A Conversation with Reality TV star Morgan Willett

Morgan Willett visited “Jake’s Take.” (Photo property of MTV; courtesy of Morgan Willett)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is a pleasure to welcome Morgan Willett to Jake’s Take.

Morgan first entered the public eye when she participated in the online series Big Brother: Over the Top, where she won the series after a nationwide vote. After Morgan left the Big Brother house, she appeared on Snoop Dogg presents the Joker’s Wild and The Debt Collector. Currently, she is participating in the sophomore season of MTV’s Ex on the Beach.  While she had the opportunity to meet The Bachelorette’s Chad Johnson and Teen Mom’s Farrah Abraham, she had to live on a Malibu beach with three of her exes: fellow Big Brother alumni Corey Brooks and Monte Massongill and Survivor fan-favorite Jay Starrett.

In this edition of A Conversation, Morgan talked about the possibility of returning to Big Brother, shared her reaction when her exes showed up on Ex on the Beach 2, and revealed how she got a role in Jessie Godderz and Jeff Timmons’ new music video: “The Girl is With Me.”

Jacob Elyachar: It has been three years since you won Big Brother: Over the Top. How did your experience in the Big Brother house helped you grow as a person?

Morgan Willett: I think the number one lesson that Big Brother taught me was patience. I had just graduated college when I auditioned for Big Brother: Over the Top. Responsibilities were not really my thing and I felt like I was still living in a bubble that was college. When I went on Big Brother, I lived with people from all different walks of life and sometimes who were pretty unbearable. That experience taught me patience and it also taught me how to keep my cool. I also learned a lot about myself.  If I can live here trapped in a house with a bunch of strangers for 65 days without technology and my phone, I can do anything. It was a great experience and I would 100 percent do it again.

Jacob Elyachar: Speaking of doing Big Brother again, the show’s fan base has demanded that the show’s producers create a second all-star season. If the producers invited you to return for that season, would you accept their invitation? Also, which former alumni would you like to play against?

Morgan Willet: I 100 percent would say “Yes!” Millions of people audition for Big Brother. So, the fact that I even got to play once is incredible and the fact that if I ever got to play again, I would 100 percent I would go back in a heartbeat. I would really love to go back and play with a little bit less of America’s involvement.  On my season, it was a different format, so you are playing to kind of America is your other houseguest and you had to play to appease them. I would love to go back and just not have their involvement and play for myself. I want to be able to do whatever and not worry about getting to vote out by them.

If I were able to return, I would love to play with various players. I would love to play with old school alumni like Janelle (Pierzina) and Rachel (Reilly). I am a big girl power type of person, so I want to play with some badass females. If we are going with Big Brother new school, I love Big Brother 20. I watched it and actually became really good friends with Kaitlyn (Herman). I would be very interested to play the game with her because watching her on TV was very different than now me being friends with her.  I think she’s just absolutely hysterical and obviously, I would love to play with Tyler (Crispen). I just want to see if his charm would work on me. Because here I am like, “I would totally not be fooled by Tyler,” but I have a feeling he is probably better than I am expecting. Those would be my picks.

Jacob Elyachar: Currently, you are participating on MTV’s Ex on the Beach’s second season. What attracted you to that series?

Morgan Willett: When we all signed up to do the show and went through the casting process. We did not know that it was Ex on the Beach. We had no idea of the title of the show. We knew of the premise; it was a dating show. We knew maybe some exes would just show up. I mean, you can kind of put two and two together and figure out it’s Ex on the Beach. But I went into it pretty clueless. I mean, obviously, with every opportunity in my life I am a yes man, so any door that I think will open for myself, I jump in 100 percent. I mean, this is a paid vacation in Malibu hanging out, having a giant party all summer. It’s like, of course, I would do it. Later on, I figured out it was way less of a party than I was expecting and a lot more crying and tears, but I just jumped in, and I was like, “Why not?” That’s how I went in with Big Brother with that kind of mindset, and it turned out great for me.

