'Big Brother' Fan-Favorite Talks First Live Eviction and Winning Over America

THR talks with America's favorite houseguest Janelle Pierzina.
Courtesy of CBS
Janelle Pierzina

Season 17 of Big Brother is underway with 17 new houseguests (including the "Twin Twist"). Although this season features all new players, fans can't forget the Big Brother legends, some of whom have played the game twice. But there have been only two who have played three times — Mike "Boogie" Malin and Janelle Pierzina. Of the two, one has won the honor of being "America's Favorite Houseguest" and $25,000. 

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Pierzina to dish on this season's competition and discuss the key to winning America's heart.  

What is the key to winning over America?

America really likes someone who is very authentic. If you’re playing to the cameras, are fake, or lie and don’t own up to it in the diary room, America hates that. They want validation. Own up to being a liar or, "Yes, I’m a competition beast and I’m going to kick everyone’s ass." They like someone who makes big moves. If that big move is sitting back and doing nothing, then own up to it in the diary room. The diary room is a huge factor because that’s where you tell America what your game plan is. If the audience sees that and can relate to it then you can win them over. Be gracious with America because they are the voters. When I did my first season, I did not think America would like me. It’s funny because when you do your first season you are insecure and you don’t know what to expect. I thought maybe people wouldn’t like me because I was materialistic or had too big of boobs. I felt insecure, but I just was who I was. I didn’t pretend not to be materialistic and a bitch. America liked that. 

This season has brought back two twists from season’s past. What do you think about that?

Out of all the twists, the "Twin Twist," it’s my favorite of all time. It’s so cool and I would love to be playing when a twin twist is going on. I love to study people’s faces and I think I could figure it out. I don’t like "Battle of the Block" though. I didn’t like last season really, and what it did was create a huge alliance of people throwing competitions. It didn’t work out how the show wanted it to. It was supposed to be one Head of Household fighting the other. I hope it plays out how it’s supposed to this season. But it would be awful for them to keep that twist around forever. 

Winning over America and winning over the Big Brother jury at the same time is tough (i.e. Dan Gheesling losing season 14 to Ian Terry even though he was the best player, the jury was bitter) how do you balance that?

Dan was a better player, hello! People who say Ian was better are so delusional. For winning over America they don’t like people who are snaky and give bad vibes. America roots for the underdogs who are outnumbered and can save themselves. Dan didn’t win over all America though. A lot of people were disappointed in his game. I’ve talked to people who said, "I hated Dan’s game. He's so bad, he lied on the Bible." They are the more conservative, super Christian people. Obviously I feel differently, but there are people who didn’t like his game. 

Audrey Middleton seems to be making the mistake of playing too hard too fast, do you think her stay in the game will end sooner than she thought? 

It would be smart to keep her around because she’s such a huge target. That’s what I would do, I would keep her because she’ll never win the game because everyone hates her. And she lies constantly so no one will trust her. I would try and align with her just because she’s a huge target and I’m a huge target. She wouldn’t be my No. 1 ally, but I would just use her. If I was playing I would want to align with Da’Vonne [Rogers], Jason [Roy] and Vanessa [Rousso]. 

How do houseguests avoid getting booed by the live audience like past players Aaryn Gries, Amanda Zuckerman and Christine Brecht?

I thought people booed when Danielle [Murphree] came out during my season, but not as bad as Aaryn and Amanda’s. What those people did to get boos, they were racist and bad in the house. America hated them. If Audrey were to continue how she’s currently playing the game and maybe throw some racism in there, I think quite honestly she could get a lot of boos. People booed Christine, because that was her cheating on her husband. They should be allowed to boo, because it’s interactive and it’s America’s way of saying, "You’re not fooling anyone." Don’t be a slut, don’t be racist. Out of all the boos, Aaryn and Christine deserved it. 

Who do you think will get evicted this week and do they have a shot at America’s Favorite? 

Jace [Agolli] will probably be evicted, but I’d love to see Jackie [Ibarra] go for entertainment reasons. Jackie has been extremely boring. There’s no shot for the first evicted houseguest to win America’s Favorite. America forgets about the first three evicted. If there’s an America’s vote for someone to come back, what they would have to do is be like Kaysar [Ridha] where you make such a powerful move that you end up getting your butt booted but America respects you so much because you got out a huge threat before. It also depends on who Jace is aligned with. If one of his alliance members Vanessa or Austin [Matelson] is well liked, America would vote Jace back in to help them. 

With the BB Takeover twist, there is room for returning players to take over the game, will we be seeing you back soon?

I’m pretty busy, I got three kids so probably not. If it was just for a just a day though to upset the houseguests I would do it. My takeover would be the ultimate "Power of Veto" challenge that I’d design (laughs.) The hardest POV of all time. I’d combine holding onto a key in mud, with ice and rain. It would be, "Janelle’s POV From Hell."

Will four times be a charm for you to see a Big Brother victory? If you could make work with your career and family, what would your ideal season to return to be?

I feel like I’ve proven myself enough. But if I had a say in who I was cast with I would do it. I would want to play with huge targets like Rachel Reilly, Dan, Dr. Will [Kirby], Derrick Levasseur, Evel Dick Donato, Jeff Schroeder, Frank Eudy and Amanda. I wouldn’t want to see Ian. He would win All Stars because he’s so non-threatening.

Out of the current houseguests who has the best shot at winning America’s Favorite Houseguest?

It’s so hard because it’s week one, but maybe Jason and Da’Vonne could win. Da’Vonne has the best diary rooms and she’s so real. She tells it how it is. I’m loving, loving, loving it!

Which houseguest is your favorite this season? Who do you think will be the first one out the door? Are you hoping for Janelle to return to the game? Sound off in the comments and stay tuned to The Live Feed for more Big Brother coverage.

Big Brother airs Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on CBS. 

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