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September 27, 2018 at 08:25 AM EDT

LET’S GO!!!

That was Kaycee Clark’s mantra all season on Big Brother, and she went all the end with it, winning the season on Wednesday night’s finale in a 5-4 vote over Tyler Crispen and taking home $500,000 for her efforts. How confident was she that she would win? What was she thinking when she was down 4 to 1 in votes? Did she ever consider bringing JC to the end? We asked the new champ all that and more shortly after she stepped out of the house and here’s what she had to say. (Also make sure to read our exit interview with Tyler and chat with third-place finisher JC Mounduix.)

Sonja Flemming/CBS

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, congratulations.
KAYCEE CLARK: Thank you so much!

You’ve only been out of the house for about an hour. What does it feel like?
Oh, gosh. It’s so surreal. It’s overwhelming. It doesn’t feel real. It honestly doesn’t. I mean, I can’t even believe that I was in the Big Brother house. And to be here and to win the whole thing is mind blowing. I cannot believe it. It’s so surreal. It really is.

The final vote was such a nail-biter. How nervous were you getting when Tyler was up four votes to one?
What was it? Four to one? I was like, “He won.” I was like, “He totally won. It’s all good.” And I just couldn’t believe it. I could not believe. I kept seeing Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. I was like, “Cool. He freakin’ won. I didn’t. Whatever.” But, it turned around and I won the whole thing. It’s crazy. Nail biter for sure.

Well, I’m sure over the past few days you’ve been doing jury math in your head trying to figure out, “Okay, I’ve got these votes. I definitely know I have those. Maybe these.” So how did you see it sort of playing out in your head?
I knew I was gonna have majority of the other side, you know, their votes of the house, like Scottie. I know Scottie, I was a little worried because, you know, he was close to both me and Tyler. Haleigh, I thought she would vote for me, but she didn’t. And, I mean, to know at the end of the show that Angela and Tyler were really into showmance, I thought, “Well, she’s definitely not voting for me.” So, I’m just surprised with the votes. I knew Rockstar would, cause she wasn’t a big fan of Tyler. So all my votes came from the other side of the house and non-Level Six members. Which worked to my advantage to care about the other side of the house as human beings and it all worked out in the end.

You made this deal with Tyler in terms of the final HOH competition. You say, “Hey, let me win the first. You’ll win the second.” He doesn’t let you win the first. What were you thinking when he did that?
When he took the first part of the competition, we threw it up in the air. I was like “Dude let me take the physical one. I have more confidence than in the memory or mental” whatever the case, whatever the next one was. So after JC falls, I kind of yell out “Okay my arms are hurting I’m about to fall”. And I look over and Tyler looks like he’s just having a nice little tea party, just super comfortable. So I was like, there’s no way they can pull this off where it was gonna be not so obvious, you know what I’m saying? So at that point I tried to hold on as long as possible and it didn’t work out so I just fell and I just had to refocus for the next, for part two.

Tell me about this huge decision after you win the final HOH and have to decide whom to bring to the end. Why not bring JC? And how do you think you would’ve done against him at the end?
I picked JC [to go] just because I was super loyal to Tyler, you know? We clicked from the very beginning. Day one we made up final two. And I was not gonna go against that. There was no way I was going to unless I’d seen that he was doing something shady toward me. And he never did. We had each other’s backs, a hundred percent. Now I love JC, I really do. I mean LGBT representing. But I had to stay loyal to what I originally made final two, when I originally made up final two with Tyler. And I was sticking to my word. There was nothing that was gonna steer me away and it worked out just perfect.

Now with JC, It could’ve been a close win as well with JC. Well, kind of. Now that I think about it, Tyler did a lot of game moves, he really did. And if I was up against JC, I feel like I would have still won. Like I had a good chance. Just because I know a lot of people didn’t like that he was kind of just back and forth, and shady and all this stuff. So, I don’t know, it would’ve probably still been pretty close, but overall I feel like I would’ve come through to win. It was a lot closer than I expected.

The vote with Tyler was closer than you expected?
Yes.

What were you thinking, that it was going to be more like sort of seven to two, or six three or something?
I knew there was a chance that he can have Angela’s vote, and then Sammy’s vote. I was overthinking a lot of it. I really was. And at the end of the day, I had like shut my mind off and was like, you know what, the jury will do whatever they want to do, and they all have different perspectives, and they’re all feeling differently, and I’m not going to try and guess. But I’m just thankful for the votes that I did get, for me to win Big Brother 20.

Did you ever feel in any real danger at any point in this game? Because watching it, I never felt like you were in serious danger.
You know what, because of my social game, I knew it was going to take me very, very far and I knew if people liked me and trusted me, that it would take me far. So when I was on the block with Rockstar, when I was on the block with Scottie, being okay with that, and knowing that I was going to have the votes, it’s just crazy. It comes down to my social game and how I make people feel, whether they can trust me or not, or just like me for who I am. And I never made any promises that I could not keep. I was very vague. People would always say in the beginning, you know Kaycee doesn’t talk a lot of game, but I knew that coming into this house, less was more. Less is more, I can’t trust everybody. So I kept everything either to myself, and/or Level 6, and it worked out.

What was your best move in this game?
My best move, honestly, was me winning the vetoes and solidifying that the big targets got out the house. Like me pulling through with the one for me supplying the veto against Fessy. Because if he would have won that he still would have been in the house. To insure winning these vetoes, insure that these big targets stay on the block and that they go home, I feel like it was huge.

You had these two big alliances going head to head, and the other one just kept self-destructing at every turn. You must have been just like shaking your head and couldn’t believe it.
The other house going after each other was insane, but Level 6 did an amazing job. Whether we had to act, whether we had to sound like… I had to get into an argument a little bit with Scottie to kind of play it off that he voted to keep me, and so next thing you know, Fessy puts him up. Or trying to hide the fact that I was not the Hacker when I got into an argument with Rockstar.  If anyone were to speculate outside of Level 6, I would’ve been out. It was just insane.

Kaycee, what are you gonna do with the money?
With the money, I’m definitely going to help out my family. Whatever I can do to help out my family, and invest in our future. I’m definitely going to be smart with it, I have to be. And a lot of good things, that’s for sure. I do want to help out a lot of people so for sure a lot of good things.

Would you do this whole thing over again?
That’s so hard to say right now, just coming out of the house after 99 days. As of right now, I don’t know. Maybe by the little break and then… It’s a whole other level. I’ve been watching this show for years, since the very beginning, and to actually be in the house is a whole other level. No one will ever know how it feels to play this game or be in this house unless you are in there. It is crazy and very mind blowing and I did not expect it to be this hard, you know, and it’s a lot easier watching it that’s for sure. I appreciate the experience and being able to play this.

Also make sure to read our exit interview with Tyler and chat with third-place finisher JC Mounduix. And for more Big Brother news, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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