Aaryn Gries

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Aaryn Gries
Born Aaryn Elizabeth Gries[1]
(1990-09-03) September 3, 1990 (age 23)
San Angelo, Texas, U.S.[1]
Residence San Marcos, Texas
Nationality American
Alma mater Texas State University
Douglas County High School
Occupation Student, model
Known for Contestant on Big Brother 15

Aaryn Elizabeth Gries (born September 3, 1990 in San Angelo, Texas) is an American student and former model from San Marcos, Texas.[1][2] She is best known for her appearance as a contestant on the reality television show Big Brother 15, during which she became the subject of international scrutiny based on contentious comments she made while competing on the program.[3]

Information.[edit]

Aaryn was born in San Angelo, Texas on September 3, 1990 and raised on her father's ranch.[1] Before middle school, following her parent's divorce, she moved to Castle Rock, Colorado with her mother.[4] There she attended Douglas County High School graduating in 2008.[4] While still in high school, Aaryn competed and won the title of Miss Colorado Teen International 2007.[4] From a young age, Aaryn took an interest in cheerleading, serving on an Elite Cheerleading All-Star team before high school.[4] In high school she was a part of varsity dance and varsity cheer; from 2005 to 2007, Aaryn served as a coach at the Castle Rock School of Gymnastics.[4][5] From June 2011 to April 2012 she served as an Ice Girl cheerleader for the Texas Stars Hockey Club.[4][5]

Big Brother appearance[edit]

Days 1–14[edit]

Upon entering the house, Aaryn quickly formed a romantic relationship with David.[6] She was also part of the "Blonde-tourage" alliance with David, Kaitlin, Jeremy, Nick, GinaMarie, and Jessie.[7] After David was evicted, Aaryn won the "Big Brother BBQ" Head of Household competition in the following week. She chose to target Elissa for eviction, blaming her for David's exit. However, Elissa was granted that M.V.P. power for a second week in a row and was able to flip the vote against Nick, who was evicted that week.[8] Aaryn was nominated for eviction in the third week, though her ally Jeremy was evicted from the house.[9]

HouseGuests later split into three teams to compete in the "Cooler and the Gang" Have-Not competition.[10] For this competition, HouseGuests were required to swim across the backyard and grab cans in an attempt to stack them in the shape of a pyramid; while a HouseGuest was doing this, their teammates were required to hold the cans up on a stand, and were required to start over if their pyramid fell.[11] The team of Andy, Elissa, Helen, Howard, and Judd were the Have-Nots for the week.[12] On Day 5, McCrae chose to nominate Candice and Jessie for eviction, feeling as though they were the least liked people in the house.[13][14] Despite this, McCrae and his alliance hoped to backdoor Elissa, fearing her due to her relation to Rachel.[15][16][17][18] When picking players for the Power of Veto competition, Elissa and Howard were selected to compete; GinaMarie was selected to host. That night, HouseGuests competed in the "Big Brother Baking Competition" Power of Veto competition.[19] For this competition, HouseGuests were required to crawl through a pool of honey to get to various blueberries. HouseGuests had to pop the blueberries to find the letters inside, and then attempted to spell the biggest word with the letters they found; the HouseGuest with the longest, correctly spelled word would win the Power of Veto.[20][21][22] Despite this, a plan was set in motion by Amanda, McCrae, Andy, Judd, Spencer, Helen, Nick, and Howard to keep Elissa in the game and evict David.[23] On Day 13, David became the first HouseGuest to be evicted from the house when he received a total of seven eviction votes (7-5-0).[24][25][26]

Following David's eviction, HouseGuests competed in the "Big Brother BBQ" Head of Household competition.[10] For this competition, HouseGuests competed as partners and were required to transfer barbecue sauce from one side of the backyard to the other in an attempt to fill up a bowl and retrieve a ball inside; the first duo to retrieve their ball would be the winners, and would decide which of them would be the Head of Household.[27] Aaryn and Jeremy were the winning couple, and decided to make Aaryn the new Head of Household.[28][29] She immediately had to choose four HouseGuests to be the Have-Nots for the week, and chose Andy, Candice, Elissa, and Helen.[30]

Days 15–29[edit]

