Nicole Franzel – Big Brother 18 Winner Interview

Nicole Franzel was crowned the winner of Big Brother 18 this week after defeating Paul during the season finale on CBS. Now outside the house following her second visit to the game I had the chance to talk with Nicole about her win, choices she made, what’s going on with Corey, and more.

Nicole Franzel wins Big Brother 18

The vote was narrow, but one more vote than your opponent is all it takes and the half-million dollars is your on Big Brother. This was not only a big win for Nicole but also for the series as she became the first woman to defeat a male opponent in the F2. So how did Nicole win Big Brother? We asked her that very question.

Big Brother Network (BBN): You asked at the end of the finale “How did I win??” How do you think you won?

Nicole Franzel: I don’t know what put my game a little over the edge against Paul besides, um. I just played super strategic this season. It was a bit secretive and sneaky and I think people kind of caught on to that.

I mean I only sat on the Block once and it was the very last week when I kinda had to. So to be a target on Day 1 and be called out the most in the entire house and avoid the Block like that and come out and win when I needed to. I think people appreciated that. I’m happy that they saw my game moves. I think I definitely aligned with the right people at the right time.

I think Paul played a great game. It feels great to beat someone I that I consider to be so great.

BBN: Which Jury vote surprised you the most?

Nicole: I was very surprised by Da’Vonne’s vote and that it was last. I thought Paul had Day’s vote for sure. That was the one that seemed to matter the most and I can’t believe that I saw my name on that key. I was literally in shock.

BBN: If Paul had evicted you after Round 3 and taken James then how would you have voted?

Nicole: Oh I would have voted for Paul. Paul played a great game. There’s no denying that. There’s no bitterness. There’s nothing worse than a bitter Jury and so I would never vote bitter out of those two.

Paul would never have to elaborate his game to me. I know what he did. He worked hard. I saw who cared, who didn’t, and who was working hard. You want to see someone win who worked hard. My vote would have easily gone to Paul.

BBN: You promised Paul you’d take him to F2 then we heard you whisper your plans to evict Paul and take James. Did Paul’s threat to lose his vote if you blindsided him change your plans?

Nicole: No, my guilt and feelings changed my plans. I was in the DR crying and talking myself in and out of things a lot of times. I think that him and I had such a great bond changed my mind. [Paul] deserves to be taken [to F2]. I hadn’t made an emotional decision all season and I knew strategically it’d be better to sit next to James so that’s why I was fighting.

I thought if I know I can beat James then I should take him. That’s a $500,000 mistake, but my heart wants to take Paul. I hadn’t listened to my heart the entire game playing nothing but strategically this whole time. Without Corey I started to play emotional.

I realized I could live with myself better if I took Paul. If I lost to Paul that’s fine. He played a great game. That’s what it came down to.

BBN: You said you stayed in bed to avoid relationships and possible backstabs like you experienced in your last season. Were you ever worried that would hurt your chances, though clearly it didn’t in the end.

Nicole: No. I read an article before I went in the house that people vote for who they like regardless of game play. But I definitely don’t think it hurt my game play because the fact that Corey had such a great social game is why he got voted out over me. The fact that no one wanted to sit next to Corey in F2 is what saved my game. Also that Paul was afraid the Jury liked James so much that Paul wanted to take me. That saved my game.

The fact that I didn’t have a great social game was something I used to my advantage. It was in people’s minds that I couldn’t get Michelle’s vote and it’d be hard for me to get votes. I would hammer that in to people’s minds all the time. It was the theme of my season and I just kept rolling with it figuring if I could at least get a shot to speak and show how strategic I had been, but if you don’t get to speak then you don’t even have a chance.

Our interview with Nicole continues on the next page…


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    • At least Vic got AFP. Pauls speeches and answers last night were terrific. I thought Nicole rambled and her reasons were lame

      • hahaha…Nicole thought she and Corey were being “super sneaky” under the covers and now she is finding out….ooooonooooo……America saw us have sex!!!

      • I’d rather melon ball my eyes. I just cant. I’m still disgused. I thought for once someone I was rooting for would win. I has never happened. I bet she’s trying to paint herself like she is so deep and strategic.

