Big Brother fans will remember housemate Travis Keyser for his high-pitched voice and his “posimistic” attitude. But his now-wife Carisa didn’t even catch a glimpse of him when he was on TV back in 2008.
“Her family were quite conservative Christians, so she wasn’t allowed to watch the show, or she chose not to watch the show,” Keyser explains to Mamamia. “I think in previous years, Big Brother had the perception of being a little bit perverted.”
During his time on the show, Keyser, who’s also a Christian, definitely wasn’t perverted, even a little bit. He was “posimistic” – a word he’d invented, meaning positive and optimistic.
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However, the show’s fans felt that Keyser was being bullied in the house. In one incident, he was hospitalised after another housemate squirted body wash in his eye.
“It literally burnt all the layers of my eye off,” Keyser says.
And yet, while he was in the house, he didn’t feel he was being bullied.
“I don’t question people’s intentions, I take people at face value,” he explains. “When I came out and saw the footage, I was like, ‘Yeah, well, that kind of does look bad.’”
Keyser was popular with fans, just missing out on the final three. After the show, he did a round of nightclub appearances, which turned out to be an interesting experience.
“This lady came up to us and she’d just had a boob job and she was like, ‘Oh, can you sign my boobs?’” he remembers. “I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I can do that. Maybe you should get one of the other housemates to sign your boobs? I’ll sign your arm.’ It was a real eye-opener to see how forward people can be.”
Meanwhile, Keyser was finding that a lot of people were contacting him via social media, having felt a connection to him while watching him on TV.
“All of a sudden people were confiding in me with these big personal issues that they were going through,” he explains. “A lot of people think that I’m gay, which I’m not, and I was getting a lot of people, particularly schoolkids, who were coming to me and saying, ‘I’m getting a hard time at school because of my sexuality.’