Conway man part of Big Brother cast

By Tammy Keith Originally Published June 30, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated June 28, 2013 at 10:26 a.m.
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Spencer Clawson of Conway, center, holds the key to the Big Brother house, which symbolizes that he was accepted as a cast member for the 15th season of the reality show. Also pictured are his brothers, Chuck, left, and Grant. Chuck said Spencer took some University of Central Arkansas and Wampus Cat shirts to wear on the show. An interview with Spencer is available at CBS.com.

Spencer Clawson, 31, of Conway has settled into the house on the Los Angeles set of Big Brother, a reality television show, which had its season debut Wednesday.

The show will air again on CBS at 7 p.m. today, 8 p.m. Tuesday and 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Dozens of cameras and microphones are on 16 contestants, called house guests, 24 hours a day. They undergo challenges, form alliances and vote each other off until one person wins $500,000.

Chuck Clawson, 34, said his younger brother’s personality should take him far.

“He is really, really doing a good job of portraying his personality on these interviews,” Chuck said. “He’s very quick-witted; he’s a good-hearted person.”

During an interview, Spencer, a railroad conductor with Union Pacific, said, “I come from a great town.” He said he would buy rental property if he won.

On the first episode, Spencer and other house guests had to hang onto “popscicles,” moving padded hanging objects shaped like the treats, while being squirted with liquids.

The 6-foot-4-inch Spencer hung on for more than 40 minutes, and he was shown handing towels to other contestants as they dropped.

His mother, Donna Clawson of Conway, said, “Part of that’s his personality; part of that’s his strategy.”

She said the family has watch parties each Wednesday night at The Draft, 2235 Dave Ward Drive in Conway.

“It’s really strange when you see your child up there on national TV. It’s a strange thing, and then what he’s doing is strange,” she said.

“I cannot imagine being locked up for that amount of time with those people.”

The show will end in September.

Wednesday night is when eliminations are made.

Donna said that’s why it’s important for people to vote on CBS.com for Spencer to be an MVP.

MVPs get to pick someone to be considered for elimination.

She said that about 2:30 a.m. Thursday, she got an alert from the Big Brother app on her cellphone that two girls are up for elimination.

Unless the MVP puts Spencer on the chopping block, he’s safe next week, she said.

Chuck, deputy city attorney for Conway, said he’d never watched the show, despite his brother’s urging.

“Spencer has been trying to get me to watch for years, and I just haven’t,” Chuck said. “He’s a super fan.”

Chuck said Spencer grew his goatee into a bushy beard and went to Portland, Ore., to audition.

“They had over 40,000 apply for the show,” Chuck said.

“This is a dream; he set a goal,” he said.

Donna said she and her husband, Circuit Judge Charles Clawson, just smiled when they found out Spencer was going to be on the show.

“Everybody’s got little things on his bucket list, and this is his,” she said.

She said her son didn’t tell her about the audition until he got back.

“Well, when he told me that, I said, ‘Honey, you’ve got it — your little Southern drawl.’ He’s 6-4, and with that big red beard, he stood out,” Donna said.

The show’s website describes Spencer as “a teddy bear.”

“Spencer is just kind of a little charmer, you know. He blends well with lots of different people,” Donna said.

“I’m kind of worried about him and some of the little divas — he doesn’t put up with much.”

Donna said that at Spencer’s insistence, she watched the show one season.

“I started obsessing that season. … It just wore me out; I told him I couldn’t do it,” she said.

As long as Spencer stays on the show, she won’t miss a minute this season.

“I’m planning on him winning the whole thing,” she said.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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