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Ross Mathews on Marissa Jaret Winokur's win: 'Celebrity Big Brother's jury played with feelings, not strategy


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/26/2018 

Ross Mathews apparently believes the Celebrity Big Brother jury was a bitter one.

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In Sunday night's finale broadcast of Celebrity Big Brother, the entertainment reporter finished as the runner-up behind his best friend in the house, actress Marissa Jaret Winokur, who walked away as the season's champion with the $250,000 grand prize.

"I assume the people who voted for Marissa did so because they love Marissa. They thought she should win, and they played with feelings and not strategy," Ross told Entertainment Weekly. "But I'm fine with that. I really am thrilled."

Most of the jury members, such as Shannon Elizabeth and Omarosa Manigault, admitted while casting their votes that they wanted to see the more honest, truthful and loyal player win -- and that person just  happened to be Marissa.

Ross, on the other hand, was a little more sneaky and conniving throughout the game in order to get ahead. Marissa stayed true to her alliance of women, but Ross was willing to backstab if necessary.

For example, he betrayed one of his close allies in the beginning of the game, former The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville.

Ross wasn't victorious, but the Big Brother Super Fan did win $50,000 for finishing in second place as well as the title of "America's Favorite Houseguest," which came with a $25,000 reward.

"I am thrilled, truly really thrilled," Ross reiterated. "I'm thrilled for my friend. Second place and America's Player? I'll take that any day. I love this game. I know how tough it is. I made it to the finale. I already won."

Having so much knowledge of Big Brother's previous 19 editions, Ross is well aware that the best gamer doesn't always win the game in the end.

"But you can't control that. I stand by everything I did in the game. You don't behave outside of the house the way you behave inside of the house!" Ross explained to EW.

"This is a game. This is how you play it. The rules don't say you don't join more than one alliance, or you can't not tell the truth all the time. I played this game hard. If I didn't, I would have been home sooner. I made it all the way to the Final 2. I don't apologize for anything I did in this game."

Ross never promised Marissa a Final 2 deal, but he said he wasn't surprised at all when she decided to take him to the end after she won the final Head of Household competition. (Marissa chose to evict Mark McGrath and Ariadna Gutierrez).

"We love each other. I don't know, had I won that final HoH, that I could have not taken Marissa," confessed Ross, who had promised to take Mark to the Final 2.

"I don't know if I could have looked her in the eye. It was going to be a real moral dilemma for me. I still don't know what I would have done."

And when asked whom he expected to win "America's Favorite Houseguest" -- when strong players such as Shannon and James Maslow were being considered -- Ross said he had "no idea."

"When you are inside the house, you are so isolated from everything, including what other people are saying and what's going out in the world. All I knew was my game. I was the Carrie Bradshaw of my game. We're all the starring character of our game! I knew what I was putting out there," Ross said.

"I knew I was playing hard and I didn't know if people were hating me or rooting for me because of it. I'm sure there was both. But I don't know!"

He concluded, "America's Player, as a Super Fan, means more to me than the title of winner. Because the fans get this game. They want people to go hard, play to win and enjoy every second, to relish the Big Brother experience. Even when I was put on slop, I relished being on slop. It was part of the game!"


Ross Mathews/Instagram

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