The day after she was evicted out of the Big Brother Canada 3 house, I had the chance to catch up with Risha Denner to discuss what happened. She told me how she felt about the houseguests being forced to nominate two people for eviction immediately after entering the house. We chatted about the role of twists on the show and whether they have a place in the game. Risha talked about her relationship with Sindy in the house and if she felt like being the oldest player was a disadvantage. Although Canada was given the power to choose the first evictee, I asked Risha if she thought that she had enough votes to stay (had the houseguests been given the opportunity to vote). I also asked Risha if she planned on using her sexuality as a strategy in the house and if she was in any major alliances.
As we know, Risha has the chance to potentially return for a second chance and I asked her what her strategy would be if she is the one who gets to come back. Check it out!
Risha Denner: Hi, it’s Risha calling.
Murtz Jaffer: Hey, how are you?
RD: I’m great, how are you?
MJ: I’m very good! If you’re ready to get started, we’ll jump right into it…
RD: Absolutely, fire away.
MJ: When you learned that two houseguests would be put up for eviction immediately upon entering the house, did you have to change your strategy right away?
RD: Oh absolutely, I had to change my strategy. Going into the house, my strategy was to lay low, not be too aggressive. In fact, I figured going into the first HOH if it was anything super physical that I would not really compete at full throttle. I didn’t want to have to get blood on my hands in the first week and I was going to cook breakfast the first morning. That all got thrown out the window when I found out that I was nominated and I had to fight in the POV to win and then go directly into the next challenge. So I had to adjust my game big time.
MJ: What do you think about twists in the Big Brother house in general? You were the victim of two. To start, you were nominated almost immediately and then you were evicted by Canada’s vote (although with that being said, another twist could give you the chance to come back)?
RD: Well, as a big fan of the show… the twists were awesome. I mean as far as Big Brother history goes, we’ve never started the season going directly with the house being the HOH and nominating… and having to play in a POV right away, that’s an awesome twist. However, for me, it sucked because I was nominated and I lost the POV. Could you just repeat the second half of the question please?
MJ: Oh sure. I just said in general do you think that twists have a place in the Big Brother house?
RD: Of course, absolutely. That’s what Big Brother is. It’s ‘expect the unexpected,’ so I mean it keeps you on your toes and that being said, now (coming out of the house) I found out that I could have the chance to go back. That’s an amazing twist and it definitely works to my benefit because I really thought that I was going home.
MJ: What was your relationship with Sindy like? Prior to the veto competition, you were on the block with her and it seemed like she was your closest ally. Was that the case?
RD: No, Sindy wasn’t my closest ally. She was, however, somebody that could sympathize because she had been nominated first with me and we had both played in the POV. It was a very excruciating physical competition. Putting the puzzle together was really, really hard. I bombed on the puzzle and so she knew how it felt to be up there and it was nice to have someone to confide in. The first night was really difficult and I felt pretty much like an outcast. People were awkward around me knowing that I had lost and I had been nominated. She came to me and talked to me and comforted me and that was really nice to have.
MJ: You were the oldest person in the house this season. How much of a disadvantage was that for you and did you connect with any of the other over 30 players?
RD: Absolutely. Being the oldest player in the house was a disadvantage. I knew that going into the game. I was really torn on whether to tell people my real age or not but I wanted to be true to myself. I’m proud of my age and who I am and I knew that (if I was put in the circumstances), it would be possible that I would get caught if I wasn’t upfront about it, so I’m really glad that I was. Had I lied and then the twists had happened afterwards … Being in that situation was survival mode and I really had to dial it up a notch and get dirty and try to fight to stay there. As far as connecting with the other older houseguests (who were Bruno and Graig), we absolutely did connect.
All of us… the three of us know what it’s like to live on your own and cook. Bruno has kids so he has a family to support and that definitely becomes quite obvious when you’re living with people who are still living at home and don’t know how to cook. Meal time rolls around and there’s only a certain amount of food for everybody so we did definitely bond over that and I mean I had already felt a close bond with the two of them right from the beginning, right on the very first night upon meeting… we connected. They were great guys to have in my corner, that’s for sure.
MJ: When you were on the block and before knowing that Canada had the power to decide who was evicted, you seemed to be a much more proactive player than Pilar (who chose to lay low). If the houseguests had been able to choose who went home, did you have enough votes to stay and whose votes do you think you had?
RD: Well, going into the eviction, I was playing a lot harder because they had made a pact… the houseguests during the POV that if somebody had taken themselves off (like if Sindy or I had won and took ourselves off) that the other nominated houseguest would be the person to go home. So that anybody who was replaced (out of the group) wouldn’t have to worry about being nominated to go home. She never really had to play as hard as me, I think, because she had that pact to fall back on. As far as whose votes did I have? If there hadn’t been a pact… I had done a lot of campaigning and talking to people. People wanted me to stay. I think that. There wouldn’t have been any… let’s say… anybody getting any blood on their hands or any repercussions for voting for me. I think that I would have probably had Zack’s vote, Graig, Sarah, Johnny, Godfrey, Bruno, and possibly Ashleigh. I think I could have convinced her to vote for me.
MJ: You definitely weren’t afraid to use sex as a weapon and flirted with Kevin and even went into the hot tub topless. In your opinion, would your strategy have worked if it had come down to a house vote?
RD: Well, my sexuality was never part of my strategy. Me being a flirt is just part of who I am and I’ve always had a thing for younger men. That’s no secret. My friends know that about me. That was just me being a flirt. My strategy had nothing to do with sexuality and it was all more actually to be the big sister in the Big Brother house. [I wanted] to be somebody that people could look up to as someone older in the house. That they could go to for advice or comfort or to lean on and not be a threat in that sense.
MJ: The house looks absolutely stunning this season. What part of the house was your favorite?
RD: I would have to say I’m torn on that. For me, the kitchen was amazing and it’s naturally a place where people congregate. I like to be in a kitchen and cook and cooking with the boys was a lot of fun. The bedroom was also really, really beautiful. The colors, the lighting, the bedding, the beds… it just felt like you were inside of a big pillow so I would have to say the kitchen and the bathroom as a tie… I mean the bedroom sorry.
MJ: Before you left, who do you think was playing the best game?
RD: Oh, definitely Zach. I mean he’s the boy next door. Quarterback. Handsome. All the girls loved him, swooning over him. The guys all respect him and admire him and he’s just a really great genuine guy. You can’t not love Zach. I think socially he was playing a great game and I think physically, he could easily dominate in the house.
MJ: Were you in any alliances and with whom?
RD: I wasn’t in any alliances because I was on the block and I was nominated to go home but I did definitely have some strong bonds with people and they were Zach and Graig and Sarah. Those were my people that were my go to, that I talked to, that I trusted. Easily, (if I had not been on the block), I would have been in an alliance with them for sure.
MJ: If you got to come back in the house, what would your strategy be?
RD: Going back into the house, I would definitely say that I would want to immediately become part of an alliance with Zach and Graig and Sarah and Bruno. Those guys, I mean I really connected with and I know that you can’t play the Big Brother game alone. You do need people to play with. I would just continue playing hard and being myself and trying to play a good social game and get along with people and be that big sister in the Big Brother house.
MJ: Amazing! Risha, thank you so much!
RD: You’re very welcome, thank you.
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Tags: Big Brother Canada, murtz, Murtz Jaffer, Risha Denner