For all the backstabbing, lying and scheming on Big Brother: Over the Top, we've now had two people give up their games for their BFFs in the house. Two weeks after Scott bowed out for Alex, Danielle did the same Wednesday for Jason.
"I just felt like that was something I could give to Jason," she tells TVGuide.com. "I don't think I would ever be able to give him anything better than that. 'You know what? You take this. I'm going to bow out gracefully. I had a good run. It was fun, but I want to see you win it.'"
Few would've foreseen Danielle's undying loyalty to Jason at the beginning of the season, when she was in a googly-eyed showmance with Shane, whose eviction in Week 3, Danielle admits, was "probably the best thing to happen to me in the game."
See what else the single mom from California has to say about her time in the house, who she's rooting for besides Jason, and if she's actually moving to North Carolina for Shane.
You said it was harder to sit on the block next to Jason than Shane. Why was that?
Danielle: I spent a lot of time with Jason. I spent four weeks more with Jason than I did with Shane. We really had a chance to build our friendship and a mutual respect for each other because at one point we were the only ones left in the game who really loved the game. I think we connected on that level. There wasn't anyone else in the house, especially our alliance, who were superfans of the show. I think we both wanted to see each other do well because of that fact. It was definitely hard sitting next to him. I wanted to go to the end with him and be in the final three with him. But I'm very happy that he still gets the opportunity to chase his dream and possibly win the game.
You pretty much resigned to leaving after you lost the Veto. Did you really never consider campaigning against him?
Danielle: I knew when I got put on the block with Jason that that's just not my character to do that. To me friendship is more important than anything else. Not anything else, but anything else in the game. I really cherish the friendships I made. I would've felt bad throwing him under the bus or even saying why I should stay over him. I kind of wanted the house to do what they wanted to do. And I was going to respect their decision because we were both big threats for different reasons. I have a lot to go home to, I have a lot to look forward to. I have other dreams and aspirations other than just playing Big Brother. This is Jason's whole life. He loves and lives for this game more than I do. I knew that by me leaving, he would get to stay and ... that meant more to me than me staying in the game.
I love that we've had two people give up their games for someone else. Scott gave up his for Alex and now you for Jason.
Danielle: Yeah. [Laughs] I think it says a lot about a person's character, when they know that someone they're close to that their love of the game is so great that you just want to give that to them. I just felt like that was something I could give to Jason. I don't think I would ever be able to give him anything better than that. "You know what? You take this. I'm going to bow out gracefully. I had a good run. It was fun, but I want to see you win it." I have no regrets. If it would've been him and me at the end, I probably would've been more excited for him if he won than I would be if I won. So I'm really happy he stayed and I really, really hope that he has a good week this week and that he doesn't go home.
Why do you think Shelby and Morgan wanted you out first over Jason?
Danielle: I think when it gets down to this part of the game, it's not so much having a strong social game; it's more about being strong in competitions. I think they felt like Jason has a strong social game, but he's not a big threat in competitions. I've shown that I'm good at comps, so I think that's why they sent me home first. It gives them a better chance to win HOH this week and to win the Veto.
If you had been on the block with Kryssie or Justin, would you have campaigned against them? You were already wary of Justin's loyalties and him flipping on you guys.
Danielle: I would've definitely campaigned against Justin for sure, 100 percent. I probably would've campaigned against Kryssie also. I adore Kryssie, she's part of my alliance, but as a game player, I felt like I probably deserved to stay over her just because I played harder than she did. I wouldn't have thrown Kryssie under the bus, but I would've pitched to Shelby and Morgan why it would benefit them more to keep me versus keeping Kryssie. I would just tell them what I had to offer, what I would bring to the table. I wouldn't have said anything bad [about] Kryssie. I probably would've campaigned the most if I were against Justin.
Do you regret not evicting Justin in the double?
Danielle: You know what, Jason gave me advice before I left to not play "what ifs?" so I haven't really thought about it. ... I felt like I was very loyal to my alliance and that was something that was important to me coming into the game. I wanted to be loyal to my alliance because you don't see that often and I wanted to prove that you can get far in the game by being loyal. You don't always have to stab people in the back and turn on your alliance.
I don't regret keeping him safe. He knows that he's there because of me. He'll never be able to forget that. It doesn't matter how far he goes in the game. He's literally still there because I put him there. [Laughs] Everyone was ready to send him home, even Jason and Kryssie were prepared to send him home. I was the one who was like, "No. Make it a tie. I'll break it and save him." When he looks back and sees that, I think he'll realize, "Wow, D really did try to keep me safe." I'm proud of the game that I played and I wouldn't change it.
