Upon being evicted by her fellow “Big Brother” houseguests on Aug. 11, Charlotte preschool teacher Zakiyah Everette had nothing but nice things to say about the man she appeared to develop romantic feelings for on CBS’s summer reality show.
“I want to see him go far in the game ... he deserves it,” Everette said of Paulie Calafiore, a 27-year-old DJ from New Jersey, in an email interview with the Observer last week.
Well, now Calafiore is out of the house, too – eliminated by a unanimous vote on Thursday night’s live episode – and his words about her haven’t been nearly as encouraging.
He dodged a question from host Julie Chen on the live show about whether he had legitimate feelings for Everette (“I definitely wasn’t playing her...) and said it was too early to tell whether they could date outside of the house. “There’s a couple things I was shown in the house,” Calafiore told Chen, “that made me a little nervous.”
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“That’s a no,” Chen announced, turning to the studio audience and smiling. “That is a no, ladies and gentlemen.” Calafiore laughed, but did not argue.
We were able to get four questions to Calafiore via email (as a member of the “Big Brother” jury, he remains mostly cut off from the outside world until finale night in September). However, we were not able to get him to say anything nice about Everette.
Q. How mentally exhausting was the “Big Brother” experience for you? (Note: This question was originally set up with this statement: “For the first half of the summer, you came across as so level-headed and fun-loving, but as the season progressed, you seemed to get more easily rattled by others and generally more emotional.” CBS appears to have presented the question to Calafiore without that set-up.)
It was really easy. It was an experience of a lifetime that I can only describe as the most fun I have ever had. Being able to make yourself into someone that you may not always be in the name of strategy and gaming is a beautiful thing. My mind has always been built for these type of situations and games.
Q. The phrase “I can forgive, but I can’t forget” was tossed around quite a bit in the house, first by you (in putting Victor on the block). Which of the remaining houseguests will be the MOST difficult for you to forgive (i.e. which betrayal hurt worst), and which of the remaining houseguests is in your opinion the most forgettable (i.e. which of them meant the least to you)?
At the end of the day it is a game and so to take anything from the game into real life would be really foolish and tacky on my part. In real life I can be friends with everybody. However, if you show me a certain side of you in real life that I don’t like, the beauty of that is I never have to see you or speak to you again. Whereas in the BB house I did.
Q. In hindsight, would you make the same decision to not use the Power of Veto to remove Zakiyah from the block? And in the same vein but more generally speaking, do you see your relationship with Zakiyah as an asset or a liability in terms of how far you were ultimately able to make it in the game?
In hindsight, I still wouldn’t have used the veto because my alliance was calling for her to go home. Had I have known the storm that was coming than yes, I would have used it. She was a liability to my game. Ultimately, in the sense that she made all the other girls afraid to interact with me. That made me an easy target for them to try and demonize when the time came.
Q. James and Natalie both accused you directly of flirting with everyone in the house and of – in their eyes – not being respectful of your relationship with Zakiyah. Was that strategy, or personality? And now that you’re out of the house, would you characterize what you had with Zakiyah strictly as a “showmance,” or is she someone you actually intend to try to pursue outside of the house?
My personality is very friendly and flirty. I have nothing to say about Natalie because if she is going to be that way while being in a situation with James she has no right to question why I would be doing it. That is both hypocritical and phony. James on the other hand, was saying that in a sense to defend me. If he wasn’t than shame on him because the girl he was talking to was doing the exact same thing and I can say not being respectful of his feelings. There should be no double standard.
Only time will tell what Zakiyah and I can have outside of the house.
Calafiore and Everette will help select the winner of “Big Brother’s” half-million-dollar prize on Sept. 21.