Spending an entire summer locked in a house with 13 strangers would be enough to drive anyone crazy. Big Brother 5's Karen O'Neil-Ganci cracked sooner than most. However, after some torturous taunting from her housemates (especially Jase), the 30-year-old seemed to get her head back in the game, even if she couldn't stop her compulsive baking habit. Unfortunately, all the cookie bribery in the world couldn't save the Jersey girl from eviction, especially with the manipulative Diane tossing sour grapes into the mix. Before she was sequestered for the show's remaining weeks, TV Guide Online gave Karen a chance to stir things up one more time.
TV Guide Online: Why were you always baking cookies?
Karen O'Neil-Ganci: One, I love to bake. It's a huge hobby of mine at home. Two, it kept me out of trouble. With nothing to do — no music, movies, entertainment, etc. — it was also a time passer.
TVGO: Were you shocked at your eviction?
Karen: Not at all. I heard too many whispers in the dark. And when people are up to something, they act nervous and don't look you in the eyes.
TVGO: You were never Head of Household and won only one Veto contest. Is that why you lost?
Karen: No. They were gonna oust me just because their insecurities and paranoia drove them to [do it]. They were so used to lying about everything that they assumed I'd do it to them. And honestly, I wasn't exactly going to protect Diane if I did get HOH.
TVGO: Should you have tried harder to form an alliance with a strong player like Diane?
Karen: What good would that have done me? Unless I climbed in bed with her, there's no way I would have gotten close to her anyway. Plus, I always found her to be shady. I hope that came across because I knew it and saw through her.
TVGO: Do you regret not using the veto to save Adria a few weeks ago?
Karen: One of the main reasons I didn't veto A was because she burned Diane by evicting Will. So I felt I was showing loyalty to Diane's cause, in a way. Good move, huh? But A was also highly aggressive and made me nervous, so I guess I made my bed.
TVGO: Do you think Drew and Diane's romance can survive this game?
Karen: No way! Both those people tried to deceive me. Diane flat out lied too many times to too many people. Relationships are based on honesty and trust and loyalty. For them, when do the lies stop? Where would they begin?
TVGO: Was it harder in the house than you expected?
Karen: Yes. Intelligent conversation goes out the window in there. But there's always time for condom volleyball and getting sloppy drunk.
TVGO: Was there ever a moment when you wanted to quit?
Karen: Too many to count, but I'd regret it if I did. I feel it is not always about winning. For me, it was about how I conducted myself during the throes of that freakfest.
TVGO: Any embarrassing moments you'd like to take back?
Karen: The whole damn show was one embarrassing moment.
TVGO: Who had the most annoying bad habits?
Karen: Jase urinated on my towel. Need I say more?
TVGO: What's your take on this season's "Project DNA" twists?
Karen: I feel bad for Nakomis. The twins knew what they were in for. Nic had her half-brother "surprise" thrust upon her — on TV, no less. That totally changed her circumstances, and she had no say in the matter.
TVGO: Think that you've made any lasting friendships from this show?
Karen: Hopefully I can maintain a kinship with Nic. That kid has a heart the size of the moon.
TVGO: Could you have done anything differently to win?
Karen: Probably not, because I tried to be myself in there. I didn't want to lead people on and have to live with those actions. Yes, it's a game, but my conscience would suffer if I twisted the truth into a pretzel for money.