By Dalton Ross
October 29, 2020 at 10:16 AM EDT
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She almost pulled off the impossible. As a former winner, Nicole Franzel was an immediate target when she walked into the Big Brother: All-Stars house. Yet, through key alliances and a laying low strategy she managed to once again make it all the way to finale night. She even won the first part of the final Head of Household competition. But then, it all fell apart when Cody Calafiore beat Nicole to win the final HOH, and then went back on his word to take her to the final 2, choosing to sit next to Enzo Palumbo instead.

Nicole was still emotional about the move when we spoke with the third place finisher a few hours after being eliminated, welling up at one point as she relived the moment when Cody sent her to the jury. She explained why she was so profoundly hurt by Cody’s decision, and why she would have honored their agreement — taking Cody with her had she won HOH, even if it meant losing the game. Nicole also shared with us the contents of the finale speech she never got to give, plus much more in her Big Brother: All-Stars exit interview. (Also make sure to read our interview with Big Brother: All-Stars winner Cody Calafiore and Q&A with runner-up Enzo Palumbo.)

Credit: CBS

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You said had a great speech if you made it to the final 2. We never got to hear it. You know how an archivist’s job is to preserve important documents for the record. Well, I’m a Big Brother archivist Nicole and it would be a shame to lose this speech to history. I want the speech. Your fans want the speech. For the sake of BB history, can you give us the speech?

NICOLE FRANZEL: Well, the speech is kind of long. I do want to give it to you, but I don't have it all in my head right now. It's very scripted, but I mean, the gist of it is I needed the jury to know that coming in as a winner, I was only one of two winners coming into the house. And there was a lot of people who wanted the spotlight on them. I needed to immediately surround myself with good players, and I needed to make a believable, weak persona. And so that was something that I did week after week, in every single competition, and making people believe it, reminding people, I got lucky on season 18 — which, I don't believe it, by the way — and just kind of making them think that I'm oblivious in this game.

It was down the road of that. And then talking about how I was able to get people out of the house, it wasn't beneficial for other people's games, through other people’s HOH’s and just giving examples of that. And then moving on to a situation that everything was going perfect until Ian went on the block on day 41. And that's when my game turned. That was the first hit that I had to take. Ian and I were very close in the house, and he was the other winner. Once he left, then I had to prepare myself. I stored all the information from all the seasons in my back pocket. I used my ears and I listened mostly, and then didn't talk much game with a lot of people.

And then I was going to explain how I was able to use this information ever so gently to make sure I survived the double. Well, I survived a triple eviction as a former winner, and I was sitting next to somebody who only played the game for one day previously. I think that was a really good thing. And then also after that, I lost an ally in Dani so I had to start winning competitions. And since the day after the triple eviction, I got first or second in every single competition against Tyler, Memphis, and Enzo, Cody, and Christmas, the top competitors of the season. And it was supposed to end with me winning my way into final two. I wasn't supposed to lose that last competition. [Laughs]

It's a good speech!

Thanks. Well, that was it mumbled and jumbled. Trust me, I had it rehearsed and I think now that I didn't have to know it, I was just so shocked. And I was like, okay, I'm just going to forget everything. [Laughs]

Let's play some Big Brother What If. Let's say that Cody had taken you to the end. How do you think you would have done?

You know, I think that I can't expect to have taken the win, but I also definitely expected to have some votes. I didn't want to ever overestimate how I would've done/ I'm expecting that Cody would have won, but I think I would have put up a good fight. And that's what I would like to think.

Well, Enzo told me you would have had his vote. He said if Cody had cut him, he would have voted for you.

Oh, wow. That's crazy. And I think I would have had some other people, just being a winner and getting there. Hopefully, you know, people would realize that it's a different gameplay. You can go out and you can't win every single competition. You can't make the target bigger around your back. And that's totally different. from with playing as like a Cody who, you know, got second place, a lot of people got second place, and he was able to win every competition that he needed to win. And I'm 5-foot-2, 110 pounds. And I got to do what I can with my body and I'll do the best I can. But sometimes it's using your brain instead of your muscles.

You looked shell-shocked when Cody voted you out. What was going through your mind and what sort of emotions were you feeling when he sent you out of the house?

You know, I was so hurt and it's so crazy to say because him and I got so close this season and he was like a brother to me. It just hurts. [Begins crying]

I can hear that it still hurts. I mean, you, you were so emotional even before he made the announcement. We were at a commercial break, so we didn’t see what happened, but did he tell you before he made the official announcement on TV?

Yeah. All he said was, he's crying, like “I don't want to blindside you.” And I looked at him and I said, “You're joking, right?” I would never have done this to you.” And he goes, “I know, I know.” And that was it.

And I understand you would have taken him to the end. Why wouldn't you have cut him loose like he did to you, Nicole?

I am just so freaking loyal. And like, I like to think that, you know, the viewers see a different show than what we see, but he was going, playing in that house. I played my butt off and I played my cards to the best of my ability. And if I would have lost to Cody, fine. So be it. But I was going to take him. I just think I'm a ride or die type of person. And I get like, looking back on it, I may have regretted that decision because I would have lost. But, at the same time, for me sitting next to someone that I played this game with the entire season and went to final two with, and I would just be like, this is a success to me. Of course I would love to have won twice. And I would like to think that I could have, but I'm not afraid to go up against anybody. I think Cody was definitely the better player of the two, obviously. I'm not afraid to go up against the best.

I watched your reaction when you asked a question as the juror, and he basically said, he felt like he had to take you out because you were a former winner, and you kind of made a face. You didn't seem to buy that as legitimate excuse.

I make a lot of faces. [Laughs] I think that that point he was just trying to like kiss my butt and telling me what I wanted to hear. I think no matter what you said, I would've made a face. [Laughs]

 I’m not sure how much of a chance you’ve had to speak to Da’Vonne since you exited the house, but she was pretty upset when you lied to her repeatedly about the Ian vote. She said that was more than just a game move to her because she told you how worried she was about appearing on TV calling out a fellow Black contestant as a liar and asked you to tell her the truth on a personal level so she would not be doing that. Have you had a chance to talk to Da’Vonne yet and what do you make of that now?

I have not been able to talk to Da’Vonne at all yet. And I am very anxious to be able to talk to her in person and clear everything else. I guess from my side, it was all game and nothing personal, and so I really just want to talk to her, make sure she understands.

I know you're upset right now. The wound is fresh, but listen, most days played ever in the U.S. Big Brother house. That's got to feel pretty cool.

It does feel pretty cool. It's definitely a really good feeling. It's crazy to think that a little girl from Michigan who was just a fan holds the record for most days in that house, I never could have dreamt that up.

Finally, who from the season is getting an invite to the wedding?

[Laughs] I have no freaking idea.

Did Cody's invite just get lost in the mail?

I think so. I think it is.

Also make sure to read our interview with Big Brother: All-Stars winner Cody Calafiore and Q&A with runner-up Enzo Palumbo.  And for more Big Brother intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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