New Glasgow’s Jillian MacLaughlin was blown away by the support she received Sunday night as she was welcomed home after winning the first ever Big Brother Canada last week.
Saturday night she flew into Halifax, but didn’t return to New Glasgow until Sunday, where she was welcomed by family and friends, before a parade through downtown New Glasgow.
The parade ended at Glasgow Square where she was welcomed by hundreds of fans cheering her on and looking for pictures and autographs of Pictou County’s newest celebrity. Emmett Blois, MacLaughlin’s ally on the show, was also with her. She said everything is still surreal and hasn’t sunk in yet.
“It’s pretty crazy and it hasn’t sunk in that I’m the first win of Big Brother Canada ever,” she said. “It means a lot and I think it’s going to go down in history. I’m a girl too, so I’m pumped. I wanted a girl to win it from the beginning. I said ‘girl power’.”
Her win last week did come with some controversy surrounding the voting process as Topaz Brady, an evicted houseguest who was on the jury, put her hand in the air when host Arisa Cox read out that she had voted for MacLaughlin and proceeded to protest.
Cox said the voting rules were clearly stated and video evidence was played to show that Brady had in fact voted for MacLaughlin. With Brady’s vote, MacLaughlin secured enough votes to win.
MacLaughlin said she couldn’t comment on the show at this point because of the contract the contestants have with the show, but she said she has heard through family and friends that negative things are being said. She said none of it is bothering her and that she’s focusing on the positives.
“Before I went in it was top secret and I had to lie to my family and tell them I was going on a trip, so I really didn’t have much support before,” said MacLaughlin. “Now that I’m home, family and friends have been so supportive. I haven’t looked at anything on the Internet that’s out there; I’ve heard there has been a lot of negative stuff out there, but the support from friends and family via Facebook and all that has meant the world to me. I’m just going to focus on the positive support.”
She said the whole process has been a blur to her, saying she never expected to get selected for the show to begin with. After being selected she definitely didn’t believe she would win.
“When I applied for this show, I didn’t even expect to get an interview,” she said. “I just went up to Halifax for my 30 second interview and after I found out I was on the show I was blown away and thought there was no way I could win this. My only goal going into it was not to be the first person evicted and after that I just kept setting weekly goals.”