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‘Big Brother Canada’s’ Dane Rupert says waiting to announce winner ‘felt like 69 days all over again’

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on unless you’ve watched the Big Brother Canada Season 7 finale.

Big Brother Canada (BBCAN) crowned Dane Rupert as the Season 7 winner during Thursday night’s finale on Global.

Rupert, a 27-year-old civil technician from Kelowna, B.C., beat out 15 houseguests to be named champion.

The contest came down to Rupert and fellow finalist Anthony Douglas, a 31-year-old gas inspector from Richmond Hill, Ont.

READ MORE: ‘Big Brother Canada’ finale: Season 7 winner crowned

Rupert and Douglas both fielded questions from the jury about why they deserved to win the $100,000 grand prize, $25,000 home furnishing makeover from Leon’s, $10,000 worth of groceries courtesy of Summer Fresh and a dream vacation for two anywhere in the world courtesy of Contiki Holidays.

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Rupert received all seven of the jury votes to secure his victory.

This season, Rupert won Head of Household four times, was put on the block twice and won the Power of Veto two times.

READ MORE: ‘Big Brother Canada’s’ Anthony Douglas says the pretty boys ‘always knew what was going on’

Global News sat down with Rupert in Toronto the day after his first-place victory to discuss his time in the house.

Global News: How does it feel to win the game?DR: It’s hard to reflect for me right now but it’s a dream come true.

Do you think that you’re one of the best players in Big Brother Canada history? Because you literally dominated everything. There wasn’t anything you couldn’t do.It’s crazy to think as being a fan of the show. I never thought I’d be considered a legend and I still don’t know. It’s a great honour to even be spoken of as a legend, but I would never consider myself as good as some of the past houseguests. But, like I said, I tried my best. I did my best, and it got me to the winner’s circle, and I’m very proud of myself for what I did.

I think you’ll feel different when you watch it back.Yeah, I think so, too. It’s hard to reflect right now. Everything is just so surreal.

Are you going to go home and binge-watch the entire season?Yeah, yeah! (Laughing) Big time. Two days easily.

Was there ever a doubt in your mind that you wouldn’t win?No, no, not at all. I’m a hockey player so, you know, going into a hockey game, you can’t envision yourself losing. So I said I’m a huge fan of this game so I thought, ‘Oh, this opportunity is going to come.’ I started practising and started watching seasons months before I came to the house to strategize. I made up a game plan and, honestly, since October/November, I started visualizing myself winning and the confetti everywhere. Arisa (Cox) saying congratulations to me, all of it. Getting into the house is a little bit of a different vision. You’re stuck in the moment like, ‘Oh, my God!’ But throughout the season, I thought I played a very strong game and then as soon as I made the top five and then got Adam out of the top four, I knew that this was my season to win and I didn’t want anyone to get in the way of that.

How did you feel about evicting Adam? That was a big move, and it needed to be done in order to get here today.Adam is my brother, and there is no chance of me getting to top two with him in the house. He would have won the top three Head of Household competitions and he probably would not have brought me, even though he said he (would). The votes could’ve gone either way. I knew that if I was sitting beside him in the final two, it could have been 4-3 for him or 3-4 me, and there was a scary decision so I didn’t want to do it but I knew for my game and to win this season, and it looked good on the resume, yeah. As the last HOH of the game, taking out the biggest, baddest player of the season, it was something I needed to do. But it did break my heart a little bit.

You memorized your days by using different pieces of food. How was that food on the last day? Was it all stale and falling apart?No, I didn’t taste it (laughing). I got that idea from last year’s houseguest Maddie. The only problem with her game board is that she had to deconstruct it every day and she couldn’t hide it from everyone. I wanted to hide my game board and I didn’t want to deconstruct because I’m kind of dumb so I needed to put it on as it was happening. So every day something happened, I put it on my game board and then every day I went over it and studied, studied, studied, and a game came in handy, and in the end, they’re winning all the mental comps.

Did you feel like your dad was with you in the house the whole time?Absolutely. You know, even before the house, he knew how big of a fanboy I am, and this was my dream. Growing up, hockey didn’t work out for me, and now this is my other dream that I wanted, and I believe he was the reason I got in the house. And then every comp win and everything I did, he was behind it 100 per cent and, like I said, I dedicate this season to him.

