St. Petersburg man in Big Brother 11
That's because 41-year-old St. Petersburg resident Casey Turner is among the 12 contestants announced today in the newest edition of CBS's unscripted live-in-a-house competition, Big Brother.
Turner follows in the footsteps of Lakeland native Spencer Duhm, who became the youngest person to compete on CBS's castaway show Survivor in its latest cycle. And Big Brother has featured a Tampa Bay resident before: the ninth cycle of the show featured Sarasota native "Crazy James" Zinkand.
According to the Associated Press, Turner calls himself a "hip-hop redneck," balancing night work as a DJ with his day gig of teaching at low-income schools over the last 15 years. He's leaving behind a wife and two kids, including a 9-month-old son, to compete for $500,000 if he can outlast the other contestants.
"I'm going to miss my family," Turner told the AP. "It's been really hard for me just the couple of days I've been secluded here in the hotel, so I can imagine how I'm going to feel a month from now. I look forward to meeting some cool people. All of them will not be cool. I'm aware of that. All of them will not like my style. I'm aware of that, too.
There's a 13th houseguest who will join the competition after the 12 meet each other next week. The contestants this year will be split into four familiar high school cliques -- popular, athletes, brainiacs and off-beats -- competing for food, safety from eviction and luxury prizes as part of their clique.
The whole mess hits TV screens live at 8 p.m. July 9 on WTSP-Ch. 10, airing Sundays, Tuesday and Thursdays through the summer. Here's a preview video from CBS on it all.
Click below video to read CBS's official take on the whole thing and to see the full list of lockups.
Fifth grade teacher by day and DJ by night, Casey will rap for anyone on request. Funny, outgoing and intelligent, this teacher is most proud of having a career where he has taught at schools located in low-income areas for more than 15 years. He takes great joy in knowing that he has the opportunity to work with good kids who are not growing up in ideal situations.
Casey calls his wife "terrific" if for no other reason than she puts up with him. An understanding woman, she will miss him during his stay in the house, but she realizes that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Casey. He feels the most difficult part about being in the house will be being away from his family, and he is worried about the milestones he might miss in the lives of his 19-year-old and nine month-old sons.
With the BIG BROTHER cameras surrounding him at all times, he is quite nervous about his nose-picking habit. He's pretty sure that the cameras will eventually catch him. Other than that, he really doesn't have any fears and quips that there are only two things that he is afraid of: his "wife and the IRS." He is looking forward to getting outside of his comfort zone which will end up in self-discovery, adventures and awesome experiences.
One of his life's mottos is, "refuse to lose," and if he encounters any whiny people in the house, he will simply say, "life isn’t fair. We’ve all had tough times. Suck it up and move on."
The other contestants are:
_ Braden Bacha, 28, model-actor from Santa Monica, Calif.
_ Kevin Campbell, 29, graphic designer from Chula Vista, Calif.
_ Laura Crosby, 21, bikini model from Atlanta
_ Russell Kairouz, 24, mixed martial arts fighter from Walnut Creek, Calif.
_ Jordan Lloyd, 22, waitress from Matthews, N.C.
_ Natalie Martinez, 24, store manager from Gilbert, Ariz.
_ Michelle Noonan, 27, neuroscientist from Pasadena, Calif.
_ Jeff Schroeder, 31, advertising salesman from Norridge, Ill.
_ Chima Simone, 32, freelance journalist from West Hollywood, Calif.
_ Ronnie Talbott, 30, teacher from Belpre, Ohio.
_ Lydia Tavera, 24, makeup artist from Torrance, Calif.