'Big Brother 17': Julie Chen Talks Double Eviction, Jimmy Fallon Takeover, Officiating a Wedding

THR talked to the host minutes after the first double eviction of the summer.
CBS

It was the first double eviction of Big Brother 17 and super fans were in for a surprise, but not the best kind.

In past seasons of the show's double eviction episodes, fans have witnessed couples get torn apart, blow ups, big moves and a clown shoe gone wrong that sent a fan favorite out the front door. On Thursday night's double eviction by the hands of an awkward Steve, none of the above happened, leaving fans a bit disappointed. Minutes after the two houseguests, Shelli and Jackie, were sent packing, Julie Chen spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the first double eviction, Jimmy Fallon taking over the game and officiating a Big Brother wedding. 

Going into a double eviction episode as opposed to other live evictions, how do you prepare differently?

You have to prepare potential exit interview questions for each and every single houseguest, but it's kind of difficult because the questions depend on who is responsible for the second evicted houseguest's demise. You kind of just have to go into a live show and be quick on your feet and just go with your gut. Also with Jackie whispering last minute, "There was a big misunderstanding." I'm like, "What are you talking about?" There's stuff you just can't account for sometimes.

What do you think she was talking about?

Well, she said she was talking about someone and she didn't know who. She said, "Someone mislead Steve and told Steve that I was going to be gunning for him." That's the first I had caught wind of that, but this season the houseguests have been playing so hard, so fast and so many alliances have formed and broken that I'm sure everyone thought someone was gunning for them, when it may have been true for only about thirty seconds.

Were you surprised Jackie was evicted tonight?

I was shocked Jackie left and I was shocked Johnny Mac didn't use the veto. I thought going into tonight, the three most likely people who would be evicted as the second evictee would be Becky, Johnny Mac or Steve because the others in the house have each other's backs. The odds were in their favor, they had the numbers. I totally did not prepare as much for the Jackie interview as much as I did for Becky or Johnny Mac. 

Last year's winner, Derrick, was pegged as a frontrunner early on, but in this season everyone seems to be on more of an equal playing field. What do you think about that?

I kind of love it. People always say, "What does it take to win the game?" If anyone has that magic recipe it wouldn't be challenging or fun to watch. It just goes to show you that people go with the power. A lot of people right or wrong, they don't have integrity in this game or true loyalty. What we warn the houseguests is that you may bond, but you are all competitors with one another. 

Tonight's double eviction episode didn't see as much chaos or drama as we've seen in the past. How do you think it ranks, in terms of double evictions in the show's history?

Compared to [past] double evictions, it wasn't as frenetic because Steve won the HoH and he spent more time talking to himself and the cameras than to his fellow houseguests, which is why he is a one man island. He didn't invite people to have quick twenty second conferences. He spoke quickly to Johnny Mac and by the time our cameras got on it, it was over. I don't think Steve wanted more blood on his hands. If Johnny Mac used the veto, there would have been a third person pissed off at Steve because he would have nominated three people in a matter of seven minutes. 

Last season's second double eviction episode, houseguest Christine received a lot of boos for her relationship with Cody. Do you think because Austin had a girlfriend going into the house and is now in love with Liz, he could get similar boos down the road?

No, because nobody remembers Austin saying that he has a girlfriend. Christine was married! That's a whole different ball game. You took a vow before God. Austin isn't talking about his girlfriend. I think the majority of the audience doesn't even know he went into the house with a quote unquote "girlfriend."

You reminded the houseguests tonight that, "Just because you're out of the house, doesn't mean you're out of the game." Fans have seen the returning juror twist in the past two season's, but that player didn't make it much further in the game. Out of Jackie and Shelli, who has the best shot of playing again and actually winning?

Potentially Shelli because she has seen the light as to who she can trust and who she can't trust and she made this bond with these "odd balls" like she said, Johnny Mac. She might bond with these non-threatening odd balls all the way to the end. So if she has that game she might be in the finals.

The twins survived the entire night. Will we see a season 8 repeat, with two family members in the final two?

I thought the same thing. Let's say it's Liz and Julia. Who do you vote for? Then it becomes a popularity contest. Everyone thinks Liz is the nicer one, and we know she's got Austin's vote. Everyone seems to think she's the nicer of the two, so hello Liz, half a million dollars.

Do you think they both could be in the final two?

I do think that could happen because no one is gunning for them. They don't see them as a threat or a power duo because they're both kind of like working on getting a tan rather than working on getting farther in the game. 

What are Leslie [Moonves'] thoughts on the season and does he have a favorite houseguest?

Les loves James because he likes anyone with chutzpah and a backbone. Anybody who makes no excuses for their moves and makes bold moves, Leslie likes. He's like, "yeah!" He's definitely a James fan. 

The "BB Takeover" twist seems like it's over. Were there any guests you had in mind that didn't get to twist up the game?

I always have a million ideas and I'm not sure if any of my ideas are good because I'm so deep into the game. I would love Evel Dick [Donato] banging on pots or doing something crazy. Then sometimes you want celebrities outside of the Big Brother world. Celebrities who are die hard fans of the show. I know Jimmy Fallon loves the show, but I thought, "Oh NBC would never let him." Every time I bump into him and his wife, they're like "Oh my god! Can we talk about Big Brother?" So that would have been funny. 

There have been some successful showmances with Rachel and Brendon, Daniele and Dominic getting married. Now Jeff and Jordan are engaged, and this season there's a new showmance with Shelli and Clay. On The Bachelor, host Chris Harrison has officiated a few contestants' weddings, will fans see the day where you officiate a Big Brother wedding?

(Laughs.) Most likely not. I would say 99.9 percent no, but never say never and expect the unexpected. 

Would you let Julie Chen marry you? Would Fallon be a funny "BB Takeover" guest? Who has a better shot of returning and winning the game: Jackie or Shelli? Sound off in the comments section below and stay tuned to The Live Feed for all things Big Brother

Big Brother airs Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays on CBS.

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