‘Big Brother 21’s’ Bella: ‘I definitely acted in a way I regret’

After being the source or part of so much of the drama and numerous arguments on “Big Brother 21,” Isabella Wang looked to be having a low-key — and most importantly, safe — week when Cliff Hogg III nominated Jackson Michie and Jack Matthews for eviction. But Jackson’s Veto victory and the looming threat of Christie Murphy‘s Diamond Power of Veto changed all that; Cliff kept his word to Christie and renom’d Bella, doing the Six Shooters’ dirty work for them.

Bella, who had blabbed so many secrets and betrayed people’s trust early on, campaigned as best she could, but her mouth that got her in trouble couldn’t save her, and she was evicted 8-2 on Thursday. Her two votes were from Sam Smith and her showmance Nick Maccarone, who now have to take on their former Gr8ful/Unde9able alliance-mates who are gunning for them.

Check out our exit interview with Bella to see what she hopes her BFFs do, the moment that will “haunt” her and when she will finally drum up the courage to talk to her mom.

SEE ‘Big Brother 21’ spoiler: Who won the Week 5 HOH?

Gold Derby: You knew you were leaving, but did you think your pitches at any point swayed anyone?
Bella: I truly, truly believe that I made some really valid points and I think that even though I got evicted, I hope people remember what I campaigned on, and I hope that Nick and Sam can also use that to their benefit. The vote — 8-2 — still shows that people are scared of the majority and they’re still working on fear, but at the end of the day, we’re here to play “Big Brother.” It’s an individual game, it’s a me game, not an us game.

Gold Derby: How frustrating is it for you to know that these people see Jack is a big threat but still won’t go against the majority in the house?
Bella: Yeah, it’s extremely frustrating because he clearly has the ability to win in a physical comp, a mental comp, and he has a huge social game. It was almost like he was handed to everyone on a silver platter to get him out of the game … but a lot of people weren’t willing to take a risk and I think they’ll have to suffer because of it.

Gold Derby: Do you wish Cliff had just let Christie use her power if he was going to make that deal with her to renom you anyway?
Bella: Yes, I’m so upset that I was put on the block anyway and it was almost like a sacrifice for basically nothing. I feel like a lot of people could’ve gained from me being on the block if Christie had also used her power because now she’s going around saying she’s safe for the next two weeks, nothing will happen to her. I mean, it’s “Big Brother,” so no one should feel like they’re safe. If you feel that way, that means you have a very strong majority in the house.

Gold Derby: Do you wish Cliff had gone back on his word or can you appreciate that he kept his word to Christie?
Bella: At the end of the day, we’re all here to play our own game and we have to respect our own morals. He came into this game with a lot of integrity and he’s going to walk out with a lot of integrity. He’s a great person. I don’t resent him at all for not going back on his word. This game is all about word. He will still have people’s trust. Also, what he said was true: If he was going to go back on his word, he would wait until the last possible moment when he really needed to. His game technically wasn’t in jeopardy, like it wasn’t on the line yet, so I completely understand and I love him so much.

Gold Derby: I think a lot of fans are frustrated for one because those six people voted him out last week and now he’s doing what they want.
Bella: Yeah, I know! [Laughs] I was there! It sucked!

Gold Derby: So you and Nick had no suspicions at all last week that they were flipping the vote?
Bella: No, and that’s why I had so much hope that this week people would flip as well. But it really hurt and it sucked to find out that Sam was actually behind it. I think that’s a funny part that I don’t know if people skimmed over, but he was the one who initially brought the idea up to Nicole and then he wasn’t even part of it.

Gold Derby: Well, Sam is never part of anything.
Bella: [Laughs] Yeah! We balance each other out: He knows nothing and I know everything and I tell everyone everything.

Gold Derby: It had been in the works for a few weeks that the rest of Gr8ful would target you and Nick first. Did you have any inkling that you and Nick were on the outs with Gr8ful?
Bella: I think we did know just because of how the showmances lined up. We felt safe to some extent because all the showmances were in Gr8ful at the time of its creation and when showmances start to exist. But then we realized that Jack and Jackson are so close and immediately, that’s four against two there. Tommy [Bracco] and Christie could swing back and forth, but they would obviously align themselves with the group that had more numbers. So even within Gr8ful, we did feel like we were at the bottom of the totem pole. And when Unde9able was created, Sam was added, but we were still at the bottom regardless.

SEE ‘Big Brother 21’ spoiler: The Week 5 nomination plan is predictable, but intra-Six Shooters drama is heating up

Gold Derby: Did that play any role in you telling Sam about Gr8ul?
Bella: Yeah, I’m still really happy I told Sam about Gr8ful because at the end of the day, I knew I needed someone else in my corner. I really trusted Sam and I would do anything for him in this game. I wanted him to know that there was [this alliance] that he wasn’t originally a part of, so I kind of wanted to leave him with that so he wouldn’t trust as easily as Nick and I did.

Gold Derby: I think fans initially thought you were trying to stir sh—up when you were running your mouth, but you said in the DR that you don’t know how to keep your mouth shut, so what was your strategy going into the game?
Bella: My strategy was truly that I was aggressively trying to get people to tell me where they stood because I really had no clue where I wanted to align. Even though at the beginning I kind of wanted to be on Jack and Jackson’s side, I was kind of going back and forth between everyone to kind of gain their perspective on the game so I could make my judgment. Like, “OK, a lot of people feel the same way and if that’s the majority, I wanna be with them.” I kind of guess it backfired on me because I clearly was just giving out information for free and then people found out. [Laughs] But that’s OK! I had a lot of fun doing it. People will learn from my mistake.

