Exclusive: Laura Crosby talks about her 'Big Brother' experience
By Reality TV World staff, 07/27/2009
Laura Crosby was one of the first eleventh-season Big Brother houseguests to become suspicious of Ronnie Talbott, the duplicitous houseguest who decided to attempt to play both of the season's nascent alliances against each other.
However instead of becoming an advantage, Laura's suspicions led to her downfall when Ronnie decided she was a threat and nominated her for eviction after he became the season's next Head of Household, resulting in the 21-year-old bikini model from Atlanta, GA being evicted from the Big Brother house at the season's second eviction ceremony.
On Friday, Laura talked to Reality TV World about when she first became suspicious about Ronnie, whether she thinks the supposedly united houseguests will follow through on their plan to evict him next, what she thinks will happen if they don't, and whether she really felt the other houseguests didn't like her.
Reality TV World: It took some of the houseguests a little longer than it seemed like it should have for them to believe you, but you finally managed to expose Ronnie to everyone. Why do you think it took so long for everyone to finally believe you?
Laura: I think Ronnie was just really, really good at manipulating. He's vocal about having theatre training, he's really good at video games, so he was just good at the game and good at the nature of the beast, unfortunately.
And I caught on and I was kind of the dark horse at first because nobody believed me, everybody was like you're crazy -- Jeff even bet me a steak dinner on it, that Ronnie wasn't the liar and the rat.
But I was so glad to be right, obviously. Because you never know. As sure as I was, you never know and I was glad he was exposed to everyone the way he was.
Reality TV World: When he talked to Julie Chen last night in his HoH room before your eviction, Ronnie claimed that he was actually only holed up in the room to "generate sympathy" from everyone else and that he still had five people in the house on his side. Do you believe that?
Laura: I do believe that he was holed up there to get sympathy, that's what everybody was assuming anyways and that's what I personally believe.
I have now heard that there were four or five people going in his room and speaking to him. I'm hoping it was one of those situations where they were just looking for their safety in the future, meaning the plan this week is to backdoor Ronnie but if that doesn't work, [then] next week he is still in the game and can get HoH [again]. So they will want him to think they're still on his side just in case. Kind of one of those "prevent it before it happens" kind of deals.
I'm hoping that's what it is. I'm hoping they're not stupid enough to fall right back in his trap but if they are, you know shame on them.
Reality TV World: So that group you're talking about, I was going to ask you about it a little later, but the live feeds and After Dark show have kind of shown some of that where...
Laura: Natalie, Lydia, Jessie, and Russell...
Reality TV World: Okay, and I guess as part of that Russell had actually gone as far as to tell Ronnie -- while it was still going on -- that his intimidation and stalking of him was just part of an act...
Laura: For show, exactly, which is really ridiculous. I don't think it was show, I think that Russell really dislikes Ronnie. I was the first one to figure out Ronnie but Russell was right there behind me.
Russell has never really trusted him. I don't think Russell knew as much [about] what Ronnie was up to as I did but I think he knew he couldn't be trusted. I think Russell is just covering his butt just in case. I'm hoping at least. I'm hoping none of them are stupid [enough] to trust Ronnie at this point.
Reality TV World: Going with the school of thought that Russell's tactics were real and he's just kind of covering his butt, there are some viewers out there that thought what he did kind of crossed the line a little bit -- that his harassment and intimidation was too much -- and there was even a [broadcast clip] where Natalie seemed to suggest the same. What's your own thought about that, do you think he went to far?
Laura: At first I thought it was funny, I really liked [Big Brother 8 houseguest] Dick [Donato] so I thought it was entertaining. You know Ronnie was very, very malicious toward me personally and told me more than anyone, he lied to me more than anyone.
So you know at first I didn't really care to be totally honest with you. Maybe that's rude of me to say but at first it was fine, I was laughing at it. After 42 times I thought it was a little but much, I felt we should just leave the guy alone, let him go in peace. It's part of the game.
You know, yeah, you get ticked off when people hurt you in this game but we all signed up for it and that's how you win this game, is [by] lying and conniving. Unfortunately that's the nature of the beast. So you know it did get old and he did take it too far, I think.
Reality TV World: How long did Ronnie actually [hole himself up] in the HoH room, was it two or three days basically?
Laura: I think he was in there for a little bit over two days. It was like two days at first and then we had yesterday. Tuesday and Wednesday he was in there all day and then Thursday -- yesterday -- was the live show so he was by himself all day but he had to leave the HoH room around noon.
