: Celebrity Big Brother Jonathan Bennett Exit Interview
The first week of Celebrity Big Brother Season 2 has ended with not one, but two houseguests saying goodbye. And only one was prepared for it.
After winning the first ever Celebrity Power Duo, Jonathan Bennett and Ryan Lochte were forced to fight head-to-head in order to determine who wound up being the first houseguest on the block and the first Head of Household, respectively. Julie Chen then explained that HOH Ryan would have to nominate two additional houseguests for the block. (It’s all about the twos this season it would seem.)
Ryan and Jonathan’s alliance — which included Kandi Burruss, Tamar Braxton, Lolo Jones and Natalie Eva Marie — had all agreed that Anthony Scaramucci and Dina Lohan for the block. But ahead of the nomination ceremony, Jonathan persuaded Ryan to put up Tom Green, instead of Dina, his Mean Girls mom. Since they weren’t informed of this swap beforehand, the women in Jonathan’s alliance began to distrust him.
And yet, Jonathan had another chance to save himself: The Mooch left the house in the first major twist of the season. He was actually a mole and not a real houseguest. His removal from the block led to Ryan putting up Kandi along with another Veto comp, which Kato Kaelin won and awarded to Tom Green. Ryan then put up Joey Lawrence as a pawn. His hope was that Kandi would be evicted, but in the end she only received one vote (from Dina) and Jonathan became the first officially evicted houseguest of Celebrity Big Brother Season 2.
TV Guide spoke with Jonathan, who is still reeling from the twists and turns of this week, to learn what he thought of the Scaramucci twist and if he regrets saving Dina.
Last night you seemed very surprised. Now that you had a few hours to think about it, how are you feeling?
Jonathan Bennett: Still surprised. I didn’t think that I would go episode number one. You know? That’s crazy.
What would Regina George say about you being the first person evicted?
Bennett: I don’t know what Regina George would say, but Ariana Grande would definitely say “thank u, next.”
Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS
It hasn’t been that long, but have you had time to think about what went wrong?
Bennett: If you look at the series of events, there’s nothing I really could have changed. Ryan Lochte got to pick someone for the game. Ryan Lochte picked me. I didn’t choose that. I would not have chosen that, but I’m glad Ryan did pick me because he’s now my bromo for life. It made us best friends. So, on a personal level I’m happy he picked me, but on a playing level, Ryan picking me is what put a target on my back.
But you did have a chance to compete against him for HOH…
Bennett: An Olympic athlete playing a physical challenge is not going to not win. … I was getting put on the block from the moment Ryan Lochte picked me, because of the twist.
Do you have any regrets about telling Ryan not to put up Dina?
Bennett: I don’t regret that at all. There are two different sides to you when you’re in the house: There’s the game play side, and then there’s the “I’m a human being who has some sort of tact and decorum and an ounce of feeling” side. At the end of the day, it’s the right thing to do, to save my childhood friend’s mom. Sometimes there are things that are more important than winning, and it’s called doing the right thing.
What was the hardest thing about being in the house for you?
Bennett: For me, the hardest part about being in the house was a lot of the negative energy that was being thrown around. I just was so grateful to be a part of the CBS family. I was so grateful to be a part of the Big Brother family, and I was so excited to walk in the house and just have this amazing once in a lifetime experience. And I felt like there was so much negative energy just swirling around in there a lot of times.
Do you think that was because of game play? Or because people’s personalities?
Bennett: People’s personalities. … It was just like … Guys, everyone calm down. We get to be on Big Brother. How cool is that? And I don’t think people thought the same way.
What about Ryan? Do you think he can last in the house without you?
Bennett: Ryan’s going to get himself into trouble only for the fact that he’s a nice guy. Ryan’s best quality is going to be his worst Big Brother quality. He genuinely is just the sweetest person ever. And … they’re just going to come after him.
Which houseguest were you most surprised to see when you went in the house?
Bennett: I was most surprised to see Scaramucci. What I love about Big Brother so much is that it brings together people who probably would never have met in real life. If you were to say to me, “Jonathan, you’re going to meet Anthony Scaramucci, the former Trump White House communications director, who is a conservative Republican and you’re going to end up becoming best friends with him,” I would never in a million years believe you. And that’s what I love, because it lets us get to know people as people, and who they are as a human versus what the headlines say about them.
So, what was the reaction like in the house when you guys learned about the twist that he was leaving?
Bennett: Man, I was completely shocked; I did not see that coming. When they say “expect the unexpected,” they are completely right. I had no clue that was going to happen.
He was playing like someone who seemed like he would be in the house long-term.
Bennett: I know. I know. And that’s what people are saying that they don’t know if that’s real. But, I think it was real, because the way he kept feeding us lines. I look back at it, I’m like, yep.
Based on the live feeds shortly after the episode last night, Dina was very upset about your eviction. What do you think she should do next?
Bennett: Dina’s only hope is to align with Ryan and Joey. Their energy is what she needs right now. Because, they have more pure energy in the house, you know? That’s going to be good for her heart, and that’s what I’m concerned about at this point. I’m not concerned about the game with Dina; I’m concerned for her mental and emotional well-being. Joey and Ryan are the only two who actually are going to be able to comfort her and they have good hearts.
Is Joey doing alliances?
Bennett: Last I checked, [laughs] kind of.
Who do you think, right now, has the best chance of winning the season? And who do you want to win?
Bennett: I want Dina to win, and I think she has the best chance. Why? Because this is such a physical season. You have all these athletes and … they’re all really competitive, and so they don’t see Dina as any threat at all. But, guess what? At the end of the day, they’re going to end up battling so hard against each other, that when the dust settles, Dina’s going to be the one standing. It’s going to be like what happened with Marissa. And I want Dina to win. You know why? Because she has been such a mom to her children; she has three kids that have been in the spotlight, and she has helped keep the spotlight shining on them brighter and brighter every year. Wouldn’t it be nice to let the spotlight shine on her for a change?
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