Enzo Palumbo says he would have voted for Nicole to win Big Brother: All-Stars
He went through the entire Big Brother: All-Stars season without once being nominated for eviction. The only problem for Enzo Palumbo is that the person sitting next to him at the end also was never nominated and had eight competition wins under his belt. As a result, Enzo did not get a single vote from the jury, losing 9-0 to Cody Calafiore.
It was a wild finale ride for Enzo, as he began by loudly berating himself for a lackluster final Head of Household performance, then was glowing after Cody picked him instead of Nicole Franzel to sit next to at the end, then was confused as to whether the jury was laughing at him or with him. (It was with.) When all was said and done, Enzo did not take home the title, but made it one spot further than he did the last time he played and was rewarded with $50,000 for his second-place efforts.
We spoke with Enzo shortly after he stepped outside the house, and he explained why he “cracked” after the HOH competition, and why even though he calls Cody one of the best to ever play the game, he would have given his vote to Nicole had he been on the jury. Read on for more, yo! (Also make sure to read our exit interviews with winner Cody Calafiore and third-place finisher Nicole Franzel.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Okay, less than two hours out of the house. How are you feeling?
ENZO PALUMBO: Awesome, bro. I'm ecstatic. I'm happy. I love the way it went down. Like I said, "If I was going to lose to somebody, it was going to be to Cody, man." So, I'm happy.
First off, you seemed very concerned that the jury was laughing at you and not with you.
Yeah. "They love you. Yo, they love you. They're laughing with you, not at you." I was like, "Okay. All right." That kind of threw me. The timing threw me off, and then hearing them laughing and I wasn't seeing faces. Then their faces would pop up. It kind of made me splutter a little bit, but you know, the nerves were there. Everything was there. [After 10 years], I come back and I get to the end of this game again. I know I got a tough test beating Cody. It was all those emotions and everything. I wish I could have shout out my mom and my brother, but it is what it is.
I'm sure everyone that gets that position, you're doing some jury math in your head. You knew it was going to be an uphill climb going against Cody at the end, but did any of the jury votes surprise you? Was there anyone that you were thinking, "I think I might get this person?”
I thought I'd get at least one or two, but I think Cody was just so awesome from the beginning to the end. I told Cody, "Bro, whoever you sit next to, you're going to destroy, bro. You played this game neat." I was in awe. His social game was really good. He was in everyone's cookie jar. He was in the loop about everything, and comps, I mean, come on. That last comp, four minutes? This guy didn't miss one question at the end. He came to play, and he played hard. He played awesome.
I saw you asking yourself this question as you were pacing around in the house, so now I’ll ask it. You knew Cody had all these HOH and veto wins, and you knew Nicole was a previous winner who might get points from the jury for making it that far even with that winner target on her back, so why go to the final three with them?
I know my track record at the end. I need someone to win comps for me and take me, because I just can't do it, man. I don't know what it is. At the end, I can't win a comp to save my life and I know that.
The second one was up my alley and I was very upset at myself for that, but I'm telling you, the best players that play Big Brother could not have done that in four minutes. That was impossible. I couldn't believe that he did it in that way. That's why I just broke down. I was like, "This is crazy. What am I doing here? What am I doing against the champion in him?" So, I'm just hoping to sliver into the final two. I put all my eggs in a basket with Cody and I was like, "Bro, you're the only..."
I knew she wasn't taking me. She was not taking me. It was hard to be there at the end. Me and my brother talked about it. Like, "Bro, this time you got to go to the end with people you could beat in the comps." I was like, "Usually there's someone at the end that's really good at comps because that's why they got there.” It is what it is. I'm going to take my chances. I played it right, man. I only had a final two deal with him and Memphis, but I did a final two deal with Cody right from day one. I massaged that and used that to the end.
You mentioned it. We saw you get very emotional when you lost the second part of the final HOH. You said, “I’ve embarrassed myself.” You said you were ready to go. You told them not to bring you to the final two. What was going on there and why was that moment where it all hit you?
