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On Wednesday the final five of Kandi Burruss, Dina Lohan, Lolo Jones, Ricky Williams and Tamar Braxton competed in hopes of making it to the final two.
Ultimately it came down to the former NFL running back, Williams, versus Grammy-nominated singer Braxton. For Braxton, she sang her way to victory as her fellow famous houseguests, which also included Ryan Lochte, Tom Green and Joey Lawrence, voted unanimously for her to win the game.
“Anytime I’m on television, the thing for me is to not act like anybody else,” the winner tells The Hollywood Reporter the morning after her win. On the spinoff of the longtime reality series, the TV personality quickly garnered the support of viewers and became a fan-favorite.
Her win marks the first time an African-American castmember has walked away with a win on the CBS show. And as fans pointed out, she broke a Big Brother curse by winning the game even though she was the first to enter the house.
Here Braxton hilariously talks to THR about her win, her relationship with Burruss and what’s next.
You mentioned that you were asked to join the show last season, but it didn’t work out. What were those early conversations, and how did you make it work this time?
It’s no secret that my family and myself went through a whole WE tv fiasco and that was a part of it. I don’t like to dwell on the past because things are in a positive position now, and that’s the whole reason why I couldn’t make things happen. Sometimes you’re in contracts and you just can’t go around things. And that’s just what happened. And then it worked out for the best.
As a fan of the show, how does your season rank compared to others?
I promise you and I told my housemates, “We are playing like the summertime, people! This is not the celebrity version.” (Laughs.) It’s cutthroat! People don’t care. It is what it is, and it was just a whole different experience. I thought I was going to go and get the softer version of Big Brother, but as a fan I’m grateful that everybody I was in the house with was a little bit more cutthroat than the celebrities that were on last season. It was hardcore.
What was your reaction to the Anthony Scaramucci twist? Did you have any idea that he wasn’t a real player?
I didn’t have any idea that Mooch was not a real player. I thought he was kind of a fish out of water and completely out of his element, but I was surprised that he was such a spectacular guy, had so much knowledge and was so kind. And he was the first text that I woke up to this morning. He was like, “Congratulations, superstar! I’m so happy for you.” He’s a great guy, and I had no idea he was a spy! (Laughs.)
What was going through your head when you first met the cast?
Hell to the no. At first I thought I would be able to ignore that [Kandi] was there, but that was a lot after two minutes. I was excited to be in the house with Joey [Lawrence]. And to be honest, I didn’t know everybody who was in the house besides Tom, Kato and Dina.
Viewers gravitated toward your relationship with Kandi and how it came full circle. Were you going to take her to the final two?
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