#BigBrotherOverTheTop Winner Morgan Willett: #BroadcastJournalist #CountryMusic #TheSisterSauce
Last summer Kevin, a houseguest on the CBS summer reality show Big Brother, made a shout out to a friend back home, Grammy award winning country singer/songwriter Lori McKenna (“Humble and Kind,” “Girl Crush”). However, that wasn’t the first time the reality show and country music connected.
Months earlier, CBS aired its first winter version of the show, Big Brother Over the Top (BBOTT). The season’s winner, Morgan Willett, is a fan of the genre. The Granbury, Texas, native received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2016, just before entering the house. Since being voted the prizewinner by America that December, the twenty-four-year-old has pursued a career in broadcast journalism, in Los Angeles and Nashville.
Would you say the reality show experience helped you in news/broadcast journalism?
I would definitely say being on Big Brother has opened so many doors for me and helped my career in broadcasting. It’s a great conversation starter and it has allowed me to connect with so many influential people in the industry. But don’t get me wrong… it still takes a lot of hard work and dedication to move up the entertainment ladder. But I am incredibly thankful for BBOTT allowing me to move to Los Angeles.
Which TV personalities have inspired your career choice?
My biggest inspiration is hands down Maria Menounos. Not only is she one of the founders of AfterBuzz TV (where I currently work), but she is such a talented host and entrepreneur. Maria is someone who started from not a lot and proved to everyone that with hard work, anything is possible. She makes the most of every situation and excels in everything she does from wrestling to podcasting! I looked up to her even before I moved to LA and now I am incredibly lucky to be a part of her network and work closely with her husband, Keven, who has become a great mentor.
Morgan Willett hosting AfterBuzz’s Big Brother 20 Show (current season)
Besides working as a journalist, do you have any other ‘dream’ jobs in the entertainment industry?
My dream job would be to eventually host a show such as Dancing with The Stars, or host my own talk show. Watch out, Julie Chen! (Just kidding, I adore her). I’ve got a long way to go, but anything is possible!
You’ve interviewed artists on the Academy of Country Music Awards red carpet and hosted a ‘match game’ at this summer’s CMA Fest. Who are your favorite country artists (growing up in Texas you must have had the chance to go to a number of concerts)?
I absolutely LOVE Texas country music, I grew up going to Billy Bobs and the Fort Worth Stock Yards. I’m a big fan of Aaron Watson and Cody Johnson. When I’m listening to the radio, I will always crank up the volume for Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, and Thomas Rhett.
What do you see yourself doing in the future with country music? Maybe a ‘behind-the-scenes’ at concerts/tours with artists when they come to Los Angeles? Might you expand your YouTube videos to include podcasts with singers?
After visiting Nashville, I fell in love with the city. I would really like to one day make my way out there and work with CMT or a similar network. For the time being though, I plan on staying Los Angeles and I would love to continue working with country music. Stagecoach is such a big event, so I hope to someday do something with that and interview artists backstage.
I have actually been thinking about starting a podcast. We’ll see what country music singers may make an appearance!
What do you like to do when you have free time?
I am incredibly active in the fitness community and spend 99% of my time at SoulCycle. I am addicted!
I also really enjoy hitting the beaches around LA … because in Texas we never had that luxury! It’s been so fun exploring California and the weather is incredible so I love spending as much time outside as I can.