Carol says she's perplexed by Jessica holding onto an eighth-grade grudge and admits that she made a ''half-assed'' plea to stay on the show because she really just wanted to go home

By Josh Wolk
Updated July 13, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Cliff Lipson

Karmically, perhaps 21-year-old Kansas business-school student Carol’s fate was sealed back in eighth grade, when she allegedly failed to pay Jessica back that five dollars. Let that be a lesson to you, readers: crime doesn’t pay! Actually, this time it might have, because judging by this interview with Carol, the season’s first evictee, she was happy to have been booted, even if it was by a vote of 10 to 1. (To read more about this week’s episode and to post your comments, click over to the Big Brother TV Watch.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So what was it like being in the house with your deadliest enemy?
CAROL: I wouldn’t exactly call her my deadliest enemy, but it was definitely awkward and uncomfortable, and it was really hard to be myself, simply because she was there.

Before she told you, did you even know you were enemies?
I had not thought about it in forever, honestly. I thought our conflict from eighth grade was so petty and minuscule that it didn’t even matter.

And to think this would all have been avoided if you’d just paid her back her five dollars.
I don’t even know why she keeps talking about some five dollar thing. I think she just made that up. I can’t even remember what our conflict was about. If she’s really that upset about five dollars, then she’s got other things to worry about.

Do you think Jessica was really mad at you, or was it all just an act?
I have no idea if that was an act. If that was an act, I feel sorry for her, because it just made her seem catty and childish in the long run. Honestly, I don’t know. It was something that happened in eighth grade, and for her to still be angry and bitter about it, I just find that a little pathetic, to be quite honest.

So how were you both cast? I’m guessing that two enemies didn’t happen to both randomly decide to apply for Big Brother.
[She pauses, then quietly confers with a CBS publicist for a moment.] We all went through the whole casting process, but she was cast first and mentioned me, and that’s how I kind of got pulled into it.

So they came looking for you?

Did you have any interest in being on Big Brother before that?
I have never watched the show, and I had no intentions of ever auditioning or going through with it. The first time I watched the show was during the audition process.

[At this point, the CBS publicist interrupts and asks to move to a different topic, as they’d like to keep the casting process ”mysterious.”]

Okay, moving on. Having never watched the show before, was it what you expected?
For the most part it was. I knew exactly that no one in the house can be trusted, and everything happens randomly and you have to go with the luck of the draw. Think about it: the enemies thing? Should I have been up in the HOH room when it started, and Jessica was up on the mushroom, she would be the one in my position right now. It was just luck of the draw that I got put in that position, not her.

Was there a point in the show when you thought, ”I’ve made a terrible mistake by coming on this thing”?
From the minute they picked me up I thought it was a mistake. But I’m hoping that some good comes from it, and it was definitely an experience I’ll never forget and something I don’t take for granted.

NEXT PAGE: ”I didn’t see [the backstabbing] for a very, very long time. Because people were very supportive to my face.”

Do you think having an ”enemy” in the house had anything to do with your eviction?
I honestly don’t think that my relationship with Jessica had anything to do with my eviction. Honestly, because I was never really so interested in the show in the first place, it was really hard for me to have the heart and will to compete and want to be there. The whole time I was there, I enjoyed myself, and it was a really great experience, but at the same time all I could talk about was home and how homesick I was and how all I wanted to do was be with my family and go back to college. Everyone knew that I wasn’t totally happy with the situation. Everyone knew I wanted to go home. Yeah, I campaigned, but it was almost forced and kind of an act.

You were forced to campaign by other people in the house, or by the producers?
Both. I don’t know. I felt like people wanted to keep me there, but they said if I wanted to stay or they wanted to keep me there, then I was going to have to fight. Just for the show, you have to fight to stay, and even though I had really no desire to stay and all I wanted to do was go home, I had to fight anyways.

You did give perhaps the most half-assed plea to stay in Big Brother history when made to state your case to the house.
Yeah. I didn’t even want to give [a reason to keep me], but I was told I had to. I knew I was going home, it was not a surprise whatsoever. [When I was evicted] I said my goodbyes to the people I cared about in the house, and I really didn’t want to speak to other people. It was a half-assed goodbye, I’m not gonna lie about that, but I just wanted to go home and get out of there. [Laughs]

Do you have any guess as to who gave you your one vote?
It was my girl Jen! I love her. She’s awesome.

It seems like people on this game have two agendas: to be good at the game, and to come off well on television.
There are two faces to the game. There’s the face you want everyone to like and there’s the game face. For a while it was all fun and games, and really great getting to know everyone, and it was just really fun and a great atmosphere to be in. But once the game started rolling, and people started strategizing, people’s true colors came out, and it wasn’t a side of people you want to be friends with. I didn’t go there to strategize. I didn’t go there to play the game, and that’s probably where I went wrong. I kind of went for the fun and the experience. I got enough in two weeks. I was good to go.

You left early in the game, but could you already see people starting to scheme and backstab?
I started seeing the backstabbing probably four days ago at the earliest. I didn’t see it for a very, very long time. Because people were very supportive to my face, saying, ”You’ve got to stay, you’ve gotta do this and that,” but then I turn around and get evicted 10 to 1. I’m not bitter about it, because it’s strategy, and people don’t want to be the odd man out and look bad when it comes to voting right off the bat.

You said that the enmity between you and Jessica was contrived. What about the other ”enemies” of the game. Were things really tense between Evil Dick and Daniele?
You can definitely see tension between the two of them. Daniele just always seemed so embarrassed and so ashamed of the things her father would say and do. I felt bad for her. I thought it was just a really uncomfortable and awkward situation for her.

What about Dustin and Joe?
There’ve been times between them that they were joking and having fun and looked like they really enjoyed each other’s company, so it really made me question whether they were really in that bad of a situation in the first place.

Well, they certainly loved to talk about gonorrhea.
Oh God, that was embarrassing. But at that moment, you couldn’t do anything but laugh, just because you couldn’t take it seriously. You couldn’t judge Dustin right off the bat, because you can’t form an opinion about somebody without meeting them first. It was honestly one of the funniest moments, in my opinion.

So are you now sequestered?
I get to go home today! Only the last seven people get to vote. So I get to go home and I get to go to the finale.

Are you going to keep watching the show?
Of course! I have to keep watching it. I was on the season, I can’t just let it roll by without me knowing what’s going on, and then show up at the finale going, ”So, who’s in the final two?”