Shannon Elizabeth has no regrets about playing too hard in the Celebrity Big Brother house — even though it got her evicted.
“They were definitely the two that I felt stabbed me in the back the most,” Elizabeth, 44, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “I kept going back and forth in my head if I had to choose between them who did I feel like was treating me better. And literally it would change by the moment because I could tell the last day or so they started trying to do a little bit of damage control. Maybe they remembered I was a jury vote.”
Elizabeth and the Broadway vet, 45, hit it off from the start because they both appeared on the same show, but they aren’t as close as some viewers may think.
“I didn’t know Marissa that well. Yes, we had done a show together but we didn’t get to really know each other when we did that show,” Elizabeth added. “So I didn’t really feel like I knew her that much.”
Still, the women quickly joined forces with Mathews, 38, and others for what they dubbed an “all-girl alliance.” But after Elizabeth won the first few competitions, she became the No. 1 target. In fact, houseguests pondered the idea of back-dooring her in a previous eviction night. Elizabeth found out about the plan only moments before she left the show for good.
“I was trying to avoid arguments. I was trying to avoid fighting because that wouldn’t get us anywhere,” she told Us. “[If I learned about it earlier] I might have approached them and put them on the spot and let them squirm a bit. Because in the end any time I found out information I just started telling everyone all the information I knew because I had no reason to hide someone else’s game. So I figured the more I could blow up the house and try to turn them against each other — that was my only shot.”
Elizabeth’s alliance with Omarosa Manigault also took a few hits. Although the pair seemingly got along on occasion, Elizabeth thinks that the former White House political aide, 44, is wreaking the most havoc inside the house.
“She’s outright lying about things. A lot of the things that I heard she said whether it was about me or other people — they are just flat out lies. To me I can’t respect that because I didn’t go in there and tell one lie about something that was said or done,” she tells Us. “And people kept saying I was being deceiving by not revealing a final this or that but they didn’t ask either. I was trying to be a team member and be as honest as I could. I was really telling them too much. I was being super honest and they kept saying they just didn’t believe me. I guess they were the ones being super not honest.”
She adds: “Omarosa has a definite persona that she puts on. A character. She puts on this character for TV I think because this world has created this villain character for her so she plays into it. But from what I gather — look I haven’t spent time with her in the outside — but it felt like she was actually a really good person outside of the character. We could see a definite slip in her demeanor even when she didn’t have her makeup on. It was almost like when you put your makeup on the character is there. When you take your makeup off there was no character.”
Elizabeth decided to team up with her because she’d rather have her as an ally than an enemy. “I saw how she came out on stage in that huge dress. She was the one person when she came out that did not look at anybody else on the stage to see who her competition was. She was only concerned about showing off for the cameras and the audience. And we’re like, ‘Holy crap.’ I don’t know if you guys saw this. It was the funniest thing. We started imitating it later. She came out, did this whole catwalk thing, and like walked over to Marissa, posed and then tripped on the edge of her dress and fell on Marissa. Marissa caught her and she was like, ‘Oh, sorry! Sorry!’ She broke character,” she recalls. “And the side that wasn’t this character was actually very endearing and sweet. I was hoping we could work together but when I realized she was lying and lying to me it felt like she had already flipped on me so I might as well flip the house.”
For more, read the rest of her Q&A:
Us Weekly: What was the final week like for you?
Shannon Elizabeth: It was extremely lonely because I didn’t feel like I had a friend in there. Metta [World Peace] was great to talk to and he and I had some great conversations at night. My process once I knew I was getting attacked was just to kind go shutdown for a second, regroup, figure out what was going on. I didn’t want to keep inserting myself into the groups because I was feeling awkward while I was there. So I would kind of sit back and watch. I would watch what doors people went in and out and kind of see what was going on around me as much as I could because obviously I didn’t know everything. It was hard because I didn’t really know what I could do. Because every time I tried to have a conversation with anybody they weren’t receiving anything I was saying.
