Season 10’s Favourite Houseguest winner Keesha Smith was the first houseguest to be evicted during Big Brother: All-Stars this past week. We caught up with Keesha following her eviction to discuss what’s changed the most in the game, who she’s rooting for and her iconic birthday moment – anybody want cake?!
Before playing the game, you and your fellow All-Stars were sequestered for two weeks. What was it like entering the house and taking off that mask?
I got to hug people! I got to eat next to people! I got to touch people! It’s not that you forget what’s going on in the real world, but you enjoy those moments that you’ve missed. So, having to walk out and put on the mask again, it’s a big adjustment period, for sure.
Do you need to self-isolate after the game or are you good to head back to your life?
No, we’re good to go [once we’re evicted]. We’re probably the safest people on the planet right now. [Laughs]
Julie listed your many accomplishments once you joined her on stage. There’s no doubt that you’re an All-Star. Everyone had a target on their back going into the house. How difficult was that and how do you navigate these new relationships where you may have already seen each other’s game play?
It was really hard. I do believe that I was at a disadvantage. I went in with a lot of newer players and being from an older season, I didn’t know who they were. A lot of them already had pre-existing relationships with each other. They already knew each other and had this bond. So, when the first HOH is a newer player, it wasn’t so good for my game at all.
What about Memphis? He played with you in Season 10.
[Laughs] You know, Memphis told me right away, “Keesha, if you need me – I’m going to give you my vote. Absolutely, without a doubt.” I actually forgot about this until now that I’m talking to you. He also said that “I need you this game.”
Of course, he’s not going to go against the whole house. But everyone kept asking me, “Oh, you do have Memphis, right?” and at that time, I was like “Oh, no.” Because I didn’t want them to think that because if they think that I have [certain]people, I’m going to be the first one to go.
Janelle also brought up that there’s a different game play with the newer houseguest in terms of the HOH. Before, you could easily go against what the HOH wanted but now, everyone seems to do what the HOH wants them to do.
[Sighs] Let me tell you something, that was really hard to navigate with this cast. Everyone was so chill. Everyone who I tried to talk to would say “I really love you, Keesha. I really want you to stay in this house. I don’t want you to go!” What do you do with that? They’re just “I love you, I love you.” How are you going to attack people who say that they love it? It’s just a different cast.
Everyone was going to lay low, so okay, Cody is going to be the one to call the shots in this. So, I went to Cody and tried to talk to him, “I promise you, I will not put you up next week. I promise you that I’m not after you. I completely understand why you did it. No hard feelings.” I really tried to get on this personal level with him. I even told him, “I’m a bigger target than Kevin. You’ll want to keep me around. They’re going to be gunning for me more than Kevin.”
The VIP Suite was a cool new twist this season. But no one wanted to participate that first time other than Kaysar and Janelle.
Because we all came into this game laying low. Literally everyone had the exact same strategy, which guess what, is not going to work! Janelle and I had discussed using it. My biggest mistake obviously was not using it. I ran out of time. I was going to use it, just so that everyone is aware. I was going to use it if Janelle and Kaysar were going to use it because I knew that I was next up on the list and then I ran out of time. My pass was downstairs. Kaysar ran over and swiped and then Janelle ran over. The it was done at the point. I didn’t bring my pass with me [to swipe].
Neither of them can use it going forward. Janelle could have saved it for this week.
I know! I guess maybe she didn’t have her trust in Kaysar.
They did say it had been a while since they last saw each other.
Absolutely. That’s what they said. It’s been 14 years or something.
Who were you looking forward to playing with or hoping that would be returning for All-Stars?
I was so excited that I had Janelle and Kaysar in my room! I absolutely love them. We formed a bond right away. It wasn’t like an alliance, but it was more like “Hey, I got you. You’re good.” It was genuine. I never once doubted those two. Kaysar was so cool. He would corner me and tell me straight up how it was going to be. I really appreciated that. He’s an awesome guy.
Obviously, there’s some disappointment with Memphis and then Cody for putting you up, but did anyone else disappoint you?
Yeah, Enzo. I was hoping to have more of a bond with Enzo. I really wanted him to come to me and have my back a little bit more. And Ian! What are you doing, Ian? I thought we were good.
It’s been ten seasons since you first played. We discussed how everyone goes along with the HOH now, but what have been some of the other differences in game play that you’ve noticed?
Fast! The game moved so fast. It was so fast, and that’s where I just got thrown off. I think that if I had more time, even just two days longer, I think it would have been a whole different game . I didn’t know Cody. So, I’m in this house and I just got in there. We see his [HOH] room the first night and I’m so overwhelmed. “Do I talk to him? Do I not talk to him? Oh, I’ll just wait.” I shouldn’t have waited.
The game started as soon as you walked in.
Absolutely. Not only have you not been in there for 12 years, but you’re walking in there during the live show. You’re walking into a competition and trying to figure out who you are even competing against!
Who are you rooting for? Kaysar and Janelle were as loyal to you as they could be. Who else would you like to see go far?
Absolutely [Kaysar and Janelle]. I’d also say Da’Vonne. She’s amazing and a huge fan. She ran up to me and said, “I want to play with you!” I’d definitely give it to her.
I want to go back and discuss your infamous birthday from Season 10. That moment has lived on as one of the funniest Big Brother moments as the most awkward birthday ever with Libra saying, “Anybody want cake?”
Anybody want cake! I remember it so well. It’s funny because there’s not a lot that I will remember, but that I will never forget as long as I live. It was the most memorable birthdays that I’ve ever had – inside or outside the house. I missed this birthday by a few days, it was during sequester.
It was a classic reality TV moment! Thank you for that.
Big Brother: All-Stars airs Sundays, Wednesdays & Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global and CBS. Canadians can catch up with episodes on the Global TV app, on demand and at GlobalTV.com. Click here for more Big Brother coverage.