The production team at Big Brother asked Felicia a series of questions following her eviction, which were submitted by a collective of journalists covering the season. These questions were screened by CBS to prevent the possibility of influencing the jury, and this format will continue for the remainder of the season.
Check out the full exit interview below!
Did you go into the house expecting to cook family meals for everyone? And was that strategy or simply something you wanted to do?
It was a combination of both. Before I left home… one of my strategies was going to be to cook. I said, ‘You win people’s hearts through food,’ and I cook a lot at home. We do big family gatherings, and so I figured if I could bring that piece into the house, it would quickly get me connected to people. So it was a strategy, and then it is actually something that I just enjoy doing. So it became part of making me feel like I was at home as much as I could be at home.
You had a Final 2 deal with Cirie early in the season, then you found out she wanted to keep Izzy over you. Did you ever consider truly making amends with her?
I did, and I didn’t. I think after the Izzy vote, I realized I couldn’t trust Cirie the way I thought I could, and so I was always leery of her motives. And a part of me always felt that she was undermining my game. So I had loyalty only as far as feeling like I could trust her. But every time I went back in and said, ‘Oh, I trust her,’ something happened that made me say, ‘Eh, Felicia, I think she’s sabotaging you again.’ So I was always looking for another angle.
You said you probably talked too much. What do you wish you hadn’t said, and why?
I don’t know of any one particular [comment] that I wish I hadn’t… Well, actually, there is one I wish I hadn’t said. When I told Jared that me and Cirie were a Final 2. That was probably the one thing I should never have opened up my mouth and said. Everything else that I said, I’m okay with because I never told anybody a lie. I just revealed secrets when I thought it was an optimal time.
What were the most difficult and rewarding parts of this experience?
So the most rewarding, I’ll start there, was actually just being a part of BB25. Meeting and getting to know the 16 other players in the house, proving to myself and my family that no matter what age you are, you should never stop chasing dreams… living life to the fullest. And this experience—I’ve said for 23 years that one day I was going to be on Big Brother. And I’m very proud of the game that I played as a 63-year-old, and I was able to hang, and so that was rewarding for me. And also, I think being able to show that I could bring my faith into the game and show that that’s okay—to show that I have a trust in God, a belief in God. And that’s what carried me through this game. And the fact that nobody was offended by that, but it drew people to me—that was rewarding to me. That was the biggest piece in the whole game—being able to bring people to a sense of faith. Now difficult? One, of course, finding out about my brother. It took me a lot to stay focused in the game after I found that out, and I had to do a lot of just burying feelings, trying not to let those emotions rise to the surface, because then it caused me to kind of spiral from time to time. So that was difficult. Another difficult time was when I realized that Cirie and Jared had betrayed me. That hurt me because I entrusted them a lot. And so I never understood why. Totally why. And I don’t know if it was just they thought that maybe I was playing a better game… I don’t know what it was. But when I realized that they were the ones that were really sabotaging my game, I was disappointed in that. And then, being put on the block eight times. I kept trying to figure out why everybody was so comfortable throwing me up on the block, like my feelings didn’t matter. And so, that was bothersome. But aside from that, I realized it’s the game. People had all different kinds of strategies, and all I knew how to do was just be me.
You were nominated for eviction several times this season. How did you manage to avoid being evicted all those times until now? Please explain the strategies you used to stay in the house.
Well, again, I think my strategy was to just be Felicia. I don’t know how to be a fake person, play roles, tell lies, cheat, and steal. I did reveal secrets from time to time. But I tried to just stay positive, particularly the weeks when I was on the block, because what I did learn quick is that one bad conversation the week you’re on the block sends you out the door. So I tried to stay positive. I tried to stay my happy-go-lucky self and just trust that the relationships that I was building was enough to carry me forward, where people would say, ‘Eh, no, we’re going to keep Mama Fe.’ And it seemed to work. And I almost had them this time. Ugh, if Jag would have just trusted what I was telling him, because I was telling him the truth, I’d be sitting in that finale on Thursday. But he didn’t trust me!
Your “faith of a mustard seed” carried you far in this game, but which “mustard seed moment” was the most surprising to you?
I think the Izzy vote. When I was up on the block in week six against Izzy, that was when I really felt like I was going home. And that was a difficult time for me. Again, that’s when I found out that Cirie and Jared were working against me, and everybody else was trying to keep me. And so I had to dig deep that week to stay in the house, and I realized it. Also week nine, when I went on the block, that was right after I found out about my brother, and then I realized that, again, Cameron put me on the block. And I was up against Meme—and I love Meme to death, and I didn’t have any harm words for Meme. And so trying to convince the houseguests to keep me without sabotaging Meme, because I didn’t want to sabotage Meme, that’s hard. Because in order for me to fight for me, you really have to, in a way, fight against the other person. So I was trying to navigate that, where I was never fighting against her but only fighting for me.
Let’s talk about your Final 2 with Mr. B. What was your secret to securing such a loyal ally in the game?
Me and Mr. B became friends from day one. When I realized that he had my best interest and I had his, it was like, ‘Look, I’m trying to help you help the house. I’m trying to help you keep this house clean. I’m trying to help you navigate around all these crazy personalities.’ And so I realized that if I was nice to Mr. B., if I did some cleanup, if I did some cooking, if I tried to manage resources—because I was trying to manage resources by cooking these family dinners, because otherwise there would have been way more waste than there actually was. So I knew that if I just stayed communicating with him and I stayed real with Mr. B, Mr. B would stay real with me. And we had a perfect duo all the way to the end.
What is your most proud accomplishment from the Big Brother experience?
Never quitting. My biggest accomplishment was never quitting. Well, I have several: never quitting, staying true to who I was, [and] trusting and believing that God was carrying me through. I knew that I wasn’t gonna leave until it was time for me to leave. So for whatever reason, it wasn’t meant for me to win, and that’s why I was at peace. I knew I was leaving yesterday before the vote. I never even asked Jag had he made his final decision because I already knew. Every time I was up on that block, I knew if I was staying or going. I would get nervous, but I always knew I was staying. Yesterday, I knew, probably within a couple hours of leaving, that I was the one getting voted out. And I was okay with that. So trusting my gut instinct, being true to who I was, trying to play a truthful, honest game, and showing that faith will carry you a long way and being genuine and who you are will carry you a long way—that was what was important to me in playing this game.
Who will you stay in touch with after the game?
Anybody. Anybody who’s willing to stay in touch with me, I’m willing to stay in touch with them. I genuinely did like everybody in the house. You know, some of them, I think they played a little bit hard in their gameplay, so they made you say, ‘Boy, you stupid. Girl, you crazy.’ But I think for a lot of them, they really were playing roles, and it wasn’t who they are. Genuinely, I think it was a great cast, a very diverse cast, [and] a very fun cast. And God willing, I stay connected to all of them. I hold no hard feelings against anybody that was in that house.
[Pop Crave asks…] You told Cirie that she was the best thing to happen to you in the house. How does it feel knowing you’re walking out of the house with such a strong friendship with her?
It feels good. Because deep down, I know even though she was playing the game hard and sabotaging me, I still think she is a wonderful person. She reminds me a lot of myself, actually. She’s got a great personality. She’s got a lot of good morals and values, and her family life seemed to align a lot with my family life. And I think it’s a friendship that I will have for life. I can’t wait to meet her family and her meet mine. And so I’m looking forward to our relationship outside of the house.
The 2-hour season finale of Big Brother airs this Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.