"I just hope people can remember that we are in a pressure cooker inside this House. This is not exactly how we are outside of this situation where we're hyper-emotional and pressed and stressed-- you name it."
It was definitely a wild and tension-filled night as "Celebrity Big Brother" wrapped its third season. And unlike everyone who came before them, the Final 3 were only given a few hours to wrap their heads around what happened in the House before agreeing to interviews.
TooFab had the opportunity to touch base with MMA champion Miesha Tate just hours after the confetti fell. She was part of this season's dominant duo with Todrick Hall, but since she was inside the House all season long, she was unaware of just how they were being received by the public, or even the Houseguests who'd left before them.
If it needs to be said, Spoiler Warning from this point forward, as we need to discuss who won this game and what went down when a very bitter Jury faced the Final 2. Consider yourselves warned!
While Todrick and Miesha together were a force to be reckoned with in the House that could not be stopped, it was Miesha who dominated in the competitions. So it's apropos that she ended her time in the House the same way she started, by winning Head of Household.
As expected, she picked Todrick to sit with her in the Final 2, sending Cynthia Bailey to go out and join the Jury. TooFab also had a chance to talk with Cynthia, who admitted she was stunned to walk out of the House and see all of her former cast-mates in the Jury looking "pissed."
She had a lot of catching up to do, clearly, but there just wasn't time to do it. Cynthia said that her ride-or-die Carson Kressley was trying to signal to her some of what had been going on in the House, but there was just too much going on.
In the end, it was Cynthia who cast the lone vote for Todrick. Every other vote -- including people who'd said upon leaving the House that he had their vote -- sent their votes Miesha's way, giving her victory in a landslide. You can see what Cynthia thought about that in our interview with her here:
Miesha told us that she was just as shocked to receive the lion's share of the votes, expecting an almost 50/50 split, nor was she prepared for so much hostility coming from the Jury as they cast their votes one by one.
The structure of the "Celebrity" version of the game itself was a contributing factor, she said, saying that producers tell them they can say whatever they want in the Diary Room because no one else will hear it, but as "CBB" contestants are eliminated, they can go home and see anything and everything.
She also defended her ride-or-die Todrick from a lot of the attacks coming his way, emphasizing that you can't really hold people fully accountable for what happens in the House because it's such an unreal situation where you are "hyper-emotional and pressed and stressed, you name it."
Miesha firmly believes Todrick is a big enough person that if he watches the show back and "if he said or did something that he’s able to go back, reflect on it, recognize that was hurtful or wrong, I think he’s definitely a big enough person to admit that and apologize."
The professional fighter said she was prepared to apologize for her own behavior in picking on some of the other Houseguests, attributing it to boredom and "being silly and laughing at people." She owned up that she's not perfect and said, "I get it when you go back and watch that or you’re not there to stick up for yourself maybe that that was kind of a hurtful thing, so I’m not above apologizing for that."
Other things discussed include the chilly reception she and Todrick received upon exiting the House under a shower of confetti and a stony Jury still seated in their chairs looking on, as well as which one of the Jury members "was a little bit cold" toward her after the show went off the air.
She discussed her strategy coming into the House, which turned out to be a winning one, and what it was that drew her to Todrick personally even outside of his savvy and knowledge of the game, as well as the biggest thing about her gameplay she now wishes she would have done differently.
Congratulations, first of all, for winning "Celebrity Big Brother." It has been a crazy night for you and it's probably just getting started.
Thank you, thank you. It's like, somebody pinch me! I'm not even sure this is real right now.
Going into the final vote between you and Todrick, how confident were you that you were going to win?
No, I wasn't. I thought it was 50/50. I mean, I really thought the votes were going to be 50/50.
Was there ever a moment you considered bringing Cynthia, instead, or were you dead-set on Todrick. You guys were so tight, obviously.
Yes, I was dead-set that this was the person that I connected with. I knew nothing about anybody coming into this House, and Todrick is so different than me in just about every way that I think it was an "opposites attract." He was the yin to my yang. He was my homie in the house. He was funny and sweet and he just was able to offer me a different perspective on life. I feel like we connected in so many ways. We were similar in some ways, and so different in other ways, that I was intrigued and I wanted to learn from him. When I say learn, I mean, like, get a new perspective. I'm a person who loves to travel the world, I love to meet people and cultures. I'm like, this is a man that I could definitely take some different perspectives away from.