On Day 15, Aaryn chose to nominate Elissa and Helen for eviction, with Elissa being her main target.[31][32] Elissa later learned that she had been selected to be the "M.V.P." for the second week in a row.[33] On Day 16, Elissa chose to nominate Jeremy for eviction.[34] When picking players for the Power of Veto competition, Amanda and Nick were selected to compete; GinaMarie was selected to host. That night, HouseGuests competed in the "In the Balance" Power of Veto competition.[10] Jeremy was the winner of the Power of Veto.[35][36] On Day 18, Jeremy chose to use the Power of Veto to remove himself from the block, with Elissa nominating Nick in his place.[37]

Following Nick's eviction, Helen later decided she wanted to see Jeremy be evicted, and decided that she should backdoor him.[38] That night, she chose to nominate Aaryn and Kaitlin for eviction.[39] Elissa learned later that night that she had been named "M.V.P." for the third week in a row.[40] On Day 23, Elissa chose to nominate Spencer for eviction.[41] When picking players for the Power of Veto competition, GinaMarie and Candice were selected to compete; Judd was selected to host. That night, HouseGuests competed in the "Keeping Up with the Joneses" Power of Veto competition.[10] For this competition, HouseGuests were required to jump on a trampoline to see an "art gallery" of the HouseGuests on the other side of a wall.[42] They were then required to re-create the gallery on their own side of the wall, with the HouseGuest who finished in the quickest time winning the Power of Veto.[43] Kaitlin was the winner of the Power of Veto.[44][45] On Day 25, Kaitlin chose to use the Power of Veto to remove herself from the block, with Jeremy being nominated in her place.[46] Jeremy and Kaitlin attempted to turn the house against Aaryn, though this plan failed.[47] On Day 28, Jeremy became the third HouseGuest to be evicted from the house when he received a total of nine eviction votes (9-1-0).[48][49]

Much like the previous week, Amanda continued to campaign for Howard to be nominated and evicted, though Judd feared a girls alliance was in the house and opted to keep Howard safe.[50] That same night, Judd chose to nominate Aaryn and Kaitlin for eviction.[51][52][53]

Days 30–42[edit]

On Day 30, it was revealed that Elissa had been nominated for eviction by the viewers.[54][55][56][57][58][59] Though a plan was made to evict Kaitlin from the house, Elissa later informed Kaitlin of this and attempted to turn the house against Aaryn. Her attempts backfired, however, and led to a huge confrontation between Elissa and several other HouseGuests who soon lost their trust in her.[60] On Day 35, Kaitlin became the fourth HouseGuest to be evicted from the house when she received nine eviction votes (9-0-0).[61][62][63]

Following Kaitlin's eviction, HouseGuests competed in the "Roulette Me Win" Head of Household competition.[10] For this competition, HouseGuests took turns rolling a ball down a slanted strip where it would land on a spinning Roulette wheel; the HouseGuest whose ball landed in the highest number would be the new Head of Household.[64] Aaryn was the winner, making her the first HouseGuest this season to win Head of Household twice.[65][66] Following her win, Amanda, Helen, and McCrae attempted to convince Aaryn to nominate Howard and Spencer for eviction due to a deal the four of them had made the previous week.[67] Aaryn, Amanda, Andy, GinaMarie, Helen, Jessie, Judd, and McCrae formed an alliance to ensure the eviction of one of the two men.[67] On Day 36, HouseGuests competed in the "Unexpectedly Unforgettable" Have-Not competition.[10] Poppy Montgomery hosted the competition, in which HouseGuests had to place evidence on a desk only to have to put it back in the same position minutes later. The last team to correctly put their evidence in the original spot would be the Have-Nots for the week.[68] The team of Amanda, Candice, GinaMarie, and Judd became the Have-Nots for the week.[69] That same night, Aaryn chose to nominate Howard and Spencer for eviction, with Howard being the target for the majority of the HouseGuests.[70] On Day 37, it was revealed that the viewers had chosen to nominate Amanda for eviction.[71] When picking players for the Power of Veto competition, Jessie and Candice were selected to compete for the Power of Veto; Helen was selected to host. That night, HouseGuests competed in the "Back In Time" Power of Veto competition.[10] For this competition, HouseGuests had to solve a puzzle to form a dinosaur egg, with the first person to complete their puzzle winning the Power of Veto.[72] Spencer was the winner of the Power of Veto.[73] On Day 39, Spencer chose to use the Power of Veto to remove himself from the block, with Candice being nominated in his place in an attempt to ensure Howard's eviction.[74] Jessie and Candice, believing that Amanda and McCrae were in control of the game, attempted to get the votes to evict Amanda from the house, though this plan failed.[75] As a result, Candice and Jessie became outcasts in the house, and became the targets for several HouseGuests.[76] On Day 42, Howard became the fifth HouseGuest to be evicted from the house when he received a total of seven eviction votes (7-1-0).[77][78][79]