      • I didn’t really hear Nic’s speech. Her voice just totally turns me off. I’ve taped the broadcast and will watch it again and be able to be more objective but, have to admit, it will still be difficult to listen to Nic and Natalie.

    • No respect for “Day” anymore. For someone who seems so smart and aware of what’s going on, she is really bad at making BB decisions.

      • I feel that way about Natalie. She just picked Nicole because she’s female and judged Paul for his organic, nonapologetic personallity. She picks the bitch that stabbed her in the FACE AND BACK, talked about you behind your back and barely talked to her all season because she’s female. I don’t blame Day as much because she went out on Paul’s hoh, blindside, plus she HAD HIS BACK and was the only one that was smart enough to discover Nicol’s game early. It was no reason to send her out. Day respected how subtle Nicole got her out. She kept Day relaxed enough to not even know she was going home. The real dummy is Paul. Nicole shouldn’t have option. He shouldn’t have taken her.

      • GREAT points…your logic is working really well in helping me cope lol (I’m an analyst by trade). Yeah, I did not expect Natalie to vote for Nicole either…That “girl power no matter what!” mentality was annoying (and I’m a girl). I wish they would have voted for the best all-around player.

        BUT…I have to remind myself that at least Paul won the final HOH, and it was HIS choice to take Nicole.

      • Absolutely. Any reasonably intelligent person, at this point, should’ve reached the the conclusion that Paul’s loss is do to his blatant negligence to position himself favorably to jury. It’s the most important game move thats why its privileged to the winner of round three! After winning that, you practically won. It’s why people protect a floater often to take to f2 and secure a the win. Paul, Paul, Paul. Smh

      • In Paul’s mind he wins against both of them so he chose the one he thought had no social game. Nicole played marginally better than James but she’s hated by most of the jury. He, on the other hand, won his way to final 2 and did decent jury management.

      • Disagree. James chased Natalie all season and Nicole chased Cory. Both equally antisocial. In case you missed, Paul stated specifically, several times why he chose not to take James. Forgive me but I cant go down this road again. Lol I’ve addressed this issue in a couple lengthy debates already. Not to be rude. Dont mean it that way.

      • So? Why is it a problem that Natalie didn’t like Paul’s “organic, nonapologetic” personality? Part of playing BB is playing a SOCIAL game, which means not using degrading language against people even if it’s part of your personality.

      • I didn’t say I think it’s a “problem”. This is what you didn’t gather from the point I am making: If one is going to base thier vote on personal issues they have with them, then they should examine both of the two finalist equally in that aspect and not discriminatingly, because, (in Natalie’s voice) “want a girl to win!”…Now, lets be clear, it’s an OPINION and assumption that Natalie based her vote on any of this, however, for the sake of this point, I find it very unjust for Natalie to weigh Paul’s personality flaws heavier than Nicole’s do to the reasons I’ve stated in the original post ( no need for repetitious dialogue), her blood is on Nicole’s hands. I feel confident, although not sure, in assuming this was the bases for Natali’s vote considering how simple minded she is. It reqires little thought to evaluate her complexity.

      • I thought she made an excellent choice. At least she didn’t cast a bitter vote like Michelle.

      • Michelle voted for who she thought played the best game…she had a reason not to vote for Paul on an emotional level (since he called her the ‘C’ word in front of everyone, and that seems to be a big deal for some).

      • Come on. She voted like a bitter 2yr old. She even said James played a better game than Nicole which everyone knows is a joke. She would of voted for Jozea over Nicole. It was a bitter vote and that grumpy look on her face when Nicole won spoke volumes.

      • Michelle is extremely jealous of Nicole. Even my husband who just watches the TV shows picked up on that without being told anything else that happened on the feeds etc.

      • Happy to hear that “Day” only just found out about Paul’s amazing game, and prob would have voted differently had she been in the house longer. Nicole got sooooo lucky against Paul. Only 1 vote and it would have gone the other way if that person wasn’t the 1st juror who (a) had no idea who was really making the game moves in the house because he was that good, and (b) hid behind a guy 75% of the season (Corey).

