10:09am PT by Brian Porreca
'Celebrity Big Brother': Early Evictees Want Omarosa to Win
Omarosa Manigault Newman, a reality TV villain and a former ally to President Donald Trump is currently on a redemption tour and ... it's working.
The controversial figure, who was ousted from her post at the White House in December, is using her time on CBS' Celebrity Big Brother as an attempt to turn her image around.
Are her actions genuine? It's tough to tell. But if you ask her Celebrity Big Brother roommates Chuck Liddell and Keshia Knight Pulliam, they're willing to give her $250,000 for them.
Celebrity Big Brother is the star-laden spinoff to the longtime CBS summer flagship Big Brother. Omarosa, Liddell and Pulliam have joined a cast including Brandi Glanville, James Maslow, Mark McGrath and Metta World Peace as they are locked away in seclusion and monitored under 24/7 surveillance to compete for the $250,000 grand prize. Twice a week at least two cast members will be evicted from the game due to the show's accelerated run. In the end, those evicted will join together and form a jury to vote on the winner.
The first two evicted stars, Pulliam and Liddell, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about who they want to see make it to finale night, who they don't and how closely they plan on watching the rest of the season.
Will you be watching the live feeds, just the episodes or not at all?
Chuck Liddell: I'm definitely going to watch the episodes, and I'll tune into the live feeds once in a while to see how stir-crazy they're getting.
Keshia Knight Pulliam: Absolutely the live feeds.
Who was the most difficult person in the house to live with?
Liddell: Everybody had their quirks. Mark was getting to me the most. He kept complaining! He complained about doing everyone's dishes. And then he complained about washing the towels, but then he would go and collect everyone's towels. I said, "Then stop taking my towel down! I have my towel hung up I can use it more than once."
Chuck, when James was showing your other roommates how to box in front of you, what was going through your head?
Liddell: If you want to show them how to box, go right ahead bro, (laughs). Have fun with that. It was funny because they would ask me a question and then he stepped in.
Who was the messiest roommate?
Liddell: Metta! You would find his underwear all over the house.
What bothered you the most in the house?
Pulliam: Eleven people in one bathroom, definitely a challenge. And just the communal living thing. People don't realize that you don't have your own light switches to turn lights on and off. You have to wait for everyone to go to sleep. Also there were no windows! You didn't have any true outside where you could see the sky. Those are the little things that people don't think about.
Liddell: There's nothing to do! You have to entertain yourselves. But it was a great group to be in that situation with. They're all entertainers.
Would you consider playing the game again?
Pulliam: I don't think that I would do this again (laughs). It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that was unique. If I ever considered it again, it would have to be when [her newborn daughter] Ella is much older.
Have you been able to talk to Ella yet?
Pulliam: No because Ella is with me! She is here. I saw her last night. She has had boobie snacks. All is well in the world.
Keshia, when Marissa Jaret Winokur won the veto, did you contemplate her using it on you and getting Shannon Elizabeth out?
Pulliam: We had discussed it, and at first I was very open to it; however, you never know what is going to happen the following week. And because it was a time-sensitive issue where my breast milk supply was depleting, I knew I did not have that much time. There was no way for them to guarantee that I leave next. Not to mention the fact that they all completely flipped after giving me their word the week before. Their word wasn't valuable. But I still wanted to help them, and that's why I blew up Shannon's game when I left. They needed James to turn on her. So I was like, "OK, this is what we're going to do. Before I leave, let me give you a little fun fact!"
Why did she have everyone flip on you?
Pulliam: She accused me of doing something wrong when this is what you're supposed to do. I didn't do anything that in any way tampered with or undermined the alliance. I didn't do anything wrong.
Do you think they'll be able to get out Shannon?
Pulliam: They've got to do it this week. They have to play nice all week and make her think she's OK and are going to have to back-door her. They cannot give her the opportunity to play for the veto.
What were you saying when arguing with Brandi after Marissa won the veto?
Pulliam: I had talked to her and was very transparent with her about what was going on with my breast milk supply. Right before the live show started, she got all upset and was like, "We agreed that you would stay 'til next week! My children need to eat, too! I told you because I need money! You're blowing up my game! I miss my children." And I [said], "Brandi, it's not about missing my children. Your children are still going to eat! They don't eat breast milk! No one else can provide for my daughter, but me. You need to look at the bigger picture. This is real life. This is my child. And as a mom, if anyone understands, it should be you."
Chuck, what was your relationship like with Brandi?
Liddell: We were good other than the one night she was mad at me and was drunk. But everyone made it out to be a bigger deal than it was. It wasn't even bad, but everyone was apologizing for her. For what? She didn't even do anything.
Who doesn't have your vote to win the game?
Liddell: Right now, I wouldn't vote for Shannon or James. But I'm still going to see how everything ends up. I have to step away and try not to make it personal. I want to watch and see who played the game the best.
Pulliam: Shannon does not have my vote.
If she is sitting in the final two, you still won't vote for her?
Who do you really want to see make it to the end?
Liddell: I hope it's Omarosa in the end. I heard a lot about her doing these reality shows and that she was a nightmare, but she wasn't at all (laughs). I thought she was awesome. I also wouldn't mind seeing Marissa or Metta slip in there.
Pulliam: Metta, of course. People are sleeping on him and I'm like, "Metta is a champion. You are all underestimating him." There is a specific spirit of focus, tenacity and drive that comes with being a champion. And I would love to see Omarosa at the end. When I left I told her, "You got to hold it down for us." A lot of people didn't understand the whole black girl magic thing, but black girl magic is real. It's about empowering and supporting one another. You always see these images of women who look like us tearing each other down and coming from a space of thinking that only one can thrive, but I feel like it was a victory for how we handled ourselves. I will continue to root for her and continue to support her. It's about us being role models to little girls, to my little girl, who watch it and see that you can disagree respectfully and you empower one another and it doesn't take away from your shine.
Do you think Omarosa is on a redemption tour or is she being genuine?
Pulliam: She's being genuine. When you think of reality stars, you think that's who they are, but in reality they're playing characters. A lot of people don't realize the magnitude of that. As an actor, I get to play different people. I get to completely change who I am as a person. Unfortunately, when you are a reality person, people do that same thing, but don't realize the backlash it's going to have on you as the person you are. If you're consistently showing up in one manner, then I'm going to treat you and accept you how you show up to me. She showed up. I was really able to get to know her. She's entitled to her journey and to learn from mistakes that she has made.