By Dalton Ross
February 13, 2018 at 10:55 AM EST

One thing we know about Omarosa is that the woman demands attention. Anyone who has been on that many seasons of that many reality shows clearly enjoys the spotlight and also knows how to get that spotlight to shine directly on herself. And the host of Celebrity Big Brother thinks that is exactly what happened this season in the aftermath of Omarosa’s asthma attack in the house, and that she may have done it as a game move.

We spoke with Julie Chen to get her thoughts on the big O, as well as Keshia Knight Pulliam pulling herself out of the game to feed her daughter, whether Ross Matthews is now the player to beat, and if the Zingbot will be paying a visit this season.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell us about what Keshia was like when she came out of that house, clearly distressed about having to leave the game and no doubt wanting to be reunited with her child as quickly as possible.
JULIE CHEN: Keshia was a ball of emotion. She told me when we got off the air she was seriously considering staying for the good of her team when her ally Marissa won the veto so they could backdoor Shannon. She was caught between a rock and a hard place: doing what she knew she had to as a mom vs. taking one for the team and ousting Shannon.

In less than a week, we’ve had two people — Metta World Peace and Keshia Knight Pulliam — asking to be voted out, albeit for very different reasons. How does that impact the game when players have to weigh their best strategic moves versus honoring the wishes of a housemate who wants to go?
Tonight we saw some of Keshia’s housemates truly struggling between doing the right thing by Keshia and trying to pressure her to stay so they could evict Shannon. It was a stressful situation given they didn’t have much time to really talk it through and see right from wrong. People got caught up in the moment of the win and it was just so tempting to toss aside what they all promised Keshia they would do vs. getting her to change her mind. And it almost worked!? This game will really test your limits.

What was it like for you all when Omarosa had to leave the house and go to the hospital due to an asthma attack during the HOH competition? Was there a concern that she may not return to the game?
For me, I was really hoping Omarosa was exaggerating her need for medical attention so she could get back in the game. I mean, Christmas went back in after a broken foot. My suspicion was that although Omarosa truly had an asthma attack, she played up the severity of it after it passed, to milk it for drama, attention, sympathy, and safety from eviction.

We spoke a few days ago about how well Shannon was playing, but now it appears Ross Mathews is stepping up to meet that threat. Is he the one to watch at this point?
Ross is definitely one to watch. He is possibly the smartest one in the house. He is a critical thinker, a gamer and liked by all. He hasn’t over played and he still doesn’t seem like a threat because he was given the HOH by James who threw the competition. Keep an eye on Ross!!!

Finally, any chance of a Zingbot appearance in this abbreviated season?
I think Zingbot might be getting his yearly tune up. Or he may still be in Florida for the winter (sorry, that’s an East Coast joke!). Truly though, do you think celebrities can handle his zings? I am not sure.

Episode Recaps

Big Brother

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

  • TV Show
  • 22
  • TV-14
  • CBS
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