Ronnie, Big Brother 11
For longtime Big Brother fan Ronnie Talbott, actually making it onto the show was a dream come true. However, his "master of the game" approach quickly turned into a nightmare when he told one lie too many and was outed to the house as a rat. TVGuide.com chatted with Ronnie about whether he would take back any of those lies, his fiery exit speech to former cliquemate Michele and why he thinks the power of coup d'état won't be a factor in the game.
TVGuide.com: That was some speech you made to Michele. What did she do to you?
Ronnie: Until about five days ago, I had nothing against Michele because I believed she was on our side. I thought she was in our alliance and working with us. The reasons I made those comments is not because Michele was playing both sides or manipulating — because I did use some of the same tactics. In the last 72 to 96 hours, she made some very personal comments about me and my wife and my family, and once it went there, anything is fair game.
TVGuide.com: So there was no sort of unspoken distaste through the season?
Ronnie: It absolutely came about at the end. Before that, we were in the brains clique together, and after the cliques were over, we still decided we were going to stick together as individuals and keep the alliance strong. But once I was nominated, Michele jumped ship.
TVGuide.com: Looking back, do you think if you put Russell out in Week 2 instead of Laura you might still be in the house?
Ronnie: It's very easy to look back with a "shoulda, woulda, coulda" mentality, but ultimately I stand behind my decision. I feel if you change any one element, the rest of the game would be greatly changed. And while my alliance would have gone along with it if I had back-doored Russell, that still may have been too tough of a pill for Jessie to swallow. And then Jessie might have put me out Week 3.
TVGuide.com: Do you think your alliance will still work with Russell now that he put you out?
Ronnie: I made a clear statement to Natalie, Jessie and Chima before I left, and they agreed that they do not trust Russell. I know for a fact that Chima will put Russell up. I will be absolutely shocked if she doesn't. They do not trust him. They actually haven't trusted Russell since Week 1, but we decided Week 2 was a bad time for him to go out because we still needed him for the numbers game.
TVGuide.com: At times you seemed confident that you would win the mystery power.
Ronnie: I told the other houseguests that my only chance at possibly winning that power was if America decided that they respected someone who was lying and using manipulation as a tactic of gameplay.
TVGuide.com: But don't you think you might have lied too much?
Ronnie: I looked at playing Big Brother as an opportunity to do things that you obviously would never do in real life. And in my real life, I am one of the most honest people around. I believe lying is absolutely a part of playing the game, but I do agree that some of the lies I told were, in hindsight, a little needless. That was a miscalculation on my part.
TVGuide.com: How do you think the coup d'état will affect the game?
Ronnie: Jeff will only use it, in my opinion, to save himself or Jordan, and I don't think they'll go up this week. Since this is the last week that it can be used, I really don't see that power coming into play.
TVGuide.com: Did you think going into the game that you would be made a villain?
Ronnie: You never know, but I did make a conscious choice going into the game that I was going to play the game by my own terms. And that was by using persuasion and manipulation to my best advantage. The end result is that you have some people who love you and some who hate you.
TVGuide.com: And how do you feel that, in your case, it's mostly the latter?
Ronnie: Remember, everyone: I'm not really a rat. I only played one on television!