The Queer Eye alum, 52, now realizes that getting out Shanna Moakler, who was an ally and even used the Veto to save him the week before, was not at all in his best interest. In fact, he admits to being completely duped by Miesha Tate and Todrick Hall, and acknowledges that he owes the former beauty queen a major mea culpa.
“I think we really made a huge mistake,” Carson exclusively tells Us Weekly the morning after his Friday, February 18, eviction. “I owe her such a big apology, and that’s the one thing that I learned that is the most regrettable and has made me feel so awful because we should have listened to her and not the people that I thought we could trust, which we should have known better.”
The reality star thought his “long standing relationship” with Todrick from their time together on Ru Paul’s Drag Race meant he had a built-in trust and ally.
“I just kind of thought, ‘Well, this guy wouldn’t be misleading me this dramatically.’” he tells Us. “I swear [Cynthia Bailey and I] only had the best intentions and we thought we had somebody who was playing both sides. … And we didn’t know that that was mostly made up. I feel awful for Shanna and I need to send her the biggest apology ever because that is the one thing I didn’t wanna do, was something icky. And I did something icky.”
Carson goes on to express his regret several more times in hopes that he and Shanna can be friends: “I feel terrible about it and I’m literally trying to figure out how I should apologize, and say, ‘You don’t have to forgive me, of course, but I just want to let you know we were sold a bill of goods and I shouldn’t have been that stupid, and it was my fault and I take complete responsibility for it.’ I will apologize a thousand times.”
What else would Carson change about his game? And what factors will play into his vote on finale night? Scroll down to read the rest of our interview!
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Us Weekly: How are you feeling this morning?
Carson Kressley: Going in and then doing the thing, I was like, “I’ll be fine.” And then they pull you out and you talk to a psychologist. I’m like, “I’m fine.” Then you get out and you’re just like, “Wait, I have 1200 emails and so many messages on social media. It’s very overwhelming because you have been without a phone or any human interaction other than the cast members for, like, a month. So it’s really quite an experience. Hence, the not really sleeping. But, I think I’m gonna segue into going outdoors today and see the sun for the first time.
Us: What’s been the most surprising thing you’ve learned so far since being outside the house?
CK: I learned so many surprising things about people that I trusted and things that I thought were happening that weren’t happening. The first big whammy is when you sit down with Julie [Chen Moonves] and she’s like, “Now about Shanna, were you Big Brothered?” I’m like, “I don’t even know what that means, but if you are asking me, then I think we really made a huge mistake.” I owe her such a big apology, and that’s the one thing that I learned that is the most regrettable and has made me feel so awful because we should have listened to her and not the people that I thought we could trust, which we should have known better.
Us: Miesha put you and Cynthia up during her HOH. Shanna is the one that saved you with the Veto! Yet Miesha and Todrick convinced you to turn on her. Are you that gullible or are they that good?
CK: They were really good. I’ve had a long relationship with Todrick and working on shows like Drag Race. So I just kind of thought, “Well, this guy wouldn’t be misleading me this dramatically.” And with so much finesse and so convincing and getting both me and Cynthia. If it was just me, I would look to Cynthia and be like, “Are we supposed to believe them?” But they got both of us. I swear we only had the best intentions and we thought we had somebody who was playing both sides. So I guess we should trust the devil that we know as opposed to somebody who’s playing both sides. And we didn’t know that that was mostly made up. I feel awful for Shanna and I need to send her the biggest apology ever because that is the one thing I didn’t wanna do, was something icky. And I did something icky.
Us: She was ostracized quite a bit and it was almost like a mob mentality. Comments about her appearance were brought up. Do you reflect on that stuff and cringe?
CK: I don’t think I said much about her and I know I definitely didn’t say anything about her appearance. After she was gone, I still felt bad about it. And when people were starting to chatter about it, I kind of just didn’t wanna be involved in that.
Us: So I’m assuming you might change some things if you could redo your HOH week?
CK: Yeah. We should have just stuck with the plan to get rid of Miesha. Todd [Bridges] and Lamar [Odom] seemed to be so entrenched in an alliance with her. Todrick was absolutely attached to her at the hip. I didn’t even know or think we could get her out at that point if we’d have enough votes. But the way it turned out was just awful. And I apologize a million times to her. I haven’t had a chance to absolutely watch everything, but from what people have told me and friends of mine who are very close to me who have been obsessed with the show and watching the live feeds are just like, “They played you so hard.” I feel terrible, but Shanna has to obviously feel the worst and I just need to reach out and apologize to her because that should never have happened.
