‘Big Brother 23’s’ Frenchie identifies the ‘the biggest mistake that killed my game’

Frenchie knew he was probably toast on “Big Brother 23” when Kyland nominated him and Britini, and he definitely was after he failed to win the Wildcard comp and the Veto, leading to his 11-1 eviction on Thursday.

It’s been a wild two weeks for the farmer (real name: Brandon French) from Tennessee. He started off promisingly after winning the first HOH, but things quickly went downhill after he tried to form a bunch of alliances with practically everyone in the house and made way too many promises he couldn’t keep, one of them being that he wouldn’t go after women or people of color. But after his target Christian won safety via the Wildcard comp and saved Xavier, Frenchie’s options dwindled and he ostensibly went back on his word by nominating Kyland and Alyssa and turning virtually the entire house against him.

Was there a method to his madness? Was his anti-campaign this week a campaign in and of itself? And how does he think the house will be without him? Find out below.

SEE ‘Big Brother 23’ episode 7 recap: Frenchie evicted

Gold Derby: You were resigned to leaving the second you were nominated and you didn’t really campaign that much. Did you think you had a chance to stay at all?
Frenchie: I knew the second Kyland landed that ball that there was a good chance I was going up. I picked Britini for my team for… her energy, her spunk, the way she just enjoys life [so] knowing that she was on the block because of me, it literally just hurt my heart. … We have to walk out these doors and that’s not a relationship I was willing to demolish. As far as the campaigning, that’s why that wasn’t done. I didn’t want to campaign against Britini. I told everybody, “My tail is tucked. At this point, I’m not game-talking, I’ll just take it as it is.”

Gold Derby: So you weren’t plotting a Frenchie’s Funeral at any point?
Frenchie: It wasn’t a funeral. Derek [F.] had spoken to me and he was like, “Look, promise me that you would at least try [to campaign].” … He made me promise him that I would at least try. I’m the type of person who wants to make it interesting. I knew in my heart from the second I was put on the block that I was going home. I was also told multiple times that if I stayed in the game, I was winning $750,000. Tiffany had told me that first and she was like, “I just can’t do it. You’ll win this game if you stay here.” At that point, I knew that I had such a big target on my back. I had built this huge protection around me. Like she said, I was the most protected person in the game Week 1. And I just couldn’t do that to Britini. So as far as a funeral, absolutely not. That’s Dan’s thing. That will always be Dan’s thing and I never want to step on the toes of Dan or try to emulate Dan in any way. I just promised Derek something and I respect Derek so much that I tried to give it a hoorah without campaigning against Britini. I tried to do that and obviously it didn’t work.

Gold Derby: Your HOH was kind of crazy. I feel like you played an entire season of “Big Brother” in a week. You told people that you know you made mistakes. What do you think your biggest mistake was that killed your game?
Frenchie: The biggest mistake that killed my game was assuming that it would be like another season. I thought my nomination pool would be a lot bigger than what it was. I was thrown the curveballs of the Wildcard comp and [the winner] being able to spin that wheel and save some more people. [Christian] had the potential to save his whole team. That blew my mind. So instantly going into the Veto, I was like, “Oh my goodness, this could happen again [with a twist].” So to answer your question, it was definitely unexpected of how little you had to choose from as an HOH compared to past seasons.

Gold Derby: Was that why you made so many promises of safety initially?
Frenchie: Absolutely. I thought my team was going to be safe and everybody else was going to be able to be put up, and that made me extremely happy. Then the Wildcard comp came and two more people got saved. And somebody I would’ve originally put up on the block next to Brent or Travis, one of those three got saved and the other I had in an alliance to watch because I knew he had the capability of being dangerous in the game and I wanted to keep him close. So that left one person. The thing with Travis is he’s a strong, strong competitor. You cannot give him the ability to save himself with a Veto because he’s like me and has the motivation like me and I knew he would completely go after it. I knew I had to backdoor him.

So that left my two options of going on the block [that would] immediately going against what I originally said. I knew that doing it. But they were both placeholders. Part of it was to teach Alyssa: “Hey, if you and Christian are coming after me, let me give you a little wakeup call. You’re not going home, but…” A big thing that I said was I would not send home the old guy, women or minorities. I held true to that. I did not send home any of the three. You know, I did not know I was gonna be the old guy obviously. [Laughs] After putting together some numbers, I realized I was not the oldest person in the house, but I was the second. I hugged Travis last week and I told him, “I’ll be right where you are next week.” And I firmly believed that and here I am.

