Christian Birkenberger kisses and tells about that Big Brother smooch
Considering he was the big target for elimination at the very start of this Big Brother season, the fact that Christian Birkenberger made it even this far is impressive. But, alas, it was the end of the line for Christian on Thursday's live eviction episode.
Christian's fate was sealed when Derek X won Head of Household and then engineered a plan to backdoor the general contractor assistant. While Tiffany made a last-ditch effort to flip the votes and keep him as a shield in the game, in the end, Christian could not even get her vote to stay in the house, as he was evicted instead of Sarah Beth by a vote of 7-2.
What does Christian make of Derek X's plan to get him out? What was his biggest mistake in the game? And what's up with that big smooch he gave showmance partner Alyssa on the way out the door? We asked Christian all that and more the morning after his ouster. (Also make sure to check out our weekly Q&A with host Julie Chen Moonves.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So what do you think: Good or bad move on Derek X's part to target you and take you out of the house?
CHRISTIAN BIRKENBERGER: For his game, a bad move, because he really would have gone significantly farther with me as a shield in the house, or if he accepted my deal for safety for a few more weeks, because I really think he is now the house target, so bad move game wise.
Personally, I think he did do what he felt was best for him. So I understand this move because the reality of the situation is I would be going after him eventually, but that's the game. Everyone has to go after each other. So I kind of pointed that out that although yes, he eventually is my target, he's also a lot of other people's target. And if I were to stay in the house, then I would be the person that went home, even if I were sitting next to him, nine out of 10 situations.
You tried to give him that sales job right before the Veto ceremony. Could you tell as you were doing that, that he just wasn't picking up what you were putting down?
Yes. I made a lot of pitches. I think I made a lot of very good points in my mind, but once I was up on the block, everyone made their own decision and it was unanimous. They didn't have to really discuss it — besides my former Kings. So once he knew the Veto would be used, I think it was a no-brainer. I was going up.
Was there ever any consideration on your part on taking a shot at him when you were HOH?
Absolutely. Since week 1, when Frenchie started the rumors about me and Alyssa, and also started a rumor about me and Derek X, I knew I wanted to get them out at literally the first opportunity that I had. And I second-guessed myself when I had that opportunity, I trusted him because I was told to trust him, and potentially I could have been in the house at least another week if I did take that shot last week. But, at the time, I had reason to believe that it was smarter to keep him around. And that's a mistake that I do regret.
At one point Tiffany was trying to turn the vote in your favor. Why was she not able to get it done?
I think really once I got up on the block as a replacement, there was no argument to save me. Although I really feel like I had everybody convinced it was better to keep me. Of course, this is a game of people lying to you, but every person told me that there is a much greater benefit to them if I stayed in the house, which I truly believe. But I was too big of a competition threat and in 95% of people's heads, although I was working with them, it didn't matter. This was the perfect opportunity for them to take the shot at me. And I understand that. I take that as a compliment and it was a flaw in my strategy because I prioritized comp wins over a social game, which I do regret. But that's what happens when you have a little distraction in the house, I guess.
But also, I put myself in your shoes, you were the main target on day one, and when people are coming after you that early, you kind of have to win to stay alive.
Absolutely. Week 1, if I didn't win the Do Not Disturb competition, I would have been the first evictee, and I did not want to be the first, so I needed that win. And I kind of made that pitch at the end that maybe I'm not that big of a comp threat either, because that was when I needed it and I was only against two people. The odds were in my favor. I really justified all the wins that I had, but nobody was buying it. So, yeah, I did paint a huge target on myself when I won those comps. And when I was doing backflips in the yard, which in hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have been so upfront about my athletic ability, but you live and learn, I guess.
You only got two votes to stay. Do you know which votes you got?
Yeah, my former teammates, Alyssa and Xavier, which really means a lot considering it was both the Kings teammates up on the block. So that really meant a lot to me. And I would've had a third vote if I hadn't given Britini permission to vote with the house, but I wanted her to do what was best for her game. And I allowed her to do that.
So what about, Xavier then? Why did he vote for you to stay instead of his other former teammate in Sarah Beth?
He told me that Sarah Beth told him, "Listen, I'm staying. I won't be hurt if you throw Christian a vote because I'm staying anyways, and everyone already assumes you and Alyssa are going to be the two votes to keep him." She gave him permission as I gave Britini permission to throw that vote out. And it wouldn't really be a bad look on his part because we were the closest group of people. So she just gave him that permission, and she also said she didn't want me to go out unanimously because she respected me as a player. So she gave X the ability to allow me to walk out with my head held high. And it did mean a lot because I don't want to go out on a unanimous vote.
How aware are you of the other alliances in the house? What do you know?
I know now! I didn't know walking out of the house. Apparently, there's this thing called a Cookout or something like that? And I have never seen in my life that group of people in one room ever, ever, ever, ever. And that's what blows my mind because they are doing a fantastic job. And I believe they had a part in influencing every single decision that's being made in this house, including mine. And in hindsight, they probably were behind every single decision. So they're doing a great job.
