***UPDATED WITH NEW INFO ON 6-24-13***
Meet Spencer Clawson, a railroad conductor who "drives trains for a living" from Conway Arkansas. Spencer is an unapologetic Southerner with a moderate accent. I've certainly heard stronger accents in my days of living in the South.
Spencer is a true Big Brother fan, and has been since BB6. Jeff points out that is a "lot of Big Brother" and Spencer agrees.
I actually had to look up what a train conductor does, and it is quite interesting. Here is the link if you are interested. It seems like a lot of responsibility and Jeff points out that Spencer's profession is somewhat isolating. He wonders how Spencer will handle being in the house with all of those people after being so isolated during the day.
Spencer enjoys talking to people, and actually talks to a number of people on the job, he says. It is a very male-dominated business and there is a lot of "locker room" talk, which he thinks will help him get by this summer in the BB house.
Jeff: So if the train falls off the tracks you can just pick it up and put it back on.
Spencer: Yes, that's actually part of my job description.
Jeff asked Spencer if he is a clean person, and he immediately said "NO!" He doesn't like to do dirty dishes or fold laundry at home, but plans to be "Spencer 2.0", a "better version of himself" in the house because he knows that will be necessary. He's going to give being a clean guy a try.
Jeff: What would you do with the money if you win?
Spencer: Oh, dude!
He would like to buy several rental properties around town--there are three colleges in his town and there is always a need for rental properties. He would still keep his job, but collect the rents and maybe live off that one day.
Jeff: You've really got your head on right!
Spencer knows that there will be a lot of boredom in the house and he plans to tell himself that this is a "dream come true" and "it's like a vacation because he's in the Big Brother house".
Jeff encourages him to remember this in the house, because this attitude is going to come in handy. They end the interview warmly and it feels sincere on both sides.
Another true Big Brother fan! Of course I always love to have them in the house, particularly if they are not aspiring actors. Based on this interview, I can tell Spencer is a genuine person and is going to be a straight shooter as far as dealing with people.
He is confident about his ability to bond with the men, but I'm guessing he is mature enough to make nice with the ladies, too. His admitted messy behavior may be a red flag in the house, but at least he is aware of it and is going to try to not be such a slob this summer.
Scroll back up to the pictures that show Spencer's hands. Good god! Those are some huge sasquatch paws, aren't they? He must shop in the Big & Tall store. We all know this means that many of the competitions will not suit him (endurance, hanging by his arms, etc) and I'm not sure Spencer is built for speed. Hopefully he can prevail in the mental challenges. To his advantage, I don't think he will be initially perceived as a threat in the challenges, which may keep him out off of that "nomination couch".
Speaking of mental challenges, emotional intelligence is a big factor in any house guest's success in the Big Brother house. The ability to control your emotions and use self-awareness to your advantage can be the crucial factor that separates the winners (Dan Gheesling, Hayden Moss) from the pre-jury evictees (BB14's JoJo, Willie Hantz, etc.) I think this factor will certainly weigh in Spencer's favor. I'm guessing he is in his mid to late 30's, so those extra years of life experience are going to help him in the long run.
Also, I hate to stereotype, but Spencer looks like he might be a smoker. Smoking is a good chance to sit and get to know the other house guests, particularly if you brought a few extra cartons in the house for the house guests who want to borrow a cancer stick. (Like Jeff Schroeder, who apparently smoked Shelley's "rippers" all summer long in BB13.)
And speaking of people who sat on that outdoor patio and smoked all summer, let's be careful not to draw too many comparisons between Adam Poch's (BB13) gameplay and Spencer at this point. Yes, they both are tattooed, bearded older house guests, but let's hope that is where the similarities end.
(I don't hate Adam, just his BB13 game play and particularly his abhorrent behavior at the BB13 finale.)
Big Brother is a marathon, not a sprint, and as a fan Spencer knows that. I think Spencer can go far in the game, if he can learn some cleaning skills and stay calm during all of the turmoil.
