Aaryn Gries ended up making a name for herself on Big Brother 15, but probably not the name she wanted.
The youngest houseguest of the season, 22-year-old Aaryn is a college student from San Marcos, Texas. She was evicted during the Week 9 live show on August 29, and sat down with host Julie Chen for an awkward talk about some of the offensive comments Aaryn made earlier in the season. (Watch her full interview with Julie below.)
Aaryn was far from the only BB15 houseguest to say racist, homophobic, sexist, or otherwise scandalous things. In fact, you could argue she wasn’t even the worst, with her buddy GinaMarie Zimmerman and house bully Amanda Zuckerman vying for some of the ugliest comments — especially GM to Candice Stewart and Amanda to Elissa Slater — and that’s not even counting Spencer Clawson’s appalling child porn joke. But most of Aaryn’s comments aired on TV instead of just on the live feeds, and she’s the first of the above to be evicted, so she had the ugly public talk, complete with audience scoffing and booing.
Aaryn was dropped by her modeling agency, Zephyr Talent, although she doesn’t know that yet because she went from eviction to the jury house and won’t re-enter the “real world” until September 18. (GinaMarie also lost her job.) According to the L.A. Times, Aaryn’s mother hired a publicist to help her daughter redeem her reputation once she leaves the house.
Aaryn was a “Mean Girl” early in the season, but through strategic deals and strong gameplay she made it farther than expected. She had four Head of Household wins, a Power of Veto win, and survived being on the block twice. She only left because Elissa (sister of BB13 winner Rachel Reilly) put her on the block next to Andy Herren, and Aaryn’s allies — Amanda and McCrae Olson — chose to be loyal to Andy instead of the girl they used to do all of their dirty work. She started the season in a “showmance” with David Girton, but when he was the first boot she bonded with GM, Jeremy McGuire and Kaitlin Barnaby, until Jeremy and Kaitlin were evicted. Before leaving, she had a kiss with Judd Daugherty, and her old showmance pal David blasted her on Twitter.
Who is Aaryn outside the game?
According to Starcasm, Aaryn graduated from Douglas County High School in Castle Rock, Colorado in 2008. She won the title of Miss Teen Colorado International in 2007. She relocated to Texas and is finishing her degree in Psychology and Business at Texas State University in San Marcos. In addition to signing with Zephyr Talent, she worked as a Maxim Magazine promotional model and a spokesmodel for Bella Petite Magazine, and appeared in some commercials. She was reportedly a gymnastics coach for two years from 2005-2007 and that helped her later land a job as one of the Ice Girls for the professional hockey team The Texas Stars.
In her BB15 bio, she said three adjectives that describe her would be “Outgoing, driven and spontaneous.” She said she’s afraid of “People with evil or absent minds that hurt or deceive others.” What is she most proud of? “I am most proud of my ability to rise above disappointment and press on with a positive and peaceful mind. I am extremely proud that each day, no matter what happens, I do my best to look at every situation in a positive light. I can see my future clearly and I’m taking the right steps to reach my goals.” What would she take into the BB15 house and why? “My music, books by Rhonda Byrne and my cat, Pumpkin, because these three things help my peace of mind.”
In her pre-season cast video, Aaryn said she wasn't worried about embarrassing family or friends, since they know everything about her. When Jeff Schroeder (who was accused of making homophobic comments on BB11 and BB13) asked if there were any skeletons in her closet, she laughed and said she hoped not. Jeff asked if she was willing to be in a showmance. She said she's very picky so it would depend.
Aaryn told Jeff she wants to be a big part of the Big Brother world, so Jeff had her look into the camera and say "When you think of Big Brother, think of me." The sad thing is, a lot of people are thinking of her when they think of BB15, just not in the way she wanted. It’s a shame since she was a good competitor, she just trusted the wrong people and made a few too many bad “jokes.” But people have short memories, so this controversy may just be a blip on the radar by next summer.