Gold Derby: It was fun watching you trying to defend yourself when Kemi [Fakunle] or Nicole [Anthony] would call you out. Kemi said last week she thinks you might believe your own lies because you kept telling them. Did you or were you just trying to cover your own ass?
Bella: I was definitely just trying to cover my own ass. I am fully aware I was lying. Even when Nick was explaining his reasoning sometimes to Nicole, we both laughed afterward that we were clearly lying. But it’s all in good fun and bad gameplay.

Gold Derby: There’s been a few instances of people, especially Gr8ful, ganging up on others and trashing them. Do you think you were all bullying Nicole when Unde9able was in the HOH room and you guys wouldn’t let her in and were just badmouthing her?
Bella: Yeah. That moment, honestly, will definitely haunt me. When all of Unde9able was upstairs, with tension so high in the moment, I am happy we didn’t let her in the room because I feel like she would’ve just felt attacked. It’s still a numbers game and everyone was kind of agreeing with each other about what she said. It made it very easy to [attack her]. I love everyone there, they’re all good people, but it did go too far. What should’ve occurred after was we should’ve had a separate conversation with her and not taken everyone else’s word. We should’ve given her a chance to speak up.

When you have so many people feeding you misinformation, it’s more of a judgment call, and that feeling of fear and still wanting to be in the majority because if you took Nicole’s side, then all of these people who were in your alliance would then not trust you. It’s like, “Do I trust my alliance or do I trust this one person who’s not in my alliance?” It’s a really tough call to make and emotions are so high in the “Big Brother” game. You say and do things in the moment that you don’t really mean. I definitely acted in a way I regret. But I hopefully made it up to Nicole. I love her so much and I’m so happy she forgave me at the end. Her goodbye message meant a lot to me.

Gold Derby: And she was right.
Bella: Yeah! She was right. Should’ve listened.

Gold Derby: Early on, you made a final three with Jack and Jackson, but we hadn’t heard much talk about that the past couple of weeks. How real was that deal?
Bella: Oh, my goodness. From the moment of its creation, I think the three of us blatantly knew that this was just for fun. Even the name of it — I think it was Goon Squad or Goonies — it was just so not real. I even told Jack like two separate times, “I don’t trust you, I thought we had this alliance,” but we never really talked about it again. I also wasn’t really fazed because I knew the boys probably had their final two, so I took it with a grain of salt. I said I was going to be part of many alliances, and I clearly was, so I guess in some ways I did what I said I would do.

Gold Derby: How do you think Nick will do now? He and Sam are prime targets for the rest of Gr8ful.
Bella: I really hope Nick, Sam or Nicole won this next HOH. I still haven’t gotten to see it, but I think that HOH will really determine how the cards will continue to fall. Nick is such a great person. He has a great social game. He also does talk a lot. [Laughs] He doesn’t have a big mouth, but he comes up with a lot of plans and we kind of fed into each other, so now that I’m gone, he can see a little more clearly or he could pick a side. If that’s the majority, that’s good for him. If they can forgive him — I know they all love and respect him — and if he can gain their trust back, that would be great for his game and he could stay a lot longer. I don’t expect to see Nick for a long time.

SEE Bella (‘Big Brother 21’ exit interview): ‘We didn’t let Nicole say her piece’

Gold Derby: If it’s not him or Sam targeting the rest of Gr8ful, who do you think will be the next to take a shot at them since everyone is just scared?
Bella: That’s the thing, right? There’s no reason for the people in Gr8ful and Unde9able who are not Sam and Nick to turn on each other yet. There are still more people left for them to pick off. Like I said in my final speech, I don’t know who will turn yet. I can only imagine Christie does feel good on both sides and she also has Kat [Dunn] and Jess [Milagros]. I’m not sure. I’m really excited to see who breaks that alliance.

Gold Derby: Who do you think is playing the best game and the worst game?
Bella: On the come-up, I think Kat is playing a great game. She started with a lot of paranoia and now she’s found herself in a nice little spot where she’s not a huge target. Not really the worst game per se, but based on the circumstances, Nick and Sam — the odds are really against them, and obviously I partook in that. But best game — Jack and Christie have had each other’s backs. They’re ride-or-dies, and people are scared of them. This game does run on fear. I think they’re both playing great games. They’ve both won an HOH, they’ve both won powers and they both have strong social games. I would love to see them on the block together when Christie doesn’t have her power, so I definitely will be watching to see where that goes.

Gold Derby: She needs to be backdoored so she can’t use her power.
Bella: Yeah, I think she will be if Nick or Sam win HOH, but then they won’t have the numbers either, so it sucks. It’s honestly so depressing to think about. [Laughs]

Gold Derby: When will you talk to your mom?
Bella: [Laughs] I think I need a solid week to prepare myself. I need to watch the show. I’m mortified of that conversation.

Gold Derby: Will this be in person or on the phone?
Bella: My mom lives in the D.C./Maryland area and I’m in L.A. It’ll have to be on the phone. I’ll probably have to FaceTime her, but I do have to prepare myself because I know it’s going to be a really long phone call.

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