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February 24, 2018 at 01:50 PM EST

Brandi Glanville hated him, she really hated him.

And James Maslow, the latest player to get the boot from Celebrity Big Brother, couldn’t really figure out why. We asked the former Big Time Rush-er to explain what it was like living with the Real Housewife, and why Omarosa Manigault chose him for eviction versus two others who she could beat in the final two.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where did you run off to with Ari before you went out the door?
Oh, I was going to grab a jacket. I was in workout clothes. But they had nailed the door closed for the previous competition so I couldn’t get it.

You’ve had overnight to think it over. Why do you think Omarosa chose you and not Mark or Ariadna? She can’t beat those two in the final two. Then again, I don’t think she could have beaten you, either.
I’ll take it as a compliment and chalk it up to what everybody made clear from day one. I was the biggest target in the house, maybe second to Shannon at some times. Especially with the remaining cast. She had tried to make deals with me, but I never really committed to them. Had I done that, maybe things would have been different. But she lied every single day in that house. Her gameplay was to create chaos. I never saw a long game in that. Clearly, it has worked for her thus far. I can’t be mad. It was definitely a smart move.

Did you look over and notice that it appeared that Omarosa was telling Ari how to vote?
Yeah, I saw it. There was a part of me who wanted to go, ‘Hey, you are in this game. Now would be the time to make a deal and break your deals, and even lie if you have to.’ But you know what? The pride in me kicked in and I played the game with grace and tact and as much honesty as possible. I went into the show not wanting the show to change how I acted. I wasn’t going to go out begging and pleading and lying. That’s just not who I am.

Clearly, Ross voted to evict you. Why do you think that is?
Ross had so many more deals than he let on. I got enough information. The first thing my father said, who was the first person I called, was that Ross, in his own crass way, was much more of a lying, conniving person than he [came across] … which is not something I expected him to say right off the bat. He had another deal. And as much he preached that having guys at the end was to his benefit, he still very much has a lot of the girls’ vote. He was part of that first seven.

The fact that Omarosa is still in the house is kind of crazy. What happened?
It’s kind of shocking. A lot of people wanted her out a lot of the times. Many a time, I convinced them she wasn’t as big of a target. At least in the physical games, for the exception of the one that was very much helped by a lower center of gravity, if you know what I’m talking about, she did not pose as much as a threat. She is very bright. There were bigger fish to fry each time.

Don’t think I didn’t notice you holding the door open for Brandi after she was evicted.
You know the saying, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. The least I could do as a gentleman is hold it open so it doesn’t. I wanted to make it easy as possible for her to leave.

How did you deal with Brandi’s obvious disdain for you. Would you just try to avoid her?
Oh my God, is disdain even an appropriate term for how childish all of that was? If she developed an actual disdain for me based on nothing more than how I looked, then I feel bad for her. I just kept my tail between my legs and acted as docile and calm as I could, which is so against my nature. Then it came to the point I was not going to engage with her on the level that she wanted to, which was stupid insults and jabs, everything she daily did to me. The solution after that was to kind of avoid being in the room, unless she was drinking. I was constantly trying to look for the alcohol and literally tried to hide from her. By the way, it wasn’t just me; it was everybody in the house. She was rude to everybody in the house sober. She was really rude to everybody in the house drunk. By the end of the game, everybody was just as excited to get her out of the house.

So what was it like to live with all those women? Did they spend half the day doing their hair and makeup?
They perpetuated every stereotype you can think of. You all watched it. I’m not making it up. They were either doing makeup, gossiping whether it was about the show or not, sometimes so much about the show that it ruined their own game because it perpetuated their own rumors and they believed they were true. Or they were actually crying. Literally, I would turn every corner and there would be someone crying about something. So at first I was like, ‘Oh God, what is this about?’ And it was literally about a tree that fell in the backyard. I’m not even making that up. Sometimes it was about real things. I’ve been living on my own for a long time. I grew up with the house full of guys. I have never been around this many women, this dramatic, frankly at this age. It was an experience I was not used to. I would just laugh about this six-girl alliance. You’re talking about six intelligent women who have been running their own businesses, for their whole life, to get to where they are right now. It was never going to last. It would make me laugh my ask off, especially with the guys outside. I would say, ‘Let them play it out, it’s going to implode.’ And low and behold, what happened?

The finale for Celebrity Big Brother airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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