“The difficulty [of Big Brother] is, [there’s] no escaping it,” Cirie, 53, exclusively told Us Weekly on Friday, November 3, one day after she was evicted from the CBS reality series. “You’re on 24/7, there’s someone waiting to speak to you the second that you open your eyes. There is no escaping, there’s no time alone. It’s just a consistent mental vice grip that does not exist in the game of Survivor.”
Cirie, who was crowned the winner of the U.S.’s first season of The Traitors in January, placed fifth on Big Brother 25. She entered the game with her son Jared Fields, who was eliminated in September, and managed to keep their relationship a secret from the majority of her housemates. (Only Cirie and Jared’s closet ally, Izzy Gleicher, and Jared’s showmance partner, Blue Kim, managed to piece it together.)
Cirie played an instrumental role in the first several evictions of the season, but began flying under the radar after Izzy, 32, and Jared, 25, were evicted. Cirie managed to keep the target off her back until this week, when Jag Bains and Bowie Jane — who had the only votes during Thursday’s live eviction — decided Cirie was a bigger threat than Felicia Cannon.
Cirie told Us that she probably could’ve done more to convince Jag, 25, Bowie, 45, and their ally Matt Klotz to target each other before they came after her.
“I probably could have beat Felicia to the punch in telling Jag that Matt was going to target him and vice versa,” said the reality TV legend. “I could have let Bowie Jane know about all the alliances that Jag actually had and that she was not the only one earlier than the final five.”
Cirie has always been known more for her social strategy than her physical prowess, and that didn’t change this season. She didn’t win any competitions on Big Brother 25, but the Survivor alum told Us she thinks her best move of the game was one she made to protect her son: changing the house target from Jag to Red Utley in September.
Although Cirie and Red, 38, were on good terms at the time, Cirie knew that Red couldn’t stay in the game long enough for him to figure out that Jared had told him lies to turn him against his ally Cameron Hardin.
Playing with her son complicated Cirie’s game in a number of ways, but one of the strangest consequences of the secret was that Cirie got to know Jared’s new romantic interest before Blue, 25, realized that Cirie is Jared’s mom. Cirie told Us she wasn’t a fan of the experience.
“I don’t know that I like that, because I require a certain level of respect from my children and their friends, and I think being in this game, even though there’s a huge age difference, the younger people see you as a colleague more so than an authority figure,” she explained. “And without that level of respect, it makes me form an opinion that is not necessarily favorable for the romantic interest.”
Four contestants remain on Big Brother, which airs on CBS Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.