By Dalton Ross
Updated August 14, 2015 at 06:00 PM EDT
Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Shelli Poole had it all in the Big Brother house. Her alliance was controlling the game and she had a serious showmance going on with in-house boyfriend Clay to boot. But then it all came crashing down after James reneged on a Head of Household deal to keep her and Clay safe, and the couple were the next two walking out the door. We caught up with Shelli over email on her way to the jury house where she answered questions about what went wrong, her future with Clay, and why she deserves to go back.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s your theory on why Vanessa stayed and you left?

SHELLI POOLE: Well, Vanessa is a great strategist. She was able to approach those whose votes matter – the Goblins, James, Meg and Jackie. Their three votes would have affected the way John and Steve would have voted so those were the five votes that mattered this week. James was fearful that I would be targeting him should I stay in the house, and Vanessa was able to use that angle to gain trust with James. She was able to spin the target towards Becky by giving James specific reasons Becky was against him and that Vanessa would go after Becky rather than James having to target her.

Vanessa let James and Meg know her targets would be Steve, John, and Becky — which meant they would be safe in the meantime. As long as Becky and Vanessa were in the house together, Jackie, Meg and James would be safe. Vanessa put doubt into their minds about Becky so should Becky need to go, they knew Vanessa would be the one to do so. They would have a greater shot of staying safe in the house as long as Vanessa were still there.

You told Julie you were rooting for Steve and Johnny Mac, but who do you think is playing the best game in the house?

I hate to say it but so far it seems like Vanessa is pulling the strings.

Who are you hoping was eliminated right after you on double eviction night?

If it was Vanessa or James, I would like the fact that only one of us has to go back in but at the same time, if I get back in the game, I would like to have them as my targets. I feel Austin and the twins are just coasting along at this point, so it would nice to see that someone had the balls to split them up.

Do you wish you had been a little more discreet in your relationship with Clay and made yourselves less of a target?

Let’s be honest: I don’t regret anything of my time spent with Clay. The Big Brother house is an emotionally sensitive place and you need that backbone, which he provided for me.

You made a deal with James to keep both you and Clay safe, and then you two were the next ones out of the house. How much resentment do you still hold towards James for not keeping his word?

A LOT (laughter!!)

You seemed downright giddy when you walking out of the house. What was that all about? Did you know you were going and had already come to terms with it?

Yes, I knew I was going and decided to take that moment in stride. I was walking out of the house with cheering fans about to speak to Julie Chen. That is an amazing moment to embrace.

You live in Atlanta and Clay lives in Texas. Have you guys talked at all about plans together post-game outside of the house?

Yes, he has already set up a date for us in Texas. As long as things go as planned, I’ll be visiting him, he’ll be visiting me, and then we’ll go from there.

Why do you deserve to go back into the house? Give me your best pitch.

I think I was dealt a raw deal with James. I think I have a lot more to offer the Big Brother game strategically, mentally and physically. I am loyal, strong and ready to get back into the game.

For more ‘Big Brother’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

WANT MORE EW? Subscribe now to keep up with the latest in movies, television and music.

Episode Recaps

Big Brother

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

  • TV Show
  • 22
  • TV-14
  • CBS
stream service