      • Hahahaha you sound just as bitter as Michelle since your favorite didn’t win and didn’t deserve to win over Nicole. The better player won so move on its over.

      • I love that you chase down every comment against Nicole…lol you are dedicated. Are you guys related?

      • You’re the one that sounds dedicated. What do you troll me to read every comment I make? It’s called reading an article and making a comment. Oh and I get email notifications so sometimes I reply and sometimes I don’t. Just because I root for someone makes me related? Are you related to Jozea?

      • Exactly. How is she bitter for voting for Paul when she kept asking what has Nicole done? That means Da was bitter against Paul for putting her on the block so she voted for Nicole.

      • Michelle’s jealous, spiteful and childish behavior concerning Nicole was very emotional and immature as well.

      • Dr Will is a big ole meanie!….lol
        I loved the look on his face when Michelle started crying during the round table. He was trying so hard not to laugh.

      • I wish we could have seen that whole scene played out. I imagine Dr. Will and Corey were trying to reason with Michelle and point out to her that Nicole was playing strategically but Michelle refused to listen to reason. Must have been frustrating for both guys – Dr. Will’s expression was hilarious I agree :D

      • She was very immature on the show. I think she was a waste of a BB “superfan” to cast and an embarrassment for superfans. But no matter what, she knew in the end to vote for the player who played the best game….Paul.

      • Yep, kudos to Nat for making the right choice
        but part of it may of been that she was upset

        about James being cut by Paul. Michelle is
        still behaving like a bitter bratty child by not
        saying one word to Nicole, not even a quick
        congratulations. How rude & disrespectful.

      • Oh, good catch there BBrocks; Natalie was no doubt unhappy that Paul evicted james and that could have affected her decision. He blew off her juror question to him as well and made everything about ME ME ME!

      • Yeah, like Paulie didn’t cast a bitter vote against the guy he shaved his face and head to mimic (Paul) after the guy voted to evict him. Please.

      • If you would of listened to the after show interviews you would know that he was working with Corey, Z and Nicole from day 3. They were very close and she never turned on him like Paul did. Wasn’t bitter it was based on her great game play. Also Michelle is a bitter child and even after Jeff asked Nicole if Michelle congratulated her and Nicole said she wouldn’t even look at her. If you don’t see the difference then SMH

  1. I must have missed Congrats on your win Nicole in this article? CONGRATULATIONS NICOLE! First woman in BB history to compete and win against a male in F2.

      • I humbly apologize. I was looking for the comment at the beginning of the questions and answers. Missed it at the very end.

      • While I started and ended all of today’s interviews with congratulations to the F3 I did not include it in entirety in the transcription since it was my commentary rather than actual Q&A by the HGs. I chose to go straight to their comments instead.

    • No ya big dummy, the interviewer specifically wrote “congratulation Nicole.”

      Folks usually read the actual article before commenting.

    • I found the congrats at the end of the article. But still need to acknowledge the accomplishment she made in being the 1st female to win against a male in F2 for Big Brother. History was made last night! So proud of Nic! Had Paul won..I would still have been happy. He was a very good player.

      • I feel like this is just to see who gets the last word in. I agreed with you..I apologized to you for not having it right about the congratulations. Although you still did not say in your article that Nicole did achieve BBUS history last night by being 1st female to win against a male in F2. I know it is a hard pill to swallow..but credit is due here. Thank you for all your effort this year on your site Matthew. It is appreicated.

      • You’re being petty.

        Who cares about this “BBUS History”?!? Doesn’t mean squat to many people. Besides that, you can technically say that she benefited from Paul (a male) beating himself by not taking James. So, with that logic, a male still beat a male.

  2. I still can’t believe she got more votes than Paul.

    9 jury members is too much. Day and Z were out of the house for half of the season, so they can’t be expected to ‘know’ what’s going on in the house.

    Nicole did win clutch comps when she had to though, and only being on the block once is a great accomplishment.

