By Dalton Ross
Updated August 19, 2016 at 06:47 PM EDT
Cliff Lipson/CBS

Big Brother

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Paulie Calafiore was in a pretty sweet spot this summer. He appeared to be running the Big Brother house with a clear path to the half million dollars. But then the 27-year-old DJ from New Jersey who proclaims a hatred for Jersey girls unraveled strategically, socially, and emotionally — making personal attacks, sobbing in the diary room, threatening to quit, refusing to bake apple pies, and then going hyper at his own eviction ceremony, culminating with the contestant hoisting host Julie Chen in the air upon his departure.

We were able to get some questions over to Paulie on his way to the jury house, and here’s what he had to say about how it all went wrong.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, what’s your beef with butterflies?

PAULIE CALAFIORE: I don’t have beef with butterflies. Growing up, it was just something when people passed away in our family we always said it was their spirit and if they landed on you it meant that they were watching over you. So when I saw the butterfly in the house, I just started thinking, ‘Could that be someone coming to watch over me?’ It was just emotional. When I see them, it just reminds me of life and death and to value life. Seeing it in the Big Brother house made me feel like someone close to me had passed away.

What happened when you briefly decided to stop following the rules in baking the apple pie when Zingbot started singing?

I baked it every time the Zing came on. My decision was, I was in a tough spot in the house and I needed to be out talking to people, so I wanted to be mingling and having conversations. Not baking pie or sleeping.

You had some pretty strong words against what you described as “Jersey girls.” But aren’t you from New Jersey? What’s the deal there with you hating on ladies from the Garden State?

So, I have no distaste for women from New Jersey. I have family that grew up there. In the house, I needed as many of my alliance members’ heads as clear as possible, so I needed to put it in other people’s heads around the house to be able to take shots if they ever won the HOH. I didn’t want them to ever put up my guys, so as long as I kept it fresh in their minds that the girls needed to go. I said it amongst the guys, so that if we were the ones winning, another guy could take the shot and I would not have to.

What do you think your brother and former Big Brother runner-up Cody would have to say about how you played?

I don’t know. I’ll see when I get out of the jury house.

What inspired the passionate dip and kiss with Michelle? And inquiring minds want to know — how was it?

At the end of the day, it is a game and I played the game to the best of my ability. If you are going to go out, you should go out with no malice to anyone because we are all friends and would not act like that in real life. I appreciated Michelle as a person. We had a lot of deep conversations and she was very worried about what the outside world was thinking about her. I never wanted her to think that I would carry any malice against her. I just wanted to do something funny. Can’t go out with any anger in your heart.

It appears like you have no interest in pursuing a relationship with Zakiyah outside the house. Is that the case? And what sort of relationship will you guys have in the jury house?

It is not about having interest in pursuing a relationship with Zakiyah as much as it is pursuing a relationship in general. I think relationships take time. It takes two people being at the right place at the right time and to base how people interact inside the Big Brother house is not realistic to how people will react outside the game. I have seen it from a personal level, so if anything I am preparing myself by setting realistic expectations to see what happens. I think she is a sweetheart and I will definitely stay in touch with her for the rest of my life. In the jury house, we will see what happens.

If you could go back and change one thing about your game, what would it be?

The one mistake I made was the week that Michelle was on the block to go home, I let go of my social responsibilities with her assuming that there was no way anyone would listen to someone left for dead, so to speak. I trusted my loyalty in my alliance in getting Michelle out, and then Bridgette, and in hindsight, if I nurtured that relationship with Michelle by just giving her attention, she would have kept her mouth shut and just been blindsided on eviction night.

Also make sure to read our Q&A with Julie Chen, where she weighs in on Paulie, and for more Big Brother Q&As, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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