Reality TV World: So did Russell maintain that [stalking behavior] the entire time or was it just the first day or something?
Laura: It was the first two days. The entire time Ronnie was in his HoH room Russell did that. It stopped yesterday.
Reality TV World: Did Russell give any explanation why he suddenly stopped?
Laura: No, I don't think anyone even asked Russell why he stopped, to be totally honest. Everybody was sick of it at that point so nobody cared.
Reality TV World: So you're kind of cautiously optimistic that they're going to follow through with the plan to send Ronnie home?
Laura: Exactly. I'm optimistic that it will happen because I feel like I laid things out perfectly for them, like 'Here, here's the next week, here's what you should do, Here's the liar, the conniving snake -- the person you need to get rid of.' I don't think anybody has ever done that in Big Brother history.
So I think that they are smart enough to do it. If not, that's their own fault, so to speak. I'll be so excited if he's out behind me -- he sunk me I hope I can sink him -- but if not and they keep him in that game then they're stupid and I'll high-five Ronnie in the Final 2.
Reality TV World: That backyard argument where Russell and yourself publicly confronted Ronnie obviously seemed to be the turning point for Russell's group where they realized what was going on but when do you think your group really realized [what Ronnie was doing] -- was it when he didn't follow through on putting Russell up? When did you really convince [your side]?
Laura: I realized it obviously right after the live show last Thursday. I confronted Jeff and Jordan immediately and told them what I thought was the case [but] they didn't believe me. I think they believed me right after the nomination ceremony when Ronnie put up Jeff and myself. Then they believed me. After that Jeff was very vocal to Ronnie. Then Jeff thought he was the rat.
Reality TV World: So it was even before he didn't follow through on the alleged plan to backdoor Russell -- [they'd] already seen through him before then?
Laura: I think Jeff was even still a little skeptical even when we were on the block because Ronnie came to us and said 'You know, I have this master plan, I don't want one of y'all to go home, I'm just trying to get Russell out and I had to do this to please the other side of the house.'
I mean he's very convincing. So I think Jeff kind of bought into it a little bit. He was believing me more than Ronnie at this point because it's like 'Who do you believe, somebody that's never lied to you or somebody that's already lied to you that you can probably prove they've lied a few times?'
So Jeff was starting to believe me. Jordan still didn't believe me. But after the veto was over, I think everybody on my side of the house believed me.
Reality TV World: Did you ever, for any moment, think that Ronnie might be telling the truth about backdooring Russell?
Laura: Absolutely not. When Jeff and I were put on the block I knew he wanted us to go home. It's not Big Brother 5 or before anymore. You can't play that game where you put to people up and choose who plays the veto, unfortunately. We draw a ball, so you know that doesn't work.
The way I see it is you have to put two people up that you're comfortable with going home. So that's BS if he says he was doing it as part of some master plan. And he had the opportunity to put Russell up and he didn't.
I think he went back and forth once the veto was won -- I thought he actually gave it a thought, I think he thought about putting Russell up -- but he obviously never did it. I don't think he ever intended to.
Reality TV World: Earlier in the game, despite your concerns about Ronnie you seemed to believe his story that Jessie was thinking about backdooring Braden. Why was that, what made you decide he was probably telling the truth about that?
Laura: Well Russell actually came to me and told me that before Ronnie did. Russell came to me and said he was going to use the veto and they were probably going to put up Braden so I believed it. I didn't think Russell had any reason to lie to me. And at that point I still somewhat believed Ronnie, it was a little bit later that we like started not trusting Ronnie.
Reality TV World: So do you think that when Ronnie ended up being right on that it gave him a little bit more credibility -- did it cause you to kind of re-examine?
Laura: Exactly, yeah. I just started to realize 'Wait a second, this guy's lying he's been telling me multiple stories' and I started paying really close attention to what Ronnie was saying. Because he'd say stuff to me and then he'd talk to Jessie and he'd come back and later talk to me and he'd say things differently than he did before, and he'd say things about his life differently.
You know he told me he was a teacher and we started asking him questions about that -- like Ronnie lied about a lot. I don't know if they even showed everything Ronnie lied about.
Reality TV World: So was that then when you became suspicious, after that point?
