'Big Brother 23': Frenchie Says His Chaotic Reign Was Part of the Plan (Exclusive)
Big Brother's second evicted houseguest, Brandon "Frenchie" French, made his two-week stay count -- even if it was one of the wildest and most unpredictable starts to a season in recent memory.
Crowned the season's first Head of Household, Frenchie had his sights set on taking out a "power player," aka a jock, but his plan quickly imploded following a trail of broken promises and not-so-secret alliances with nearly every houseguest (he even tried to unsuccessfully start a women's alliance), and a revolving door of ever-changing targets. After he opted not to try for two weeks of safety when host Julie Chen Moonves presented him with the offer last week, which would've kept him in the house past Week 2, Frenchie easily shot to the top of the list and became a safe target for HOH Kyland Young to take out.
"A lot went wrong, but I wouldn't change any of it," the 34-year-old Tennessee farmer and self-proclaimed Big Brother super fan told ET on Friday morning following his eviction. "I came into this game knowing what I wanted to see as a fan and that was my ultimate downfall. I played that way, instead of playing for me in the moment."
During his exit interview with ET, Frenchie explains why he doesn't regret his chaotic run in the Big Brother house, his biggest mistake that led to his early Week 2 exit and how he thinks fans will perceive him.
ET: Your time in the Big Brother house was cut short, but you definitely made it count. What went wrong?
Brandon "Frenchie" French: A lot went wrong, but I wouldn't change any of it. And I accomplished my Week 1 goal that I wanted. If I had to leave early, I hope that future seasons see that it's there time to go. And I hope they continue that trend.
You were the first Head of Household of the season. Going by past BB history, that doesn't exactly lead to success a lot of the time. You're a super fan too, so how do you explain your chaotic reign as HOH?
It's a melting pot of different things. I came into this game knowing what I wanted to see as a fan and that was my ultimate downfall. I played that way, instead of playing for me in the moment. So I had some things that I wanted to see done. I didn't want to see a boring first week and everybody get along all the time. So I'd turned that dial up to 400 degrees. I wanted to see how people really were. I was like, "All right, let's get this party started." And that's what happened. The best way I can explain it is it was a wrecking ball that I sent this way and I knew eventually it was going to come back this way. And it just came back a little faster than I thought it was going to before I could dodge it.
You made a lot of deals and alliances, and you had to break a lot of promises as a result of that. What was your biggest mistake?
Not expecting the unexpected, 100 percent, because when you go in as HOH, you think you've got this big pool of people to choose from. And my pool turned into one drop. I literally had a very select list of people I was able to even put up, from Christian saving himself and things like that. Then on top of that, what I wanted to accomplish that week, there were a lot of wrenches in that. It was chaos from the start. I'm glad it was entertaining because I'm telling you, I was stressed to the max. Daggum, I'm glad it turned out the way I wanted it to turn out at the end of the week because if it didn't, I don't know what I would have done.
Even when things were going wrong, you acted as if the outcome was what you wanted and part of a larger plan, even if some of the moves maybe didn't align or make logical sense. You mentioned things going the way you wanted them to, what was it? Can you share insight into that?
I knew I wanted to come in swinging. I got tired of the "kumbaya" for four weeks straight and a boring first few episodes of Big Brother. I knew that I wanted to come in and make Big Brother 23 something that when people started watching it from episode 1, they were like this, on the edge of their seat. And I knew I wanted that as a fan. So in order to create that, I knew I was Head of Household, so I had to create that. I turned the heat up, made everybody sweat. I had an end goal that week was to get out a jock. I knew at the end of the week, that was my ultimate goal no matter what. It was a roller coaster to get there, but I got there. I'm sure it was entertaining for a lot of people, but it definitely was not for me the whole week. I was stressed out the whole week. People were like, "Do you regret any of it or would you change it?" No, because the end result was exactly what I wanted. A jock went home. I hope that future seasons, if they don't take anything from this season, to start that trend and let that be the new normal. If that happened, and it has to come at my sacrifice, then I'm OK with that. It is what it is at that point. Like, I'm willing to do that if that happened from now on.
So you wouldn't have done anything differently during your HOH week? Would you have laid low a little bit more?