You almost broke up, the Cookout! Once Tiffany was trying to save you, there was some tension that almost broke up the alliance.
Yeah, I almost inadvertently broke up the alliance without any knowledge of it. That would have actually been incredible if I was able to do that. But Tiffany made the right move for her game by taking me out because Tiffany's looking a lot better with the Cookout than she did with me. Everything's in hindsight now, but we had a final four agreement, and then the second I'm up on the block, I realized that I lost her vote. So either we never had a final four agreement and she's lying, or she has a better alternative to me as a final four, which, of course, was the case. I don't like to hear it, but it happens.
So this is as uncomfortable for me to ask as it will be for you to answer, but the big smooch before leaving the house — what were you saying with that goodbye kiss?
That goodbye kiss really just was, "I'm going to miss you. It's going to be a long two months." At that time, I did think that there was a possibility that I would come back in the house and If I walked out there could have been some type of Battle Back or another opportunity. It's a no-risk, no reward season, so I like to hedge my bets and think positive, but that was a goodbye-see-you-in-two-months-let's-make-it-work-in-two-month kiss. A lot of things were in that kiss.
You told Julie you would like to have something with Alyssa outside the house, but you also said that two months is a long time. What did you mean by that?
I mean, that's the reality of the situation. Two months is a very long time, but it's not too long of a time. It's just a fact that it is a long time. And what I meant more by that statement is how much I'm going to miss her within those two months. It definitely didn't mean I'm not willing to wait those two months because not only do I know I have that ability in me to do it, but I also made that promise to her. And really, she's the only thing on my mind since I've left the house.
If you had made it to the end, would you have wanted to be sitting next to her?
Yes. Absolutely. I would have never taken the shot and I would have wanted to sit next to her. I would have campaigned for my game and I would have not said a single bad thing about her game. I would have even maybe said something about how good of a game she did, just to look like a good sport, but I do want the best for her. And I did want to sit next to her on final two.
Well, this sort of factors in this next question, because when you got voted out right before the jury, that can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. It can be good if you want to go home. Just last week, Whitney said she either wanted to have a deep run in the game or she wanted to go home before the jury. But it can be bad if you still want to be part of the game from a voting perspective. And obviously, for you, if you're on the jury, maybe Alyssa is out the next week or maybe Alyssa has a deep run. You don't know. So if you had a choice, would you rather go down this week pre-jury, or next week jury?
Every single thing I did in this game proved that all I wanted to do was be there. So I think it's pretty evident that I would have done anything to stay in this game, especially based on my last three days of pitching nonstop. So I would have preferred to stay in the game for a lot of reasons. I would've liked to have the ability to not go home and really enjoy the rest of the summer with these people, regardless of if it was in the jury house or in the Big Brother house. I would have liked the opportunity to potentially spend a lot more time with Alyssa. And if there's any type of jury Battle Back, I would have had that opportunity. On top of all that, if I stayed a little longer, I would've been able to influence someone's decision if Alyssa were to sit at the end.
If you could go back and change one thing about your game, what would it be?
If there's one thing I could change about my game, it would definitely be less isolation from the group when I'm spending time with Alyssa. I always think of my heart, never think of my head. And that was seen every single time I tried to socialize and be alone with Alyssa, just because that's my person in the house and everyone has their person. But I don't think anybody else in the house has a person that they're connected to as emotionally as I was.
So there are a lot of days where nothing happens and it's not seen on TV. Cause there's a lot of drama that does happen, but there are also a lot of days when nothing happens. And all you want to do is be with your person that makes you feel comfortable, especially when there are cameras on you all the time. It's an uncomfortable situation. So I would have spent less time isolating myself with Alyssa and more time with the group. And I think that would have made a massive difference.
Who's playing the best game so far?
Xavier. I know he's in the Cookout now. And I think he's not only in the Cookout, but most likely in something smaller within the Cookout. And he's smart enough to pull it off. I now know he's a lawyer. He definitely seems like a lawyer, and I didn't put the pieces together until two days ago. The day before I had to start pitching like crazy, when I woke up in the morning, he says, "I thought a lot last night about what your pitch could be," and nobody except a lawyer could come up with all those points.
So I really did have my suspicions at that point, but I wasn't able to voice my suspicion because I had a lot in my mind about saving myself, on top of the fact that I don't want to blow up his spot either. If I did know, I would have pulled him aside and said "Listen, buddy, I know your secret, keep me tight so I don't spoil it." I would've used it to work more with him. I already was, but I would have used it to grow our relationship even more.
Finally, I've saved the most important question for last: How would you rate your Big D catwalk walk?
Oh my God, maybe a negative five. It was bad. It was so bad! Hannah's very good at it, and Big D, the creator, of course, he's the best at it, but I do not have it at all. And you know, what, if there's something in this house I'm not good at, the Big D catwalk is something I'm willing to take the title of. I'm okay with not being good at that.
Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.