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Janelle Pierzina Says Big Brother All-Stars Cast Isn't Aggressive Enough

The evicted houseguest says the game has evolved from 'ruthless' to 'calm'

Dalene Rovenstine

The Big Brother queen has been dethroned! In a 9-2 vote, Janelle Pierzina was voted out of Big Brother All-Stars on Thursday.

Pierzina, who made it to week three, was a big target in the house from day one. She aligned with Kaysar Ridha, as she had done in seasons past, and the well-known duo were an early target for the house's largest alliance, which included someone they thought was their ally, Memphis Garrett. Pierzina unknowingly outed part of the alliance to Memphis during week two when he was Head of Household, and that further solidified the alliance's desire to get her out of the house.

Despite campaigning to stay in the house to be a shield for other big targets like Cody Calafiore and Tyler Crispen, Pierzina was evicted. TV Guide talked to her about the changes from "old school Big Brother" gameplay to now, why she thinks Dani Donato is in a good place to win, and whether she would play again.

So, how are you feeling the morning after? 
Janelle Pierzina: 
I feel great! I'm so excited to go home and see my family.

You only had two votes to stay. Were you surprised by that? Or did you see it coming?
Honestly, I was thinking it could be unanimous. So, I'm pleasantly surprised.

Why do you think Dani voted for you to stay?
I think Dani voted for me to stay to place blame on someone else.

Who do you think that might be?
Probably Bayleigh… or Da'Vonne.

I don't think you're the only one thinking that! So, why do you think no one took you up on your offer to be a bigger target? 
I mean, listen, it makes total sense for many of the players to keep me in the game at such an early week. I am a massive target in the house. I don't know why people didn't take me up on it. Maybe because they're so scared of me?



It's interesting to me that three weeks in not a lot has really happened. Noms have stayed the same, and no one has made a "big" move.

Pierzina: Yeah… lame! [laughs]

You said it! And the first three evictions have all been women. Was there ever any discussion about doing an all-women's alliance?
Da'Vonne brought it up to me week one. It would have been beneficial for the ladies. Just physically looking at a player like me and Kaysar, they should have taken Kaysar out because I'm definitely there to help them -- especially Bayleigh and Da'Vonne. I don't know why they didn't vote for me. I'd have to watch the show.

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Julie Chen brought up in your exit interview that Memphis was part of the bigger alliance in the house. How are you feeling about that now?
I didn't know he was in the alliance, but I knew there was a possibility that he was working with Cody. Kevin is very perceptive in the house -- he told me that Memphis was constantly in Cody's room, so it's all kind of making sense. I remember conversations with Memphis where I was trying to target that alliance and say, "Memphis, there is an alliance in the house. We should do something. Let's get him on the block, blah, blah, blah." And he immediately said, "I get what you're saying, but you shouldn't assume things. You shouldn't assume that these people are together." I felt like that was really weird because if someone came to me and said, "I know there's an alliance in the house, blah, blah, blah," I would have said, "Okay, how do you know?" Like, I would have asked more questions. I would have been more excited. He wasn't excited -- he was just like, "No, that's not the case."

What was it like playing with this group of houseguests?
I played super old school Big Brother. I mean, people are ruthless as hell [in that era]. They're just more aggressive. I'm used to more aggressive gameplay and more aggressive players in general. These houseguests are not aggressive in any way. Seriously. I would say one of the most calm, anti-aggressive casts I've ever worked with ever. Ever. I always called it a house full of introverts. It's insane. Every single person likes to go off on their own, they don't want to stir the pot, they don't want to do anything. They are just lying in bed, literally.

Do you think it's because it's early in the season and maybe they'll get more aggressive as the game goes on? Or is that just how these players are?
No, that's their personality. 

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What was your strategy before going into the house? And did that change because the cast was so "anti-aggressive"?
My strategy was to align myself with people who could win competitions, obviously [laughs]. I don't think I was close to getting there because I had Kaysar with me. If anyone ever did want to work with me, it was very difficult because I had Kaysar with me as a pair. It was hard to play as the only known pair in the house.

