Power only lasts so long in the Big Brother house. Brandon “Frenchie” French learned that the hard way when he was voted out during the Thursday, July 22, live eviction.
Us Weekly caught up with the 34-year-old farmer after his eviction to talk about what went wrong following his chaotic Head of Household reign the first week.
“As a fan, I sit on the couch and I’m tired of the first four weeks being a big Kumbaya session, you know? And I knew I was going to crank up the heat,” he told Us. “I knew I was going to play hard. … It was a roller coaster and wild, for sure. But it was fun.”
He added that he “went in thinking that this game was going to be super easy and it’s not.”
The Tennessee native also explained why he promised not to target a woman or person of color yet ended up nominating Kyland Young and Alyssa Lopez for eviction, a move that caused quite the stir on social media.
“I had two options from the start to go home. That was Brent [Champagne] and Travis [Long]. Christian [Birkenberger] had already saved himself, so he was taken out of that picture,” Frenchie said. “Both of them are huge guys. They’re studs. I knew they had to be backdoored. And so, from that point, literally everybody left that was able to be nominated was either a woman or minority. So I knew that they had to go up to place-hold, no matter what, so I could get my end goal, which was getting out a meathead from the start.”
Ultimately, Frenchie went home in an 11-1 vote over Britini D’Angelo (ally Derek Frazier being the only vote in his favor) after Derek Xiao won the veto competition and chose not to change the nominations.
You can watch our full interview above or scroll down to read what Frenchie told Us about his controversial HOH reign, why he started a women’s alliance, whether he’d play again and more!
Big Brother airs on CBS Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.
Us Weekly: You knew you were going home all week. Do you feel like you did enough to stay? What was your pitch?
Brandon “Frenchie” French: I knew I was going home, no matter what I did. Tiffany told me, she said, “If you’re left in this game, you’re going to win $750,000, and we know it.” I went from being the most protected person in the game to people realizing that, and becoming a huge target. So I knew I was going home, and plus, being up next to Britini, I wasn’t going to campaign against her. I would tell people why it was best for their game for me to stay, but I was very vague about it and nonchalant, and I knew I was going home. I don’t want to say I tucked my tail, but I tucked my tail. Yeah.
Us: We saw you wanting to self-evict a few times. As a fan of the show, you know how frustrating that can be to see a player kind of give up…
BF: That had nothing to do with the game. That’d be the first thing I say. It had absolutely nothing to do with the game itself. It might have fueled the stress, but that wasn’t wh. I don’t really feel comfortable getting into that because that’s between Azah [Awasum] and I. I know the world probably watched it, but there was more going on than just that. I got humbled in that house quick, and like I said, that was not game-related and I’m OK with that. And as far as self-evicting, I never went in that diary room and said, “can I self-evict?” So yeah, I don’t know really what to say about that other than it wasn’t game-related.
Us: As a fan, what did you expect going in, and what did you learn about the game or learn about yourself when you were in there?
BF: When you’re sitting on the couch watching the game as a fan, I would always be like, “Why did you do that?” But you don’t see … watching the feeds, you’re able to click on different cameras and see different conversations, and kind of see where things are headed. When you’re in that game, you only see what’s in front of you. You don’t see the smirks that other people make to the cameras. You don’t see other conversations that are going on. Yes, those walls are thin in there and you can hear some things, but it’s a lot different than being on the couch or watching the feeds. It’s mind-blowing, the difference. I went in thinking that this game was going to be super easy and it’s not. It’s definitely something that tests your mindset.
And on top of that, when I walked in, one, I didn’t know I was going to be the old guy that season. And two, I wasn’t aware that there was going to be so many jocks or meatheads in that house. Usually, there’s, like, one to three at the most. And when I go in there and there’s like six, I’m like, “Holy cow.” I already felt like a goldfish when I walked in with a bunch of sharks. So, I figured, and I immediately knew, that in order to keep up with these guys, I was going to have to turn into a shark as well. And I’m not really good at being a shark. Let’s just be honest.
Us: You said you didn’t want to see a woman or person of color go home first. But then you nominated Kyland and Alyssa. Can you explain that?
BF: Absolutely. When you’re HOH, normally in past seasons, you’ve got a big pool of people to choose from. And with everything that happened, the Wildcard Comp, my pond turned into a little water droplet. I knew that I trusted Kyland. I knew that if he won the veto, he would use it. My whole plan from the start was the backdoor. Travis is an absolute stud. If he was put up on a nomination block, he would have been motivated to win that veto. That would have been one. I had two options from the start to go home. That was Brent and Travis. Christian had already saved himself, so he was taken out of that picture. So I had two options. Both of them are huge guys. They’re studs. I knew they had to be backdoored. And so, from that point, literally everybody left that was able to be nominated was either a woman or minority. So I knew that they had to go up to place-hold, no matter what, so I could get my end goal, which was getting out a meathead from the start. I said that, and in my heart, in my head, I had to run through literally every scenario to accomplish that. And when you’re stuck with only so many potential nominees, I had to do what I had to do at that moment to reach my end goal. And it worked.
Us: Do you regret promising too many people safety though? Were you worried? Like, “Wow, I’m promising a lot of people.”
BF: Yeah, absolutely. And at that point in time, I didn’t know about the Wildcard Comp. I didn’t know that he was going to be able to spin a wheel and save people too. Typically, in seasons, you got like this big pool of people that you can choose from. And this season wasn’t like that. You had a very select … I think there was a total of eight, seven people that I could have nominated. And the people that were there, my original goal, there was only two that was even a possibility of going home for me. So I knew that I was going to have to nominate one or the other. As far as a minority or a woman. I knew it. They were going to have to place-hold, and that, internally in my head, that definitely upset me.
