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Bravotv.com: Why did you invite Whitney and Shep to go back home with you?
Craig Conover: I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with both Whitney and Shep’s families multiple times and always looked forward to them getting a chance to meet my parents. I take a few trips home every summer, and when my parents mentioned bringing the guys up, I thought, “Why the heck not?” I knew they would have a good time and be surprised to compare where I actually grew up to whatever they imagined in their heads. No one really knows what to think when someone mentions “Delaware,” so I was excited to show them what it was all about. I knew they would have a great time, my parents would enjoy it, and that it would give them a deeper insight into who I really was as a person and where my roots really come from. Maybe seeing how successful I’ve been throughout my life would help them understand that I’m just going through a rough patch/low point in life and everything would be OK.
Bravotv.com: Why had you not told your parents about losing your job?
CC: I didn’t want them to worry. I knew there was no way of telling them over the phone that I got fired and them not inherently thinking something was seriously wrong. Of course I was embarrassed, but my intentions weren’t from a selfish place. I really wanted to get a new job first, so that when I told them, I’d be able to assure them that everything was going to be ok. Until that point, if I told them over the phone, I don’t think they would have been able to get a good night’s rest before seeing me in person. But also, there was a lot of shame--they gave me the perfect childhood and have since provided me with everything I needed to become a very successful young adult. I didn’t think it was fair to them for me to be acting the way I was and losing my job after all of their hard work.
Bravotv.com: What was going through your mind when Whitney was going in on you at the dinner table?
CC:I just can’t believe how rude he was. Sure, he had had a little to drink, but I thought he would be able to handle himself a little better. My parents are awesome, so not much bothers them, but this was the first time they had met Whitney, and I didn’t want them to be like, “so this is the type of person that Craig is associating himself with now. Uh-oh.” It just didn’t appear to be from a good place. It looked like he was trying to call me out and entertain himself with some dinner table drama.
Bravotv.com: You seemed to forgive Whitney pretty quickly afterward. Why?
CC: Whitney has to deal with us embarrassing him in front of his mom all of the time. This was the first chance he had gotten to do the same to me. Sure, the material he was using was a few levels higher than the stuff we embarrass him about, but I think he had been de-sensitized to the information and didn’t really understand the ramifications of what he was saying. He’s had my back too many times to count, we’re boys till the end, and because of that, I know he wouldn’t purposely ever do something malicious to me for a laugh. It’s just Whitney being Whitney haha.
Bravotv.com: Was Cooper’s show the first time you’ve walked a runway? Tell us more about your interest/experience in modeling.
CC: No, I have walked in the past, but Cooper’s show a few years ago was actually the first fashion show I was ever in. It’s from there that I began getting exposure and started to realize how much I actually enjoyed it. I think being paid to model satisfies the hole that being bullied when I was younger left inside me. For some reason, that hole motivates my trivial desire to make people happy and to prove them wrong in way more areas in my life than it should.
Bravotv.com: Were you surprised when Shep confronted you about partying too much?
CC: Yes, truthfully I really was. I think Shep makes himself feel better about his life decisions when he does so. Maybe he wants to see me become successful as hell. Well I know for a fact that’s the case. I just think it was hard to admit to myself that if SHEP was giving me life lessons, maybe I really was messing up, and it was time to make a change. It’s a hard thing to come to terms with. Once you dig yourself into a hole, it’s way easier to keep digging than to face your problems straight on and start climbing your way out.
Bravotv.com: Did you take his and Thomas’ comments at the fashion show after-party seriously?
CC: Shep’s gossip about me “messing up” had gotten to be a little obnoxious at that point. Yeah, I was screwing up by being irresponsible and going out too much, but once he brought Thomas into it and started commenting on me “drinking too much,” that’s when I got annoyed. Yes, I go out way more than I should, but I don’t drink too much when I go out like them. It really felt like a slap in the face after all the times I’ve gotten them both out of trouble at 2 AM on King Street.