The winner of season 2 of Celebrity Big Brother has been crowned.
On Wednesday, the final five of Kandi Burruss, Dina Lohan, Lolo Jones, Ricky Williams and Tamar Braxton competed in hopes of making it to the final two.
Ultimately it came down to the former NFL running back, Williams, versus Grammy-nominated singer Braxton. For Braxton, she sang her way to victory as her fellow famous houseguests, which also included Ryan Lochte, Tom Green and Joey Lawrence, voted unanimously for her to win the game.
“Anytime I’m on television, the thing for me is to not act like anybody else,” the winner tells The Hollywood Reporter the morning after her win. On the spinoff of the longtime reality series, the TV personality quickly garnered the support of viewers and became a fan-favorite.
Her win marks the first time an African-American castmember has walked away with a win on the CBS show. And as fans pointed out, she broke a Big Brother curse by winning the game even though she was the first to enter the house.
Here Braxton hilariously talks to THR about her win, her relationship with Burruss and what’s next.
You mentioned that you were asked to join the show last season, but it didn’t work out. What were those early conversations, and how did you make it work this time?
It’s no secret that my family and myself went through a whole WE tv fiasco and that was a part of it. I don’t like to dwell on the past because things are in a positive position now, and that’s the whole reason why I couldn’t make things happen. Sometimes you’re in contracts and you just can’t go around things. And that’s just what happened. And then it worked out for the best.
As a fan of the show, how does your season rank compared to others?
I promise you and I told my housemates, “We are playing like the summertime, people! This is not the celebrity version.” (Laughs.) It’s cutthroat! People don’t care. It is what it is, and it was just a whole different experience. I thought I was going to go and get the softer version of Big Brother, but as a fan I’m grateful that everybody I was in the house with was a little bit more cutthroat than the celebrities that were on last season. It was hardcore.
What was your reaction to the Anthony Scaramucci twist? Did you have any idea that he wasn’t a real player?
I didn’t have any idea that Mooch was not a real player. I thought he was kind of a fish out of water and completely out of his element, but I was surprised that he was such a spectacular guy, had so much knowledge and was so kind. And he was the first text that I woke up to this morning. He was like, “Congratulations, superstar! I’m so happy for you.” He’s a great guy, and I had no idea he was a spy! (Laughs.)
What was going through your head when you first met the cast?
Hell to the no. At first I thought I would be able to ignore that [Kandi] was there, but that was a lot after two minutes. I was excited to be in the house with Joey [Lawrence]. And to be honest, I didn’t know everybody who was in the house besides Tom, Kato and Dina.
Viewers gravitated toward your relationship with Kandi and how it came full circle. Were you going to take her to the final two?
That was the plan. That’s why I was so mad and had attitude, because Lolo and Ricky told me they were going to vote Kandi out the house. I was like, “That wasn’t the plan.” One thing you have to love about Kandi is that she love her and I’m here for it, but Big Brother is not the time to boast about yourself, boo! (Laughs.) I was trying to express that to her, and she just didn’t get it. Every time I turned around and she turned somebody off I was like, “Becky Sue, I told you. Will you please stop talking about yourself?” She was going to the final four until yesterday afternoon, and no one could take it no more.
When you voted to evict Dina, did you already know Kandi was leaving?
Yeah. Listen, I’m a straight shooter as much as I can be. I told Kandi an hour before eviction just so she wouldn’t embarrass herself and give a speech begging someone to keep her when I already knew what was going on. My word is my bond especially when you mean something to me and Kandi definitely does.
Who was the most difficult person to live with?
That’s going to change my ways! You want me to go back? (Laughs.) I hate to say Tom, but I’m going to say Tom. His paranoia would get in the way of everything. It would get in the way of us enjoying his jokes, us enjoying him, his cooking. But then if he cooks no one wants to eat because no one wants to talk to him, because then he wants to talk about the game and question everybody. It was too much! He’s a great guy, but his paranoia got in the way especially when you’re lying. No shade. Lolo too and I love Lolo — we just got to find her a husband. It’s time.
In your final speech you shared an emotional story about your personal life. Do you think viewers got to see who you really are?
I hope so! Anytime I’m on television the thing for me is to not act like anybody else.
You won by a unanimous vote. Have you talked to the jury about the vote? Did they all plan to band together and give you the win?
I didn’t ask them. But I’m definitely gracious and went to a few people and thanked them for voting for me. I went to Ryan and said, “Ry-Ry, thank you so much for voting for me.” And he said, “Are you kidding me? You Tay-Tay. You my girl for life!” I just felt really good that my relationships that I built in the house were real. Even when I disagreed with Tom and Kato they were very receptive to the fact that it’s important to me to rebuild and reset those relationships. When I get back, Tom Green and I are going to go to a club in Inglewood and get our life!
When comparing your final answers to Ricky’s, did you realize in that moment that you were going to win?
No! He told me that I was going to win, and I was like, “Are you crazy?” I watch Big Brother finales a lot, and sometimes people say things and they vote the complete opposite. I didn’t realize that everyone would possibly vote for me.
What’s next for you? Will you release new music?
Kandi and I talked about making some music together. I’m open to that. When I won last night, the CFO of my company was like, “We’re going to put your single out on March 1.” I’m really excited about it. I really like the music that I’m recording right now. It’s different, but it’s great.
You’re at the airport right now. Where are you going?
I’m having a Valentine’s Day concert in New Orleans. It’s myself, Robin Thicke and Marsha Ambrosius. And Lil Duval and another comedian. It’s an art and comedy festival. I’m excited to come off of this win and go to New Orleans and perform the very next night. It’s nothing short of a blessing.
Big Brother returns to CBS this summer for season 21.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.