Days 43–63[edit]

Following Howard's eviction, HouseGuests competed in the "Bull in a China Shop" Head of Household competition.[10] For this competition, HouseGuests had to walk on a rolling tube while holding on to a bull replica hanging on a rope; when a HouseGuest fell, their bull replica would crash into a china cabinet full of glass.[80] The last HouseGuest remaining on the tube would be the winner.[81] GinaMarie was the winner.[82] Candice won a $5,000 prize, while Helen won a barbecue and invited Aaryn and Elissa to join her.[83][84] GinaMarie and her allies decided to target Candice and Jessie for eviction, hoping to see Candice be evicted from the house.[85] On Day 43, GinaMarie chose to nominate Candice and Jessie for eviction.[86][87][88] When picking players for the Power of Veto competition, Judd and Spencer were selected to compete for the Power of Veto; Aaryn was selected to host. That same day, HouseGuests competed in the "Frog Darts" Power of Veto competition.[10] Candice then became the sixth HouseGuest to be evicted when she received seven eviction votes (7-0-0).[89][90] The HouseGuests then competed in the "Summer School" Head of Household competition.[10] For this competition, HouseGuests had to determine whether there was less or more of an item than what Julie Chen told them.[91] Aaryn was the winner.[92] Following this, Aaryn chose to nominate Jessie and Spencer for eviction, with the plan of evicting Jessie.[93] When picking players for the Power of Veto competition, Amanda, Andy, and Judd were selected to compete. The HouseGuests then competed in the "Nailed It" Power of Veto competition.[10] For this competition, HouseGuests had to attempt to fit a set of nails into the correctly sized slots, with the HouseGuest to finish first winning the Power of Veto.[94] Aaryn was the winner of the Power of Veto.[95] Following this, a plan was set in motion to evict Judd from the house, resulting in Aaryn using the Power of Veto to remove Jessie from the block, with Judd being nominated in her place.[96] Minutes later, Judd became the seventh HouseGuest to be evicted from the house when he received seven eviction votes.[97][98]

Following the double eviction, the remaining nine HouseGuests competed in another Head of Household competition later that night, in which Andy won. Andy was also tasked with picking four HouseGuests as Have-Nots for the week and chose Aaryn, Elissa, GinaMarie, and Helen. The next day, Jessie and Spencer were nominated for their second consecutive round of eviction. Elissa, Amanda, and Helen were picked to play in the veto competition, which Andy won. Two days later, he chose not to use the Power of Veto. On Day 56, in yet another unanimous vote, Jessie was evicted and became the third jury member.

Following Jessie's eviction, Aaryn won her fourth HOH of the season in the "Way Off Broadway" HOH competition. Later that day, Julie Chen revealed to the audience that one of the four jury members would be coming back on the next weeks eviction night. On Day 57, the HouseGuests competed in the Have-Not competition, "The Black Box". In this competition, the HouseGuests had to enter a big, pitch-black box with many crawl spaces and gags, find the key, and exit the black box and hit a button to stop the timer. Amanda, Elissa, GinaMarie, and Helen were the Have-Nots for the week. Aaryn then chose to nominate Elissa and Helen, with Helen being her target. On Day 58, Elissa went on to win her second veto competition of the season. Elissa used the veto to remove her nomination, and Aaryn nominated Spencer in her stead. On Day 63, Helen was evicted by a vote of 4-1, with Elissa being the only one to vote for Spencer.

Shortly after Helen's eviction, the remaining HouseGuests and first four jurors competed in the "Off the Wall" competition, which functioned as both the HoH and re-entry competition. The HouseGuests and jurors were to stand on platforms and catch balls thrown at them without falling off. The first player overall to catch 10 balls or last to remain standing would be the new HoH, and the first juror to do so would return to the game. Judd was the last juror left standing and returned to the game as a HouseGuest, and Elissa was the first to catch 10 balls and became Head of Household.