Us: Speaking of Todrick, what was your relationship like before the show? Was it always friendly or was there ever tension? When you saw him in the house, were you nervous or were you happy?
CK: We’ve always had a great relationship on set, and he has been a guest judge on the show a couple times. It’s always been super cordial and I was actually kind of excited. From the very get-go, I kind of pulled him aside and said, “We should look out for each other just as a friend from the outside thing.” I was kind of shocked that he left our alliance early and I was like, “Oh, OK. I guess he has a good reason. He didn’t feel comfortable with Teddi [Mellencamp].” Again, not very good at this game, I’ll admit it. And then just more and more things, his adherence to Miesha became a little bit of a red flag. It was just like, “I guess she is his ride or die.” I understood that. Cynthia was my ride or die. You gel with certain people, but I never imagined that he would try to mislead us so badly. I’m just, I’m naive. I know it’s gameplay, but I have a long standing relationship with him, so I didn’t think he would go to that extent.
Us: Speaking of those relationships, I know you and Cynthia had a great one. Who else do you think you’ll keep in touch with the most outside the house?
CK: I love Lamar. He’s so wonderful. Todd Bridges was really interesting because he was so under the radar for most of the competition. I would tell Cynthia like, “I don’t even think he wants to be here or feels good enough to be here.” Then he sprung into action, like a Phoenix that was rising. And by the time we did that hanging on the wall challenge, he was up there almost as long as I was. I was like, “Todd Bridges is hanging on the wall? Doesn’t he have like a bionic shoulder? hHow’s this happening?” So he was very surprising, but I did like him. I would hope to maybe be able to patch things up with Shanna, who knows. She probably will hate me forever. Who else is left? Oh, and of course Teddi. I adore Teddi. I adore Chris Kattan.
Us: Chris Kattan mentioned to me about maybe doing a cooking show together…
CK: You know what, I’ll do the cooking, he can do the eating in his underwear.
Us: You definitely did some campaigning to stay but there were also moments where it felt like you were throwing in the towel a little bit. Do you think you did enough? Was there anything else you could have done?
CK: I don’t think so. I think the people that were in control were Todrick and Miesha, and we really had to appeal to them. I thought we made a great case. Again, I thought I had this agreement with Todrick that we would have each other’s back just as a chivalrous gentleman’s agreement. And I invoked that and said, “Hey, remember, in the very beginning we said let’s look out for each other.” That wasn’t happening. We thought maybe we could appeal to Miesha. Like, “You wanna play this game with integrity, which he said, like, 10,000 times. These two people are ones that play with integrity. Why not play with us? You know what you’re gonna get.” They just thought I was a big, giant threat. I still don’t get it. I only won two things and I wasn’t that good at either one of them except the Veto thing. I did kill that. But I just think there are much more dangerous people in there than little old me.
Us: In the end, people vote based on different things. Sometimes people vote for people they like and you were very well-liked. What factors will play into your vote?
CK: I need to watch the show, but I think if someone’s really dastardly and had bad intentions the entire time, and was not transparent about it, I would be harder on them. I honestly think that Miesha actually was most of the time – and again, I have not seen everything – but she seemed to be, most of the time, very transparent at least. She’s like, “You’re the biggest threat, I’m putting you up.”
Us: You’ve done a lot of reality TV. Any regrets about playing Big Brother?
CK: I do reality TV. That’s what I do. And I’m on so many different things and I’ve been doing this for 20 years. No, I don’t regret doing it because I have a lot of fun and I mett some amazing people. And at the end of the day, I’ll have an amazing friendship with Cynthia Bailey, who is a spectacular person. That is just a gift. And the only regret I have is not being smart enough and getting rid of Shanna when I shouldn’t have, and that was completely my fault.
I feel terrible about it and I’m literally trying to figure out how I should apologize, and say , “You don’t have to forgive me, of course, but I just want to let you know we were sold a bill of goods and I shouldn’t have been that stupid, and it was my fault and I take complete responsibility for it.” I will apologize a thousand times.