Exclusive Interview: Big Brother Reindeer Games Winner Nicole Franzel

nicole franzel big brother reindeer games winner interview

How does it feel now that the secret’s out? When you got home, you told Victor that you won second place. How hard was it to keep that secret from your family?

Yeah, it was hard to hold it in for two weeks! I got home and it started to air the next day. I could see the anticipation while they were watching. I was just so giddy and excited for my family to find out. I was waiting for the finale to tell them, but my mom knew!

I had also told her that I got second, but my mom is so intuitive. We’re like the same person! She was asking me detailed questions, and then it just got to the point where I was like, “Mom, I’m going to tell you something and you’re not going to believe it!” She started bawling!

I told her I wanted to surprise everyone else so she was able to tape their reaction for me, which I’m so thankful because otherwise how would I have been able to capture that?

But yeah, Victor is still shocked! He texted me a little while ago, “I’m still in shock that you kept this secret but how good you were at keeping that secret!”

I can keep a secret, so that’s great!

It’s pretty big news right before the holidays! You guys have a lot to be grateful for this Christmas.

We always do and even doing Big Brother Reindeer Games was just the opportunity in itself to repair relationships and to get me out of my comfort zone again after three years.

So much positivity has come from this experience, even without winning the money. I’m really happy that I did it!

A certain Big Brother alum didn’t think you had what it took to play Reindeer Games. But here you are. You won! What would you say to Janelle or anyone else who doubted you?

Oh, my gosh. I don’t even know. I didn’t even want to address her because I heard she was posting pictures of my feet online! I just hope she finds enough happiness to be at a place where I’m not at the center of her Twitter feed.

It’s one thing for her to say someone did them dirty in the game, but [it’s crossing a line] when you bring someone’s family and personal things into it. I just hope she can figure that out because it’s been three years. I don’t follow her. I don’t even have Twitter, but I do have friends who tell me all this, and I just really don’t know what to say.

I don’t want to say anything bad about her because I feel like I need to send her positive vibes.

So, it’s safe to say you’re wishing her the best of luck on The Traitors’ second season?

Right. Exactly. I’ve recently come into learning about positive energy and stuff, and I feel [more] empowered by it. I do think that you get what you give. I truly believe in the power of that.

On Reindeer Games, I was just so happy [to see everyone] and root for them. I think it all kind of circled back to me, as weird as that may sound. I just want to send out positive vibes to anyone who needs them. Talking badly about anyone is only going to hurt you. That energy is going to come back to you. That’s what I truly believe.

Wise words for the holiday season.


Did you have any doubts yourself? How much of that stemmed from what other people may have said?

There was speculation on whether or not I was a “legend” or not. Some people were surprised that I’d be participating. It made me think “Maybe I don’t belong here?”

But you did win a season!

I know, but it turns out that a lot of people try to take that away from you. But [winning this] solidifies things for me. I firmly believe what I feel. I don’t care what anyone else thinks now, because the last three times that I’ve played, I’ve made it to the finals. I’ve won two of them in that house!

I played four times and I’ve won half. The more you play, the harder it gets because people know your game and they have opinions of you. So, if someone else wants to go back and win – just go ahead and do it and don’t just talk about it.

What was it like seeing Cody and Britney again? You left that house in a much better place with them.

Yeah, it was honestly so good. In the first 15 minutes of this season, Britney and I were best friends again. She’s a person that kind of feels like home to me. We relate to each other so much. We were so close on The Amazing Race.

Cody and I were like brother and sister. We have a great relationship now, and I think we just needed to see each other again and just get that out of the way because it had been awkward to initiate a conversation [before this]. I’m so happy that our paths aligned after three years. It was perfect.

You showed your bruises after you got home! How have you healed?

Yeah, a lot of them were from our first day! When I fell off the balance beam so many times. I thought they would have shown a compilation of me falling!

We did wear shin guards when we were climbing on the last day, which I think was a little too late! And those stars, from the finale, were actually hard and heavy. So, I think I got quite a few from that!

When I got home, I didn’t even know I had all those bruises until I woke up the next morning and was wearing shorts. I looked at my legs and went, “Oh, my gosh!” You’re just thrown into it – emotionally, mentally, and physically – and you don’t realize how banged up you are.

It was also so emotionally exhausting. I’ve never been so emotionally exhausted, and I think it’s because I genuinely cared for every single person in the cast. Another layer of it is wondering who is going to take a shot at me first, otherwise it just feels icky.

Would you have any advice for any other Big Brother players should they participate in a second season of Reindeer Games?

Don’t go in with any expectations because I feel like if you do, you’re going to be disappointed because it’s so much different than what you think it could ever be.

There’s no way to train for it or anything. So, I think you should just go in and play your game. One where you adapt and asses, and then go from there. I feel that maybe next year’s [potential] Reindeer Games will have to be so much different than this season.

Big Brother Reindeer Games is now streaming on GlobalTV.com and STACKTV in Canada and on Paramount+ in the U.S. A new season of Big Brother Canada premieres on March 2, 2024.


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