for the same things you are in a law enforcement capacity,” he said.
For strategic reasons, Steve’s cover this year was of an auto mechanic. Although nobody figured out the lie and nothing was made of it at the time, Steve saw a light bulb go off over Brett Robinson’s head when he was relating to a story about a friend on the force who retired and became a deputy sheriff in Florida.
“Not that he figured me out but he was smelling me out,” laughed Steve who is still shocked at how last night’s eviction vote went down.
John: The vote was a close one. Are you thankful it was that close, not a blowout, and who do you think was that deciding vote against you?
Steve Arienta: “Well, I can tell you this brother, I was shocked. I have gone over it ten different ways from Sunday and in my mind I had already assured myself the seven-six vote my way. I know Brett and Winston [Hines]; they made a power move here to get me out in regards to loosening Swaggy [Chris Williams]’s alliance. I honestly believe if I had to really think about it and I don’t have any information I haven’t seen the episode, I would have to say they were able to turn Haleigh [Broucher]. The only reason why I say that is because the night before Haleigh was on the hammock with Brett and Winston and I assume she was just gathering intel but she very well could have been talking game.”
John: Were you surprised that this group is playing so hard so fast?
Steve Arienta: “To tell you the truth, did it shock me? Sort of. The fact that Brad, I call them Brad and Chad, because they always called themselves that, and Chad went after a fellow founding member of the bro fraternity right off the bat was shocking! I got to say, I love it! Kudos to them. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. The truth is they are playing tough, they took a shot, it weakened Swaggy, putting them in a better position. It makes a lot of sense. It took a lot of guts to do it. I am impressed and proud of them.”
John Powell: Looking back at your game, what do you think was your fatal flaw?
Steve Arienta: “I think a lot of it had to do with pomp and circumstance. When Angela [Rummans] and Swaggy were on those surf boards fighting for protection, we didn’t know the real groups Swaggy had to choose from. That was strike one right there. I should have kept up better communication with the bros. That was my fault. If I could pick any specific thing I should have done more of I would have been spending more time between the bros and Faysal [Shafaat] and Swaggy.”
John Powell: The rest of the houseguests are significantly younger than you. Were you surprised at how open and accepting they were of you?
Steve Arienta: “I can tell you this, they are good kids. They are a good group. They are not judgemental. They bring you in. This is the type of group you want to go to the beach with and hang out.”
John Powell: What shocked you most about the experience?
Steve Arienta: “I like to hum songs. I love music. In there, you cannot sing any music. That was shocking. That woke me up right away. No humming. No whistling. No singing lyrics. None of that. I was also surprised at how close people get after a short amount of time but a significant amount of time in a confined space. You really get to know people.”
John Powell: If you had stayed who would you have aligned with and who would you have targeted?
Steve Arienta: “If I had stayed I would have stayed with Faysal and Swaggy. Scottie [Salton] was my ride or die. We would have won this next HoH (Head of Household). The next HoH was straight Jersey Shore amusement park kinda thing. We were down with it. I was ready to go. I would have stayed with that group, picked off Brad and Chad, then I would have used the rest of the Brad and Chad group to go after Swaggy and Faysal.”
Big Brother airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9 et/pt and Sundays at 8 et/pt on Global. Watch Big Brother online the day after broadcast on GlobalTV.com/BigBrother or on the free Global Go app for iOS and Android.
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