San Mateo's Dominic Briones, a lifelong resident, lost his bid for the $500,000 grand prize when he was evicted Thursday night from the house on CBS' Big Brother.
By a vote of 7-1, the 25-year-old college student became the fourth houseguest booted out of the house in the reality show. His elimination brought the number of houseguests down to the final 10.
"It was the most disappointing thing I have ever been through in my life," Dominic told the San Mateo Patch. "I felt like I never had a real chance to play with people on my side."
In the 13th season of the series, Dominic was one of eight new players competing with a half dozen returning houseguests. In retrospect, he said, he should have aligned himself earlier with the veteran players "and started cutting newbies from the beginning."
The hardest part of the Big Brother game was trying to convince the newbies to unite against the others, he said.
Dominic said growing up in San Mateo gave him qualities that made him a better player.
"I was always taught never to judge anyone and to interact with everyone. I was taught to treat people with respect. I think that really helped me in the game to not judge anyone and to give everyone a chance to meet me."
He thought he was selected by the show's producers to be a houseguest because he was both physically fit and socially skilled. "I was well-liked in the house and had connections with everyone."
Asked what he liked the most about being on the show, Dominic said it was making connections and building friendships with others "and meeting people that I would not have otherwise met if I had not been put in the house with them."
He said he will miss the friendships he made and the people he met. "And I'll miss the crazy games they make you play. And I'll miss my nightly pool tournaments," he added.
Once the game finally ends, Dominic said he will resume his work as a model. However, if another reality game show asked him to play, he wouldn't hesitate. "I'm game for anything so I generally roll with whatever comes my way."
Dominic said he always will remember how much fun it was to escape from his comfort zone and try something new. As a result, he promises "to go for things and not hold back."
Meanwhile, he offered this advice for anyone who wants to be a Big Brother housemate: "Be yourself. Don't try to be someone who has already been in the house. Don't try to be someone you're not. And don't hold back. If you get nervous and try to be someone else, it will eventually come out."
Big Brother uses more than 52 cameras and 95 microphones to capture what is said and done in the house located on the CBS lot in Studio City, CA. The program is broadcast on Sundays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and on Thursdays at 9 p.m.