We need to talk about the Jury, because it was brutal. As far as "Big Brother" Juries in general go, it was a hard one to watch. What was going through your head when you started seeing the comments as people were putting their votes in?
I was really taken back. My heart was kind of heavy because I was feeling confused, because I didn't have any of the information that the Jury had. But remember that the way that "Celebrity Big Brother" is run is different than regular "Big Brother." The Jury does get to get out and see all of that before they cast their vote, which takes a little bit away because they tell you, Oh, these diary sessions, nobody else gets to hear it, but as soon as people leave the House, but before they vote, they get to see everything. There is a way that this game that can be played that is not an accurate depiction of who you are in real life, because this is not real life. This is "Celebrity Big Brother." It is a game and you are allowed to play it however you want. But I still don't have a full picture of what even has transpired or happened, so in that moment it was very surprising.
Even during the commercial break before the results were read, could you give some kind of insight into what that conversation was like between you and Todrick?
I just noticed that Todd [Bridges] kind of rolled his eyes when Todrick was talking. He was clearly upset with him, and that was a big turn because when he left I thought I may have lost Todd's vote because he turned to Todrick and said, 'You played the best game of anybody here.' So I wasn't sure if I would have Todd's vote or not in the end. So to see such a big change in his behavior was, like, Whoa. Okay. Well, must be something we're not privy to.
You are named the winner, you come out, everyone's celebrating. But it's obvious there's some tension and celebration happening at the same time. What kind of position does that put you in? Is it uncomfortable?
Oh my gosh, it was really uncomfortable. The mother in me was really concerned for Todrick and his feelings. I was very confused, I couldn't offer any insight or real comfort in that moment because I'm like, I have no idea what's going on. Yes, there is Live Feeds, but they didn't start until after some of the stuff with Shanna [Moakler] went down as far as her committing to the Final 4 with Chris Kirkpatrick, myself, Todrick and her, obviously. She did at one point do that, and I just don't know if that was shown on the show or not, or if they just didn't really play into that and made it look like we manipulated a situation a little more than we did. But I don't know, I'm still a lot in the dark with all of this. But I believe one thing about Todrick that I learned throughout the show. I think he's a big enough person that if he said or did something that he's able to go back, reflect on it, recognize that was hurtful or wrong, I think he's definitely a big enough person to admit that and apologize. I think if that's what needs to happen, it will happen. He will correct, if he needs to. And I just hope people can remember that we are in a pressure cooker inside this House. This is not exactly how we are outside of this situation where we're hyper-emotional and pressed and stressed, you name it.
When it comes to both of you as a pair, some of the criticism was that it was maybe overly aggressive. On the flip side, in your defense, you two were the two that were really playing the game and understood it more than anyone else. How much of a push-and-pull do you think it is between those two things?
I didn't really understand the game coming in to a very deep degree. I only had two weeks to prepare for this; I'd gotten the call two weeks before. I watched both the seasons of "Celebrity" and a couple episodes of Season 23 before I got in, so I had an understanding.
Which is more than a lot of your fellow Houseguests had.
I think so. So it's fair to say I had an idea, but I also didn't know how that applied to me, because I didn't really see a clear role model, like how I would want to be in the game. So I definitely felt like each game is going to be its own ecosystem of people anyway, so there's only so much you can prepare for. My game plan quickly developed to, okay, the moment I walk in the door, I'm a target. I've gotta just embrace it. I've gotta kind of be really straightforward. I've gotta present myself as larger than life because that's what people are gonna say, like, Oh my gosh, she is a force to be reckoned with. So I'm like, Well then I'm gonna throw my weight around. And I'm gonna try and be strong in my presence in every which way. And I want people that are standing next to me and competing against me in the competition to be nervous. And I will channel what I have been doing the majority of my life as a professional athlete. I will channel all my energy and I will focus, and I hope that I make them nervous just being in my presence in these competitions. That was kind of my strategy. I didn't want to stab anybody in the back, but if I'm coming for you, you're gonna know it. And you're gonna probably lose sleep that night.
