Victoria Rafaeli surprised many viewers by surviving the Big Brother 16 season all the way to the very end falling just shy of the Final Two. She credits that success in large part to being blessed with her partner Derrick and choices early in the game for who she’d align with.
Victoria walks away from the game as the season’s 3rd place HG, but may be more well known for having shredded Zach’s iconic pink hat. So what’s she got to say about that hat? Read on to find out.
Matthew Boyer – Big Brother Network (BBN): Going in to this season you told us you were a huge fan of Big Brother. How did your expectations match up to your experience?
Victoria Rafaeli: You do not know! As much as you think you know you have no idea. It is completely different living in this house and living with these people. Even watching the Feeds, it is completely different. You can not compare. You might say you’ll do something but when you are in the house you are not doing that. Your brain is everywhere.
BBN: You got right up next to the end, but didn’t make it to the Final Two. Coming that close, did it give you any hesitation in voting for Derrick?
Victoria: Not at all. Derrick has had my back since Day 1 until Day 97. He never burned me once and had my back. He’s an amazing person. I always told him, if it’s not me winning it better be him. I’m just so happy for him.
BBN: On that Final Two, you had a chance at the comps but didn’t win a seat. Instead you had to try and talk your way in to the Final Two. Tell me about your strategy there.
Victoria: Derrick and me had a Final Two the entire time, but he was telling me the Jury members stated while still in the house that if I were to make it to the F2 they were going to vote for me. They thought it was almost impossible for me because I was getting put up every week. So if I did they would vote for me. He did not want to hand me the $500K. Understandable, but I just tried to make him feel a little guilty but not too much. I tried to work my way in by saying he had played an amazing game and wouldn’t have to worry about it saying he’s going to win, not me.
BBN: Do you think if you had gotten there to F2 that you would have beaten either Derrick or Cody?
Victoria: I think I would have beat either of the guys. Frankie, before he left the house, told Derrick he wanted him to take me. We did have a bit of a bitter Jury and I do not think that they wanted to see one of the guys that sent them home win. They really wanted me to win.
BBN: Looking back over the season, what do you think was your best move?
Victoria: I think it was fooling Frankie. Making him believe that I was really fighting with Derrick and that whole thing was real. No one thought I could do it. Frankie then thought I was an open book. Guess not, Frankie. I fooled you, Frankie, and I loved every second of it.
BBN: You participated in many competitions, but which one do you think was the hardest one you faced all season?
Victoria: The horse one was extremely hard! I’m a small girl and that horse weighed a lot. It was extremely hot outside. It was a very stressful week for me. I was nominated and that was the second time I did not win BotB but I had just won the Veto the previous week. It was hard. It was fun, but extremely hard.
BBN: Speaking of going through challenges, you spent two straight weeks on Slop and took it like a champ. What was that like?
Victoria: Food is not something that’s going to go and disappear forever. I just tried to make it two weeks. That’s not long at all. I mean come on. We’re going to live for like seventy more years. What’s two weeks out of our lives? It’s mind over matter. If you’re not on Slop in the Big Brother house then you’re not really living the true Big Brother experience.
BBN: One of your big moments this season was the pink hat. Tell me about why you decided to shred your own hat and what do you think now about seeing the viewer reaction?
Victoria: I wouldn’t regret it for the world. Zach was always pushing my buttons. I knew that if I wanted to get Zach back I had to do something that would really get him back. I was like, that hat means the world to him, let me destroy it. I told him not to mess with me, but he didn’t listen so I got him back the best way possible. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
BBN: Okay, your crow story. Tell me that was a joke and you were trying to entertain the other HGs with a fib.
Victoria: No, I promise you that’s a true story! I am traumatized by birds. I’m scared of them. Whenever I see a big flock of birds I just panic! I don’t want to see them. They tried to pick me up. Tried to steal me away from my mommy! True story.
BBN: Why do you think you were able to get to the end? How did you do it?
Victoria: I think having Derrick in the game was a huge, huge positive. He was extremely loyal to me from Day 1 until Day 97. I got blessed to have that.
I did not link up with the girls. The girls got out pretty quickly. I linked up with a guy who was very loyal, very true, and had a lot of say in the house. It didn’t seem that way, but he did. It was all about my decision on who I would end up with and who I would trust and who not to trust. I think that was huge part. If I had linked up with those girls I would have been sent home way long ago.
BBN: There was so much about Derrick revealed last night. What was the biggest surprise for you?
Victoria: Both being a cop and Team America were huge. One of them was game and one was personal. The Team America was huge and never would have expected that from Derrick. Him being a cop? I’ve been living with this guy for 97 days, I’ve been calling him my brother, and I thought I knew him inside and out. Guess not! I really want to find out who Derrick is after this. I’m ready to know the real Derrick and not the Derrick he’s been playing up to be.
BBN: Fans are asking if you have an official Twitter account?
Victoria: I don’t but I need to create one. I’ll create one today for my fans.
BBN: What is next for you now that you’re out of the house?
Victoria: Photography is my passion and I really want to get back in to that. See what’s going on with my business and hopefully it’s booming. I want to start shoots again.
Maybe more doors will open for me. I don’t know. You’ll just have to tune in and see!
BBN: Congratulations on making it in the house until the final day and outlasting all but two of your competitors.
Watch Victoria’s preseason interview as she broke down her plan and why she thought she should win.