Here is who Morgan is connected to on ‘Ex on the Beach.’ (Graphic property of MTV; courtesy of Morgan Willett)

Jacob Elyachar: Could you describe your reaction to my readers when you found out that you had to share the beach with three of your exes (fellow Big Brother alums Corey Brooks and Monte Massongill and Survivor alum Jay Starrett)? 

Morgan Willett: I was in complete shock. We had a running joke in the house that Ex on the Beach was called “Screw Morgan Over On the Beach,” because that is just the common theme of this show. I was expecting one ex and I was like, “I can deal with that, it is totally fine.” So, the first night, I had my fling with Chad (Johnson of The Bachelorette) and Jay came, and I was like: “Oh, easy, ditch Chad and I am with Jay. My life is going to be so simple.” No, I had to think again because maybe I am an easy target. Maybe, they (the producers) just wanted to see how long it would take for me to crack but I was not happy that I had the most exes out of everyone in the house. I mean, some people went weeks without having any of their exes show up.  I went four days and all of the sudden, I had three exes. It was a lot for me to handle but I don’t know, I guess I have no regrets.

Jacob Elyachar: Recently, your sister, Alex Willett, crashed your date with Jay. Were you surprised when Alex showed up and how did her appearance put pressure on rebuilding your relationship with Jay?

Morgan Willett: I was happy at first and then all of a sudden it was “this is not going the way I want it to go.” I was shocked just because she introduced Jay to me, so I think both of us were like so excited to see here and then for her to drop that bomb, we were like, “What’s going on?” And then, of course, she just gets up and leaves without being able to answer any questions. I mean Ex on the Beach is just pure evil sometimes. Alex’s visit was quite a shock because I was torn internally. I had grown close to Jay, and I liked him, but my sister is my number one. She knows me in and out. We lived together; we did Big Brother together.  So, for her to say that, I was like, “She has to be onto something, she would not just lie to me.” You will be able to see me in upcoming episodes the struggle that put on me especially because I am living with another ex. It is so easy for me to listen to my sister jump ship and be like, “Well, Corey is right here.” She did not say anything about Corey, so it put a lot of pressure. You will have to wait and find out what I do because it is a lot.

Morgan reunited with several members from ‘Ex on the Beach 2’ at a watch party. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Willett)

Jacob Elyachar: You are also inside that house with a lot of famous Reality TV alumni from other series. Besides did your exes, did you get along with anyone else in the cast?

Morgan Willett: I think it is so funny, some people asked: “Are you all still friends?” We have a giant group chat. We all talk in it all the time. I got really close with these people and I did not expect it. I adore Murray (Swanby of What Happens at The Abbey) and Cheyenne (Parker of Fire Island). We were just with them at the watch party last night. I think I got probably the closest to Murray. He gave me all of my advice for any time I had an issue, I love him. Then, you have not met him yet, Rob (Tini, Big Brother 18 veteran Jozea Flores’s ex). He will come in future episodes. I got super close with him. Then obviously, Maya (Benberry of Catching Kelce) and Sha (Carrell, Corey Brooks’ ex) were my two really good girlfriends who always had my back in the house. We are one big happy dysfunctional family, emphasis on dysfunctional.

Jacob Elyachar: What were some of the similarities and differences between both Big Brother: Over the Top and Ex on the Beach?

Morgan Willett: I mean, similarities, obviously, you are cut off from the world. You do not have any access. You are living with complete strangers and you are expected to just deal with it. There is nothing you can do if you do not like those people. So definitely similar in that aspect. I think the biggest difference is there is no alcohol on Big Brother. You are lucky if you get a beer once whereas Ex on the Beach, it’s MTV. It’s a whole different ballgame. It’s a party every night, I mean, obviously, with the parties comes a lot of irresponsible actions. It also added a whole different thing I was not used to at all. I am so used to Big Brother where it is constant strategy, game talk, and who are you going to vote out, et cetera.  When I went to Ex on the Beach, at first like Jozea and I were the worst about it. We were trying to strategize, “Okay, if this many people get cut and this many people get cut and this many people get hearts, then we can get out. We will make it a tie, and everyone stated, “Can you all chill? This is not Big Brother! Have fun, go get a drink.” We were like, “Oh, okay.”

