Michael From ‘Big Brother’ Was on ‘Catfish,’ Feared He Was Being Duped

Michael From ‘Big Brother’ Was on ‘Catfish,’ Feared He Was Being Duped

Reality television worlds collided when Michael from Big Brother 5 was on Catfish. Nicknamed “Cowboy,” Michael Ellis was the runner-up in the fifth season of popular CBS reality competition series Big Brother in 2004. 16 years later, Michael made his return to reality television for a very different reason: he feared he was getting duped by a girl he had been talking to online and went to Nev and Kamie from MTV’s Catfish.

In Season 8 of Catfish, Michael had fallen in love with his online dream girl, Julia, but he soon gets a reality check as the truth is uncovered. It was also revealed that Survivor villain Russell Hantz and fellow Big Brother star James Huling were also chatting with “Julia.” Hantz had previously talked to “Julia,” but the two had drifted apart. Per ScreenRant, he had gotten suspicious about Michael’s relationship with her, especially since she was a Big Brother fan.

Once it was discovered she was sending racy pictures to Huling and had been in a relationship with him, it seemed less and less likely that “Julia” was who she said she was. However, by the episode’s end, after being invited to a Zoom with Nev, Kamie, and Michael and building up suspense about her identity, Julia turned out to be true after all. She explained that there was still not a lot about her that he knew, including that she started dating women a few years prior. Julia was just scared to open up. Michael said that he would have accepted her, and he’s dated bisexual women in the past.

Nev and Kamie did bring up the fact that she was talking to and in relationships with other reality stars, such as Huling. However, Julia stressed that she was merely only talking and flirting to those reality stars, but with Michael it was different and genuine. So, what happened after the episode? Ahead of the episode’s premiere in December 2020, Michael tweeted that he was still legally married but had been separated from his wife and was planning on divorcing soon.

That January, Julia revealed on social media that she and Michael “have mutually decided to be friends. Catfish brought us together, and we’ve gained a great friendship. He truly deserves the best. He’s the absolute best guy and my best friend. Thank you all for your support.” From the looks of her X account and her occasional posts tagging Michael, the two are still close platonically, which is perhaps the best outcome for Catfish: The TV Show.

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