EXCLUSIVE: Julie Chen on 'Big Brother' 19's First Double Eviction and Where Paul and His 'Posse' Go From Here
By Brice Sander
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The Big Brother jury is starting to take shape.
On Thursday night, the season 19 houseguests said goodbye to Cody and Elena in the summer’s first double eviction, becoming the first two members of the jury, which will decide who wins the game. It’s a move host Julie Chen calls “predictable.”
“Cody was a dead man walking,” Chen jokes to ET. “But, it's frustrating because, I know that a lot of viewers like Cody, and if they already like him based on what they saw, which is kind of a hothead, right? If he had just shown a human face earlier, and throughout the game, he could’ve lasted.”
“I think he was just happy to be away from all those people,” she adds. “I think he wanted to get evicted, and if not, he would've self-evicted. With Elena, wow. You know, right now, Mark and Elena, they did not have the numbers on their side … I mean, the house … they're just following Paul’s master plan.”
As of right now, Chen says the houseguests might as well just write Paul the $500,000 grand prize check, because they're all just letting him run the house.
“As the numbers dwindle down, Paul's posse is going to have to turn on him,” she says. “Well, maybe not him, but they should … I want blindsides to happen within a faction. Play the game!”
Chen has hopes that Paul’s closest ally, Alex, will step up to the plate to bring him down.
“I would love for Alex to ... just take him as far as she needs him, and then cut him,” Chen admits.
“I feel that she's more loyal to Jason,” she continues, before stopping herself. “Well, at the end of the day, if she's smart, she might be able to win more votes against [Paul], [but] it's hard to say, because people always vote emotionally and it depends if one by one, Paul's posse, as they get evicted, if they will harbor bad feelings toward him. They might not, because he's such a good talker.”
Chen predicts the next few weeks will roll out, well, predictably, with the house targeting Mark next, followed by the sole remaining showmance, Matt and Raven.
“Paul this year is Big Brother,” she says. “He's running the show, but it's a different guy than we saw last year … I wouldn't say he was America's hero last year, but he was a fan favorite. He's kind of the villain this year.”
“I would like to see Alex beat Paul,” Chen confesses. “You know, she's good at competitions. She's feisty. She speaks her mind ... I would've liked to have seen Cody and Alex kind of rekindle the connection they had in the beginning.”
“But again, the two of them can't take on the whole house,” she continues. “You need numbers!”
Chen says this season is all about “egos.”
“A few weeks ago, I thought that things were really ugly,” she says, referencing when Cody battled his way back in the house. “Things got ugly, fast. There was a lot of hate in that house. A lot of disdain. So, what can I say? Egos.”
Next week, another houseguest will join Cody and Elena in the jury house.
“Right now, I think we have, already, two bitter people in it,” she notes. “Cody doesn't like anybody.”
Chen says she sees Cody blindly picking a winner on finale night, while Elena will let her emotions decide.