Did you know before going into the house that he'd be there?
I suspected.

Is there anything that you would change looking back on the season and your gameplay?
No, I wouldn't because I went out with a bang. I blew up their alliance. Everyone knows about the alliance. So, if they are seriously that dumb to not go after them, that's on them. It just makes it look dumb at this point.

Kaysar seemed very set on avenging your eviction. Do you think he has a chance of doing that?
If Kaysar can get power, he will put Cody and Tyler up. But he has to win something. [laughs] He's done it in the past. It's been many years. I don't know. I am absolutely rooting for him and hoping for the best.

Do you think that that's the best gameplay for him, though?
I told him to lay low and just be in the shadows. I told him to grab a blanket and lay in bed for the next six weeks. Don't talk about alliances. Don't make alliances. Don't talk game. Just stay in the shadows. Don't even win anything. That's what I told him. But Kaysar's not like that. And he never listens to me!

Who do you think has the best chance of winning at this point?
I would say Dani or Memphis, maybe? Dani has so many people protecting her. Like, who's going after Dani? Like seriously, is there anyone in the house who would put her out? Early on… she did what I would have done [if Kaysar weren't in the house]: just submit yourself in an early alliance with guys as the big target. I mean, it's kind of like BB 101.

Janelle and Kaysar, Big Brother All-Stars


How different is the game now from when you've played before?
Pierzina: I'm used to playing with like, Dan [Gheesling] or Will [Kirby], who are much more manipulative. …  We've seen it a million times: The larger alliance has got sub alliances on the side; they think they make everyone feel like they're working with them. Now in the past, people hop around more. Alliances aren't as solid. It's kind of like, you hop: This week, you're here; the next week, you're somewhere else.

It does seem in the past few years once someone's in an alliance it kind of stays that way until everyone's voted out. Why do you think it's changed that way?
I think it's a generational thing maybe? I don't know. I personally never have, but I'm used to working with people who turn on their alliances and switch it up. A bigger target will reveal itself every week and it's moving around; it's not as fluid as like, "Hey we're in this alliance, let's vote this person out because they're a target."

Do you think there's any change because people know each other from social media, more than just from watching past seasons?
Possibly, yes, maybe. I know that Dani and Nicole are super close outside of the house, so it's easy for them to work together. Social media definitely could come into play. I mean, it's probably good for Memphis that he doesn't even have social media and no one even knows or remembers who Memphis is.

Speaking of Nicole Franzel, how do you feel about being disinvited from Nicole's wedding?
Oh, I don't care. I was never going to go anyway.

Were you invited? Was that a "real" dis-invitation?
I knew that she didn't like me years ago, years ago. This whole thing started with Daniele Donato telling me that Nicole didn't like me. I'm talking about like, five or six years ago. I was like, "Why doesn't she like me?" and Dani was like, "Well, she thinks that you're standoffish to her and you intimidate her." So, on The Amazing Race [Season 14, when Pierzina and Franzel both competed], I tried to, you know, be friends with her, whatever, whatever. The invite to the wedding was only because she didn't think I would come. It was just kind of like a "here, Janelle, come to my wedding" because I'm best friends with Britney Haynes [from Big Brother 12 and 14] and she was trying to get us both to come. I'm not surprised in any way that she disinvited me to the wedding. Why would she want me there?

So, would you play again after all of this?
I don't think so, no. I mean, if it was a shortened version, yes, but four times is enough for me. I can't imagine coming back for five at this point. I mean, I'm basically the Rupert of Big Brother at this point. [Rupert Boneham is a four-time Survivor player.]

Was it hard saying yes to this season with everything that's going on in the world right now?
When they called, I said, "Put me down as a maybe." I was very, very hesitant because I played this before -- I know I'm a huge target. That's what I initially thought, I don't want to come back into the game and deal with this whole target thing. And I was under the impression that there was going to be a lot of other big names in the house. There's … there was Tyler. That's it [laughs].

Well, you handled being a big target very well.
It's a game. I get it.

Big Brother airs Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS.