The Traitors finalist Jaz Singh has revealed he was made redundant before applying for the show as he shares his hopes for a blossoming TV career.
Life couldn't be more different now for the star who has rocketed to fame on The Traitors and been hailed as "Jazatha Christie", a play on Agatha Christie, in a nod to his terrific ability to catch the Traitors out on the reality TV series. Dan Walker was among the viewers calling for the TV star to get his own detective series because of his observant, sharp and switched on personality.
In an interview with Yahoo, Jaz - who comes from a sales marketing account management background - shared he would love to set his sights on a TV career now. The TV personality said he applied for The Traitors after he was made redundant and he had a candid conversation with his mum about his future.
He told Yahoo: "Not many people know but I actually got made redundant in February/March time of last year, just before applying for the show. And my mum says, 'This is actually great because you can now just treat it as a blank canvas. You've been working since you were 15/16, this is the first time that you're not gonna be working, Jaz, what do you want to do?'
"And I said, 'Mum, I want to be on TV. That's what I love and that's what I would love to do.' And she just sort of chuckled. She goes, 'I know you're into it and I know you've got the gift of the gab and all but you've not done acting school and you've not done any drama lessons, just stick to what you know.
"And then it's weird because obviously I applied for the show, got onto it and then obviously everything that's happened now. Dan Walker tweeted, 'He needs his own detective series.' Other celebs are now jumping on that, I'm thinking 'hell to the yes'. And then some people have said to me, 'What are you gonna call it? Jazatha Christie murder mystery.' And I was thinking, that rhymes. That's quite scary! It's just so cool."
Jaz sets sights on TV career
Viewers loved seeing Jaz in The Traitors, watching him play as a Faithful to take out the Traitors. Jaz praised the reaction for being really heartwarming. Plus his family and friends have been proud watching him on our screens the past few weeks.
"It not only softened the blow of not winning the cash prize," he said. "It's actually just made me so touched. It's so moving, really, really overwhelming."
He added: "It's absolutely incredible to get the reception that I've had. Everyone's just constantly still messaging me. They still want to see me. I thought they would have been bored of me by now to be honest but they're not that everyone's still messaging and say 'Jaz, can you please come on our screens again? We need more of you.'
"And I'm thinking, oh my word that just means so much to me because obviously you get validation to being accepted. But this is just on a whole new level and it's just getting bigger and bigger and bigger."
While it has been "overwhelming", Jaz maintained his very down-to-earth persona we saw on The Traitors. He added: "At the same time I want to manage my expectations really carefully because obviously we're at this superb level at the moment. And I'm sure the interest of the show will come to a point where something else will come out. So I just want to obviously maximise the opportunity while it's here and just see where it takes. I'm excited."
Jaz says he had 'three heart attack' moments in final
In the final, Jaz impressed everyone at home by challenging traitor Harry Clark by calling a final banishment. Unfortunately, Mollie Pearce remained loyal to her friend Harry with whom she spent most of her time with during filming the reality series.
The moment left Jaz breathless. He confessed Mollie gave him "three heart attack" moments when she was torn between choosing Harry and himself. In the end, she made the final change and rubbed out Harry's name and replaced it with Jaz. Crying Mollie then stormed off in The Traitors when she found out her friend was a traitor.
Remembering how it went down with plenty of drama, he said: "When I saw Harry's name on that slate, I didn't want the universe to shift or change in any way. I just didn't breathe.
"I didn't look, all I was doing was just staring at the fire in front of me and that was it. Everything else was a blur because I thought me and Molly have actually won this. Like the plan actually worked. And then she was deliberating for quite a long time if I'm honest.
"Then she actually said, 'I'm actually gonna stick with my vote because I've written it' and I thought, 'Oh my', then she said she wants to change it. That gave me a heart attack and she said she's willing to stick with it because she wrote it.
"That's given me a further heart attack. And then after a long time of lots of tears and deliberation, we go back to J-J-J-J. That was the final nail in the coffin, just accept defeat Jaz. So at that point you can see me just tapping my board, ready to just get out of the place because I was just so angry. But then again, I had to have a stern conversation with my mind and just think look how fortunate you are to even have got to this point."
Harry underestimated 'dangerous' Jaz
After the show wrapped, Harry had admitted that he didn't realise that Jaz was a "dangerous" player to keep in the game. Jaz was delighted to be recognised by Harry, who won the £95,000, and he triumphed that being underestimated by the traitors was exactly what he had planned.
He enthused: "I played it exactly how I wanted to play it. I didn't come across loud. I didn't come across cocky or overly confident. I just stayed completely under the radar. So that all the other contestants were, they just got on with me rather than fear me as some form of a competition.
"They saw me as, 'Oh, this is innocent Jaz who is it will not cause any threats or anything like that'. And it was intentional. I did that because I wanted to come across as underestimated. So it almost worked like a treat."
Interestingly, Jaz had wanted to be a Traitor at the start of the game but he ended up loving being devoted to Team Faithful. Admittedly though, he revealed this was a tough gig. "It's harder as a Faithful," he said. "Without a shadow of a doubt, having gone through the whole experience now because as a Traitor, all you have to do essentially is lie in the game."
He further explained: "Whereas as a Faithful, not only do you have to prove that you're innocent, you have to have a second job responsibility of finding the Traitors. It is a big ask on top of that the added pressure is your journey could be cut short in a split of a second by getting a juicy bloody lovely envelope."
Jaz on keeping The Traitors final a secret
Keeping the secret of The Traitors final was something Jaz had to continue up from the end of filming up until now. "It's super, super tough," he said. In his inner circle, he told his mum and his wife how it went down. Explaining why, he said: "Because obviously I live with them and then they'd be thinking, 'Why is he so weird?' After coming back from the show, that was the therapy."
His mother-in-law and father-in-law were urging him to not give them any spoilers. He said, "They said, 'We don't wanna know anything.' They kept smirking at me and I'm like, 'You're acting like I've won it and please don't let me tell you what actually happens.'"
Now it's all over, it's a huge relief for him. "Everything's out," he said. "It's like the smoke coming out of my ears and my nostrils. It's like therapy and I'm just like a machine, just telling everyone everything now because holding it in was so hard."