I'm not really sure how "important" this really is, but if you are reading this post then I guess there is a good chance you will appreciate the information. I just watched Spencer's video interview over at WeLoveBigBrother.com and I learned a lot of new info about Spencer. Thanks Matt Maynard for all of your thoughtful preparation and execution.
I liked Spencer's interview with Jeff, but this video gave me whole new insight about Spencer. Here we go:
1. Spencer is straight. (I had heard some chatter that must have been wishful thinking about Spencer being gay, so I'm glad Matt had the nads to ask this question. For the record, the question seemed like no big deal to Spencer.)
2. He says he's single at this point, but "it's complicated". Ballsy Matt doesn't let him get away with that and pushes for more info. It sounds like Spencer and his girlfriend were on a break when he applied for the show and they recently started talking again. She knows he's in the house, but I guess they have an agreement to extend their break for the BB15 season, at least.
3. When asked if he would have a showmance, he laughed and acknowledged that most of the guys cast are hunk types. His preferred strategy would get in the Friend Zone to gain confidence, and then use the relationship to gain information. He admits that in real life, being in the Friend Zone is a "real nightmare".
4. He has been a fan of BB since BB6, but only bought the live feeds for BB7. He says he "keeps up with it, though", so I'm guessing he reads live feed updates and the like. (Hi Spencer!) He has a friend named Rachel who is also into BB and they meet for lunch and go over strategies, like who should do what and vote for whom. (That is good experience in my opinion.)
5. This was his first year applying, but he didn't want to go to a local audition. In order to stand out, he went to the open call in Maine. (!) He also grew his beard out longer and said he really stood out that sea of "Mainers".
6. He seemed offended to be compared with Adam and accused Matt of comparing him to the other fat, white, red haired older guy. Matt seemed alarmed and turned to the camera and told Spencer that "Adam was surely watching" and Spencer calmly said "Hey dude!". (Cool.)
7. But then, the bad news: He said his game would be more like Enzo Palumbo. Yes, he said that. He likes how Enzo was friendly with everybody, but kept other relationships going. (What about never winning a fucking thing Spencer? And hiding cubes of cheese in his Penguin Costume?)
8. He's worried about "Group Think" in the house, because once the whole house is set on one person, it can be very hard to turn the tide, because everyone is just so glad it's not them.
9. He doesn't want to win the first HoH because then he's going to have to create enemies via nominations right away.
10. Spencer realizes that you can "win America's heart with your DR sessions". (Yes, finally someone said it. Finally, after how many seasons of this shit?) He feels it is more important to have the house guests like you, but then acknowledges that America's Votes in the past have been key for likable house guests.
11. He heard the rumors that family members might be on this season, and knows that he has family members that would be great, and others who would be horrible at the game. He would hate to see one particular ex-girlfriend in the house and would vote her out immediately if he could. (How effing great would it be if that was Gina Marie?)
12. Matt played what was supposed to be a fun game with Spencer where he had to answer trivia questions about important moments in BB history. But they asked questions about BB2 and BB3, and Spencer said he didn't watch those seasons earlier in the interview. So he repeated it again and Matt asked more questions about BB2 and BB3? But I get what the game was supposed to do, so I support him trying to play it with other people who claim to know the game. It kind of made Spencer look like a yo yo (to quote a Eudy-ism) but he's still cool with me.
I hope Spencer goes far in the game. I've never met a train conductor and I am interested to see what he can pull off in there. I wish I hadn't heard the Enzo comment, but I wouldn't be doing my job here if I didn't tell you, too. I hope Spencer is ready to play a good game and dazzle us with some Dastardly Deeds.
***ALSO*** I have had this song ringing in my ears for two days now, and I'm going to blame it on Spencer. It is Driver 8, an old REM song. Maybe if the song gets in your head it will get out of mine.
Or, just jam the fuck out to this wicked old REM song, Oddfellows 151. Maybe hit the peace pipe, shove in some earbuds, and do a little chair dancing. Back in the day REM was boss.