Matt Hoffman is a cagey fellow. He flies below the radar. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to interview him. It’s all been said before and not many words were kind. Why rehash? As I was preparing to leave the Reality Rally Pit Party Saturday night, I took a shot. What I learned was illuminating, to say the least. Here we go….
Matt isn’t one to hold back. He loved the event, but for him it definitely fell into ‘The Amazing Race’ detractor category. Lack of transportation put him off. “It really validated every reason I have for thinking it’s the worst show on television. I loved it, the creative and original part, but I hated it for the same reasons I hate the show…. If you’re a fan of The Amazing Race, you’re wasting your time because all you have to do is wait for the last 15 minutes because every competition is like a challenge and then everyone catches up. So all you really have to do is win the last challenge and then [catch the bus].” Fair assessment, but for the fact at least one transport company bailed at the last minute and it was impossible to replace them. Sometimes crap happens in the real world.
Matt wasn’t complaining about the event, just illustrating how close Reality Rally came to the real deal. In fact, he loved being on board, regardless of the foibles. “I can’t even imagine organizing this whole weekend. This was a f***ing unreal event.’”
As to Big Brother, he’s been a huge fan since the show’s inauguration. He began applying season two, but it took til season 12 to join the ranks. In fact, he was accepted season 11, but the finale conflicted with his wedding day. Done deal, regardless of how his wife Stacy supported the what if. It wasn’t going to happen. “Lightening did strike twice. They called me back. I think they were just annoyed at seeing the same tape of the same guy. Let’s just put him on the show, cause we’re sick of him sending this s*** and we just need it to stop,” he chuckled.
Next season did happen and Matt found himself in the BB house. He also found himself in a pickle of a lying mess. For those who are not familiar, Matt chose to look for the sympathy vote by claiming his wife suffered from melorheostosis, a debilitating bone disease. “My arrogance was my downfall. My strategy if I’d gotten to the final two was the whole lie about my wife. It was to get anyone in the jury house to want to vote for me in the end out of sympathy because they thought they were helping out a good cause.” Had he won, Matt fully intended to give $50k toward a charity that is seeking a cure for the disease.
The strategy may have worked had he made it to the final two, but he was evicted well before that opportunity. According to Matt, the ‘big lie’ created a firestorm on the home front. While he was safely sequestered in the Big Brother house, wife Stacy received disturbing phone calls. The Big Brother bad boy doesn’t regret his ploy in that melorheostosis got a lot of attention. Still, he had to face his wife on finale day. “She comes up and hugs me and goes ‘I love you’ and the first thing I said after three and a half months was ‘I’m sorry’.” Matt admits he’s no saint, but insists he’s not a horrible person either. He had no idea what was going down at home and is angry that one organization called his wife, personally insulting her and insisting she divorce him. The calls upset her in that she was trying to be supportive of her husband during the barrage of bad press. With the attention given to the disease, Matt believes something good came of something bad. Still he regrets what his wife had to endure. According to Matt, the organization got press and awareness, but Stacy took the fall in his absence.
During season 12, Matt got his hands on the “diamond power of veto,” a major coup. This was error number two for the game player. “I didn’t know what the audience knew. My stupid thing was not putting Britney up, not putting Hayden up.” When asked why he didn’t go after any of his brigade buddies, he responded, “Me playing the game and not seeing what you guys are seeing, there was nothing that lead me to believe that I should have put one of them up for elimination.”
With the season over, life is settling down and Matt is back working nine to five in computer programing. “I’m a geek at heart. A nerd with an attitude,” he laughed. He and Stacy are looking forward to expanding their family in the future. He wants boys. The thought of some kid dating his daughter blows his mind. “I get stressed about a daughter I don’t even have!”
The notion an entire city got together to support a local charity sits well with him and next year Matt hopes to convince Stacy to accompany him to Reality Rally, April 13-15, 2012. “This is crazy f’ing awesome.” “To see everyone come together helping out, I think it’s great. This is a personal thing that is close to Gillian’s (Larson) heart and that makes all the difference.”