You know what we’re already missing (besides Dustin’s gray V-neck T-shirts)? The freedom to ask the Big Brother evictees whatever we want! Starting with Dustin Erikstrup, the 22-year-old shoe salesman from Chicago, who was sent packing Thursday night by a vote of 4 to 2, the ousted houseguests are now sequestered members of the jury that will decide the show’s winner. That means we can’t ask them about anything they did not witness for themselves in the house. Fighting the urge to tell Dustin that Jessica thought he had a secret alliance with Dick and Daniele — and that Eric, whom he blames for his demise, only gunned for him because America told him to — we managed to chat about his ex Joe, his upcoming trip to Barbados, and why Dick is pure evil.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You weren’t exactly a Big Brother fan before entering the house. Why did you decide to come on the show as your ex Joe’s enemy?
DUSTIN: I had just graduated college. It was kinda looking like a hum-drum summer. I had only a few things planned. I was working part-time at a relatively dead-end job. Two days after I graduated, this kind of fell into my lap, and so I decided to run with it.
What was your strategy coming into the house?
My strategy was actually to kinda play dumb. I was going to use the fact that I hadn’t seen previous seasons to my advantage. People were trying to use me as putty in their hands, but I wasn’t going to let them.
When did it really become ”game on” for you?
I would say toward the end of Week 3, after Joe had left. I thought to myself, Okay, now I can really step up my game. It was after that that I became Head of Household and started directing people in the game as opposed to being a person who just let the game be played for them.
Did you ever think that Joe would bring up the gonorrhea situation?
You know, again, I can’t say it enough: That’s his issue. I’m not the one who ended up with some sort of sexually transmitted disease. If he wanted to sell himself out on national television, that’s fine, because I had nothing to do with that.
Zach mentioned in his goodbye video that your arrogance was a liability for you. Did you know that’s how housemates perceived you?
Absolutely. I’d become overconfident in the way I was playing the game, and I sort of lost a level-headedness about it. That’s inevitably what led to my demise. I had done quite a few bold moves in the game. I took those prizes during the POV. I sent Nick home when he’s America’s favorite person in the house. I chose to keep Eric and go against Dick and Daniele’s wishes in Week Five. And I almost beat Dick in his own Power of Veto competition. Those are all very bold moves, and then inevitably the boldest move of all was to go up as a pawn, and it got me out of the house.
You volunteered to be the pawn, the week after the pawn you put up as HOH was sent home. I’m assuming that’s a regret.
Obviously, again, that was an overconfidence thing, suggesting to throw me up there as a big Ha Ha to Dick. Looking back, that’s definitely the one regret I have in this game.
What about the croquet match — I can’t believe Dick got the five points when he needed it.
I know. Rrrr. That one gets me every time I think about it. That one point.
Can you appreciate, on any level, what Dick pulled off last night by not going home?
On a strategic level, I have to say I’m more disappointed in other people for following through with it. I don’t want to give Dick any sort of respect because I don’t think that his tactics in the game were respectful at all. I feel that his fear tactics are what drove people to do what they did. The fact that he had a very strong two-person alliance with his daughter, people tried to jump on that bandwagon.
Dick calling you Princess — how did you deal with that?
Honestly, he was calling Carol a princess and Jessica a princess in Weeks One and Two for the way that they didn’t do anything around the house. And he just decided to attack my sexuality in a low blow, and you know, I didn’t really take it offensively. Him calling me a princess, I could have really cared less. Him attacking Jameka’s religious beliefs and Amber’s motherhood — those are the attacks that I took personally.
NEXT PAGE: ”It’s funny, on Wednesday morning at 4:15, I woke up to go to the bathroom, and I heard whispers in the bathroom, and it was Eric and Jen.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When he started banging the pots and pans, did it seem out of the blue to you or like typical Dick?
DUSTIN: It seemed pretty typical of a six-year-old. Leave it to Dick to act his age, being a 44-year-old parent that he allegedly is, to upset the entire house and bang pots and pans. I don’t respect his fear tactics. There’s a huge difference between fear and respect. People in the house fear Dick, they don’t respect him.
We saw you in the hot tub refer to Dick as a ”washed-up, dead-beat, white-trash dad.” I don’t remember seeing what he did to elicit that comment from you at that moment. Was that pent-up anger?
It was the way that Amber and Jameka had internalized his comments. I think women should be held in higher respect than men. For a man to attack a woman’s motherhood or a woman’s religious beliefs, or anybody’s religious beliefs in that sense, it really hit me. I was really disappointed in myself for calling Dick the things that he is. [Slight chuckle]
The POV competition with the prizes: Any regrets for taking them, or are you just planning your trip to Barbados?
Honestly, I never saw myself winning this game. It was my goal to make it into the jury, and I did that. If I’m not gonna win the show, at least I’ll walk out of here with something: That was my mentality walking into the house and snatching up those prizes at that moment. It was my Head of Household week. I will do with it what I please. And that’s exactly what I did.
Now that you’ve had a few hours to process the vote, do you look at how things went down any differently?
No. There must have been some sort of flip. Eric obviously didn’t like the way that the five of us were going and decided to go to the other side. His alliance with Jen was clearly still strong and he used that to his advantage to vote me out.
You mentioned last night that you had an inclination that the tide was changing in Dick’s favor. How did you know?
It’s funny, on Wednesday morning at 4:15, I woke up to go to the bathroom, and I heard whispers in the bathroom, and it was Eric and Jen. And it had been rumored the week before that the two of them had an alliance and that only solidified that fact. From that moment forward, the way things carried about on eviction day — body language, conversations — I could tell something had changed. Amber had told me she had witnessed a conversation with Eric and Dick that looked a little peculiar. That obviously turned out to be true.
Did you have any deals that we’d find surprising?
I did have some sort of sleeper alliance with Zach since Week One. I was holding it more as a fake, and apparently it got back to him that I wasn’t too serious about that. He was able to vote me out without any sort of regret on his behalf.
I interviewed Joe when he got evicted. I know that he used to talk to you about the show when you were together. Did you learn anything from him that you used in the game?
[Thinks] No. Obviously, Joe’s strategies in this game didn’t get him very far. I never really heeded his advice in life or on this game. I did things in my own way. Overall, I’m relatively pleased with the way things turned out.
How do you look at your position on the jury?
Every person’s gonna have their view of what transpires over the next four weeks, and I’ll be the first person to really get every side of the story. I’ll be sort of the sponge to absorb it all and believe who I chose to believe. I think that I’ll be the most clear-headed person voting for the winner in the end.
And who are you rooting for? Amber?
I am. She plays with her heart. I hope that with me gone now she will be able to play with her head even more. That was my intention getting Nick out, that she would play with her head more than her heart.