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“How do you like them apples?”
That’s Big Brother host Julie Chen’s reaction to Cody Nickson casting the deciding vote on Wednesday night’s season 19 finale, which saw Josh Martinez beat out front runner Paul Abrahamian for the $500,000 prize.
“They were like oil and water,” Julie says of Cody and Paul. “But the sad thing is, Paul wanted to work with Cody … but Cody has pride. This guy, I think, sees the world in black and white and he was like, no. I called it. I'm sticking to my original opinion, and I felt like it was a very personal and emotional jury that voted for Josh to win, to be honest. But, you know, Josh did work. It's not like he sat there -- he was not a floater. We didn't actually hear that term this summer. Though, some people did float.”
ET caught up with Chen in the Big Brother backyard after the finale, where she also reacted to Cody winning the “America’s Favorite” title, despite being a controversial houseguest.
“It did and it didn’t [surprise me],” she says. “I don't know if we're allowed to reveal by how much, but it was no question, let's put it that way, without revealing numbers. I was surprised because, in the beginning, he was kind of like the prom king. Then suddenly, when he became on the outs and he wasn't running the show and, you know, he wasn't Mr. Popularity in the house, he became -- that's when America started rooting for him.”
“We love an underdog,” she continues. “It's weird to look at the picture of Cody as an underdog. He doesn't have an ounce of fat on him ... He knows his demons, but he doesn't know how to get out of his own way.”
So, Cody walks away with a $25,000 check of his own -- and a girlfriend in fellow houseguest Jessica Graf. Julie says she’s “rooting for them.”
Next up for Julie is hosting the first-ever American season of Celebrity Big Brother, premiering this winter on CBS.
“We think we know famous people because of the roles that they play on the big screen or the small screen,” she notes. “What I'm looking forward to is seeing what happens behind the magic. Behind the hair and makeup. Behind the curtain. So, I'm looking forward to getting to know, even if it's a celebrity who really isn't on my radar, I just want to see the human side of, you know, celebrities.”
The host is keeping a running list of potential cast members in her head.
“Who did I think about the other day? Oh! First I was thinking, Pam Anderson,” she shares. “And then I thought, or Tommy Lee. Then, when I thought of Tommy Lee, I started thinking Axl Rose, then I started going down the whole, you know, glam rock, metal bands.”
If the celebs don’t make it into the Big Brother house, they could stop by Julie’s other show, The Talk, and guest co-host. The search is on for Aisha Tyler’s replacement. Julie compares looking for a new host to “dating,” admitting she started to fall for the first woman to give it a shot, actress Garcelle Beauvais.
“I like Garcelle, you know?” she says. “I'm going on more dates with Garcelle.”
For more on the The Talk’s co-host search, check out the video below.