‘Big Brother 22’s’ Janelle on her ‘bittersweet’ last convo with Kaysar and why the gameplay won’t ever be cutthroat again

Big Brother” legend Janelle Pierzina was always going to be a huge target on the current all-stars season as an individual, competing for an unprecedented fourth time, but she became an even bigger one with her ride-or-die Kaysar Ridha also on the 22nd installment. The “BB” BFFs and two-time all-stars were untouchable the first week after Kaysar won the Safety Suite and chose her as his plus-one, but their already fragile status crumbled last week when their ally Nicole Anthony joined the house in badmouthing the duo and basically blaming them for everything. With the Committee in power for a third straight week with HOH Tyler Crispen, Jaysar was once again prematurely split up on Thursday, with Janelle being evicted 9-2, the two dissenting votes coming from Dani Briones and the New Jersey guy Enzo Palumbo.

Why does Janelle think they voted for her? What does Nicole Franzel have against her? And will she go to Nicole’s wedding? And how exactly does one keep their composure campaigning to David Alexander, who is, uh, clueless about the game, to put it charitably? We caught up with the fan favorite on all that and more below.

SEE ‘Big Brother 22’ episode 10 recap: Janelle is evicted

Gold Derby: You obviously knew you were leaving, but you campaigned really hard this week and a lot of people said they would like to keep you but wouldn’t commit to voting for you. Did you think at any point that you might stay?
Janelle: I mean, I knew it was going to be a really hard sell with me and Kaysar on the block. I know I’m a bigger target. There was a glimmer of hope towards the very end, the final minute, when I pulled people into a room. But, I mean, these people are not wanting to make waves or anything in the house. So that’s why I wore a beautiful dress on my exit, figured I’m probably leaving.

Gold Derby: Why do you think Dani and Enzo voted to keep you?
Janelle: I don’t know! Maybe Dani voted to keep me to throw her off of the alliance that she’s in. And Enzo — he wanted me to stay.

Gold Derby: You were also telling people different things when you were campaigning about who you would target — you told Tyler you would go after the floaters, but we know you want Nicole F. out. If you had stayed and won HOH, what would you have done?
Janelle: OK, so I would’ve had put up Tyler and Cody [Calafiore]. No matter what I’m telling them, it’s not the truth. I had to go after them to break them up. I would’ve preferred to kind of backdoor Nicole Franzel or just get rid of Nicole Franzel, but Tyler, Cody and Nicole were on my radar for my nom.

Gold Derby: You did not suspect Memphis [Garrett] of being in that alliance. But did you at any point think he might be working with maybe another group that he had or did you think he was just flying solo?
Janelle: There was a conversation I had with Memphis where he was trying to throw me off the alliance, which I felt was really strange. I remember sitting with him, saying, “I’m certain these people are in an alliance. We have to do something.” And he immediately tried to throw me off and said, “I don’t think things are as fluid as that, Janelle. You should never assume things.” I was thinking to myself, “If someone came to me and told me that there was an alliance, I would want to talk more in depth about it.” So, to me, that was kind of like, something was weird with the conversation. And then there was also conversations I had with Kevin [Campbell] and Kevin’s pretty good at picking things up in the game — sometimes they’re not right — but I remember him saying repeatedly, “Memphis and Cody, I saw them talking. Memphis and Cody, they were together a lot in the HOH room Week 1.” And so, I was thinking, “God, Memphis could be doing something with Memphis and Tyler.”

Gold Derby: Do you regret last week fighting so hard to save Nicole A. now knowing that she was trashing you and Kaysar and destroying your games at the same time?
Janelle: I don’t want to say I regret it because I was loyal to Nicole even though she couldn’t see it at the time because in her mind, she got mixed up with emotions and feelings of getting nominated. But no, I wouldn’t change it. She needed someone to defend her and try and save her in the house, and I don’t regret it.

Gold Derby: So it’s all game? You don’t take it personally, you forgive her.
Janelle: Oh, yeah, I forgive her. Absolutely.

SEE ‘Big Brother 22’ spoilers: Who won the Week 4 HOH?

Gold Derby: You and Kaysar knew you were automatic targets from the start. Were you surprised no one wanted to work with you or even use you as shields to protect themselves?
Janelle: I felt like I was a shield for Bayleigh [Dayton] and Da’Vonne [Rogers], definitely. I haven’t seen the show, but I felt like working with them, they wanted me in front of them at all costs. So I feel like they kind of wanted to work with me.

Gold Derby: But no one else really? Everyone else formed the alliance on the other side.
Janelle: [Kaysar and I] are the only pair in the house, you know what I mean? That’s different. Imagine any other pair, no matter who it is — if it were Tyler and Kaycee [Clark] or if Derrick [Levasseur] would’ve been in there with Cody — that’s a really tight, unbreakable bond, and it’s difficult to get over that. It’d be like targeting a showmance, you know what I mean? I’m not going to put Kaysar up. I’m never going to betray him. And he feels the same about me, so yes, that would make us a massive target in the house.

Gold Derby: The gossip in the house was that you were a liar and manipulator. But you and Kaysar have always been very loyal to your alliances. Did it bother you that people were ignoring that or in some cases didn’t know how loyal you are because they’ve never seen your seasons?
Janelle: Yeah, it is frustrating when people just automatically assume that I’m lying or that I’m manipulating because that’s not my game. I’m obviously extremely loyal in the game to anyone I’m working with, so yeah, that is difficult to hear and know that they thought I was lying and manipulating them. Because that wasn’t the case.

Gold Derby: Your conversations with David, in particular, were very frustrating to watch, and I imagine they were frustrating for you to have because he gives you nothing and he’s clearly unfamiliar with the game, so what was going through your head when you were talking to him while also trying to campaign?
Janelle: [Laughs] When I was talking to David, I was thinking to myself, “How did he make it on this season?” He is learning how to play “Big Brother” on an all-stars cast. Like, why is he even here? Why am I having to campaign to this man who has literally never spent more than two weeks in the house?! It was frustrating for me. As someone who’s so veteran, it was very frustrating to play “Big Brother” with him.

Gold Derby: It was also weird because he acted like he knew more than you did, and you’ve played more seasons than he has weeks in the house.
Janelle: [Laughs] Yeah, he’s just — I don’t think I’ve ever met someone worse at the game than David. Honestly. In all of my seasons, I’ve never met someone as green as that, and it was just mind-boggling. [Sighs] It was difficult. It was difficult for me to have the conversation as I’m sure it was extremely difficult to watch it.

Gold Derby: If it makes you feel any better, all of his conversations with everyone are like that, so it’s not just you.
Janelle: Oh, they are? Good! [Laughs] I mean, yeah, he’s just not good at the game. He needs to go.

Gold Derby: The game has changed a lot since even Season 14. Do you think it could ever go back to the old school way of being ruthless and cutthroat and not voting with the house?
Janelle: You know, I was so hoping to do some ruthless, cutthroat moves on these newer players. But I think it’s a generational thing — they all wanna be friends and be nice and be happy. That’s great. But yes, I would’ve loved to do that in the game. I don’t know that you’ll ever see those kinds of players again — you’re not gonna see a Dan [Gheesling] or a Will [Kirby] screw with people. [Sighs] I don’t know. I don’t think it’ll ever go back to that. They just wanna be friends.

SEE ‘Big Brother 22’ spoilers: Enzo and Dani play dumb with their hinky votes as the new HOH tries to use them to their advantage

Gold Derby: You and Nicole F. had your own thing in there. She wanted you out. You wanted her out. Why do you think she wanted you out so badly? Was it just game? Was it personal? You retold the “Amazing Race” drama a couple times. Is it just that?
Janelle: Nicole will always see me as a threat. She was threatened by me even before we did “The Amazing Race.” I had to have Britney [Haynes] and Dani literally call the girl and say, “She’s not coming for you. You need to get over it.” She was always extremely insecure with me and she was always very, very threatened by me. Any sort of “Big Brother” event — she thinks that I am coming for her in life as well. [Laughs] Seriously!

Gold Derby: And she invited you to her wedding and then sort of disinvited you in her goodbye message.
Janelle: Yeah, no, I wasn’t going anyway. So no hard feelings there. Definitely not going to her wedding. I don’t think a lot of alumni are going, honestly.

Gold Derby: You also have your daughter’s cheer competition that weekend, right? More important.
Janelle: Yes, way more important.

Gold Derby: What was your final conversation or moments with Kaysar like before the live show?
Janelle: It was bittersweet. And I’m just rooting for him, obviously. He’s never played without me. I hope the very best for him. I hope he can do it. I know it’s going to be hard for him and he’s got an uphill battle. It was a good conversation. He knows how much I care about him and value our friendship, and that’s just kind of where I wanted to leave it. And my very last conversation, which was five minutes before the live show, I just told him and Ian [Terry] to work together. I told Ian, “No matter what, you have to get away from Nicole Franzel because she is bad for [Ian’s] game.”

Gold Derby: Is this really the last time for you? You won’t come back?
Janelle: I’m good. [Laughs] I really don’t want to come back unless there was a shortened version, like a 30-day “Celebrity Big Brother.”

Gold Derby: I think you would qualify for that.
Janelle: Yeah!

Gold Derby: How excited are you to reunite with your bunny?
Janelle: [Laughs] I am so excited to see Blueberry! I miss that little guy. I’m thrilled to see the bunny, I’m thrilled to see my family, obviously.

Gold Derby: Do you think Kaysar will get a bunny like he said he was going to?
Janelle: I hope he does! Yeah! They’re such great pets. I’m trying to talk Kaysar into leaving California and moving to Minnesota. I’m a real estate agent — hello! [Laughs]

Gold Derby: You can be next-door neighbors, the bunnies can be friends. It’d be perfect.
Janelle: I’m trying to get him to move to my neighborhood. I think he would really enjoy it. So, yes.

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