I wouldn't have told everybody that they were safe. I would have just kept it in my head. I would have been like, "OK, these people are safe in my head. I would have put it here [points to his head]] instead of here [points to his mouth]. That was definitely something that I would've changed if I was able to redo it. But as far as the outcome on Week 1, I'm happy with what happened and who went. That, to me, was big for me. And like I said, it was a train wreck getting there, but I got there.
What was your game plan if you weren't evicted this week?
Lay low, repair, repair, repair. I knew I created so much the first week and knowing I was sitting on the block with Britini, I knew I couldn't campaign against her. But had I stayed instead of her, it would have been full-on pressing that repair mode button, just fixing those relationships and trying to bring the Slaughterhouse back together just so I could break it up again. That was my goal from the start, but just not as fast as it did. I wanted to keep those people close because those were the jocks that I didn't trust coming into the game. So I wanted to finish figuring out how they worked. And when I did that, I would start planning a way for other people to take them out one by one. That's what I would have done.
On the live feeds, there was a moment in time where you were threatening to self-evict. How close were you to leaving the game early or was that a sympathy play?
No, it actually wasn't a sympathy play. It had nothing to do with game. That was something personal that Azah and I spoke about. It had nothing to do with Big Brother, period. I firmly believe now that God gave me my dream, but in the process, he made sure that he was going to humble me and I definitely got humbled. It had nothing to do with game and I wouldn't change any of that. Would I have went home? Probably not. Absolutely not. Did I think about it for a second? Yeah, but I wouldn't have done it. Some things in life are bigger than... Actually, a lot of things in life are bigger than this game. And that was a humbling moment for me and it was something that I needed, not only in the game but my life. And I'm glad that happened and I wouldn't change that for anything. I think Azah, and for her being such an amazing person to help open my eyes to what she did, I'm thankful for that.
During your time in the house, you said it was important for you not to target women and minorities. But you ended up nominating a person of color (Kyland) and a woman (Alyssa), and also targeted Derek X. as a backdoor option. Why did you stray from that?
Derek X. created a target on himself. He was never intentionally even on my radar. I was just going to watch their alliance that they were forming. He created a target for himself, and not just with me, but multiple people in the house. He had another issue that I called out that, as a person... I'm not going to get into that, but that was handled and, not by me, but by another person. Another thing is, Alyssa is super close to Christian. I couldn't get Christian because he saved himself. So she was the person that was closest to him, regardless of what she is or was. She was never going to go home and I knew that in my head, but I did want to send a message to Christian. And I believe that message came loud and clear. With Kyland, he's the only person I trusted on that whole list that I could possibly put up that I knew would use the veto so I could get Travis. Travis is a tough competitor. If I gave him the opportunity to get himself off, he would've got himself off. I didn't know that he was going to get picked for the veto. But at the time, I had no idea. I didn't want to give him that opportunity to do it. Had I nominated Brent, the Slaughterhouse would have blew up instantly without me being able to control the blow-up. That would have been detrimental to me, Derek F., Azah, Britini. It would have been detrimental to every single one of us. So that wasn't an option because I didn't want to put their game in jeopardy.
So really, all I had was Travis. He was the target for me in my head nonstop. It was twofold for me. Alyssa sent a message to Christian. I knew she wasn't going home. That point got across. And Kyland, I trusted him. So if something crazy happened, like when the HOH -- when they was able to let me roll that dice, I firmly thought that something like that was going to happen in the veto. So I'm sitting there looking at these very select keys because there's not many people to choose from, 99 percent being women or people of color. And I'm sitting there looking at him like, "Who do I trust the most out of this list?" And it was Kyland. So I put him up there to make sure that, one, it got used. And not only that, but if some special thing happened, that I can trust him with whatever he got, if that was the case. He's a strong competitor. Going in, I knew that he would go for it. I actually got so upset about that after the nominations that I went straight to the bathroom and I just sat there and I cried because I felt like a hypocrite. But I knew that game-wise, that's the decision I had to make. Because to get to my end goal, they had to be made. And that was the only way to do everything I needed to do and still reach my end goal. And I did. I wouldn't change that.
Now that you're going to be back in the world again, how do you think you will be received by Big Brother fans?
Honestly, I'm not worried about it. I am who I am and I don't ever let people's opinions of me define who I am as a person. So regardless if I'm hated or regardless if I'm loved, I'm always going to be who I'm going to be outside of this house. I don't let people's opinions define who I am.
Big Brother airs Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. For more, watch below.
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