‘Big Brother 15’ exclusive: Rachel Reilly on sister Elissa playing, MVP twist, and All-Star dream

Rachel Reilly

At this point, we assume that you have seen the cast announcement for “Big Brother 15,” and while the entire group is new houseguests, there is one particularly interesting inclusion: Elissa Slater. She is actually the sister of two-time player and season 13 champion Rachel Reilly, who could not be happier about the fact that there is another person within her family getting a shot at playing this game.

Luckily for us, Rachel was also doing an extensive promotional tour on Thursday to promote the season, and we had a chance to talk with her about everything from her sister playing to the new MVP twist and whether or not she could ever see herself coming back to the game, despite claiming on Twitter that she is “retired.”

Before we publish the transcript of our chat, a little context: This interview literally took place minutes after the full cast was revealed, so neither Rachel nor us had an opportunity to see or analyze the other cast members before chatting. Therefore, we began with a rumor that Dan Gheesling’s sister could also be a part of the cast before going into anything else.

Cartermatt.com – I’ve seen Dan’s Twitter, but I haven’t seen anything about his sister being on. Have you heard anything?

Rachel Reilly – No me neither, I don’t know I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. So I’m really excited that my sister is on. I think that this season of Big Brother is going to be insane. I can’t believe these twists, like it’s really changed the game. It’s like when they added the veto, you know and when they added the jury. It’s totally going to change the game, because now you’re going to have this whole layer of like three nominees. As a Big Brother player you have to think every week  very, very strategically. When you’re HOH you can’t just nominate one person to target, and put up a pawn. You’re going to have to put up two targets, a pawn, or you’re going to have to put up, one target and two pawns, but then the problem that also arises is that there is going to be all these people voting it’s going to split up the votes, so you don’t know someone could vote, like six people could vote to evict someone and then three people could vote to evict someone else or the house could flip on the HOH and evict the wrong person.

You’re going to have to be very, very strategic and every week is going to be insane, because there’s going to be six cards to be played every single week and six cards that people see. So it’s going to be three nominees, an HOH, a veto holder and now this MVP and nobody knows yet what their MVP power is. It could be take away a vote, it could be adding a vote, it could be… I don’t know I’ve gone over it in my head a million times. It could be eviction, it could be veto, it could be playing in the veto and even that wouldn’t be that big of a power; however, it’s still a cool power to have, because you have a chance to win a veto guaranteed. So it’s like this crazy game where they’re going to have people who are able to play the game. I mean can you image the meltdowns? I can’t wait to watch, it’s going to be amazing.

At least it could stop some of the floaters.

It will definitely stop the floaters, and it’ll stop people like Ashley. Like she was a great… I loved her as a person, she was a good character, but it will stop that game play and it will stop people who just kind of like ‘Oh I’m cute, keep me in,’ you know, and it will also keep people in the game who got voted out too quick, because it will give them an opportunity to either have some sort of something that will keep them in, or to be able to switch the vote.

Could you imagine if you have two other people you have to campaign against? You don’t have to just now say ‘I’m up against Jordan, and Jordan’s the golden calf of ‘Big Brother” and never goes home,’ but now I’m not just up against Jordan and Shelly, so instead of turning everyone against Jordan, I can turn everyone against Shelly and get Shelly evicted and everyone might listen to me. You have a chance and then you also have to think. Could you imagine the three nominees? They’re going to be going after each other, so they’re going to be like ‘I’m gonna go after whatever ‘Big Brother’ player [I want]’ and then the other nominee’s gonna be like ‘let’s the two of us try to get out so and so’ and then the nominees are gonna kinda be able to to control their own fate, because they can turn each other on this one person or the two people could turn on one, or the one person could turn on both of the other nominees and just be like ‘I don’t care where the votes go, but just vote for one of them.’ You can throw everyone under the bus, I mean people could turn on the HOH and if the HOH is like ‘this is a pawn, I’m trying to keep in the game’ the nominees could turn the other houseguests on the pawn, because they’re like ‘oh no they’re trying to keep them in the game, because they have a secret deal, so if we keep this person in the game, you’re really just giving them an extra week.

It’s going to be such a different ‘Big Brother’ season.

How awesome would it have been [for you] if this twist had been around in season 12?

Oh my god I would’ve loved it. Like Hello ‘Big Brother,’ why didn’t you do this season 12!? But then, I wouldn’t have come back for 13 and won, so who knows? Everything happens for a reason, but how great will this be if this twist is around for the next All-Stars season? This new twist is my favorite twist. It’s crazy and it’s going to be really hard, but I love it. I think it’s going to be such an epic game changer for ‘Big Brother’ as a whole, but also for the houseguests, for everything. I think it’s just gonna refresh the game, give it a little bit of life. They’ve had twists that have succeeded, and they’ve had twists that failed more often than not.

