Saturday, June 22, 2019

Meet Ovi Kabir: Taking His Seat at the Head of the Class. #BB21

This happy-looking fellow is Ovi Kabir, who tells Big Jeff that he's from Jellico Tennessee and he just graduated from the University of Tennessee.  Ovi has a very distinctive voice that will be easy to differentiate on the live feeds, which is always appreciated in the early days of the game when there are so many people talking over each other in the house.

Jeff:  Go Vols!

Ovi: Oh, you know that!

Ovi showed Jeff the little orange pin on the left side of the collar of his jacket and said he likes to rep his university at all time.  He clarified that his name is pronounced just like it looks:  Oh-vee.

Ovi has been watching Big Brother for years, ever since he took an Advanced Placement Sociology class his sophomore year in high school. His teacher gave the class an assignment to watch the show and Ovi didn't want to do it at first, but he watched one episode and then another, and found himself hooked.  He went back later and watched all of the seasons.

Ovi:  The class was focused on how different people interact with each other, and we looked at different types of social experiments and what better social experiment than Big Brother?

Jeff seems bewildered by this and I can tell he's never heard of anything so strange. He asked Ovi if he thinks this is a positive factor as far as playing the game this summer.  They both agreed that it is a significant advantage.

Ovi:  Yeah, I know the game pretty well, and I've researched the show since then.

Jeff:  So, are you gonna be doing a lot of shout outs to your teacher and your class mates?

Ovi:  Maybe.  But I'm gonna try to keep it on the down low for a little while.  I don't want anyone to really know I'm a fan.  I'll tell them I'm just here for a good time, and that I've watched a season or two and I'm just here to have fun, eat food, and just chill.

Jeff, laughing:  There's a lot of that in there.

Ovi:  Yeah, I do a lot of that anyway.

Ovi feels he is fairly self-aware and he might not be the smartest person in the house, but he knows how to build a smart team.  One of his negatives is that he's not the strongest person, and he knows that he sometimes likes to take charge quickly, but he can't do that in the house because he'll be seen as a threat.

He wants to watch other people make moves from afar and observe everything, trying to lay low as well as he can for as long as he can.

Jeff:  It's a long summer.

Ovi:  Exactly.  It's a marathon, not a sprint.

Jeff:  Was that in your class?

Ovi, laughing: No, it wasn't in my class, but you know.....

Jeff:  So, did you live in the dorms during college?

Ovi:  Yeah, the first two years I lived in a dorm, and then I moved off campus for two years, but I've always had roommates.

Ovi and his roommates "roasted" each other but they all learned to love each other and get along.  He learned to pick some good people and actually started his own fraternity, so he's used to working with a coalition of people from different walks of life and thinks these skills can easily translate to his time on Big Brother.

(Ovi re-started a fraternity chapter at UT that had previously been suspended or otherwise had it's charter revoked for a few years due to hazing incidents.  It's not like he invented a new fraternity from scratch.  Just a clarification because I keep hearing Big Brother pundits misstate the situation.)

Jeff:  Well, that all sounds good to me.  But what do I know?

Ovi:  Oh, I think you know a little bit.

Jeff wondered what Ovi would do with the money if he wins.  Ovi starts to answer by mentioning how much money he would need to pay in taxes if he won the big prize.

Ovi:  I won't really bring up the state taxes....

Jeff:  You are a school guy!

(A few years ago I prepared a hypothetical tax return for the winner of Big Brother which demonstrates the tax impact of winning such a big prize.  The tax forms went through some major changes recently, but the basic situation is still the same, for demonstrative purposes.)

If Ovi won, that money could really help his family, and he'd like to do something for his community as well.  He says he's a "Big Vol" (pointing to his collar pin) and that the school mascot is a Volunteer, so he wants to do something to help his community in Eastern Tennesse.

Ovi:  We have a public school system that needs to be better and I'd like to do something to help that.  And I'd like to do something to further my own education.  I have a Bachelors degree in Political Science, but that's not going to get me much right now so I need some more education and this money is going to help me finance that type of stuff.

Jeff:  You're a good dude.  I can see you're a good dude.  So are you going to have trouble trying to backstab people when it comes down to the nitty gritty?

Ovi:  I'm a nice guy and I like to think I'm loyal to people.  But at the end of the day, I'm only loyal to my family back home, my girlfriend, and my dog.  So I need to win this game and I hope to make some genuine relationships, but I'm only going to know them for three months.  If I have to backstab someone and lie to them, I have to do that to bring the money back home.

Jeff, getting choked up:  Oh man.  You are a good guy.

Jeff put out his arms to invite Ovi in for a hug and as you can see, Ovi accepted the offer. I've never seen this during one of Jeff's interviews.

