CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) - People in Conway and across Arkansas got to root, root, root for the home team tonight on national TV. But, they weren't watching a baseball game; they were watching the CBS hit reality show Big Brother.
Conway's own Spencer Clawson is just one of the contestants in this summer's Big Brother, and he had a lot of support at Draft Wednesday. His hometown neighbors were cheering him on in a watch party for the first episode of the season.
"It's wonderful. Spencer will be thrilled. He's not going to believe all this is happening for him," said Donna Clawson, Spencer's mother. She said watching her son on Big Brother is more nerve-racking than anything she's ever gone through, and she's not alone.
"We're excited. Each time he comes on, we get a little more tense," added Spencer's brother, Grant. He came to Wednesday night's watch party along with family, friends and other Conway residents. "He's got the personality. He's got the smarts. He's got the strategy. He'll be two steps ahead of the people he's with. He's able to form alliances, can really talk with anybody, really conversational, really trustworthy."
"He's watched it for years, and this is one of the things on his bucket list," Donna Clawson added. "He loves the mental part of it, trying to do the strategy, and he loves the physical part of it, so it's going to be interesting how this turns out."
While the season opener was mainly introductions, Spencer's mom knows the stress will get more intense with each passing week.
"Right now--day one--it's great. Now later on when I see the back-stabbing that's going on, and Spencer doesn't know about it, and I can't help him, it's going to drive me crazy. Probably the TV will be out in the road a couple times," she joked.
Donna has been actively lobbying for her son, asking people to vote for him online to help his stay on the show.
"Arkansas always roots for their own, and I know that this year they'll do the same thing with Spencer."
That voting is a new feature this season to Big Brother. Viewers can sign up at CBS.com to log on and vote for their favorite players each week.
Donna said she's gone as far as stopping strangers on the street recently to get them to vote for Spencer.
The Clawsons plan to hold watch parties here at Draft every Wednesday night until Spencer wins or gets voted off the show.
Clawson represents Conway through and through. He was born in Conway, went to high school there and attended UCA.
Spencer isn't the only person with Arkansas ties to be on the show this season. Jeremy McGuire is also a house guest and grew up in Benton. He lives in Katy Texas now, but he still has a lot of family in our area.