Julie Chen Wonders If ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ Stars Will Regret Voting for Marissa to Win (Exclusive)

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Host Julie Chen was “shocked” by the outcome of Sunday night’s Celebrity Big Brother finale.

“I mean, I thought, ‘Oh, I have this figured out,” she tells ET, recalling the moment Marissa Jaret Winokur had to choose which fellow houseguest she would pick to sit next to her as the “final two.”

“First, I thought, she’s not going to pick [Ross Mathews], because you know, she didn’t expect to win [Head of Household] and I thought, oh, she’s going to tell him on the side, ‘Listen, I’ve got to win this for my son, my husband, my family. Personal reasons.’ And them, when she did pick him, I thought, oh, now you just made a huge mistake. You just lost the game. It was in your hands! And then, when the vote count was six to three, I thought, wow. I did not expect that.”

“People are holding grudges,” Chen adds. “People are voting emotionally, but this is Big Brother and I’ve seen that happen before … Feelings are hurt, but you'll see -- this whole group will be like every other group, everyone is going to stay in touch forever, they're going to be friends for life. It was like summer camp, it was like camp bonding. I just wonder if anyone is going to, at the end of the day, think, ‘Oh, I voted emotionally and I made the wrong vote, and I voted for the wrong person to win.’ I don't know.”

Regardless if the right person won, CBS’ first-ever Celebrity Big Brother was a major success for the network -- and Chen says we should “definitely” get another season.

“I think we did a pretty good job this time around,” she notes. “We’ll have to incorporate some twists and some changes just because, now, the celebrities who might go in the next version if, we have one, feel like they know the template. Like, Shannon [Elizabeth] was telling me earlier, she was like, 'I didn’t think there was going to be final five on finale night! I would’ve slowed down my game.’ And I’m like, ‘No, we can’t tell you our secrets, or what twists and turns are coming, and when there may or may not be a double eviction!'”

Ahead of the season, Chen told ET she was most looking forward to seeing the “human side” of celebrities. Like many viewers, Chen was most surprised by Omarosa, who spilled secret after secret from her time working at the White House under the Trump administration.

“There was something refreshing for me to see in Omarosa,” she shares. “I had never watched her on The Apprentice, so I only knew of her through the gossip magazines, and I was surprised at how drawn I was to her. I can’t really explain it, but when she opens her mouth, I can’t stop listening to her! I want to know what makes her tick, and I don't know what the answer is to that. I have no educated guess, but i'm fascinated by her.”

Chen says she hopes Omarosa’s stint in the Big Brother house helps to convince her dream houseguest to sign up: Anthony Scaramucci, who served a whopping 11 days at White House communications director.

“I betcha he loved the attention he got for the 11 days he was in the White House,” she jokes.

Before another celeb edition airs, fans will get season 20 of Big Brother. Chen admits she doesn’t know much about the upcoming landmark edition -- but she has some ideas of her own.

“I have been up to my eyeballs in Celebrity Big Brother,” she admits. “I have no idea, I really don’t. It’s gotta be big. It’s our 20th season. I don’t know… maybe 20 people for the 20th season?”

“That’s a lot of double eviction episodes,” she adds. “[Or] triple eviction nights!”

Big Brother returns to CBS this summer. To get your Julie Chen fix in the meantime, tune into The Talk, weekdays on CBS.

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