  3. Listen! All of us sore Paul fans, please stop saying Paul deserved to win at this point. He doesn’t! The game is about smart game moves. I was a serious Paul fan until the second he sent James out that door. I WAS IN SHOCK! My glee did a 180 IMMEDIATELY! Not only does he deserve to lose, he should swap crowns with Josea as the worst player of the summer. Why go through that tortuous journey and choose the player you have a 50/50 chance of losing to instead of 70/30? As pissed as I am, I can say, no one that makes an extraordinary, massively stupid decision like that deserves to win Big Brother.Nicole surely wouldn’t have chose him.

      • Also, Paul’s reason for cutting James was ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS, and had no relevance to his winning or losing against him! Who is Paul to judge James so harshly saying , “he doesn’t deserve 50grand”??? Is he God?? I didn’t get the memo? No one in that house deserves to be spoken down to like that, and he has his daughter watching. So cheer up!:-) My mom taught me, ” dont feed your pearls to the swine”.

    • Nicole would still have voted for Paul according to the interview. Paul probably would have easily won against James.

      • Thanks for sharing that. Now I can add that to my list. I wasn’t sure if she would but I do believe her.

    • Not to mention how smug his answers were. It’s like he thought he had already won. I believe both Nicole and Paul were great players but Paul definitely fumbled in the last 2.

      • That’s putting it mildly! I missed a lot of his Q&A because I was still in shock of him cutting James. I couldn’t believe it! I started to come to at his speech and I hated it. I thought I was in a nightmare! I saw him digging a deeper grave. I went in shock again. Lol It was too cocky, preachy and not teachy etc.. It rubbed a lot of them the wrong way, I could see them cringe as I did. Nicole was cute as a button, (I’m gagging writing this) lol not over rehearsed,…it was perfection. The moment she stated there was no need to be assertive in the game because “things were going the way she wanted” I knew she’d won. It debunked her “laying low” as a negative like a grenade!

      • I would love to know what the jurors thought about Paul’s replies to their questions and whether or not this cost him the game.

      • Omg, so would I. His speech sounded great until before last night. Lol I was going “YES!” as he rehearsed, but last night I cringed. Lol It was a train wreck. Nicole’s was short, to the point and adorable. I’m not going hate on her. I’m fair. I hated her outfit but she has not never been cuter. Considering I loathed Nicole’s game; me saying this proves to me she won fair and square between the 2. I never give credit where it isn’t do.

      • I try hard to be fair. I never said Nicole wasn’t playing, she played! Her style wasn’t palettable to ME. I blamed her competitors (including my favs) towards the end because the saw her as a “snake” , myself included. My philosophy is: she’s a snake with a rattle, if you dont take precaution to the rattle you , get bitten. Who’s fault is it?? It sure isn’t the snake’s. If I’m going to lose to a “snake”, it would be one without a rattle! Lol All of those players eventually became aware of Nicole’s style of play but trusted her regardless and never put her up. Dummies.

      • It was hideous. Lol I hope that was one of their veto competition costumes. It was the ugliest outfit I’ve seen in big brother history. She broke that record too.

  4. What I kind of got tickled about was the fact that she dodged at least two questions by side stepping around them.
    1. The first question she side stepped was about giving the DR some footage.
    2. She didn’t really answer the $10,000.00 gift/care package deal between her and James. Seems like she wanted to say something but backed off of that.

      • Matt, when you were interviewing Paul did you ask him about calling Michelle the C word and whether or not that hurt his chances with the female jurors?

      • Paul forgot the golden rule of an apologizes go along way. A little buttering up to Meech could of saved his bacon.

      • YES! Thank you for that! The smallest things makes the biggest differences. I was a Paul supporter and even I dont agree with all the excuses people are making for his loss. It’s obvious. He shot, killed and buried his win, LIVE right before our eyes. Lol

      • Paul needs to be educated in manners period. Not only that, I didn’t understand the source of his fury with Natalie. He viciously taunted her on the block and made sure she made certain she’d be voted out, not even realizing she was better for his game in the moment. Dont get it. He deserves to lose.

    • But doesn’t James not voting for her put an end to the whole thing? If they had a 10K deal he would have wanted her to win for his own benefit.