How surprised were you that you two weren't more of a target? That everybody didn't band together like, We need to get them out? Did they just not see until it was too late that you two were such a tight pair?
I think part of my idea of being strong-presenting and honest was that a lot of the House -- and I won my first competition -- a lot of the House thought it was better to be close to me and protected, believing in my honesty and my strategy, than to be on the other side. So I was able to get just barely the majority of the House vote. It was like, we're safe from Miesha now, so let's just work on the other side, let's keep her as our strong player in the front and we'll be shielded by her until we can take her out. But it was a little too little too late, I think, when the point got to where we were ready to cannibalize our own team. I just had a really good stride going and I was able to maintain that.
Looking back and knowing how some of the gameplay made some Houseguests feel now, is there anything you would do differently, or do regret?
Yeah, I wouldn't have made the promise to Teddi [Mellencamp] to keep her off the Block the first week. I was HOH for the longest time. The first HOH is for ten days and everyone else is only three or four days. I'm still trying to figure out this game and system and I just didn't have it down and I made her a promise that she wasn't going to go on the Block and it ended up being sort of an unintentional backdooring. Look, she was a force to be reckoned with. I don't necessarily regret removing her from the House. I regret telling her that she wasn't gonna be a target and she ended up being the target. I wish that I hadn't made that promise to her. As you see in the first HOH [competition], when I didn't promise her safety then. It was like, I wasn't trying to lie to anybody. It wasn't my intention, but it did end up working out that way and that would probably be my biggest regret of the game.
You still didn't technically put her up, she was Backdoored.
That's true. I don't know if that's better or worse. My intention was absolutely sincere when I told her, I won't put you up and I'm not gonna send you home, or whatever. And then it just ended up working out that this game is crazy and we do have to expect the unexpected and I got all this other information. I'm like, Oh my God, I think I'm gonna have to go back on my word, and I did not like that. It didn't make me feel very good about myself. But, I'm like, You know what? This is an experiment and I'm not a perfect person, and I was not a perfect player, but somehow I made it to the end of this and I won, so I'm feeling pretty happy right now.
What were your interactions like with some of the other Houseguests after the show wrapped. Were you able to maybe talk to people, ease some tension between at least you and them.
Yeah, I think so. I'm not sure. Todd was a little bit cold, so he might be a little bit mad at me, but I just have to go back and have a conversation. I don't want anybody to leave this feeling like that I had it out for them. I would like the opportunity to apologize if I really hurt somebody's feelings, basically, is what I would ask for. I'm not perfect and maybe I was saying something that was hurtful because I was bored in there and I was poking fun at the way that Lamar grunts when he walks around the house. You know, things when you just have nothing else to do and you're being silly and laughing at people. I get it when you go back and watch that or you're not there to stick up for yourself maybe that that was kind of a hurtful thing, so I'm not above apologizing for that. But I would ask that people also on the flipside recognize that we're in such a weird situation. This is not normal, or necessarily an accurate depiction of who we are outside of this crazy-ass game.
How different do you think it would have turned out had Cynthia Bailey won the final HOH competition? Who do you think she would have picked, and do you think she would be the one crowned the winner?
Yes, oh gosh. If she had won, she would have pulled Todrick up there and she absolutely would have been the winner. And if she, for some reason-- I don't know how she and I would have ended up there, but she probably would have won at that point, too, because she was just the sweet, all-loving, motherly figure who didn't really understand how to play the game, and she also was never forced to get any blood on her hands. I mean, who would not love Cynthia, you know what I mean?
What are you looking forward to do now that you're done, you're out. You talked about seeing your family.
That's it. That's it. I just want to kiss my babies. I want to hold them and squeeze them until they beg me to put them down. I'm so excited to see my kids, and I want to know what my daughter thought of it. My son is probably a little too small to understand what is even going on, but I think my daughter will be pretty excited. I want to see what she thought about my obnoxious blue nails that I've had the whole season; that I've pointed out to everybody because blue is her favorite color and it was my way of channeling her little warrior spirit into my game. I don't know if you noticed in that last HOH and Veto competition I was decked out in as much blue as I could put on. I was like, blue is the color today. I'm channeling my daughter's love and energy, so long story short, I want to take them toy shopping and i want to spend time with my family. That's it. I want to spoil my kids.