The evicted housemate tells TooFab about Omarosa's "outrageous" lies, who she thinks will win and her charity, Animal Avengers.
After winning the first two competitions of the season, the self-described show superfan got a big target on her back, and found herself betrayed by those she thought she was in an alliance with.
Is it hard not to take the eviction personally, and do you think it'll affect your relationships with some of these people outside of the house?
I haven't caught up completely. I haven't watched the show or the feeds, I've just been talking to people, learning what I didn't know as much as possible. There's some gameplay I respect, and some I don't. It's funny because Ross, some of the people were saying, 'You'll see when you watch the show, you'll see that this was happening and it's not what you think.' It made it seem like I was gonna find out I was wrong and they were right, and from everything I'm hearing, it's actually way worse than I thought it was.
I actually respect their gameplay even less from what I've been hearing. To me, that would affect things outside the house in some degree, but I live in Africa, so who knows what kind of relationships we'll have after this. I guess time will tell. Let me catch up on the show first!
We just read an interview Julie Chen did where she called you the "opposite of Omarosa," saying that you were real and honest and that Omarosa was a "master of manipulation." Do you agree?
My issue with Omarosa wasn't manipulation, it was the lying. She was outright creating lies out of thin air. I heard about a lie she said about me. She was trying to say that I said to her when she came back into the house about Marissa. Flat out lie, that even the house guests there were like, there's no way Shannon said that, we know you're lying. It was too outrageous. That's what I don't respect. Manipulation for game's sake is one thing, but yeah, I don't know.
It makes me happy that Julie said that, though, because when you're in there, you don't know how things are being perceived, you don't know what people are seeing or what's being shown. So you do worry, especially because all of us are in some sort of entertainment industry. You do worry about what you're stepping into when you leave that house. The whole world could be against you and you don't know it, and that's scary.
Who surprised you the most?
I was surprised that Omarosa had a very clear character persona that she puts out to the world versus who I think she really is in her real life. She can't keep up a character 24/7, and I think there's a really soft beautiful person behind that character. I said to her more than once, 'I hope the world gets to see that other side of you now because you have had to let your guard down in there.' I think a lot of us were really surprised.
Keisha was really surprised by it because they went toe to toe in the beginning. Keisha's very anti-Trump, it seemed to us, so they had a really long, heartfelt conversation in the HOH room when I was HOH and I was sitting there watching and listening. At one point, Omarosa felt really attacked by Keisha and she looked to me and I think I squeezed her hand or something and she didn't attack back. She really handled it really well and that's why they were able to create that alliance. They found their common ground.
While you were in there, Omarosa was making headlines every day for her White House gossip. Is that something you were all interested in hearing more about, too?
Absolutely! We were trying to ask her questions, but she kept editing herself and not telling us everything. We would constantly ask her, and once in a while, she would let her guard down and tell us some stuff and then she might stop herself and say we'll talk more outside the house. But of course we're all curious. And she was really smart with tax code stuff and investing and we were all trying to pick her brain. I gotta see the headlines! That's what she wants -- she wants to make headlines.
It came across that you were a big fan of the show. Are you still going to watch after being on it?
For a while I didn't think I would be, in my moments of being really down. The games are so fun and there were still so many games I wanted to play. I got lucky. Every challenge they gave to us I got to play in it. I was very lucky in that, but there is still more I want to do. I have to watch it. I am such a big fan of the strategy of the game and the alliances. Maybe it's my downfall that I knew the game so well. I wish everyone had known the game well so that when I would suggest things, they knew what I was talking about rather than me having to explain it.
You warned James about the two duos -- Ross and Marissa, Brandi and Ariadna -- do you think they're the biggest threats?
No, they're not big threats. 'Big Brother' 101, you break up the pairs. You break up the duos. Look, James and Mark are a duo as well. I couldn't talk to him about that, but I talked to the others about that. I mean, in my eye, it's really stupid to get rid of somebody who has nobody in the house. If you have nobody in the house, you're not as big of a threat as they're making you out to be.
If Ross has Marissa and Marissa has Ross, that's a threat. No single person can go to the final three with them because that single person will get kicked out of it unless they win. That's why people, when they become a couple in the house, they're a target. Because everyone knows they're going to lift each other up, never put each other on the block and never vote for each other. That's dangerous.
Who do you consider the frontrunner now?
Metta. He's been wanting to leave from day one, and nobody's been letting him go, so he's not a threat. He doesn't know the game. He doesn't realize it, but it's Dr. Will's strategy, just be like, 'I shouldn't be here, I wanna go home, you guys are stupid for keeping me.' That was Dr. Will's strategy and it worked. He won the game.
Were there secret strategies you didn't tell people about? Were your tears the real deal or part of strategy?
It was really how I was feeling. There was a part of me that was very aware -- Omarosa told me at one point -- I was aware people thought I was acting. That was the actress in me. I knew that in the back of my mind, even if I could pull on some heartstrings with it, great, but those were real tears. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I really do love the game and I really felt ganged up against. It's already very lonely being in that house, and when you have nobody to talk to, it makes it that much harder.
Is that the biggest surprise about it? All the down time and being bored?
Yeah, we would wake up early and have a full day of nothing to do. So literally you're taking naps all day and you're cooking food. We didn't have an outside area until late at night, so we never got to see sunshine, we could only wash clothes at night because the washer and dryer were outside by the hot tub, so literally all day you're trying to find ways to waste time. Most people would just take naps. I never nap in my real life.
Lastly, can you talk a little about the outpouring of support you've seen for Animal Avengers? Does that make it all worth it?
Absolutely. I didn't win 'Big Brother,' but it's such a win if the animals win. The selfish part was wanting to play the games, but to be able to use it as a platform to help build awareness in the world, raise money for the charity, show people what's going on and what I'm doing in Africa -- that was such a huge goal for me. I'm really excited that people have responded to that. If people do go online and donate to the charity and show support, to me, I've won. That's a win and that makes me very happy.