But I knew the end goal and I just had to focus on that. And that’s what I did. I even told Derek that sucked for me, having to put them up. There was more to that as well. I’m just happy that it turned out the way it did because it turned out the way I wanted it to that week. And it definitely was a roller coaster. And chaos, for sure. It was wild, and it turned out how it turned out. My end goal was reached, and I don’t regret my end goal getting reached.
Us: How do you think your HOH week went? Do you think you played too hard?
BF: As a fan, I sit on the couch and I’m tired of the first four weeks being a big Kumbaya session, you know? And I came in, I knew I was going to crank up the heat. I knew I was going to play hard and as a fan, I didn’t want that, just sitting there and letting everything just float by. I was going to get in there and I was going to play hard. That was my downfall. But at the same time, in my heart, I didn’t want to be one of those Rachel Reilly, you know, “floaters grab a life vest.” It’s not me. That’s not who I am in life. I’m a go-getter and I go get what I want. So I knew I was going to crank the heat up. Because the first four weeks, you know being a fan as well, that people put this mask on and they’re super happy all the time. They try to be something that they may not necessarily actually be. So I wanted to crank that heat up and make sure that I could actually see who the jocks actually were. So I did crank that heat up for that purpose. It was a roller coaster and wild, for sure. But it was fun.
Us: That’s exactly how I would describe watching it – a roller coaster – which is good TV, but not great for your game.
BF: It was detrimental to my game, absolutely. I’m aware of that. And honestly, I never looked past week one. I was so focused and dedicated on week one. And because when I watched [season] 21, I watched Kemi [Fakunle] and Ovi [Kabir] and I literally got so upset watching that, that first three, four weeks of 21. My wife was like, “If you want to change, quit complaining about it and get in there and do it.” I knew my end goal, and when I realized that the only people that I could place-hold was that, internally, it did break my heart and upset me. But I knew that if I just stayed the course and my end goal would be reached, and it did. If people are upset about that, then so be it. My end goal was reached with that. And if the repercussions of this is that future seasons, they realized that that’s not OK anymore, and I set a tone to where the jocks go home first instead of everybody else, then I accomplished my goal. That ultimately to me was playing hard. And if it was meant for me to go out week two, then it was meant for me to go out week two.
Us: Let’s talk about the women’s alliance you created. People are confused why you think a man is needed to start a women’s alliance. What do you say to that?
BF: A lot of people in the house were very timid. I did want to see that work. I wanted nothing more than to help them find people that they could trust, get together, solidify that, and back out of it. When they named it, you could clearly see my face. I’m like, “Let’s change the name.” I didn’t like the name. And I was hoping that no matter what, that they could take that and run with it. Because as a fan, it is nice to see that because there hasn’t been one that has been like rock solid and worked, you know? So if I could step aside and do what I could to protect them throughout the game, that would have been awesome. I would have loved seeing them just go. I knew eventually I would be outed on that and that was OK.
The fan in me wanted to see that. And there’s some strong women in that house. Maybe I played too fast, too hard, but I wanted to see them get together and do this. I thought it was awesome if they would have kept it together. And still, if they were to stick together now, they have the numbers to do whatever they want in that house. And I think it would be awesome to watch that, as long as they don’t go after Derek F. But they’ve got the numbers to do whatever they want because I’m sick and tired of watching jock alliances go all the way to the end. So I wanted to make sure that they were set up and protected. That way, if the four or five jocks got together, they weren’t able to completely run the house. There was a whole squad of women that would be like, “not this season.” And that was my main goal of it, was stopping that jock alliance in my head. I was like, “I’ve got to stop this.” And I doing anything possible to make sure that they didn’t go very far.
Us: You mentioned Derek F. I know you guys got close and he threw you a vote. Were you expecting any other votes?
BF: I knew it was going to be unanimous. I even told Derek to vote the other way so it didn’t come back on him. And when they said 11-1, I was actually shocked that he did vote to save me. That’s my ride or die in that game. I would literally give my game up for him. I adored him so much, and he’s such an amazing person. When we get out of this house we’re definitely going to be lifelong friends.
Us: Who do you think is playing the best game right now? Who could you see going far?
BF: Oh, my goodness. Hannah [Chaddha]. Hannah is slick. She’s super smart, super intelligent. She went to the memory wall and knew all of our birthdays, all of our kids’ names. She is smart. If the rest of the house doesn’t watch out, she’s going to win the whole game, and I’m going to clap and tell her that she deserves it because she’s an awesome game player. She’s charismatic. She’s in with everybody. And she’s just super smart. I love watching that, and seeing that develop in the house was just awesome. We would pick at each other inside the house, but it was like one of those brother-sister pick at each other. I love watching that. She is amazing and she can win this game. Totally.
Us: Any interest in playing Big Brother again?
BF: If I did, it would be totally different. I would play for me this time. Because honestly, it felt like I didn’t really play for me this time.
Us: Did you play for the fans?
BF: No, absolutely not. I knew what I wanted as a fan, and I was playing to that more than I was myself. That ended up getting me in trouble because as a fan watching every season, I had a list of, “I didn’t want this happening, this happening, this happening.” And I’m tired of sitting there for four weeks and not watching anything happen. And I went in swinging. The best way to explain it is like, I felt like the wrecking ball that like went this way and created like all this entertainment and chaos. But then I knew that that ball had to come back. And when it came back, it was at the expense of my game. And I knew that. So if I ever played again, it would be for me this time. I’d be quiet. I would be myself and super quiet. And I wouldn’t say nothing to nobody.