Love them or hate them, Jess and Cody (or, “Jody”) are the breakout showmance -- and stars -- of Big Brother 19, and host Julie Chen wishes at least one of them had lasted longer in the game.
“Cody was smart,” Chen shares. “He was like, 'I have no chance, you do.' And she had a taste of that. She saw that he was right, because when he was gone, she mended a lot of fences with the houseguests and then when they both, I guess, you can't even say they chose love! They chose temporary love. Like, that only buys you how many days in the house together? You have the rest of your lives to be together. Let's be smart.”
Chen says the most shocking moment of the season so far, for her, was Jess not taking Cody up on his offer to “fall on his sword for her” -- and Cody not insisting that she let him.
“They should've just thought about it,” Chen says. “I don't even think they were trying to prove how much they love the other person, you know, to one another. I think they really were so blind in love that they were like, who cares? And again, ego. It's always, ego causes someone's downfall in this game.”
Jessica opted to use her “Halting Hex” temptation in week five of the game, keeping herself and Cody safe for another week -- a somewhat controversial move, as Jessica could have let her housemates evict Cody and saved the power for another week to potentially keep herself safe.
“I've thought about that,” Chen admits. “It's so hard to predict, because she had no choice. It looked like a good thing to do at the time. It was 50-50. Who's to say, if she didn't use it, what would've happened down the road? So, that's a tough one.”
Plus, Jessica had made quite a show about using the twist.
“I think she wanted to stick it to them,” Chen notes.
Chen says she hopes Jessica gets another chance to play the game -- possibly for next summer’s landmark season 20. She is a Big Brother superfan, after all.
“I mean, if we bring anyone back … she’s No. 1,” she shares. “She's someone who has a lot of followers, a lot of people like her. She's smart. She's pretty. She knows how to play the game and, I feel like, she rattles people. You either love her or hate her, and that's what you want. You don't want anyone who comes in mild … You want someone that people have strong feelings about, and I think she's the one to bring back.”
If she does get the chance to play again, Chen has some advice for the 26-year-old.
“What she should do different is never say the word 'Cody' if she goes back,” she says with a laugh.
So, Chen has her fingers crossed for a Jessica return -- and for a happy future for “Jody.” She admits they’re the showmance with the best chances of real-world survival.
“I don't think Mark and Elena are the real deal outside the house,” Chen says. “I think they're very young, you know? Plus, they weren't always… well, he seems like he likes her, but sometimes she was just not the nicest person in the world to him. Like, she seemed annoyed by him sometimes.”
“I think Matt is smitten by Raven,” she continues. “I'm not sure how she feels about him. I think, right now, she's, like, taking one day at a time. She enjoys his company.”
“I think that Jess and Cody are the real deal,” Chen adds. “I feel, as a woman watching, he loves this girl. If they end up together, she's the boss of him. She wears the pants in that relationship and as long as he's like, 'OK, I'll do whatever you say,' and he learns to be social with her friends, then they have a future.”
“But if he's gonna sit there, at the clubs, with, like, the death stare on?” she says. “Then her friends are gonna be like, what's with your boyfriend?! And, you know, girlfriends can influence your head a lot ... but, I think they have a shot.”
Big Brother airs Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on CBS. For more of Chen’s thoughts on the current season, check out the video below.