Big Brother

Did the women conspire to make sure a mom won the grand prize on the inaugural Celebrity Big Brother?

Host Julie Chen thinks so. In our final chat with her about the game, the Chenbot reveals what she learned from the jury during the vote, and how the women may have prevented a better game player (hi, Ross Mathews!) from winning the $250,000. (Read Ross and Marissa Jaret Winokur’s final thoughts here and here.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did the jury pick the right person?
When you heard the reasoning from each juror and how they picked the person who was the most honest… Big Brother is not about picking the most honest person. It’s about picking the best gamer. This is just one more example of how celebrities live by different rules. But it also showed me that celebrities are human. They couldn’t rise above it and say, “I was had by Ross. I was betrayed in the game.” They know he’s not a jerk in real life. I don’t think he is. I don’t think anyone does. He’s America’s favorite houseguest! I think a combination of things happened. People had their feelings hurt and I think the women rallied around another woman winning, another woman who was a mom. I think there was a mom factor in there. We saw [Marissa’s son] doing his shout-out, other people saw him in the audience crying when she won HOH. People let their personal feelings, right or wrong, bleed into their decision. Ross deserved to win but human emotion can never be under-estimated.

Is Marissa really allowed to be called a superfan when she decides to bring Ross to the final two and not Mark McGrath, who definitely didn’t deserve to win?
She can call herself a superfan but more importantly, she can call herself a loyal person. I don’t think it was about her not wanting to be seen as a cutthroat person by the public. I think she couldn’t live with herself. She couldn’t sleep at night knowing that she double-crossed a guy who had her back. She really thinks she wouldn’t have gotten this far without Ross. “At least I’m going to give him the grand prize!” She knew he was going to pick Mark if he made it to the final two. She knew she was throwing away the game, she knew she was throwing away $250,000. I was like, “Marissa I was trying to signal you, this is a quarter million dollar decision! Make the right one.” She’s a good person.

What did you think about Omarosa name-checking CBS Corp Chairman Les Moonves and CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl? Does she want to work at CBS or what?
She is no fool. She is long in charm. And she is an operator. When she says Lady O? She’s Lady Operator. But you know what? I cannot take my eyes off of her. She’s magnetic. There’s something that just draws you to stop and watch her speak, whether you are scared or horrified or mesmerized. She has something. You can’t teach that.

Was the jury really misbehaving during the vote?
They were trying to compare notes! I heard whispering like, “She’s a mother!” I thought I heard “she has a kid.” I felt like it was the girl power, like we sisters have to stick together. That’s what I sensed.

Episode Recaps

Big Brother
Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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