She learned a lot. Mirai Nagasu has been out of the Celebrity Big Brother house for a few days, and looking back on her short time in the game, she’s proud to have represented her community as the first Asian American houseguest on this version of the long-running series.
The Olympic figurer skater, 28, spoke to Us Weekly after her Monday, February 7, eviction to reflect on her game, including an apparent disconnect she had with Head of Household Chris Kirkpatrick that went unexplained as it happened before the live feeds turned on.
“Although we were both in Miesha [Tate]’s alliance and that was something I counted on too much – I just didn’t trust him fully,” Mirai exclusively tells Us. “We just didn’t have the same vibe.”
Had the bronze medalist still been in the house, her plan was to “[stay] in the middle of the pack and [lay] low, and made it a little bit further, which I would’ve wanted.”
Ultimately, Mirai was evicted in a unanimous vote against her close ally, comedian Chris Kattan.
“I had a feeling,” she says of the 7-0 vote. “At the beginning of the game, I was really strong with my alliances, but you can tell when you’re in the house when your game has been blown up, and I just got that vibe from people and I knew that I needed to lay low.”
She added, “Next to Chris Kattan, I knew that my chances were slim.”
The former Saturday Night Live star actually asked to be voted out in his eviction speech, but it wasn’t enough to convince the rest of the houseguests to keep Mirai.
“Chris Kattan and I really bonded. He made me laugh in the Big Brother house all the time,” she tells Us. “I think he was really looking out for me and he knew how important the game was. But, at the end of the day, it was my time to leave and I had exhausted my alliances. But, I really truly appreciated that he wanted me to stay.”
So who is Mirai rooting for now? And was she really throwing shade in her eviction speech? Watch our exclusive interview above or scroll down to read the full transcript.
Celebrity Big Brother airs on CBS Friday, February 11, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Us Weekly: You’ve been out of the house and in the real world for a couple days now. What’s been the most surprising thing that you’ve learned since you’ve been out?
Mirai Nagasu: I love having access to my car and sunlight and music. Music makes my world go round. And so I think that I’ve really learned to appreciate the little things in life.
Us: How many text messages did you have when you checked your phone?
MN: Well, I’m really bad at opening and cleaning out my inbox. So I think I had like 200? But, I think you also learn how to be considerate of others when you’re living with 11 other people. So, hopefully I’ll be cleaning my text mailbox out soon.
Us: Let’s talk about the vote because it was 7-0. Tell me whose vote surprised you the most? Did you know it was going to be unanimous?
MN: I had a feeling. At the beginning of the game, I was really strong with my alliances, but you can tell when you’re in the house when your game has been blown up, and I just got that vibe from people and I knew that I needed to lay low. It worked for me week one and I survived next to a bigger threat, next to Teddi [Mellencamp]. But, you know, next to Chris Kattan, I knew that my chances were slim.
Us: Did anyone in the house give you false hope that you were staying?
MN: I think that if I had been the HOH and was working with the person who won the Veto, I would’ve taken that opportunity to backdoor a stronger player, but for me, it wasn’t in my cards. I went home holding my head up high. I made mistakes in the game, but overall I’m proud of how I played.
Us: There was apparently, possibly, another plan to put up Todrick, but obviously that didn’t go through. Do you think Chris Kirkpatrick threw that Veto competition? He was pretty terrible at it.
MN: That wasn’t something that I got to talk with Chris Kirkpatrick [about], but he did not get any of the “Marry Me” signs, but that just might not have been his game. I wish I could have stayed longer ‘cause I wanted to meet Zingbot. I think I would’ve been really valuable in [the] Bowlerina [competition].
Us: For sure. In terms of Chris Kattan’s speech, he pretty much asked to go home. Were you surprised by that? What were you thinking in the moment?
MN: Chris Kattan and I really bonded. He made me laugh in the Big Brother house all the time. I think he was really looking out for me and he knew how important the game was. But, you know, at the end of the day, it was my time to leave and I had exhausted my alliances. But, I really truly appreciated that he wanted me to stay.