Days 64–70: Eviction[edit]

On Day 64, Elissa nominated Aaryn and McCrae for eviction. On Day 65, Amanda, GinaMarie, and Judd were selected to play in the Veto competition.[99] Amanda won the Veto competition, her first individual competition win of the season. On Day 67, Amanda used the power of veto to save McCrae, causing Elissa to name Andy the replacement nominee.[99] She was evicted on Day 70.[99]

Controversy[edit]

Gries became the center of controversy after making remarks widely condemned as racist and homophobic by the show's live feed viewers as well as host Julie Chen.[100][101] These comments led to a negative reaction from many fans, and more than 27,000 people signed a petition asking that Gries be expelled from the house before she was evicted.[102][103] Former HouseGuest Ragan Fox also reprimanded Gries for her comments.[104] Gries also became known by the moniker "Aaryn the Aryan" in several gossip blogs that covered the controversy.[105][106]

"I did not mean to ever come off as racist. In Texas, we say things. Sometimes we joke and we don't mean it. I feel how bad it is being seen and how I've come across to people. I don't want to seem like that person, I apologize to anyone I offended for that. That was not meant to be serious and if I said those things, I feel horrible for that. I regret that."

— Aaryn Gries, on her racist comments.[107]

On the controversy, CBS stated "Big Brother is a reality show about watching a group of people who have no privacy 24/7 — and seeing every moment of their lives. At times, the HouseGuests reveal prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone. We certainly find the statements made by several of the HouseGuests on the live Internet feed to be offensive. Any views or opinions expressed in personal commentary by a HouseGuest appearing on Big Brother, either on any live feed from the house or during the broadcast, are those of the individual(s) speaking and do not represent the views or opinions of CBS or the producers of the program."[108] It was later speculated that the HouseGuests had been warned about these comments.[109]

"While I love and continue to support my daughter Aaryn, words cannot describe my disappointment in some of her comments made on 'Big Brother, these inappropriate comments certainly do not represent the value system under which her father and I have raised her. Aaryn is a young 22-year-old college student that has spent 70 days living in a fish bowl and making mistakes for America to see."

— Elizabeth Owens, speaking out in a statement to The Times on her daughter's racist comments.[110]

Gries was seen on the show's live Internet feed referring to Andy Herren as a "queer", and also referred to Asians as "squinty eyed". She remarked that Helen Kim, her Korean American housemate, should "go make some rice." In a notable confrontation with African American houseguest Candice Stewart, Gries flipped over Stewart's bed and aggressively mocked her with a stereotypical accent when Stewart expressed disapproval of the act and threatened to "raise hell" if it happened again.[111][112] She also referred to Candice as "Aunt Jemima" behind her back and said she should "go make pancakes".

Many of Aaryn's racist and homophobic comments were eventually aired on the show, leading to media scrutiny and even more backlash from fans.[113] Her comments in the house led to Aaryn losing representation from her talent agency and her job as a magazine spokesmodel.[114][115]

Aaryn's mother apologized for the offensive comments after hiring a publicist, and spoke out against the exploitation of her daughter's words for ratings in an interview given to the Los Angeles Times a few days after her eviction.[110][116] She further attempted to demonstrate Aaryn's racial tolerance by indicating she took a young African-American man to her prom as her date, claiming the man was "one of her closest friends through high school". Further, she indicated "Aaryn's first true love was Cuban American, and she has cousins of Japanese descent who she truly loves; she has never discriminated against anyone for their sexual orientation whether within our family or not. Aaryn truly loves all people equally."[110] Aaryn's African-American prom date identified himself as Mike Miller to TMZ, sharing prom pictures with the online publication. Miller claimed Aaryn was not "prejudiced or hateful."[117] He also said Gries' sense of humor was that of a "smart-ass."[117] Aaryn later apologized for such comments, adding that she had learned from what she said and that the experience has made her a better person. She also apologized for her comment about Texas in an interview with Jeff, a previous Big Brother player.

Personal life[edit]

Gries is attending Texas State University, with a major in psychology.[1][4] She loves books by Rhonda Byrne and her cat, Pumpkin.[1] Her favorite activities include snowboarding, wakeboarding, traveling, working out, zumba, crafting, decorating, planning events, attending festivals and meeting people.[1] Gries describes herself as outgoing, driven and spontaneous.[1] Gries is currently living in San Marcos, Texas.[1] Aaryn has worked locally in Texas as a specialty model doing work for Maxim in Austin, Texas and was signed by Belle Petite as a promotional model.[4] She was signed to Zephyr Talent.[118] As of part Zephyr Talent, Aaryn has landed numerous gigs in Texas, including modeling lingerie on the runway during Austin Fashion Week at La Zona Rosa Marketplace.[118] On February 4, 2014, her father passed away.

References[edit]

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