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Joey Lawrence Says He's Not Sad About Celebrity Big Brother Eviction

He felt the house's energy was becoming untenable

Dalene Rovenstine

The reign of Natalie Eva Marie and Lolo Jones--neither of whom have yet to even be Head of Household yet--continues on Celebrity Big Brother season 2 as Joey Lawrence becomes the third person evicted from the house.

Despite the '90s heartthrob's disinterest in alliances, he was painted as a threesome with Jonathan Bennett and Ryan Lochte and was an early target. But he wasn't actually the target of this past week's Head of Household, Tom Green. The comedian placed Kandi Burruss and Joey on the block as pawns. What Tom really wanted to do was backdoor former NFL player Ricky Williams. But when he told his alliance this, Natalie and Lolo became suspicious of the plan.

Because Natalie secured power of veto, she was able to keep nominations the same therefore ensuring that either Kandi or Joey went out the door. And even though Joey made a solid plea to Natalie that he could help them get "master manipulators" Tom and Kato Kaelin out of the house, he still was evicted in a unanimous vote.

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TV Guide spoke with the former Blossom star about how he prepared for the game, what he could have changed to stay longer and why he was ultimately happy to get out of the house.

Last night you told Julie Chen that you weren't surprised you were evicted. What do you think went wrong?
Lawrence: Jonathan, Ryan and I quickly became public enemy no. 3 with Kato, Tom and the rest of the house. Jonathan tried to (too obviously in my opinion) form an alliance with Ryan and I on the first day and you just can't do that. It puts a red X on your back. We were easily coined 'targets' and it was an obvious but methodical first choice for the house to coalesce and get us gone since we were perceived as threats.

It did seem like the house was saying you, Jonathan and Ryan were big threats, but Lolo and Natalie seem to be just as big of threats, but no one is really taking notice.
Lawrence: I agree with you! I think Natalie and Lolo are bigger threats because they are very good manipulators. It's a different vibe than it was last season. People are going insane and flying off the handle and getting to an emotional level where, in my opinion, is ridiculous when you're playing a game. But that's kind of where it's going, so it was my time to go and I'm not sad about it. I'm happy for the opportunity and to CBS, but I'm happy to not be there because certain areas in that house were toxic and will continue to be toxic. It's no fun to watch grown people lose it. We're playing a game and it's supposed to be fun. I understand the deceit that has to go into it in certain ways, but the F-bombs, and being in everybody's faces and just running around like crazy people there's really no place for that in the game.

Yeah, there are a lot of big personalities all bottled up in one house.
Lawrence: Big personalities are great, but you still have to be respectful and act like adults. We're here to play a game and we have a lot of people who [laughs] become unhinged way too easily. It makes for interesting TV, but it's quite unnerving to be locked in a box with it. It was wild.

It was kind of unclear in the episode, why did they chose Kandi to stay? From what we saw, it seemed like you had convinced Natalie you would be a good ally to stick around and help get rid of Kato and Tom.
Lawrence: If they were thinking about game play, then I would have been a better ally to try to get Tom and Kato out, which seems to be the next direction, or the most obvious one at least because those guys figured they had the game figured out and manipulating everybody. They were the ones who put the idea of Ryan, Jonathan and I being the biggest threats. They put that out there. But I think [Natalie and Lolo] voted with who they liked better rather than who can help them do that better.

And what do you think happens now that the three big targets are out?
Lawrence: At the end of the day, they had such a large group ... There's good and bad to that. The good is they were able to eliminate three people they wanted in sequential order, but the bad is they're going to cannibalize on each other. It's going to happen. There are a lot of very sneaky people in there who are very good at manipulating. I'm not good at manipulating; that's not who I am. I tried to play as fair as I could, but also be genuine about it and I don't think there's anybody in there who's doing that. There are a lot of very similar archetypes in there. It will be interesting to see how they turn on each other. That's inevitable.

Now, you said you weren't a fan of the game before going into the house, but did you watch any episodes in preparation?
Lawrence: I saw like four episodes of the last season of Celebrity Big Brother. That was a completely different vibe. There were a lot of people I feel were much more level-headed about playing the game, and they knew that the game is about forming relationships and moving forward. This season is a very divisive and emotional group.

So looking back, is there anything you would change about your gameplay?
Lawrence: Not really, the only thing I wish hadn't happened was Jonathan too quickly and too obviously trying to coalesce Ryan and me into an alliance that very first day. I think you need to be a little more surreptitious about that.

I think it's easy for superfans, like Jonathan, to get so excited about playing the game that they overplay too quickly.
Lawrence: If there's anything similar about last season that I learned from watching those clips, it's that Shannon did the same thing. Overplaying. Way overplaying.

Joey Lawrence, Kandi Burruss, and Jonathan Bennett, Celebrity Big Brother

Joey Lawrence, Kandi Burruss, and Jonathan Bennett, Celebrity Big Brother

Monty Brinton/CBS

If you had to pick someone right now to win, who would it be?
Lawrence: I don't know who the best player is. They're all just sort of really really good at lying, which unfortunately is part of the game, but it shouldn't be the main part of the game. Right now, I'd say maybe Tamar or Natalie.

And who would you want to win?
Lawrence: Oh, man. I don't know. It's like "pick your poison" there. Probably Tamar. She seems to be a little bit more straightforward. There's been a couple genuine moments there with her, where she was being herself. I don't know if anybody else in the house is being themselves. Ever. It's kind of amazing. Ryan is a genuine dude; he's a good person. There were real moments in there. But everybody else was very disingenuous, which I guess is smart, but I can't play that way.

It's hard to be that way 24/7.
Lawrence: That's exactly right. I don't know how you do that. It takes a very distinct person to literally never be themselves. It's kind of amazing.

Joey Lawrence

Joey Lawrence is the third to be evicted on Big Brother: Celebrity Edition

Monty Brinton

So aside from all that, what was the best thing about living in the Big Brother house?
Lawrence: It's a very interesting social experiment. You step outside your comfort zone. It was certainly something that I would have never done if it hadn't presented itself to me. I stepped outside my zone. I'm a pretty private dude most of the time, so this is a way for people to see me a little bit, especially in that interview with Julie. I think I was more myself then, than people really get to see.

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Before we let you go, I have to ask: Can you give us the breakdown of your 45-minute nightly routine?
Lawrence: [Laughs] I take my time. I take a good 12-minute shower. You got to wash things really well. When I get out, it's really just taking my time. I put on eye cream, serum, face cream. You got to let each little thing dry so it sinks in real good, and then if you have a zit, you put on a little acne cream on top of that. At the end of the day, I just take my time doing it because it's a moment for me to say my prayers and Zen out and have my time. If I can't do that, then I don't, but in the house I used it as an opportunity to keep myself centered amidst all the craziness and f-bombs that were being slung everywhere.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)