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Celebrity Big Brother is approaching its end.
So far, with its cast of Omarosa Manigault Newman, Mark McGrath, Metta World Peace, Ariadna Gutierrez, Brandi Glanville, Shannon Elizabeth, James Maslow, Ross Mathews, Marissa Winokur, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Chuck Liddell, the star spinoff of CBS’ summer flagship has been a season of tears, asthma attacks and players asking to be voted out of the game.
This is the latest twist on the longtime reality hit Big Brother, and for the most part — both in terms of ratings and Winter Olympics counterprogramming — it’s worked. But with just four episodes left in the season, it’s time to start looking at who might be crowned the first-ever winner of Celebrity Big Brother.
Early evictees Pulliam and Liddell have already revealed they want to see Omarosa take home the win, but the most recent house guests to leave, World Peace and Elizabeth, are singing a different tune.
Below, The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Elizabeth and World Peace after their eviction to talk about their time in the Celebrity Big Brother house, whether they’d consider playing the game again (Metta’s answer may surprise you) and who ultimately they want to see make it to the end.
What was your reaction after it set in that you were officially out of the game?
Shannon Elizabeth: I was sad! I liked playing the game and I knew what game they were getting ready to play, and it was the one game I kept saying I really wanted to do. I really wanted to do the wall. I would have won that. Hands down. I wouldn’t have let go for anything.
Metta World Peace: I got to talk to my family. Everything is great.
What made you want to join the show?
World Peace: CBS gives you a good opportunity for exposure, and it was just something I could do that was really cool. I didn’t know what I was getting into and a lot of people said, “You probably shouldn’t do it.” But I did it and it was tough, but I made it happen. I couldn’t get through the whole thing, but got through some of it. (Laughs.)
How were you able to keep yourself entertained in the house?
World Peace: Chess was cool. And I was trying to teach myself how to play Chinese checkers. But it was tough, man. There wasn’t much to do in the house but strategize. After a while talking about the game all the time got annoying. But I got in the game once I was comfortable. I got in touch with the owl, I got to make some alliances. People thought I couldn’t play the game, but I got the chance to shake things up.
Metta, when you tried to leave in the beginning of the game, what ultimately got you to stay?
World Peace: Marissa was one of the ones who helped me stay. She said, “You can’t quit!” And Omarosa said, “You can’t quit!” They helped me get through it and taught me things about myself. I learned I was tougher than I thought.
How did you handle the slop?
World Peace: Ross made slop really good! I was fine.
Shannon, a lot of fan polls have voted for you as one of the favorites this season. Why do you think you had so much support from viewers?
Elizabeth: Because I’m such a huge fan and I know the game. I was there to play. I know how the game works and I know how people should be playing. Not all of them know how to play. People that love the game appreciate watching other people that love the game.
If you made it to the end, do you think you would have won?
World Peace: I think so because I was in a position to gain more alliances. If I won the VIP Veto I could have gotten rid of Ross and James. I knew they were aligned.
Shannon, do you think you showed your hand too much as a superfan?
Elizabeth: I made sure that people knew Omarosa, Ross and Marissa were superfans. But it wasn’t that I was trying to reveal anything. I was trying to help my alliance. When it was an all-girls alliance I was telling them how to win because we needed every edge we could to beat the guys. I was fighting for the group.
Why didn’t that alliance work out?
Elizabeth: Because Omarosa and Keshia went behind our backs and made their own alliance! And we caught them. They went against it first, and we just happened to catch them in time so we had to flip the vote.
Keshia didn’t really make a deal with Chuck.
Elizabeth: I’ve heard otherwise. Metta even told me he sent Chuck to go talk to her and make a deal. Even if the deal was, “Chuck if you get HoH this week you keep me and Omarosa safe and you can go after anyone else you want.” That’s still a deal! We caught her. Keshia made it seem like she was doing my dirty work, but I’m sorry she had a lot of her own dirty work going on.
You found out that instead of having Keshia go home the house planned on getting you out. Had that happened what would your reaction have been?
Elizabeth: Shock, and I would have been livid! (Laughs.) There’s a small part of me that wished this week they back-doored me because then I would have had only one day being really upset rather than a whole week.
Would you consider playing a regular season of Big Brother?
Elizabeth: Yeah! Because it would be different gameplay and all of the people would be fans of the show. That’s the season I know how to play. This was a shortened season so you have to know how to alter your gameplay. When I was going over scenarios before going into the house, because it’s such a short season I figured it’s not really a season where you can lay back and play weak in the beginning because you could get picked off doing that. That’s why I decided to come out swinging. I would love the chance to play again.
Metta, would you play the game again?
World Peace: I would be more prepared and I definitely would! Absolutely.
Who was the most difficult person to live with?
Elizabeth: When we were getting along in the beginning everyone got along. Even after a fight we were still getting along.
World Peace: Everybody supported each other! Everybody cooked, James made coffee, and me and Mark handled the dishes. It was good!
Some live-feeders have pointed out that Marissa talks too much. Did that get to you at all?
Elizabeth: (Laughs.) Well, there were moments of that. I’m used to having a lot of my own quiet time, which you get very little of in the house. That’s why the day I shut down I needed to be alone to think out strategy, figure out where I went wrong and regroup. Your energy really gets sucked in there when you have people around you all of the time.
Keshia and Chuck said they want Omarosa to win the game. Is she being genuine in the house or is she on a redemption tour?
Elizabeth: Omarosa has two sides. She has her persona that people see on TV that she really plays up as this villain. And then she has her soft side. She’s a minister. She’s married to a pastor. And she’s very intelligent. She has lots of degrees and she’s worked for the presidency twice. She is pretty incredible on that side. I said to her early on, “You can’t keep up your persona 24-7 and the length of this game. People will see that other side of you finally. And that’s a really good thing for you.”
In the diary room, she said there were three stages of you reacting to being evicted. The last stage was actress mode where you were acting more upset than you were. Were you acting at all?
Elizabeth: Those were genuine emotions. I’m not good at putting stuff like that on. I wear my heart on my sleeve. At another stage in the game when we were doing the meeting after I won the power of veto and got teary-eyed she said, “You know people thought you were acting there.” She had already put it in my head that people might think that because I’m an actress.” If I could hold my tears back I would. I don’t like being as emotional as I am. And I realized that Metta and Brandi seemed to have a little bit more sympathy for that, so you have to try everything you can and hope something works.
Do you plan on watching just the episodes, the live feeds or not at all?
Elizabeth: I’m going to go back, catch up and watch everything. I got more than five hours of updates from someone last night. I’m getting a lot of backstory about what is going on from people who are watching the live feeds.
With the jury being able to see everything, how do you predict that impacting the vote in the end?
Elizabeth: They’ll vote emotionally because they don’t know strategy! Specifically with the girls, I had to have conversations with them about not making emotional decisions.
Will you be voting emotionally?
Elizabeth: Depends on who’s in the finals. (Laughs.)
Who has your vote to win the game?
World Peace: When we get to the end it might be a toss-up. I’m only going to go off what I know about people, not what I saw on the show, just the interaction I had with people. If Marissa gets to the final two I would vote for her. Or if it’s Ariadna and James, I would vote for Ariadna. Or I might vote for James because he has had a rough time. He played the game so smart. He’s doing a good job.
Elizabeth: James needs to keep winning and making deals. He has to save his butt. There’s no downplaying this. I’d love to see him get to the finals. I would vote for him over Ross and Marissa in the finals.
Who else do you want to see in the finale?
Elizabeth: I guess Mark for a lack of anyone else. He’s being a better person in the house than the others. Even though it’s Big Brother and you can do anything, you still have to find someone to be loyal to in the house and not just run around backstabbing everybody. The way that they’re playing the game right now is too dirty and I don’t like it.
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