Garth Saville became the seventh housemate to leave the Big Brother house in the ultimate blindside on Monday night.
After hatching a plan with Angela Clancy to evict Ian Joass on Sunday, Saville was targeted by the rest of the housemates who labelled him untrustworthy, but to the 50-year-old from Sydney, he only did it in fear of what Clancy would plot against him.
“I didn’t know the power she had, because she tells a few porky pies,” he told TheLatch— post his eviction. “So I assumed she had this hidden power at the next eviction, that she could also vote someone else out and if I didn’t go for Ian I didn’t want the wrath of Angela if she had this vote she could potentially send me home.”
The housemates took revenge on him and once he was driven away from the house, Saville said he felt “numb”.
“I was numb because I didn’t see it coming,” he said during the interview. “I think I was just a threat. A social threat. Big personality, I had a lot of sway. I could manipulate and I’m very good at reading people.”
Now, that the experience is over, “Aunty Garth” hopes to get a job on the radio — but feels that his biggest and best role is fostering his seven-year-old son.
“It’s just been the best thing,” Saville said. “He’s taught us to value the little things. He’s like my best friend.”
Here, Saville talks to TheLatch— about why fostering in Australia is so important, how Clancy wasn’t as loud as she is shown and why Sarah McDougal is the ultimate underdog.
Anita Lyons: Hi Garth, I was so disappointed to see you go! You established yourself as such a well-loved housemate and made a lot of friends. Were you blindsided by the whole thing?
Garth Saville: Yes! I was completely blindsided. I thought I was good with the housemates. I felt invincible because after Ange left and then coming back, I felt strong because I know she wanted to work with me.
I just didn’t see it coming so bravo to them!
AL: How did you feel about Ian leaving the house because of your plot?
GS: I felt really guilty. I felt really bad about Ian going because he was really loved by everyone. He’s harmless, he’s such a lovely guy.
I guess, my reasons with going into the bunker with Angela, I didn’t know the power she had, because she tells a few porky pies. So I assumed she had this hidden power at the next eviction, that she could also vote someone else out and if I didn’t go for Ian I didn’t want the wrath of Angela if she had this vote she could potentially send me home.
AL: Angela seems to be a huge powerhouse at the moment and we’re seeing a lot of her. What was she like to live with in the house?
GS: She’s not as “big” as she is on TV. In the house, you never really saw her. In the morning, she did her face and then she just hid in a corner somewhere just chatting. She wasn’t a big personality in the house. She’s being portrayed very differently, so they’re definitely playing all of her golden moments.
AL: What about you? Now that you’ve seen all of your episodes, are you happy with what Australia saw? Is this what you wanted Australia to see?
GS: I went into the house unapologetically, 100% me. A lot of my friends and family are saying it is completely me. I’m not putting on anything.
I just wanted people to see that at the age of 50 I can still work with the best of them because some of these people are 25 years younger than me. I wanted to prove that I still had the energy and I could be there and hold my own.
AL: After your eviction did you speak to any of the housemates about what happened? Were you shocked when you were been driven away from the house?
GS: I was kind of numb. I was numb because I didn’t see it coming.
Since then I’ve had lots of discussions with the housemates and they’ve said it was really sad when I left because they thought I brought so much light and humour to the house and they said it was a big move.
I think I was just a threat. A social threat. Big personality, I had a lot of sway. I could manipulate and I’m very good at reading people. I am very perceptive.
They’d come to me quite a few times and they’d say: “what should we do?” and I think they saw that because I wasn’t just aligned with one group, I was across the whole house. They saw that as a threat and if I wanted to turn on someone, I had a lot of sway, I could make that happen.
AL: And do you think that was your downfall?
GS: Yep. I played too much of a social game and I knew that going in. I thought, what will get me out is that I’m having too much fun and I’ll just be too busy making friends and I’ll forget about the strategy.
In hindsight, I should have really found my group early in the piece and held my ground.
AL: Being one of the older housemates, you brought a lot of experience. Were you surprised by the younger housemates, especially how strategic they are?
GS: I was really surprised. Especially with the alphas because the first day I went in there, they made a beeline for me and I had a lot of power. They really sat back and they thought I knew a lot of things because I really nailed that first nomination with Angela, Kieran and Allan. I think they all thought: “He’s good. He knows how to play this game.”
So, I think I was almost like the oracle who they came to for advice. The big Queenie oracle.
AL: I love that! In terms of the other players who are now still left in the house, who do you think is playing the most strategic game?
GS: I think the most strategic player is probably Sarah.
AL: Oh, interesting!
GS: I think there’s more to Sarah than she initially gives off. I think she plays this innocent little girl who hasn’t really done much in her life but deep down is as smart as anything.
I think she plays that persona very well.
She’s in with Dan [Gorringe], he’s her hero, but she’s also very close to Sophie [Budack] and Chad [Hurst] and she hangs around Marissa [Rancan]. She’s sort of like me. She plays a very social game, but she’s very strategic.
AL: Who do you think will win?
GS: Mat [Garrick] or Dan.
Dan is a natural leader and you don’t see it, but in the house, Dan is hilarious. He is so funny. We were like the comedy duo in the house.
And Mat because he’s so bloody likeable. What you see is what you get.
AL: Now on a more personal note, you became a dad a bit later on in life through fostering a child. What’s the best thing about being a foster parent?
GS: Oh, look there are so many kids in the system who are, on any given night, living in hotel rooms with their carers because they don’t have anywhere to go.
So, I always felt that something was missing and so my partner and I decided to foster a kid and it’s just been the best thing.
He’s taught us to value the little things. He’s like my best friend. He’s just given me so much joy and live for the moment. I wanted to prove to him that you could go on something like Big Brother. You can do something scary. You can put yourself out there.
Every day I learn something new because of him.
AL: What did he think about you being on the show?
GS: He loved it! He thinks he is famous. He’s been going around carrying a pen in case people ask him for an autograph.
On the challenge where I won the flag, I actually took the flag home and didn’t tell him I had won. He was watching it and he was getting really excited. He was on the edge of his seat getting so excited. He goes “I think you’re going to win! I think you’re going to win” and as I pulled out the flag from the ice, I pulled it out from under the sofa and he burst into tears and he said: “I’m so proud of you.” It was so cute!
AL: Fostering is a really tough gig so kudos to you and your partner for doing it. What do you want Australians to know about the importance of fostering a child?
GS: Fostering is quite easy to do. People have this perception that there are so many loopholes you have to go through and that you have to earn so much money or you’ve got to have a huge house.
You can be single, you can be living in a little apartment. As long as you provide a loving and safe environment, you can do it.
I have a lot of gay friends that would love to do it, they just don’t know where to start. It’s a difficult process because it took us six months of meetings and workshops.
AL: Is being a foster parent a temporary situation?
GS: It’s long term. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we’ll be planning his eighteenth before we know it!
AL: What’s next for Aunty Garth?
GS: I’d really like to get into radio. Aunty Garth’s a big personality so whatever life is going to throw at me, I’m ready to catch it.
Big Brother continues Sunday at 7.00 pm and Monday and Tuesday at 7.30 pm, only on Channel 7.