Jacob Elyachar: What are some of the biggest challenges that you faced throughout your career? How did you overcome them?

Morgan Willett: Obviously, after Big Brother: Over the Top, I packed up and left Texas and my family. I moved to Los Angeles without a game plan, without a job, and without any sort of clue what I wanted to do with my life. I just knew I was broadcast journalism in college, and I wanted to move out here and be a TV host. I think the biggest challenge, it was jumping into things blindly, not always having a game plan and trusting that it is going to work out. Just work hard, keep pushing, make the connections you need to make. It is not always going to be easy, it’s not going to be pretty, it’s not like what I was used to in college.  I had everything set up, I knew my jobs and I knew when I had to go to class, all that stuff. So, I think that’s a big challenge. 

I have had a lot of people reach out to me and they are like, “How do I get to the entertainment industry? What do I do? How did you get to where you are now?” and I am just like, “You have to just take the jump and make the change.” You have to move from your small town if you need to. Sometimes you have to move to a big city and live alone and you will make friends.” I think my biggest piece of advice would be do not be afraid to make connections because you do not know what connection is going to lead to something else. 

I never probably wanted to go…okay, I will take that back. Maybe I did. But I met Jay randomly, and I was like, “Oh, he seems fine.” He asked me to go to dinner. I thought, “I do not know with this guy. It is a random stranger.” I went with him and just because of that, one interaction, it led me to be on Ex on the Beach. It is just kind of funny with that, but I think you got to take a chance.

Morgan co-starred with Jeff Timmons and Jessie Godderz in their music video: “The Girl is With Me.” (Video property of Jessie Godderz)

Jacob Elyachar: Speaking of taking chances, you also starred with Jessie Godderz and 98 Degrees member Jeff Timmons for their music video, “The Girl is With Me.” What attracted you to this project?

Morgan Willett: The Big Brother family is very close. We are all so close, and it’s kind of hard to believe because you’re like some of these people you’ve never met or you don’t really know them. But once you’re in that house and you’ve gone through that experience, it bonds you like no other. So I got the call from Rachel Reilly. She was like, “Hey, I don’t know if you know Mr. Pec-Tacular (Jessie Godderz)? He’s …” I was like, “Yes, of course, I know him.” She was like, “He needs someone for his music video. I know you are in LA. Can you stop by and do it?” And immediately without a second thought, I was like 100 percent. I was like, “If he’s a Big Brother alumni, I will gladly help him out.” And also it’s like, “Yeah, I’ll star a music video. Why not?” I spent an afternoon doing that with them. I got to hang out with Jessie and Jeff who were just fantastic, so much fun. it’s just funny how one phone call leads to another and next thing you know, I’m a twin in a music video.

Jacob Elyachar: Big Brother is still casting for its 21st season. If you had the chance to meet with fans who want to audition for the show, what advice would you share with them?

Morgan Willett: I think the biggest piece of advice is be yourself. Take your personality to the absolute next level. I always tell people you are going to feel annoying, you are doing it. They need someone who’s over the top and that does not mean change your personality. I am very Southern, and I was a cheerleader, so I always wear cowboy boots and this obnoxious plaid shirt. I just took it to the next level and that’s what gets you noticed. I definitely would also say never stop talking. It will just work in your best interest if you have your stories lined up. Think of the craziest things you have ever done in your life. Make a mental note of those, and just talk about it. Because they want to see your personality, they want to see how insane you are. Like let’s think, this is reality TV. Everyone needs to be a bit crazy. So, I think that’s my biggest piece of advice. Also, I think it is always better to go to an open call from what I have heard. I did not make a video nor did I go to an open call. Mine was a different situation. But from all the alumni I have talked to, it seems like you get seen more and they see more of your personality at an open call versus trying to bring yourself live on camera in like a self-take.

You can catch Morgan and the rest of the Ex on the Beach 2 cast on MTV! New episodes of Ex on the Beach 2 air on Thursday!

You can also connect with her on social media. Check out Morgan’s Instagram and Twitter channels.

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