What was going through your mind last night when the show kept cutting to commercial and then making you watch clips? What were you thinking? How long did it feel?It felt like forever. It felt like 69 days all over again. Everyone was surprised I took Anthony to the finale, too. At that moment, when we were watching all these commercial breaks and all these videos, I was like, ‘Wow, I just cost myself $80,000.’ But as I went along with it, I really realized that I played an overall better game than not just him but the majority of the houseguests. I was praying to my dad for another win, one more, last time this season. It was shocking to me to see I got all of the votes, especially after the jury questions.

Yeah, I agree! It seemed so different at the beginning when everyone was asking you questions. It seemed like they were going to vote for Anthony because they were mad.Yeah! I got that first question from Sam and thought, ‘Oh, boy, here we go. They’re all going to hate me.’ And after the questions, I kind of doubted who I should have brought to the final two. But, I mean, me and Anthony had this dream Day 2. And I told him if I had any kind of power to come to final three, I’d bring him 100 per cent. And it just goes to show you that loyalty is still real. And this was an opportunity for me to earn this title and not just be given it.

Did you ever think you’d be in a showmance?It wasn’t a showmance. It was a friendmance. Me and Este were great friends, and honestly, she’s a great mental break from the game. We had fun together. We had a lot of fun times. We’ll continue to be very close friends outside of this house. But it was never a showmance.

Just to clarify (laughing), it was NOT a showmance? Just a TV fling?(Laughing) We always knew it was a friendmance. I mean I think she still wants me to talk to her and explain some things, which I will definitely do. Hopefully, she forgives me, and we can still remain friends.

What was going through your head when you had to watch the clip of Adam walking in on you and Este making out for the awards?Yeah… sorry mom, sorry grandma! I didn’t think that was going to make the awards, nor the show, so to see that on TV it was like… ‘Oh, boy.’ And Este also had not seen it yet, but she told her mom that she would not kiss a boy on TV. And I’m sure her mom’s not too pleased with me so I have a lot of explaining to do.

What was the hardest part about living in the house for you?There’s no escaping those people. You’re living with them 24-7, seven days a week. The emotion is real when you want to leave or you want to talk to your mom or friends. You have no phone, and the only people around you are the people in the house. And you had limited space to go to, at times, and that was the hardest part. I would be so emotional. I also didn’t think I’d grow to be friends with so many people in the house. And like you said, cutting Este, cutting Damion, cutting Adam, it was so hard because you’re not a fan on the couch yelling at your TV saying: ‘Come on, man, it’s a game!’ When you’re in that moment, taking a dream away from someone is really heartbreaking.

Speaking of friends, who was the hardest to live with?(Laughing) Different reasons for different people but Eddie. I love the guy so much, and we had the Deddie thing going on for a while, but he is a garburator. He eats everything. I’d ask how many avocados he ate, and he’d say two. Or how many bananas he ate, and he’d say four. I was like, ‘Dude, this is a limited supply, and we have this for seven days.’ I’m sure I wasn’t easy to live with at times, but you learn to adapt to other people, and now it’s like a huge family. I’m so grateful for all my houseguests.

What was the most creative thing you made with slop?I HATE SLOP. I went on for three weeks, and it really bugged my gut as everyone saw. I had to make it better. I probably had a lot of cavities. I made these pancakes, they’re slop pancakes with a lot of sugar and a lot of cinnamon and a lot of maple syrup. Shout-out to my dentist. I need two more teeth and a lot of cavity fillings.

What are you most excited to do now that you’re out of the house?Honestly, just indulge in some cold beverages.

Without being monitored by production? (Laughing)Yeah, exactly! They tell me I’m only having two beers and then that’s enough. Do they know who I am? (laughing) I’m going to go back home to Kelowna to celebrate with my friends and family. I know I had this support the whole way and I was treated well before the show by others. I’m going to go and return to favour. I really can’t wait to go back home and celebrate.

(This interview has been edited and condensed.)

Big Brother Canada continues to offer unparalleled digital extensions that augment the social dynamics and real-time momentum of the 24-7 television production. #BBCAN7 extends from series to site at BigBrotherCanada.ca with exclusive content, full episodes, 24-hour live feeds and a host of surprises and opportunities that allow fans to directly impact the show.

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