If you had won the Veto and stayed this week, what was your game plan going forward? Would you have worked with Shelby and Morgan if they were both still around?
Danielle: I probably would've nominated Justin and Shelby if I won HOH, really not caring which one went home. In doing that, I probably would've went to Shelby and said, "If I keep you safe this week, let's work together in final four, we can do final three." I probably would've tried to strike up some kind of deal with Shelby to ensure my safety. There's only two weeks left, so there's only so many more deals you can make with people and only so much you can offer them. I would've been happy getting either Justin or Shelby out because they're both threats for different reasons. But I probably would've leaned more toward working with Shelby than mending my relationship with Justin and work with him.
You played two completely different games. The first three weeks, it was you and Shane as one entity. After he left, a lot of people wanted to get you out next or figured you'd be an easy eviction, but you really flourished and kicked ass.
Danielle: Yeah, Jason told me that Shane leaving was going to be the best thing for my game and that was the sad truth. My relationship with Shane kind of hindered my relationship with other people in the house and with my mindset going into comps. Him leaving really benefited me game-wise. Of course, personally, I really miss him. I was always saying, "Maybe they'll bring someone back and maybe it'll be Shane!" [Laughs] Jason was always like, "Danielle, that's not going to be good for your game." He was right.
That was probably the best thing to happen to me in the game, Shane going home. It sucked because I knew Shane would've been completely loyal to me and I could trust him 100 percent, but I would always have a target on my back as long as he was in the house. Him going really gave me an opportunity to focus on my relationships with Jason and Kryssie, and to have a clear mind going into comps and just rely on myself more and make sure I keep me safe and not worry about keeping me and Shane safe. It was a really big game-changer. It's weird to say I'm happy it happened, but I am on a game-level.
When I talked to him, he seemed pretty confident that you were going to move to North Carolina, so are you?
Danielle: [Laughs] I've actually wanted to live in North Carolina for some time now. My family always says, "You're not going, Danielle! You're not going!" I'm like, "I'm moving to North Carolina one day. Just you watch. I want to live there!" I know when my mom saw that I was starting to build a relationship with Shane and that he's from North Carolina, she was probably like, "Oh, my gosh! She's going to move there and he's going to take my baby!" I'm sure my mom was very worried. But it's definitely something I've wanted to do for a very long time, so I would not be surprised if in the near future I ventured across the country and see what life is like in North Carolina. We'll see what happens. I have a son and it's a big move. I definitely want to see where things go with Shane.
Are you surprised no one figured out Alex and Morgan are sisters in the house?
Danielle: I'm not shocked no one figured it out. They did a really good at hiding it. All those girls are really close and tight-knit, so you didn't think anything of it about how close Alex and Morgan were. But now that I look back, there are little things where I'm like, "Oh, that does make sense now." I don't really see a resemblance, but early on, other people were always like, "Alex and Morgan look so alike. I keep getting the two blondes confused." I was like, "I don't think they look alike at all." I still don't think they look alike. ... They played it off very, very well, so I'm not surprised no one knew.
Obviously you want Jason to win, but if he can't win, who are you rooting for?
Danielle: Yes, I'm rooting for Jason to win. I think he deserves it. That's personal preference and game preference. He's a very strong and strategic player. He didn't win too many comps, but he won when he needed to. He took himself off the block the first week when he was the target and he won the Veto to pull me down, which was a really, really critical week for our alliance and what we had planned for that week. A lot of the decision-making in our alliance was between me and Jason, so I think he played a really strong game and I would love to see him win.
If he's not in the final three, I would love to see Shelby win. Even though she's on the other side of the house and I wasn't working with her, from a fan standpoint and a player standpoint, I can respect her gameplay. I think she did a really good job flying under the radar and emerging when she really needed to to win comps back to back and keep control of the house for two weeks.
You guys had pretty similar games and it came to a point like, "Which one of you is going to take out the other first?"
Danielle: Yeah, that's really what it came down to. Everyone was targeting Shelby early on because no one really liked her for personal reasons. We were all like, "She's not a threat, we can get her out later." And lo and behold, there she was! We were underestimating her. I felt like my side of the house underestimated her and her side of the house underestimated me. We both kind of emerged around the same time and started winning comps. We're both very strong, strategic players. I do see a lot of my gameplay in hers also. So I respect her gameplay. She got me out. I thought that was a very good game move. I told her in my eviction speech I respect her game completely. So if I don't see Jason win, I would love to see Shelby win.
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