It was an exit that no fan will soon forget. With the flick of a wrist, Chima sent her microphone and her Big Brother future to the bottom of the pool. CBS says she was expelled from the house for repeated infractions of the rules, while the 32-year-old freelance journalist has no problem calling out the network’s posturing as a preemptive strike to save face. Either way you spell it, it made for brilliant TV. For the first time, the outspoken beauty talks about what led to her ouster, how the coup was the final straw and why there’s more to Chima than what you see on TV. –Reagan Alexander
What happened to you in that house?
Where do you want me to begin? I’m was asking myself that same question every morning when I woke up! I was wondering, “Did I really sign up for this? Why did I put myself in this situation?!”
Did you regret joining the show the moment that they closed the doors?
I wouldn’t say that I was regretting it right away, but I will say that it was more of a shock to the system. Everyday in there felt like a month … and the people I unfortunately had to be cooped up with didn’t make it any easier. I’ve watched the show over the years, but there is nothing that can prepare you for that experience.
What was the final straw?
The use of the coup d’etat. I don’t necessarily think it was the cast or the setting. I think it was the various elements that I wasn’t that familiar with, like the “Have-Have Not” rule — didn’t like that one bit. They didn’t show it, but I told the producers that if I wanted to be a Have-Not, I could have done that at home with the rest of America in this recession.
So, when Jeff’s coup rendered your HOH useless, that’s when you wanted out?
Yes … I told them that my HOH was useless, that I got a big bed and some lotion and that was it. Of course, they kept reinforcing to me that I had safety. Well, safety doesn’t mean anything to me if I’m playing a game that I can’t win.
Can’t win? Do you think that the game was rigged?
I’m not going to say that because I can’t. Let’s say that I feel that the game should be played without interference [from America]. If it really and truly is a game, then it should be a game played within the house.
Did you leave because you were fed up or were you expelled as CBS says you were?
CBS is saying that they kicked me out based on the throwing of the microphone. My story is this: I told them that I wanted to quit repeatedly, not just after the coup d’etat or the HOH. They told me to stick it out, but I basically stopped playing the game, which is why I took my microphone off. I feel like them throwing me out, when I was already on my way out, was their version of a preemptive strike.
But isn’t there a door that you can walk out of if you voluntarily quit?
There are two exit doors, but the scene that they showed where Lydia and I are talking about the exit doors, almost immediately, [a BB producer] came over the loudspeaker and said, “Chima, come to the Diary Room.”
So you believe that they would rather have thrown you out than let you walk out the door?
Yes, I totally believe that. They won’t let you quit.
What is your dream outcome for this season?
My ultimate final two would be Kevin and Natalie.
What’s your biggest regret?
If not me calling Russell a “terrorist,” it would be the fact that I offended his people. The apology that I issued was for offending Middle Easterners as a whole. Russell, on the other hand, I think he was really terrorizing the rest of the house.
But you and Russell had gotten so cozy. How did you two fall apart?
Part of everyone’s idea that Russell and I were getting close was the fact that Russell was telling them this. There was no showmance! We were hanging out and I was of course being flirtatious, but only because I’m a girl — and it works … He was delusional.
What’s your message for viewers?
That they only saw one slice that makes up the whole pie that is Chima Simone. I am a fun-loving, personable young woman that has a lot going on. Yes, I showed several bad characteristics, but if anyone else found themselves followed around by a camera for 24 hours, they too would be subject to criticism. I’m not perfect, nor is anyone else. Granted, I did sign up for this, but they’re seeing what CBS wants them to see. I’m perfectly imperfect!