Big Brother‘s house is open once more! Every week, Parade.com’s Mike Bloom will be bringing you interviews with this season’s houseguests as they get evicted from the game.
“Nicole, to quote a Big Brother superfan, Rihanna, right now, you look so dumb right now. Choosing me as your Festie Bestie, you thought, was your security blanket. And here we are, both of us sitting on the chopping block because of your closest ally in the house who thought you’d be safe. I’ve never tried to cover any tracks or lie or misguide any of you. If you keep Nicole, you’ll have someone that thinks they can manipulate your game and wrap you around your finger to get what they need. “
Those were some of the last words Nicole Layog heard in the Big Brother 24 house, courtesy of fellow nominee, “Festie Bestie,” and self-proclaimed enemy Taylor Hale. The speech served as a culmination of Nicole’s eventful month inside the game. For the chef, the first two courses had turned out great results. She made a quick connection in the first week with Daniel Durstonand soon got invited into the majority “Po’s Pack” alliance to replace Paloma Aguilar. And she used her power di lei to make the first big move of the season, being one of the architects behind the blindside of Joe “Pooch” Pucciarelli. With all that behind her, Nicole was ready to make a meal of the rest of the season.
Then came Week 3. A misunderstanding of Taylor’s intentions led to an intense confrontation where she and Daniel accused her of being passive-aggressive and contributing to Paloma’s ouster. Seeing her treatment of lei, as well as hearing about yet another majority alliance, caused the outsiders to band together to form “The Leftovers.” Their first move: Blindsiding Nicole’s future Amazing Race partner Ameerah Jones. When Nicole lost the next HoH by mere points, the Leftovers were sincerely torn between getting rid of her di lei or Alyssa Snider. But Daniel and Nicole ended up making their decision for them. When Mount Taylor told Daniel not to use the veto, they believed the HoH realized he didn’t have the numbers to keep Taylor. And so the unthinkable happened: Daniel backdoored his closest ally of him. It wasn’t long before the Rogue Rats realized they were the ones without the numbers, and Nicole’s game was cooked.
Now out of the house, Nicole talks with Parade.com about the last-minute scrambling she did, how she looks back on her treatment of Taylor, and her take on playing with “honesty and integrity.”
Related: Everything to Know About Big Brother 24 (Including Who’s Been Evicted)
Let’s start with the hours leading up to your eviction. You and Daniel put together you didn’t have the votes shortly before. And we saw on the live feeds you make your way around the house trying to flip votes with individuals. You told Alyssa that people who were calling you paranoid were “sick and childish” told Michael that Jasmine, Taylor, and Monte may have an alliance. Talk me through the intentions in your last-minute scrambling.
Maybe I can work backwards. It might feel like I’m giving you a better understanding of what’s in my brain. The last conversation was with Monte. I don’t know if it’s the tone of his voice di lui or what. But for the first time, I was finally believing what he was telling me. And I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I see that before?” I literally thought Monte was lying to me the entire 30 days we’ve been in the house, even though I’ve been in an alliance with him. He and I were able to clear the air as to what really went down the day of the veto meeting.
I know it’s a game. I know it’s Big Brother. I know he’s not going to give me all his juice and information di lui as to why or how he was coming at me and try to explain to me why it was important for Daniel not to use the veto. But of course, if we go back to that day, Daniel and I were both like, “This guy is lying through his teeth di lui. He thinks we’re fools!” When it reality, he really was looking out for me and had my back di lui. (Laughs.)
And then prior to that conversation, I got to talk to Michael. And I think the world of him. I want him to win this game. I think that he’s gonna go very far. He’s a fierce competitor. He’s very smart. And now I’ve learned that he’s a lawyer. And I’m going with the fact that he is really good at being able to be a chameleon in this house. So I’m glad that he and I were able to have a conversation. I did share with him my conspiracy about the fraternity / sorority sisterhood / brotherhood.
I learned during the show that Monte was in the Alpha fraternity and Jasmine’s husband was also an Alpha fraternity. And from what I gathered, Taylor’s sorority is a sister sorority to the Alpha fraternity. And so in my brain, while talking to Terrance, I came up with this mystery that they’re possibly in some sort of brotherhood / sisterhood, because that is a very strong connection. And I think that it’s possible, but I don’t really know if that’s even true.