Us: Everyone seems to struggle a little bit adjusting when they get into the house. We definitely saw both you and Chris Kattan going through it. Did you have fun in there or was it much harder than you thought?
MN: When you’re cut off from the outside world, things really get put into perspective, and I think that most importantly, I’m proud to have to be the first Asian American woman on Celebrity Big Brother. I tried my best. I just didn’t get the best hand and I didn’t play my cards to my best advantage. You live and you learn. I think that I learned a lot and would play the game a little bit differently were I to go back in.
Us: You did have a lot of support on social media. Have you been able to see that yet?
MN: I have been loving the Twitterverse. The way that the Big Brother fans pick up on so much is really fascinating, and watching the live feeds is super fun for me as well. I can see why people get hooked on both the show that makes it onto CBS and streams, and then the live feeds. I think that at the end of the day, I’m a Big Brother superfan. And now, the laughs that the Twitterverse bring me are also something I’m super here for.
Us: Now that you’re watching as a fan, who are you rooting for from the outside?
MN: I love Carson [Kressley] in the house. He was so smart. He was so considerate. He made bomb food for everybody. He was a killer threat and I hope he makes it to the end.
Us: There is a lot of stuff that we didn’t get to see because the feeds were not on yet. Can you tell me anything about what the disconnect was between you and Chris Kirkpatrick? What happened there and why did he target you?
MN: Our relationship – although we were both in Miesha [Tate]’s alliance and that was something I counted on too much – I just didn’t trust him fully. You know, we just didn’t have the same vibe. I respected his play. But I personally think that it would’ve been a great Backdoor moment. I think that had that been the play, I would’ve kind of stayed in the middle of the pack and laid low, and made it a little bit further, which I would’ve wanted, but it just wasn’t my day.
Us: If you did stay, who were you planning on working with? Were you still going to stick with Todrick and Miesha? I know you say you really liked Carson too.
MN: I had to turn on the Formation, but it did not stop me from liking Carson, interacting with Carson. And though I would’ve had to … I would’ve supported the play. I supported the play and agreed to take Carson out because he was such a strong player. I really liked him as a person. The thing about Big Brother is that you can like someone and not work with him. And if he makes it to the end, at this point in the game, he has my vote. But, you know, Big Brother, you have to expect the unexpected. And so we’ll see how things play out in the Big Brother house.
Us: Speaking of the vote, what factors will come into play when you vote for a winner?
MN: I think the best person should win. I think between Miesha and Carson, they’re building a strong competitive relationship. I think that Miesha has strength and wit on her side, and Carson’s puzzle-solving skills were so unreal. I would like to see them both at the end, but I know that if final two go the way that they plan out, Todrick and Miesha would have a stronger chance of getting there, but you never know in the Big Brother house. I know there were mentions of Todrick getting Backdoored in eviction No. 2, and that didn’t happen. So expect the unexpected.
Us: Do you have any regrets about doing the show?
MN: I learned so much about myself, and I think I started off with a strong social game, but I ran out of alliances. On unusual seasons, the age range is more my age. And so it was hard for me to relate to the other celebrities. Like, they are true legends and I respect them and have so much love for all of them. Getting to hear their Hollywood experiences firsthand is something that I never thought that I would get to experience. And so being the first Asian American on Celebrity Big Brother means so much to me. And I hope that even more minorities will be represented continuing on in the Big Brother house.
Us: Speaking of the age difference, settle this for us. When you mentioned that in your eviction speech, were you throwing shade or were you just stating facts?
MN: I feel like I came across on Big Brother as super bubbly and nice. And I said I wanted to play an honest and loyal game, and I may have shared way too much information in my first alliance, but I would’ve wanted my alliance to do the same for me. I don’t know that I would’ve changed the way I played, but given another opportunity, and given different players and cards, you just never know what will happen. Overall, you learn so much about yourself in Big Brother. If I could have prepared differently, I think I would’ve taken more acting classes because all of my housemates were professional, you know, basically poker players with how beautiful they were and how strong they were. I learned so much in my brief amount of time, and it was an experience.