Soobong Hwang a.k.a “S Bong”, is the third housemate evicted from Big Brother Australia. Onto the third already! It’s going so fast.
Spending just 24 hours in the house, the father-of-three was sent packing after a couples challenge with Angela Clancy put him in the nomination firing line.
The 49-year-old was by far the strongest housemate this season, posing a threat in the physical challenges — and even though they wanted him out, the other housemates were in awe of his agility and lizard-like movements.
“I learnt that from a camping ground,” Hwang told TheLatch— during a post-eviction interview. “I saw a very big lizard one night and I learned how he moved, watching him day and night.”
While only in the house a short time, Hwang’s genuine personality shone through — and for him, it truly was all about the experience.
“I am not here to win any money,” Hwang said. “My goal was showing [my] children that [a] strong man, can be strong in the head too.
“Mummy and Daddy wake up and be strong because your kids are looking and learning from you.”
Here, Hwang speaks to TheLatch— about living a minimalistic life in a “house on wheels”, his kids’ hilarious reaction to him being on the show and why he thinks Daniel Gorringe is the strongest player by far.
Anita Lyons: Soogbong, I’m so sorry that you were only in the house for 24 hours! Tell me, why did you apply for the series?
Soobong Hwang: I try to go and experience things. If it’s anything where I have a chance to go and do differently, then I’ll do it.
Anything unordinary I see, I want to do it.
AL: I love that! And why did you think you’d make a good housemate?
SH: I’m a good guy. Seriously. I have tons of experience, lots of learning — not just from school. I watch others all of the time — they don’t know I am watching them — some good things they definitely need to learn and sometimes, it’s bad things they need to learn from. That’s how I manage my shape.
I’m put myself on TV and to show the audience that I’m genuine. People will see that. Everybody lies on the show but not me.
AL: You have three children, what did they think about you applying?
SH: My daughter wasn’t happy because she is a teenager — she didn’t want me to do it. Understandable. But my two sons were excited and actually, my little one, he is only ten years old. He called me on FaceTime [the night before] and was really nervous because he didn’t see me [on the show for the first] two days.
“Are you sure you are coming? Are you sure they are going to show you on TV?” He thinks I did something wrong for them to edit me out. “No, Sam, it’s not like that. I am coming tomorrow.” “Are you sure, are you sure?” and I said “yes”. And then, he finally saw the trailer and the cranes bringing the cage and then he said: “I’m so nervous, I’m so nervous.”
I said: “I will be funny. I will be cool. Don’t you worry about anything.”
AL: We got to see how you live, in a converted van. What is that like to live in?
SH: It’s a house on wheels. Firstly, it’s dirt cheap. Second, it’s freedom. It’s hard work. If it’s cold outside, it’s cold inside. [If] it hot outside, it’s hot inside and then I have to go through the weather with no protection.
AL: Do you drive around the country, or do you stay in one spot?
SH: I had about eight months driving around Australia with my son, second son. This country is huge, freaking huge. I had no idea until I finished this road trip. It’s so big and lots and lots of fun to do — that’s why I spent eight months with my son from summer to winter.
I had to go through everything and he learned a lot. I asked him: “Do you remember what we did?” and he said, “every single day, yes.”
AL: How old was he at the time and did you homeschool him?
SH: He was 12. Yes, only one subject.
AL: You went from living in a “house on wheels”, so what happened when you had to live with 17 other people?
SH: It was luxury like I’m moving into [a] palace. There will be food. There will be bed. There will be warm water. It’s [a] palace for me, it’s a luxury.
My motto is: Live minimum, enjoy life [to the] maximum!
AL: What was it like being eliminated straight away? Why do you think you were eliminated?
SH: Simply it sucks, but understandable. I was going to win the challenges and it was the only way I could survive. I knew it from the beginning because maybe people were looking at me like a strong competitor. The only way I survive is to win [the] challenges.
Unfortunately, the first challenge incident I came up with Angela. She’s fine, she’s good. But it’s not individual. If it was individual, I could do, maybe, much better.
AL: Why do you think Talia and Sarah nominated you?
SH: Maybe because I was cold. I say what I want to say. I hit a point usually where it could [sound] cold or it could be rude but I always carry [it] with a smile so hopefully, they liked me a little bit.
AL: Who do you think is playing the most strategic game and why?
SH: Danny. Daniel. He was top dog for sure and Mat has this weird, calm smile which I had to love. He is naturally like a marshmallow. I can feel from his smile, he is [a] marshmallow. That’s my analysing. Daniel was training for the win, training for the physical, training for the strategy. A very strong player. I respect that.
AL: Do you have any regrets?
SH: No regrets whatsoever. I thought maybe when I got out, I’d have 10 or 15 seconds to tell everyone — but as soon as they evict me, they told me to “pack up now” and I was like “sh-t. No time to [say] bye-bye?”
“No, you gotta go.”
If I had a minute, I would explain [to] everyone, “you guys are awesome. I really want to be friends or have a good friendship and if you ever want to have fun, I am here.”
AL: Who do you think will win?
SH: My two choices would be Daniel and Mat. If I had to pick one, then I go for Daniel. He is just a strong player.