Let’s talk bout the Taylor of it all. At one point, I saw you say, “I’ve never once said anything bad about her. No negative words coming out of my mouth. ” However, even outside the argument you had, there were several times where it felt you were insulting her, including threatening to go “beat her ass,” accusing her of flaunting herself around the backyard, calling her a bully and saying she wasn’t a good person. In retrospect, how do you look back on the way you looked at Taylor in the game?
Well, I appreciate you asking. I know that a lot of the things that I said were not nice, and I can say that a lot of it was strategic. This is the Big Brother house. This is the game. There are emotions flying all around. There are other people’s opinions coming my way. And I’m turning them into my own. And I’m definitely not going to deny that I didn’t say any of those things.
As Taylor and I as far as clearing the air, I definitely have spoken to her. I’ve been very open as far as apologizing and trying to make sure that I walked out of that house with her knowing that I at least am aware of most of the things that I’ve said. I definitely need to go back, and I would love to watch and listen and read and see all the things, so that I can address everything individually with her when we get the time to meet again in October.
Throughout the game, and even in your own eviction speech, you spoke about playing with integrity and honesty. But we have seen you lie a few times in the house to better your strategy. How would you define the way you incorporated honesty and integrity into your game?
Given the nature of the game of Big Brother, I was playing an honest and loyal game to my alliance member Daniel, for sure. I mean, we made a Final Two together. And I definitely have tried to put that forward. I wanted to make sure that I can convey to the other house guests that, going forward, I will continue to try and do that.
Speaking of Daniel, let’s talk about your relationship. You said that you hated previous male houseguests who talked to women in a negative way. And in this case, that man is one of your closest allies. How do you balance that?
I can’t speak for Daniel. I realized in this game that you can’t control somebody’s actions. Period. And in that moment, my intentions were not for him to obviously react in that way. I didn’t realize that that was going to affect him the way it did when I walked out of the room. I was venting. I did ask him not to say anything. But he did. And so here we are.
I’m not sure if you know this yet. But when you were both talking about Taylor at that time, she was asking Monte to help pray with her for your mom’s health.
(Pauses.) It breaks my heart, it breaks my heart, because … (Pauses.) I feel bad, and it breaks my heart. I never wanted her to feel that way. There’s a lot of disappointment there. And I just have to be honest. I take ownership for the things that I’ve said. I was making decisions to use her as a shield for strategy and try to keep myself safe by using somebody who she wasn’t liked in the house. And I take full responsibility for that.
You and Daniel constantly claimed that the other houseguests didn’t know what they were doing, were liars, clowns, etc., and you were the only ones playing the game correctly. How do you look upon the state of the house now that you’re out of it?
I think I spent too much time in the kitchen! (Laughs.) These kids are awesome. I mean, I say “kids,” because they treated me like I was their mom. I’m so proud of all of them and what they’re doing. The majority of this house, they have a message to send, and I’m glad that it’s a positive one. In Big Brother history, there has been a lot of bullying where people are blatantly making people feel isolated and not welcome in the house. And so I give them a lot of credit. I’m just super excited to see how the rest of the season goes.
I’m cheering for them. I’m cheering for Taylor! In the last few days we have shared some really nice moments. And it makes me feel like we have a future as friends outside of this house. I mean, we were holding hands the moment we sat down in that nomination chairs. I have nothing but love for her and respect for her. I was a fan of hers in Week One. But I let other people’s feelings cloud my better judgment. And for that reason, I’m sitting outside of the house.
To finish, let’s get your rapid-fire thoughts on the remaining houseguest. Staring with Alyssa.
(Laughs.) Party animal!
So Brittany and I didn’t really have a relationship in the house. Her voice of her though. If anybody needs a meditation … I don’t have an exact word to say because we didn’t have a relationship in the house.
He’s a fighter.
Oh, I love her and I miss her so much. No BS That girl’s no BS
My son! (Laughs.)
My little brother.
Oh, Monte. He’s a horrible truth teller. (Laughs.) For some reason, I could not believe a single word that came out of his mouth.
Oh, man. He’s … I don’t even know. That one’s a good one. I can’t think of anything because he’s just … Talented. Let’s say talented.
Next, check out our interview with Ameerah Jones, who was evicted in Big Brother 24 Week 3.
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