SEE ‘Big Brother 23’ spoilers: Xavier is ready to carry out the Week 3 plan and the target has no idea

Gold Derby: One of your promises, like you said, was you weren’t gonna send home women or people of color, and then you ended up nominating them. You were gonna break a promise to someone no matter what, so how did you try to negotiate in your mind how to explain to Kyland and Alyssa and everyone why you had to do what you did?
Frenchie: Kyland was honestly on the block because I trusted him. With the first HOH, that dice roll scared me. Going into the Veto, I was scared about what would happen. Could Travis or Brent potentially save themselves in the Veto? And if they did, would they save each other? I didn’t know that at this point in time. I was like, “In order to help prevent that, I’m gonna bring somebody that I trust on this block. That way I double my chances of having that power if there was one on the Veto.” Kyland was somebody that I trusted. After he was nominated, I told him this. I said, “Look, you’re here because I trust you. I need help with this Veto.” That was the honest truth. Out of the list that I had to potentially nominate, Kyland was the person that I trusted the most. I knew together that we had a better chance of whatever curveball could be thrown our way with the Veto.

Alyssa was there because she was close to Christian. I had heard Christian was coming after me and I wanted to send a message. That was pre-Alyssa, Christian and I speaking. But I wanted to send a message, “I know you’re coming after me. This is your wakeup call. You do it again, I’m protected and I will get rid of Christian.” Those were the reasons they were on the block. I didn’t tell anyone that I was nominating them. If I had to go back, I would let Kyland know this beforehand instead of telling him afterwards. If people go back [and watch], I specifically mention that Kyland was a pawn and he honestly was the whole time.

Gold Derby: You asked Tiffany to cast a rogue vote last week and she made you promise not to tell anyone, and Big D cast the other one. Why did you tell people that you knew who cast those votes and weren’t gonna tell instead of pretending like you didn’t know?
Frenchie: So that the target would stay on me and they would stay away from trying to get it out of them. I made a promise that their names wouldn’t come out and I made sure that it didn’t. When people started getting curious, they started to ask everybody in the house. I cut that off and said, “I know who it is because I asked them to do it.” I told people I was cranking up the heat. I wanted to see who people actually are and that was part of my way of doing that, causing that paranoia. But I did not say who those were and I walked out of the door holding that to my chest and I would’ve continued to do that.

Gold Derby: You made a lot of alliances, one of which was French Kisses. You told people that the women started that and asked you to join. They, of course, were like, “No, Frenchie started it.” What was your whole thinking behind that besides trying to cover yourself?
Frenchie: I was going to step away from that alliance. I wanted the women to get together and have something strong. But a lot of people in that house were scared to — and they will be for a while — create things. Those were the people that I thought should’ve stuck together. I think had they stuck together, they could’ve actually went far and I would’ve stepped away from that. The whole reason I set up the Slaughterhouse was because I didn’t trust Brent, I didn’t trust Christian and I was iffy on Xavier. They’re all great competitors. They’re all great people individually, but you put them together and they’re dangerous. I knew the way that jocks gravitate towards each other, I knew it was a matter of time. So I would’ve had rather been able to watch over that and been involved in that than to be on the other side and not see it coming. My style of gameplay was different and I knew I wanted it to be different. As a fan, I get bored when people just “Kumbaya” for four weeks straight. I didn’t want that to happen, so I cranked up the heat and I cranked it up a lot. My Week 1 was definitely a roller coaster, but essentially we’re all there for $750,000 for entertainment and y’all definitely got that.

Gold Derby: We definitely did. Who do you think is playing the best game right now and what do you think is going to happen now that you are out of the house?
Frenchie: I know a few people are targeting Brent. I found out that Xavier is the new HOH, which will throw a curveball in that. Hannah is definitely playing the best game in my opinion. She’s so smart and she has an angel of a personality and she’s very charismatic. I think she will go super far in this game if she doesn’t win this whole thing.

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