Love her or hate her, chances are, if you're a "Big Brother" fan, you have an opinion about Season 13 winner Rachel Reilly.
Always contentious, Reilly first appeared in Season 12, where she quickly became the loudest and one of the most disruptive competitors in the house. She was evicted unanimously after several weeks of feuding. When she returned to the house for "Big Brother" Season 13, she had a different plan: she was engaged to fellow contestant Brendon Villegas, and the two of them formed alliances with other housemates. While still very up-front and dramatic, Reilly was able to swing the house in her favour, resulting in a $500,000 win.
"Big Brother 15" is on the horizon (it starts up tomorrow on Global TV in Canada and on CBS in the U.S.), and HuffPost TV spoke with Reilly about the twists and turns to come. She also filled us in on her relationship with Brendon (they're married), and gave us her top three tips for anyone brave enough to enter the "Big Brother" house.
HuffPost TV: At this point, would you consider yourself a "Big Brother" expert? Or is there always more to learn?
Rachel Reilly: I consider myself a "Big Brother" expert, but my husband would disagree. [Laughs] My husband says I still have a lot to learn. The thing is, with "BB," the seasons change; every season there are different houseguests. It's a show you can be a huge fan of, you can be calculated and have a strategy going in, but you never know what the twists are. You never know what to expect. One season, a strategy might work well, but in another season, it might fail.
How important are alliances when it comes to winning?
"Big Brother" is a really social game. You have to play the game with alliances, but you also have to turn your back on them without making it look like you're turning your back on them. [Laughs] You have to be very strategic.
How do you do that?
I don't know. I never learned. [Laughs] This is why my husband says I'm horrible at the social game. I find it very hard to lie to people's faces. I'm very up-front with the other people in the house, and that causes a lot of problems for my game. In Season 13, I got in a fight with Daniele, and she ended up not voting for me. I got lucky when Shelley, who wasn't in my alliance, voted for me. It's a game of calculated risk and strategy. You have to play every day with your full heart.
How much harder is it in the house than it looks from the outside?
Oh my gosh, so much harder. I don't know how so many people do it. It's a longer season, and I was in the house for 76 days when I won "Big Brother." For those 76 days, you have no pen and paper, no internet, no books ... you don't have anything to do except talk to everyone. You to think about what you're saying, you have to form these relationships. Half the time you don't like what people are saying, but you have to think outside of yourself. You have to think "big picture," the whole game, or else you're not going to last very long.
How did you feel when you walked out after "Big Brother 12" and realized you were perceived as a sort-of villain?
It was really hard. I didn't have a lot of fans, not a lot of people liked me. People loved to hate me. I didn't realize that going in, I was just being myself. What actually happened is my relationship with Brendon, it made me want to fall in love and took my attention away from the relationships in the house. I wanted to fall in love, and I didn't care about anyone else. [Laughs]
Do you know about any twists happening on this season of "Big Brother"?
Well, I'll stick with what Julie Chen has said, which is that you may see a familiar face this time around. Also, I just heard about the three nominees twist [instead of two]. I'm dying! I can't imagine having three nominees. The game is going to change so much. They're going to have to re-think their strategy. It's a whole other layer. Votes will be split, too. If you're HoH, you're going to have to really think about who to put on the block.
What are the top three tips you would give to someone entering the house?
Win as many competitions as you can, play with your whole heart every single day and make as many friends as you can. You'll have enough enemies! [Laughs]
How are things going with Brendon?
Things are going really well! We got married last September. We've gotten back into the swing of things, he's back at school working on his PhD, we're having a lot of fun!
Would you ever want to go on another reality show?
Yeah, sure! I would love to go on another reality show! Competitions are so much fun, and I feel like I'm getting really good at them. [Laughs] Who knows, maybe you'll see me on something coming up soon!
"Big Brother 15" premieres on June 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global TV in Canada and on CBS in the U.S.
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