Emmett Blois has his picture taken with a giraffe at Lion and Rhino Park in South Africa.
GORE - It’s been nearly a year since Emmett Blois left the Big Brother Canada house, but his stint on the reality TV show is still keeping him busy.
Most recently, the Gore native travelled to South Africa at the end of March to make a cameo in the Big Brother Mzansi season.
“One of the things they wanted me to do was go down there and kind of mix things up a little bit,” said Blois, in a phone interview.
Blois, who finished third in the inaugural season of Big Brother Canada, was tasked with causing havoc in the Mzansi house by making the houseguests question their alliances, and rethink their gameplay. Production assigned Blois a series of tasks throughout his five days in the Mzansi house, and the 26-year-old delivered.
“I just tried to have fun with it at all times.”
He says returning to a Big Brother house, where complete strangers competing for one grand prize must live together under 24/7 surveillance, brought back memories.
“One of the craziest moments and feelings is right before you go in the house. It’s that suspense and you’re nervous and excited and you have all these feelings and mixed emotions,” he recalls.
“Walking in is just an amazing feeling and I got to relive that again.”
Blois says he received first-class service during his 12-day visit in South Africa.
“They treated me like a family member down there.”
Outside of the Big Brother studio, Blois was treated to safari tours, a play date with a six-month-old leopard cub, a trip to Nelson Mandela’shouse, sightseeing in Sun City, a professional rugby game and more.
“My days were just packed. I had a blast and I couldn’t have done it without their help,” he said, noting that his Big Brother connections made it all happen.
“It was a dream come true to be able to go there.”
Back in Canada, Blois is splitting most of his time between his family’s dairy farm in Gore and Halifax, where he lives with Big Brother Canada Season 1 champion Jillian McLaughlin.
Blois started dating McLaughlin, of New Glasgow, early on in their Big Brother season, and the pair became a force to be reckoned with in the all-important Head of Household competitions that grant players immunity from eviction.
It’s been “go-go-go-go-go” for the sought-after couple since their reality TV debut, he says.
In addition to attending as many charity events as they could last summer, they travelled, launched the Shubie River Wranglers rafting company in July and Blois ran the Nights of Gore haunted corn maze in the fall.
Somewhere in there they even managed to get Big Brother Canada runner-up, eccentric Torontonian Gary Levy, to milk a cow at the Blois family’s farm.
Blois says he had no idea he’d eventually be joining the Big Brother Canada cast the day he auditioned, and he would have never guessed his life would change so drastically in the year that followed.
“Everything spins from one simple opportunity,” he says.
“The percentage of me getting on the show that day was very small. I just took advantage of an opportunity.”
Without question, Blois says the most challenging aspect of living in a Big Brother house is having no way to check in at home.
“You lose your connection with the outside world so it kind of psychologically plays a huge factor in your game because it’s hard to entirely focus on the game when you’re worried about what’s going on back home and how people are doing.”
That’s not to say Big Brother Canada fans can count Blois out if ever there’s an all-star season.
“I love this game and I think that some cards have still been left on the table, so it would be exciting to go back and to put another spin on things,” he said.
“I think I’ve still got a few tricks up my sleeve, so if the call came then I’d answer.”