Pop Crave spoke with the seventh evicted houseguest of Big Brother 25, Mecole Hayes, following her elimination on Thursday night’s episode.
Check out the full exit interview below!
You officially hold the record as the longest-lasting pre-juror in a North American season of ‘Big Brother.’ Of course, going home sucks, but is there any consolation for you in claiming that record?
I mean, it’s a great title to have. I didn’t get to win that much on the season outside of a dinner party, so, you know, if I get to walk away with some type of crown, I’d love to have that one. Another consolation for me is, of course, I left my husband just a month after our wedding, so I am really excited to see him.
You played a very under-the-radar game, but things never seemed to kick into high gear. Especially after turning points like the Izzy vote, what went into your decision to continue playing things safe?
You know, going into this, I really wanted to lean into a low-key game because, in my everyday life, I work in politics. I’m trusted with managing very important people and very important decisions. And, you know, I know how threatening that can be in the real world, and the Big Brother house is just as fragile as Capitol Hill. And so I didn’t want to go in and be seen as the strategist and/or mastermind, which I typically tend to do in my day-to-day life. I also know that I am decently athletic, and I’m super competitive. So for me, coming in and seeing the big personalities that were the Hisams and the Izzys and Ciries and Mama Fes and Jareds and all of these people who were kind of complicit in masterminding all of these alliances and trying to create multiple pathways to the end for themselves, I found myself to be somewhere in the middle of that. I would be a part of conversations, but I was never really the one that was pushing the issue, and I would do well in comps, and I was never really the one that was winning. And so going into the house, and very early on in the game, that definitely was my strategy. And you know, once you get to this point where there are single-digit houseguests left, well, now at least, there really is only so much strategizing and masterminding you can do. Your best bet for safety is to win and to be aligned with people who can win. So, you know, unfortunately, I was never in a position of power to really show my hand or make a big move like I wanted to. But it was always top of mind for me.
You mentioned The Professors, which goes into my next question. You were one of the few members who were originally against turning on Hisam in Week 3. What are your thoughts on that move now, and how much of a struggle was it to align with players who frequently deviated from the original plan?
It was so frustrating because I’m a very definitive person. Once I make a decision, that’s it. That’s done. I’m on to the next thing. I don’t really teeter too much with thoughts and ideas; once my mind is made up about something, that’s pretty much it. Call it stubborn, but it’s worked out well for me. When it came down to targeting Hisam, I didn’t necessarily think that that was the best idea because he was a huge threat, and there would have always been a target on his back had we kept him in the house and kept him a part of our alliance; he essentially was serving as a shield for us. And we also knew that he has the ability to win and win consistently; he won the first three comps. You know what I mean? So I didn’t really think it was that great of a decision. But I also recognize that I was playing the game with people who recognized that it was a very monumental season and they really did want to make some really big moves, absent of how it may or may not have affected their game down the line. So, at that time, I didn’t really want to die on the hill of keeping Hisam and possibly put myself in a position where I could be targeted. But even the Red move, I never thought that either of those were a good idea.
It was actually Jag and Matt who spearheaded your eviction, as I’m sure you’ve been told. Does that change the way you feel about your exit in calling out Cory, America, and Bowie Jane?
You know… It does, but it doesn’t because Cory has been complicit in flipping many vote prior to my eviction. I was certain that it was he and America that spearheaded the flipping that had taken place. You know, I shared a little white lie and painted a picture that he, Bowie Jane, and America are working closely together to target Jag, Matt, and Blue. While Cory does have a decent relationship with Jag, I know that Matt and Blue feel a little indifferent about him. And I also know that Blue feels a little indifferent about America. And I do know that both Jag and Matt do have a semi-decent relationship with Bowie Jane. So, you know, my plan was to cause a little distrust and create a bit of disarray amongst the remaining houseguests. I mean, you know, nobody felt bad about me getting evicted. So I hope they all fight to the death.
Izzy [and Blue] knew about Cirie and Jared’s secret of being mother and son. If you were privy to that information in the game, do you think you would have also kept it to yourself?
I do think that I would have kept it to myself because, down the line, I really wanted to paint myself as a trustworthy player. I knew that people had known and started to recognize that I did not talk much game with them or participate in a lot of the strategy conversations that were happening. And for me, that was very intentional, right? I was always saying, you know, ‘If you told me something, I’m not the one that goes and runs and spills it around,’ Because just how everyone was always hearing things that was happening in the house, so was I. And I knew that people felt, while they may have been attached to certain people, that there weren’t many people that they could trust. And I also felt like there weren’t many people that I could trust. So I really wanted to paint myself as someone who was trustworthy and who can keep secrets. I didn’t tell Jared about Jag’s plan to target him because I wanted to build some type of trust with Jag. You know, I wanted to use that as a building block for us to start to work together. It didn’t really matriculate into anything. But that was the strategy at the time in which I held that information from Jared, which, obviously, in hindsight, if I can go back, I’d probably do some things differently because maybe Matt or someone would have been out of the house. But I probably would have kept this secret. I am shook that that is his mom. That is insanity.
Bowie Jane won HOH and has already mentioned wanting to nominate Cirie and Felicia. How good of a move do you think this is for her, and do you think she has a shot at winning the game?
I don’t know how much of… Well, let me take this back. I do think that Bowie Jane has skirted the block many a weeks. And when people start talking about targets in this game and people who they should go after, Bowie Jane is always mentioned as the pawn, but never really the target. Obviously, that was the same thing that happened in my case, so anything can happen once you sit on the block. But I don’t think that it’s a good decision for her to go after Cirie and Felicia. I knew that whoever survived the block this week, whether it was myself or Felicia, that we would likely go up against Cirie had one of us stayed. And you know, I think that just like people are saying, ‘Meme, why didn’t you make a bigger move?,’ Bowie Jane has finally won something, and I think that this is a good opportunity for her to take a shot, being that it would have been at Cameron, or Jag or Matt. I do think that if she does put Mama Fe and Cirie on the block, it will be a missed opportunity for her to really lay a pathway out for herself to make it toward the end of the game.
Fans have been using a bunch of your old tweets as reactions to key moments in the season! Do you plan on tweeting alongside them for the rest of BB25?
I do! I cannot wait to join the fun. I’ve heard that tweets from 10, 12, 13 years ago are starting to go viral, and I love that. Baby Meme was a ball of fun, so I hope they are enjoying her just as much as I have.
Check out the video format of our interview with Mecole here.
New episodes of Big Brother air Sundays at 10 p.m. ET, Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET, and Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.