Big Brother’s Taras Hrubyj-Piper: “I Never Expected to Get This Far”

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It’s been one hell of a season of Big Brother Australia, and now, it all comes down to the final three — Taras Hrubyj-Piper, Johnson Ashak, and 2003 Big Brother Australia winner Reggie Bird.

Chatting to The Latch over the phone, Hrubyj-Piper said that it was all “pretty exciting!”

“I’m pretty proud of myself,” he said, describing the season as “so intense”.

A longtime fan of shows like Big Brother Australia and Australian Survivor, Hrubyj-Piper said that “they’ve got everything”, and that the experience of being on a show like Big Brother Royalty Vs New Contenders was one that can’t be replicated in the real world.

“I just love these shows,” he said. “They’ve got everything — You’ve gotta be strategic, you’ve gotta be a personality, you’ve gotta be someone that is liked by your housemates and then liked by Australia, because in the end, they decide.”

“It’s like a board game that lasts 52 days — we all know how heated a board game that lasts three hours can get with family and friends!” he exclaimed. 


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Noting that he “did it more for the experience just to see how far [he] could get”, he added: “I never expected to get this far, ever. Oh my God, no way!”

With a whopping 11 challenge wins under his belt, Hrubyj-Piper said that although he never expected to do so well, he is really proud of himself.

“I’m a huge Survivor fan, I’m such a fan, so I know that that’s pretty insane, and 11, that’s really, really f**king good, so I’m proud of it, yeah,” he said.

Knowing that “Australia is for the underdog”, Hrubyj-Piper found himself faced with a catch-22: by winning 11 challenges, he secured his spot in the game, but he had to take out some of Australia’s most beloved OGs in the process, which positioned him as a villain. It was something Hrubyj-Piper was acutely aware of in the house.

Related: Big Brother’s Johnson Ashak: “I’m Lucky, I’m Blessed and I’m Humbled”

Related: Big Brother’s Brenton Parkes: “I Really Thought I Was Gonna Win“

“I was like ‘man, I am not an underdog right now, at all!’” he recalled. “I had full control for so long, and I also knew that I’d become the villain.”

He continued: “I knew that it was like, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t and I think it’s sort of the saying of the game, really.

“You’re damned if you work with the OGs and you get to the end, and you’re damned if you vote them out because people will hate you for it! You’re damned if you win all the challenges, but you’re damned if you don’t because it’s very hard to get further in the game if you leave it up to chance, really.”

Calling it “really hard”, Hrubyj-Piper said that the general reaction to the inclusion of the OG contenders joining them in the house was “oh, s**t”.

“We all knew that in a game where you have to get to the end and the public has to vote, the public is probably gonna like people that they already know, that are already famous, that already have an established fanbase,” he explained.

Still, they kept many of the OG players, like Top Three contender Reggie Bird, Tim Dormer and Farmer Dave Graham around for longer than they perhaps should have “because of what they symbolised”.

“Dave with his work with kids and Reg with her blindness, we knew that they were there for something more than themselves in a way,” he said. “I think gameplay-wise it would’ve been better to get people like that out early on, but we didn’t — I guess the newbies had real heart!” he laughed.

“It was really crazy being in there and seeing how many of the newbies and OGs do social work, or some sort of work where they work with some sort of disability, everyone is so incredible, everyone has such a heart,” he added.

Related: How to Cast Your Vote for Big Brother Royalty Vs New Contenders

Related: Big Brother’s Reggie Bird Urges People to “Actually Vote” for Winner

As for how much the title (and the $250,000 prize money) would mean to him, Hrubyj-Piper let out a big sigh.

Ah, it’d feel so good!” he gushed. “I just feel like, I know if it was me not in the show, I’d want a newbie to win. I really, really, really would.”

Hrubyj-Piper said that despite the narrative arc of the show, “the newbies are actually the underdogs in this show, since the start, even if it doesn’t look like it”.

“We’ve been on the back foot the entire time,” he explained, pointing out that the OGs had all that time in the beginning of the show “to become friends,” and form alliances, “with all the population of Australia behind them because they’re known and loved, and they’re the most loved out of all the ones who came before”.

He continued: “I think the newbies played such a good game and they got so far, and it’ll be so hard for me to beat Johnson and Reggie, but I think we deserve it, I think we really, really, really deserve it”.


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A post shared by Taras Hrubyj-Piper (@taras.hp)

And Hrubyj-Piper is no fool, he knows Bird will be tough to beat as they go into the live finale.

“I know it doesn’t show it, but I brought Reggie to the end,” he said. “It’s not like I didn’t know what I was doing, you know what I mean? I thought they’d potentially give me a bit more credit for that, but I guess sometimes that doesn’t make good TV.”

As for his own chances, Hrubyj-Piper is playing it cool.

“I’m never gonna hope too much to win something like this, and then hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised,” he said. “I’m not sure if that is just me protecting myself, or if that is my intuition, but look, I’m in the top three and there’s a chance! There’s a bloody chance!

“Even if everything was saying I was gonna win, I would still be like ‘nah, just relax and see what happens and we’ll take it from there’,” he said.

You can vote for Taras Hrubyj-Piper to win Big Brother Royalty Vs New Contenders here.

The Big Brother Royalty Vs New Contenders live finale airs tomorrow at 7.30pm, only on 7 and 7 Plus.

Want more Big Brother? Read all of our Big Brother Australia content here, and check out the stories below.