Jeff: Let's hug it out.

and then:

Jeff:  Did things just get weird?

Ovi, confused:  Um...weird?

Jeff, laughing:  They weren't.  But now they are!

Jeff gets things back on track by asking Ovi the Big Question:  Would Ovi rather win and be hated by America, or lose and be loved?

Ovi:  Oh, that's simple. Win.  I want to win. I'm sorry America if you hate me, but I came into this game not for the clout, not for the social media, I'm here for this game because I love this game and I've watched it so long. One year ago I was on the couch watching this and never thinking it could be me.  That a brown boy who's 5'7" could be on this show.  I want to win this game and I'm gonna win this game.  If I'm going to take three months away from my dog, I've got to win this game.

Jeff told Ovi he was going to ask him about a hashtag but maybe Ovi wants to mention his dog instead.

Ovi:  Yeah!  He has an Instagram account, if I can shout that out.  It's MowglitheCorgi and he's the cutest thing you'll ever see, so #MowgliTheCorgi and if you want to say #OviK that's good too.

Jeff says he can't wait to watch Ovi this summer and repeats that he thinks Ovi is a good guy.

Jeff:  The most important thing is to have fun in there this summer. I'm gonna have fun watching you.  Good to meet you brother.

Ovi:  Good to meet you!


People love to crack on Big Jeff's interviews, but he's not here to put these people in the hot seat. He's there to briefly introduce them to the fans and the Diary Room in a non-threatening way.  As an adult, I watch these interviews (and also the live feeds) and feel the energy of each conversation.  It's not just what someone says, it's how they say it.  In many of these interviews, Jeff has a genuine connection with the house guest and it feels like an authentic conversation.  This is one of those, and I needed it after suffering through Jeff's interview with Kathryn Dunn, whose only authentic moment (in my opinion) was when she talked about social media. 

But back to Ovi Kabir, who represents some good news to me about what this young generation can do for America, not to mention their own communities.  Ovi's parents did something right, and I know Jeff can't help but think the same thing as he and Jordan raise their own two boys. 

I feel we must take a look at Ovi's precious dog Mowgli.

Look at him.  He's too cute.  I can't take it.  Mowgli is blissed out right now.

This picture gives me a mini-panic attack, but I know he was under close supervision at the time.  I just don't want Mowgli to think that a good way to get attention is to get inside a plastic storage container. Because, suffocation.

And here is Ovi's beautiful girlfriend Hannah.

I don't know about you, but I dated a bunch of fraternity guys when I was in college, too, but they were all dicks. 

They seem to have a beautiful relationship.  I predict Ovi will get a hometown segment on the CBS show if he can last until Jury.  And he will.  He's got the skills like that.  (I'm sure CBS would love to feature Ovi's high school sociology teacher in that segment, too.) In fact, Ovi Kabir might have a political career ahead of him.  I watched all of Jeff's interviews live as they aired on the CBS website and Ovi was one of the most memorable.  He seems to have the skill set needed to excel at Big Brother, but he'll need to have some luck as well. 

(Spoiler:  He's safe in the house for the first HoH cycle, based on the live feed audio leak that happened yesterday.)

Here is an article that discusses Ovis's fraternity organization efforts.  I think that is Ovi in the rear center of the photo at the top.   I know Ovi stepped up to lead this project because he loves the school and wanted to make an impact, but as someone who has represented previous employers several times by recruiting for them at universities, this topic would be a HOME RUN during any job interview.  It demonstrates leadership, ambition, and discipline, three qualities that are very difficult to prove for someone just graduating university. 

Ovi's interview with Ika was just what I expected.  He was the Ovi I already feel like I know. It was a refreshing interview for Ika as well.  (Ika's BB interview gig makes for a very long day.)  He told her he's "not going to reinvent the wheel, but he's going to steer it in a way that's never been done before".

Here is Ovi's CBS bio so you can give it a quick look.  Or maybe not so quick because it is a very LONG bio.  I had to snap two pictures to get it all.  He's chatty when he answers the questions, but he generally circles back around to cover the topic.  Ovi is thoughtful about his responses, which tells us something about him as well.

Well, I love Ovi, but I don't love Crocs. I will admit that they come in handy in the South for walking the dog, because even though we walk around the house barefoot, you need a shoe you can quickly step into in all sorts of weather and then easily hose off when you step into any sort of mess. 

There are many different types of messes in the Big Brother house so Ovi's Crocs might come in handy.  I'll be interested to see if CBS allows the logo on camera.

I expect Ovi to be himself all summer and also to be in the house all summer.  He's a serious contender for the money.