And it gives more opportunities for the alliances not to overpower the game and wipe everyone out like the Brigade.

Right? Now that’s crazy too, you’re 100% right. It gives 100% more opportunity for other people to stay in the game, because you can have that four person alliance, but they’re not going to control everything. Even season 13 when we have the vets versus the newbies alliance, we wouldn’t have been able to control as much if we had this crazy twist. It’s really going to give everyone the opportunity, if they are playing the game, and if they can think strategically and not get caught up in the crazy ‘Big Brotherness,’ they can stay in the game.

It’s also going to be amazing, because it’s going to give people the opportunity to melt down every week. We are going to see so much more entertaining television, it’s going to be ridiculous … you’re going to have people that are going to get nominated and they’re just going to meltdown, and there’s going to be one pawn that’s probably going to be a recurring pawn. I can see that happening, I’m calling it now, I would bet on it. It’s going to be one person that’s a recurring pawn and that person, I think will be the person that will be like ‘do you mind going on the block this week, you’re not the target but…’ but then it’s like ‘how long can you be a pawn’? That’s when you go home. And then maybe we’ll see pawns, who are these floaters, maybe we’ll see them switching back…

They’re going to have to play…

Yes, they’re going to have to play and no one’s going to be able to literally be able to go from one alliance to the other alliance to who’s ever in power and it kind of takes away the HOH’s power. HOH won’t be as good of a position to be in. It’ll be cool in that you’ll have your own room, it’ll be cool that you’ll be safe for a week, but veto is really gonna be the ticket you want to hold. Moving forward it’s going to be a veto, I’d rather have a veto then have an HOH, because veto guarantees your safety, HOH… that’s for one week and you’re [ticking] three people off, maybe four.

And it will force people to play veto instead of throwing it.

Exactly, and it’s going to be really cool, because… I never even thought about that… people are going to play for that veto, because someone’s going to win veto and there’s three on the block, they’re going to take one off and they’re going to put up someone else and then that person they put up could be potentially going home or staying, or it could be another pawn, but it’s still going to give that extra added aspect of ‘you saved me last week with the veto, I’m going to save you this next week.’ Or, ‘I’m going to win HOH and I”m going to keep you safe.’ Then again it could also be ‘you saved me in the veto, well I’m going to win HOH and nominate the last HOH and they’re not going to win the veto.’

It’s going to be a total mind melt.

Total mind melt.

There’s the added twist of the online voting this year. Do you think it will help your sister early on?

I think it will help her the first week, because I think going into the house she’s going to be a target [since] she’s my sister. People are going to know the second she walks through that door. She looks just like me and we have the same laugh, so they’re going to know she’s my sister, they’re going to know we’re related and I think it will put a target on her back, but the MVP could possibly keep her safe that week. Even if she doesn’t win it, I’m hoping that Big Brother’ Canada/US will vote for her. Even if she doesn’t win it’s still enough of a ‘could she be MVP,’ because they’re not going to understand the MVP the first week, so it could still be enough to keep her in the game, just people thinking that ‘she might be, she might not be.’

They good thing is that she’s your sister so she’s going to compete and try hard at the challenges.

She better. (laughs)

How’s Brendon?

He’s good, thanks for asking. He’s really good. he’s getting a Ph.D, so he’s at school, working really hard. I texted him earlier, and he’s like ‘yeah I’m just slicing brains’ and I’m likes ‘yeah ok that’s awesome, you have fun.’ (Laughs.)

You’ve obviously won, so you don’t want to just go back [to ‘Big Brother’] to go back, because you’ve won and you say you’re ‘retired’ in your Twitter bio.

I know everyone keeps saying that! Every interview they’re like ‘are you really retired?’

My goal is always to see if I can figure out a way to get people to un-retire, so let’s say they put you in a house with Dan and with Dr. Will, with all the great players, because that’s a compliment in itself saying ‘Rachel, you’re one of the best players ever and we want you.’

As like a legends season, I think I would have to do it, just because you can’t not if you’re enough of a legend to be on a legends season. So I think it would be a really fun season. It would be really hard to do it without Brendon, because he would never do it again, he can’t cause of school, but hey… who’s to say that my sister doesn’t make herself a legend and then we go and play together?

That’s what I’m really crossing my fingers for, I told her before she went in, I was like ‘listen, think about this in the back of your mind. If you don’t win this season, you can still win All-Stars, because if you play a good game then you and I will be on All-Stars together.’

Thanks to Rachel for being generous with her time, and we’ll be you go-to source all summer for the latest “Big Brother” news and concise live-feed updates that give you a sense of what’s happening in the house all around the clock. You will be able to see our latest updates in the sidebar to the right; or, if you want to see all of our recent articles, just bookmark the link here and check back often!

Photo: Cartermatt.com

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