Delaware’s Monte Taylor narrowly missed out on Big Brother’s $750,000 grand prize. The online fitness trainer from Bear finished second in the CBS reality TV competition’s 24th season.
Despite finishing as the runner-up, Taylor hopes to translate his national exposure into further success for his fitness business, and his soon-to-be new role as podcaster.
The 27-year-old earned a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Delaware, but took an alternative career route as an online trainer. But it wasn’t until the pandemic that he started taking his new vocation more seriously.
“I started thinking about what I really wanted to do,” Taylor said. “I wound up finding this passion for fitness and quit my job… I started my online fitness coaching business and immediately started working with clients and helping them reach their fitness goals.”
He frequently posted fitness videos online, one of which went viral. “I have been posting a lot on social media and one of my videos blew up and apparently got more eyes on it than normal,” he said. That led to an invitation to appear on Big Brother, a reality show where contestants are forced to live together with little contact with the outside world.
He plans to use his appearance on the show to expand his platform and possibly raise money for future projects, as well as help his community.
“I saw it as an opportunity to represent my family, my friends, and the community that I came from, but also to expand my reach and help more people after the show.”
Taylor views life through a competitive lens, so missing out on first place was disappointing. But he said he’s gratified and appreciative to know that he represented Delaware, his family, and his community on national television for 82 days of the competition.
Taking time off from his hands-on work with clients did pose a challenge, he said not being present for those people was one of the sacrifices he had to make to appear on the show.
Being away from his family, especially his parents was also tough. “Just seeing my parents right after the show made me realize how much I missed them, how much they’ve been a sounding board for me, how supportive they’ve been.”
Taylor plans to explore other career options including acting, although his immediate plans include starting a podcast “encouraging as many people as I possibly can to take risks in life and to pursue what they want, pursue what they’re passionate about, whatever is going to fulfill them.”
Though still in Los Angeles, Taylor plans to return to Delaware soon, saying he misses the state’s more tranquil nature.
“I hope that people from the state of Delaware realize that it’s not a matter of, ‘Oh, since I’m from Delaware, I can’t do this, I can’t do that,’” he said. “Like, there’s so much connectivity online, there’s so much connectivity that we have.”
“You can make whatever you want in your life from wherever you’re from, as long as you are passionate about the things that you’re taking risks on.”