Lisa Donahue: Tony Esparza
Dalton Ross
September 30, 2002 at 12:00 PM EDT

As far as summers go, Lisa’s wasn’t too shabby. She spent 12 weeks on national television, nabbed a hunky firefighter, and, oh yeah, took home half a million dollars to boot. Now, the 26-year old bartender from Los Angeles tells EW.com how she won ”Big Brother 3.”

Okay, confession time. I called you boring in one of my ”Big Brother 3” columns, but I’m assuming that was part of your strategy in that you wanted to fly below the radar and not draw attention. Am I right, or just a big jerk?

It was part strategy and part just who I am. That house was so filled with vibrant personalities that I just kind of let them have that showtime and was like, ”Go ahead, I can’t even compete. It would make me too exhausted.” My strategy was really just to go after the people who were going after me and to stay friends with the people who weren’t going after me.

Well, of course, the big $500,000 question is, Did you and Eric have sex in the house?

Absolutely not. We had great feelings for each other, but we only knew each other for four weeks, and even out of the house I wouldn’t do anything like that with someone I’d known for four weeks. Every time we were together, all of our clothes were on. But we had fun.

The track record on so-called reality romances is not strong. How would you rate your chances as a couple outside the house?

I think our odds are pretty good, because we only spent four weeks together, and then we had two months without each other, yet I would still constantly think about him. We haven’t really had a chance to talk since I’ve been out of the house, but things sound pretty great. I’m really looking forward to trying.

That said, do you think NOT voting him back in the house was your strongest move of the game?

I KNOW it was my strongest move, and I wouldn’t take that back. I did not want him back in the house, because I would be coupled up with him again. Also, I didn’t think he would understand me turning on Chiara and Roddy for them turning on me, so that was hard in that he wouldn’t understand and he might turn on me for being unfaithful to them.

Now, you were originally really mad at Gerry for voting Eric out, but don’t you think you owe him a dinner right about now?

Actually, I really wasn’t pissed at Gerry gamewise. You have to do what you have to do. Emotionally, I was upset he broke us up, but yeah, I think I owe Gerry a dinner.

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