US: Is “Responsibilities” going to haunt you forever?
SE: No! Actually I’m really proud of responsibilities. It’s not my fault they were spelling such short words. Because in the show a 13 letter word wins that game. And we all talked about it walking out into the yard that we suspected that that challenge was going to be on our season. I didn’t know it was going to be that early in the game. So the minute we all walked out there we saw it. We knew what game it was. I had that word in my head while we were standing there before we started the game. I don’t have a problem with that because also I was playing a team game at that point. I was winning for the team. People tried to say that it was selfish and I was trying to do it for myself but in the beginning we said the girls need to win so I made sure the girls won.
US: While you were crying in bed and they consoled you, was there a tiny part of you that hoped it worked for your gameplay?
SE: Not in that moment, no. Later on there were moments where I could see some people having sympathy for me. Metta and Brandi [Glanville] especially seemed like they felt really bad that I was so upset. Even Marissa said, ‘We didn’t think you were going to take it this hard.’ And I said I would have liked to think I wouldn’t [be this upset] if I got caught doing something shady and you guys just caught me and I messed up. But you guys are saying I did and said things that I’m swearing that I didn’t do. … I’ve watched the game for so long and maybe that’s my downfall. The problem was some of these people don’t know the game. So it was hard to convince them that they were getting rid of an ally and they were going to need my help.
US: Did you try to make them understand that they would be losing a vote for their side?
SE: Yep! One of my final pleas to Brandi and Ari [Gutierrez] was I spoke with Metta last night, he really wants to go home. You could replace James [Maslow] with him and we can let him go home this week and you can let me stay and play for you. And I will do what I can to help your game. I can take you guys further in this game because if James wins he’s coming after you because he had told me that. Another scenario was let Metta and I help you together and he stays. But you need to get rid of a guy because the guys had made a pact to band together and if I leave it’s not going to be four against four. I was saying you need to break up the couples. So Ross and Marissa — you can get get rid of Ross. If its Mark [McGrath] and James and James is coming off then you get rid of Mark. I tried everything.
US: It was awkward when Omarosa had a side conversation with James and she got called out on it while you listened by the door. What was your take on that?
SE: What’s funny is that I talked to her about that and she goes, ‘You know I told him that on purpose.’ Now she could be covering her tracks, I don’t know. But she said that she went to him and told him that on purpose because she wanted to confirm who his team was because she knew that he would run straight to his team, which he did. And they all came back to her and that conversation happened. I was watching it happen and that’s why I was like, well I might as well go listen and try to see if I can get any information. I was hoping that there was going to be a big fight because of that and maybe they would turn on him. Because this was all still before the veto. We didn’t know what was going to happen yet. And I figured if I could win that veto then I’m safe and hopefully they will get rid of him.
US: At one point you said you didn’t want to watch the show ever again. Do you still stand by that?
SE: No! Of course I’m going to watch. I love this game too much and I love the strategy. We’ve been isolated for 17 days and your mind goes crazy in there — the paranoia. Every time you walk into a room — think about it in your normal life if you walked into a room and your boyfriend or husband just stopped talking and hid his phone. You would be like what is he doing? He’s cheating on me. When those things start happening in every single room that you walk into — like your friends suddenly stop talking and stare at you — it drives you nuts! You don’t know what to do. Emotions were so heightened in there.
US: Would you do an All-Stars?
SE: Probably! There are so many games I didn’t get to play. That’s what I kept saying to everybody. I just want to be here to play the games and experience Big Brother.
US: You will soon head back home to Africa. Do you plan on staying their for the long-haul?
SE: I hope to. I want to keep doing the work I’m doing. Even if I was here [in L.A.] shooting a show I would still live there. I can go back and forth. I plan on it because I love being there, I love the work. Acting is my job but animal conservation and animal rescue is my life’s mission. And doing something where I could combine the two would be a dream come true for me.
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