James Huling was an all-time fan favorite for Big Brother Seasons 17 and 18, possibly of all time! Especially with the new Big Brother Season 19 coming out soon, we thought it would be especially fitting to get the scoop on last season and hear what James has to say for future houseguests. Check out this exclusive Sarah Scoop interview!
Where did you grow up? Tell us a bit about your childhood.
I grew up in Sumter, South Carolina. We moved around a lot due to my dad being in the Air Force. He was stationed at Shaw Air Force base in Sumter. He retired as a Master Sargent, and decided to take roots in Sumter. I spent majority of my childhood in South Carolina. I was lost as a kid growing up due to bullying and trying to fit in. I started running the streets with the friends coming home late and staying with friends. My parents at the time looked into a boys home that would be able to help me overcome what I was going through.
They found a boys’ home close to Georgetown, South Carolina. Tara Hall Home for Boys, which is a non-profit organization, was my new home from 12 to 17 years old. It’s a two year program, which at the end of the two years I decided to stay and finish high school. It is there where I learned to fish, hunt, and found the love for country music. I joined the Army straight out of high school. I there advanced through the ranks, and made CPL (E4) within a few years of being in. I went to basic training in Fort Learnwood, Missouri where I did my basic and AIT training (OSUT) all at once. I joined the military because of 9/11. I was awarded the Operation Enduring Freedom Medal because I joined during war time.
So, you’re an Asian Cowboy. Can you tell me what that means exactly?
Asian Cowboy? Haha, I think that has gotten mixed up over the course of everything maybe. I consider myself a Southern Boy! It’s just a weird thing that I grew up in the deep south, below the Mason-Dixon line. Everyone always tells me my voice, clothes, don’t match my looks. I am a very self aware person and love everything about who I’ve become. South Carolina and Texas will do that to you.
What is your relationship status? What things do you look for in a woman?
My Relationship status? LOL, I am a very hard person to actually get into a relationship with. I have my walls up really high. It’s funny thats coming from me, being I’ve gotten into a “showmance” last season. The thing is, the Big Brother house makes you get to know people for who they are in the house. Well, at least the person with no distractions! Sometimes what works in the house might not work on the outside.
What advice would you give to future Big Brother contestants or anyone going on the show?
My advice for future Big brother contestants is to be yourself, be the person Robyn and Production casted. Sometimes the environment in the Big Brother house will bring out a new you and that’s okay. Remember you are on the coolest summer reality T.V. show. Yes, you are competing for $500,000, but it is your summer. HAVE FUN!!!! Remember at the end of the day it’s a game, and YOU will be held accountable for your game play and WORDS on the outside world……Be careful what you say and stories you share…..Yes, I’ve said some stuff that maybe I shouldn’t have said, LOL!
Now that you are done with the show, is there a different strategy you would have taken looking back? Something you would have done differently?
Looking back, I shouldn’t have jumped off the wall giving Nicole the HOH, and I shouldn’t have voted out Corey. Those were my crucial mistakes that probably cost me the game. You have so much pressure in that house, YOU have no IDEA…Most of the game is being at the right time at the right place.
Why did you go on Big Brother? Did you ever think you would end up on reality television?
I went on Big Brother because I wanted to win the half-million dollars, of course. It would’ve changed my daughter’s life. It’s funny that you ask, “did I ever think I would be on reality T.V.?” All of my friends told me that I needed to be on reality T.V. They have never seen or heard anyone like me before. It was always a gut feeling. I woke up one day and went for it.
What has your life been like since the show?
My life has been crazy, but in a good crazy way! Having kids come up to me telling me I was their favorite is the best feeling in the world. I also have been able to speak out against bullying thanks to Bullies Reality. The President and CEO Timothy Levasseur and Krissy have given me the opportunity to use my platform to speak to kids at middle schools and events. I absolutely love it.
What is a day-in-the-life of James Huling?
The life of James is pretty simple, planning lake days with friends and Face-Timing my daughter about how has she aggravated her mother this time; planning events with Bullies Reality, two stepping, and planning on what country concert can I go to next! Cody Johnson is my all-time Red Dirt country artist, by the way! (anything outdoors basically).
I noticed that you are an animal lover. Tell me all about your cat!
I have had a cat named Gizmo for over 11 years. He is a spitting image of me. I love that little guy like he is my own flesh and blood. I take him to the lake and rivers with me, he is a outdoorsy like me. He hates being stuck inside. My ex-girlfriend Courtney, before passing away in a vehicle accident, asked me to take care of her cat. I’ve had him ever since. He is currently Missing in Action…we have coyotes bad out here. Super sad!!! Hoping for the best.
What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My hobbies are sleeping and going out to the lake. I also love fixing things. People don’t realize that about me– I’m very handy! Jack of all trades, master at none….I’m very hands on!
What has the celebrity of it all been like? Has it been difficult at all? Pros and cons?
Celebrity??? I’m by far not a celebrity. Taylor Swift is a celebrity, LOL…. I can say the pros of being well known– if I go into any town someone knows who I am. I love tweeting out to country singers that I grew up listening to, and they ACTUALLY tweet me back! I fan out so hard, it’s crazy! The cons would have to be I have to be dressed decent. I can’t go out of the house looking like a hood rat. The days I do is when everyone wants a picture!
If you could describe yourself in a word what would it be?
Finally, we’ve had a lot of tweets asking if you have any comments regarding Natalie Negrotti?
Natalie Negrotti…. I had to think hard about this question. I hope she is doing good. I wish her nothing but the best. I feel like things ended and the outcome didn’t have to be the way it came out. I think she listened to people she thought were her friends. I think Natalie went with what she was hearing instead of coming straight to the source. I also think the letter she had sent to my house was really uncalled for. That has to be a first for all of BB alumni. It was mad love, then it became bad Blood. TS.
Stay tuned in at Sarah Scoop for more featuring Big Brother houseguests in the weeks to come and check out our other stories here!