It hit me, man, because like I said, I don't crack. I don't crack at all. Maybe it's old age. It's been 10 years. I don't know what it is, but I just felt like there was people that really thought I had a chance to get to the end of this game, and maybe possibly win this thing, man. I was playing good, and right there was a pivotal point to where, if I did beat Cody, if I did beat a champion and Cody there, it could have been like, "Oh, okay. Enzo came to the end and beat him heads up." It would have looked really good on my résumé.
I felt like, me losing those comps at the end, was $500,000. It was just, $500,000. I was upset. I had another great chance to win $500,000 and I messed up. That's why I told him. I said, "It has nothing to do with you two, it's me. I fluffed it. I made a big mistake and I looked really bad, 37 minutes to his four." It just looked bad. I was embarrassed. I was a little embarrassed and I cracked. That's what it is. I cracked.
Whom would you have taken with you to the end had you indeed won that final Head of Household?
Man, I hate to say this because I was really contemplating taking Nicole if I win that at the end. I love Cody, but I was like, "I really don't think I could beat Cody at the end." I felt that. I felt like with her, I had a shot because I felt like she didn't really do much. She didn't do nothing. So, I think I had a better shot with her, which was crazy.
I'm telling you. I really didn't know till that moment. Until it struck me, but it was definitely a possibility. I could've maybe taken her. I loved Cody and what we did. You know what I mean? It was definitely a possibility I could have took her because I was like, "I think that's my only chance of winning was taking her."
Do you think you would win against her?
I think I had a really good chance of beating her. I think I did. I just think she didn't do enough. She only won three comps and we were at the end of it. She did good socially, of course, because she got there at the end. I think, tit for tat, we were there, I think I played a better social game than her. Then if I won those comps at the end, I think I deserved it over, but again, you never know what the jury is going to be thinking. You never know. You just don't know.
Let's play Big Brother What If the other way. Let's say that Cody takes Nicole instead of you, and you're sitting there on the jury. Whom are you voting for?
If Cody cut me, I was going to give Nicole my vote, just because of that. I remember last time my father was upset at me for giving Hayden my vote because Hayden played awesome, but he was upset at me. I was like, "No, this time I'm not doing it. Whoever cuts me is not getting my vote." I was going with that. That's it. I was going to be petty this time.
How do you make through an entire All-Stars season without getting nominated?
I don’t know, but it is what it is. Dan played this game as one of the greats. Paul played this game, came back, played with rookies, had a little bit of safety. I had no safety but me, man. I got to the end of this game without even being on a block, man. That speaks volumes in an All-Star season with legends, with schemers. I wasn't a target, man. I wasn't a target and I wasn't even on the block, which is crazy. Both of us, which is crazy, me and Cody, two Italian kids from Jersey, wasn't on the block all season long. We played this game awesome together. It was awesome to play with him and I got a friend for the rest of my life with this dude.
The $50,000 cushions the blow a little bit, that's nice. But how hard is it to play twice and to get so close to the end both times but just not be able to seal the deal? In a way, that's tougher than getting cut early, you know?
Yeah, $50,000 is great. Second place, I love hearing that. I do love hearing that I got second place. It's an accolade. $500,000 would have been nice. Would have been really, really nice, but I know what I was up against with this guy, man. He thought I won, by the way. I was answering the questions. He said, "You were on point with the questions. I don't know. You never know with this jury." I was like, "Bro, it's going to be a demolition. You're going to destroy me." I just felt like he played so awesome.
So, to lose to this dude, I'm telling you, he is one of the best players I've ever seen play Big Brother. I played with Rachel on the other season. Cody could do it all. Cody could win comps when he needs to. Cody's social game is really good. He played awesome. He's one of the best. He's one of the greats. Now he's got first and second place. He's definitely not in Derrick’s shadow no more. He definitely pulled that this season.
I saved the most important question for last: How are your feet doing and how is your foot stalker going to feel about your performance this season?
That's out there? Oh my God. I'm probably going to have a million foot stalkers now. I think my feet are ugly. I think my toenails are ugly, but I have a foot stalker. You know what I mean? I don't know if I should be upset or scared, because she only likes my feet. She doesn't like nothing else about me. It is what it is, bro. I'll take what I can get. At my age, I'll take whatever I can get.
Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.