Zakiyah Everette took the summer off from supervising 3-year-olds at a Charlotte preschool to spend time trying to out-backstab 15 strangers who periodically would act like 3-year-olds.
And after 58 days locked inside the “Big Brother” house – where 80 cameras and 100 microphones captured everything she said and did, 24-7 – the UNC Charlotte alumna was stabbed in the back and evicted live on CBS last Thursday night, finishing in 10th place.
From the onset, Everette seemed to be enamored with fellow houseguest Paulie Calafiore, a DJ from New Jersey, which fit with comments she made before the season began.
“I’m ready for a showmance,” she told CBS online talk show host Jeff Schroeder at the beginning of the summer. “I’m trying to be like you and Jordan.” (Schroeder and Matthews native Jordan Lloyd met on “Big Brother” and are now married and expecting their first child.)
Everette, who started the game single and turned 25 while in the house, also said: “I am gonna use my looks and my flirty abilities to my advantage. ... If I really fall for somebody, then I’m gonna know – like, he’s gonna prove himself to be genuine towards me, and we’re gonna take each other to the end.”
But although Calafiore returned the affection, their romance became rocky and a string of spats led to Everette winding up on the nomination block last week. In a diary-room interview that aired last Wednesday night, Everette said: “I didn’t come here for no boy. I ultimately came here for a half-million dollars.”
During that same episode, Calafiore passed up a free opportunity to use the Power of Veto to remove her from the block.
The next night, she was sent out the door by a 3-2 vote. (Calafiore did vote to keep her, but...)
CBS would not permit Everette to speak with the media because she is headed to the jury house, meaning she will remain cut off from the outside world until finale night in September. But the network allowed us to submit four questions to Everette via email; her answers are below.
Q. Do you think it was a mistake to align yourself so closely with Paulie, and that ultimately, he played the biggest role in preventing you from winning that prize?
No, I don’t have any regrets on that. I think he was a good competitor and I wanted to align myself with someone that was strong. He helped me get this far so yeah.
Q. Would you rather see Paulie join you in the jury house as soon as possible, or would you rather see him win it all?
I want to see him go far in the game. I feel like he is a good competitor and he deserves it. He is a beast. Everyone else is haters.
Q. Can you give me an evaluation of your social game? And if you had the opportunity to go back and do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I probably would detach myself emotionally from anybody in the game. I would like to be a stronger competitor when it came to the comps. I feel like I had a great social game so no regrets there.
Q. And lastly, what things have you missed most about Charlotte – besides your family, of course – ?
Being on my school campus. I miss UNC Charlotte. Just hanging out there. Hanging out up town in the (EpiCentre). I miss that too!
We hope to speak with Everette at greater length by phone after the 90-minute live finale, when she’ll help crown the winner of “Big Brother.” It airs on CBS at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21.