Entertainment Television

Big Brother Canada's Gary Levy returns for the finale and spills vet, romantic dish

By Nelson Branco, 24 Hrs

He’s arguably the most popular player to ever compete on Big Brother Canada. Having won the hearts of all demos in season one — and almost winning the game had there not been an infamous voting snafu when his friend Topaz Brady accidentally voted for the wrong person — Gary Levy was brought back for a Second Chances round this season, which wraps up tonight. (He was voted out week four.) The superstar will be in the audience when the winner is crowned. While the 25-year-old T.O. native didn’t make jury, the self-described artist proved to his critics he could play a smart, social and strategic game along with being Canada’s popular vote.

24 Hours caught up with the glittery star:

HIS DIVERSE FAN BASE

“It’s really starting to set in when I meet people on the street or via social media. People say I inspire them to be who they are — and they range from being six years old to 60. It’s amazing to be able to wake up in the morning and be myself. It comes naturally and just me being me is helping so many people.”

THE “IT” FACTOR

“It’s hard to pinpoint it, right? I know I make people laugh a lot. But on face value, most people wouldn’t give me the time of day. When you give me the chance to speak, people are surprised I have a story and they take the time to invest in you. They soon realize I’m not just an entertaining entity, but that there’s a real person behind it. Then, you get the respect. To get people’s respect is huge for me — and that’s what I’m all about. What else do you want?”

ESCHEWING THE BB BUBBLE

“While I embrace my BB community, I’m not going to ditch all the friends I’ve made over the past 12 years and everyone who has supported me and defined who I am — which is how I could deliver on BB — to just live in that bubble. Players usually gravitate towards each other once they get out — and I get why; I even lived with Emmett and Jillian for a month in Nova Scotia — but I prefer a balance. I have to give props to Toronto because people don’t care if you’re famous — because they’re like, ‘Bitch, you still have to wait in line.’”

WERE THOSE REAL TEARS?

“My tears were real. It was bad this season! At first, I was like, ‘I’m not going to cry — like Mary J. Blige not going to cry!’ I didn’t want to give those bitches the satisfaction of seeing me cry but there was a lot thrown at me where I was questioning everything. It was hard towards the end.”

VETERAN WORLD WAR

“We turned on each other because I don’t think we were able to get together — even for simple meetings. When we had meetings, they were fragmented. There was no point when the vets were all in one room together. Ego, of course, was involved. Paranoia. We just couldn’t work it out. It would’ve been nice ...”

FAVE BB PLAYER

“OMG! If anyone compares me to (Big Brother 6, 7, 14 USA superstar) Janelle Pierzina, I live because I love Janelle. She’s my favourite all-time BB player. She’s what I’m trying to give.”

SEASON FIVE BINGE

“I watched the entire show back when I got out. I had to know what happened because I was curious. I’m happy with (my edit). It was nice to see how much work I did in that house. Bitch wasn’t lazy. I wasn’t sure how I came across to the audience but I’m happy the tone came across strategy-wise. I was able to show people I see things — and proved not to insult my intelligence.”

STRATEGY CORNER

“In my first season, I kept it cute and kept to myself. This time around, I knew I had Canada’s love so my goal was to prove I can play this game, I’ve studied it and done my homework. I’m not super strategic but I am social. It really comes down to being honest. Give me the tea and spill it!”

AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

“I do Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and all that but I’m an old soul. It’s a lot to keep up with. I prefer going to dinner and putting the phone away. I like looking someone in the eye. You know, the real! But I’m trying to blog and I have a YouTube channel (Gary Levy Online) because that’s the age we live in.”

ROMANTIC STATUS

“I’m single! Do you want to print a column on me finding love? I don’t do apps. My friends tell me to go online but it’s not for me. Because I’ve been single for years, my standards get higher and higher each year. But I’m definitely looking for someone to have fun with. Remember I do have some twerking skills!”

LOVE IN THE HOUSE?

“Kevin (Martin) and I were friends that could have turned into something but I couldn’t understand his mind because he identifies as a white straight male, plus he’s ‘openminded.’ I think when he comes out of the house he’ll be more comfortable with himself. I saw Kevin more of a therapy session and William (Laprise Desbiens) was more of my sister but William does look like my ex. When I first came in the house, I thought the producers were trying to try me!”

NEXT DINNER RESERVATION

“(Toronto restaurant) Frings, of course! (Owner) Drake, hook me up with a table!”

The two-hour finale of Big Brother Canada begins at 7 p.m. on Global