Laura: I was always kind of suspicious about Ronnie. I never really trusted him completely. I tried to trust him and tried to talk himself into trusting him, if that makes any sense, because I thought he could be a good ally. I knew he knew a lot about the game and I tried to convince myself I could win him over, so to speak, and get him on my side and then I could eventually trust him.
But you know he gave us this story, I think on Day 2, about how he used to play video games so much his wife wrote him a 'Dear John' letter on their one-year anniversary because he was playing video games 24/7. So I was [thinking] if you're that serious of a gamer then he has to be up to something.
Russell referred to him as Captain Lurk-A-Lot because he would always follow everybody around. You could not whisper anywhere or even speak in private without Ronnie walking in.
So I knew he was up to something, I never totally trusted him but I just tried to because I figured it would be better for him to be with me than against me.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction to Chima's comments at last week's eviction.
Laura: I was very shocked about that comment, you know, but that's really between Chima and Braden and I don't even want to comment any further to be totally honest.
Reality TV World: Okay, do you think it played any role in the voting?
Laura: I don't think so. That was set in stone, that was part of Ronnie's plan and I don't think Chima had anything to do with who went home.
Reality TV World: Last night, before the Head of Household challenge you admitted that you were rooting for Jordan and the Off-beats. How do you feel about Jessie coming away with it?
Laura: Obviously Jessie and I didn't mesh well so I'm not thrilled about him getting any extra privileges in the Big Brother game but I'm just hoping that he's brave enough to make a bold move and to get Ronnie out for his own benefit and for the benefit of the house. We'll see what happens, I hope he sticks to the plan.
I think that's worst-case scenario to be totally honest, because him and Ronnie were so close from the get-go but all we can do is wait and see now.
Reality TV World: What do you think the reaction in the house will be if Jessie doesn't follow through and nominate or backdoor Ronnie?
Laura: I think it will divide quickly back into sides. My alliance or side of the house will be extremely disappointed in Jessie and I think, yeah, I think you could see another division happen.
Because certain people really hate Ronnie for what he's done and I think certain people just see it as 'whatever' at this point, so we'll see what happens. But I think it will be a pretty interesting week if Jessie doesn't go through with the plan.
Reality TV World: You really didn't even seem to campaign to stay -- Kevin even pointed that out in his goodbye video last night. Why was that?
Laura: I actually campaigned more than I think they showed on the actual show. I had to be really careful about how I campaigned because due to last week's events you know people tried to say that I wasn't loyal, that I went back on my word to Chima, Chima was supposed to be my friend.
And so I had to be really careful because if I campaigned too heavily against Jordan they would try to say 'Oh she's your friend and you're throwing her under the bus' and the only real dirt I had on Jordan -- the only real leg up I had so to speak -- is that her and Jeff are attached at the hip and I'm not attached to anybody. So yeah, I'm better to keep in the house because I'm one as opposed to two.
But you know people were -- even early on, I didn't as much campaign as I really talked to people. You know 'Where's your head at for Thursday, what are you thinking is going to happen' and everybody, even Michelle said, 'It's looking like you're going to go and I'm going to have to vote with the house.'
Michelle and I had a conversation Wednesday and that's what she said. Natalie told me she promised her vote to Jordan. Jessie wasn't going to vote for me regardless of whether I offered him my right arm. Lydia's hated me from Day 1, there was no getting her vote. You know, Kevin I could have talked to but even then that wouldn't have changed everything, I was still going home.
I don't remember whether it Natalie or -- it was either Natalie or Chima that said to me 'Look Laura, I'm not trying to be mean or rude at all but you have two people on the block -- one [who] knows a lot about this game and has been a strong competitor in almost everything and one [who] knows nothing about this game and hasn't done well in anything. Who are you going to keep?'
So you know it was just kind of unfortunately a lost cause.
Reality TV World: You were pretty outspoken right from the beginning of the game about how you felt none of the other houseguests liked you. Did you really feel that way or was that some type of strategic idea you were trying to plant in everyone's heads?
Laura: I was definitely trying to plant that in everyone's heads but did to an extent feel that way. I did feel like at first -- like I said, I tried to lay low and kind of play the wallflower card but then people were forming cliques really quick and I didn't really fit in anywhere. So I didn't really feel like many people liked me too much but I was trying to use that to my advantage.
I didn't really care. I wasn't in that house to make friends, I wasn't in there to get 15 minutes of fame, I was in there to play the game because I love the game. I was in there to try and win the game so I didn't really care who liked me and I definitely tried to play that to my advantage.