  5. Reminds me of Wu in Survivor taking Tony the policeman over Kaz who has not done anything in the game. She was livid and pissed! In hindsight, taking Kaz to the Finals would have won it for Wu but, he felt she did not deserve to be in the Finals. Tony the policeman, of course, won the $1,000,000! In this case, Paul believed that James did not deserve to win that $50,000 because he did not play enough of a game to earn it! Of course, if Paul took James to Final 2, he would have won that $500,000. He was true to his word but, paid for it!

    • So I guess the question becomes…what’s more important to you? Your word…or half a million dollars? It’s hard for me to say the former when for the last 98-99 days, your word meant nothing. And that’s FINE, don’t get me wrong…but why did it become oh-so-important on the last day when everything was on the line?

      • Considering you are playing a game for $500,000 where the object of the game is to lie and backstab people, what is another lie or betrayal? James made it to Final 3 although, he broke all his promises and lied repeatedly. Seemed like lying would have been okay, betrayal also, okay. Just my 2 cents.

  6. Congrats, Nicole! You played your heart out this summer, and totally deserved this win. Don’t listen to the sore losers, girl.

  7. I’m glad she said she could live with herself better if she took Paul. That’s what upset me when everyone kept saying Paul should have taken James. NO! Why take an unworthy opponent? I wanted Paul to win…he didn’t. At least Nic felt the same way; she didn’t take James because…WHY? Where’s the honor in winning against James?
    I still (and forever will) think that Paul played the better game and deserved the win. I fail to see any ‘strategy’ in Nic’s game…but she won and made BBUS history, so congrats for that, Nic.
    Matthew, thanks for a great interview.

    • “she didn’t take James because…WHY?” …Because it wasn’t up to her. She did not win part 3…duh
      I feel as though Paul should’ve taken James it would have been a sure win and that’s what it’s all about winning $500.000. By taking Nicole he threw the win away. very foolish move IMO. Other than that major mistake Paul played a great game!

  8. So there we have it. No more conspiracy stories about James and Nicole having a F2 deal outside the house. She would have taken Paul and James didn’t vote for her. The End.

    • Aside from the conspiracy, Paul told me that Nicole did warn him after Feeds went down that she was considering taking James, something he said she should do if she didn’t want to risk losing his vote if she won R3 and evicted him.

    • Also, if there was any kind of deal between Nicole and James, why did James vote for Paul to win?! Makes zero sense.

  9. Did you guys see Michelle cry at the Dr Will panel? She was bawling because Corey was staring at her and his facial expression was he was laughing! That was just hysterical especially after she cried! Even at the very end, she was full of drama! She never answered the question if she had anything against Nicole which she did! lol

    • I think that scene was edited for time and that’s why it didn’t make any sense. I suspect Will and Corey were trying to help Michelle understand that Nicole’s decision to evict her was not personal but strategic.

  10. Wasn’t it great every time Davonne said time to win the veto, or hoh and she never won a single thing? Then when she had a chance to get back in the house she quit like 10 minutes in. What a loser.

  11. I wish they had run a montage of all the times Paulie cried like a school girl. His family said he was portrayed unfairly. Funny they didn’t say that about his brother.

    • Wow Paulie, dude was an ass. I hope karma gets him. His antics are going to be hard to live down.

  12. Nic is delusional if she thinks Corey played a great social game and would have won. He would not have beat Paul or James of her. I know she’s smitten or whatever but really, who besides Paulie would have loved Corey’s game?

  13. Is it true that Nicole already knew Paulie outside of the house because she’s friends with Cody and his family?

  14. @anja_r:disqus

    Anja and others, disregard all those negative commentators who fail to acknowledge that Paul not only played the better game but also the best game this season on BB18.

    You are absolutely right when you wrote:
    . Only 1 vote and it would have gone the other way if that person wasn’t the 1st juror who (a) had no idea who was really making the game moves in the house because he was that good, and (b) voted for someone who hid behind a guy 75% of the season (Corey).

    An overwhelming majority of folks here believe Paul deserved to win.

    Great interview @gtprods:disqus
    Nicole sidetracking your questions about saying things just to provide production footage and $10k bribe only confirms what she did. Production has been favoring Nicole from the beginning. Those diary room sessions convincing Natalie and others to keep Nicole off the block greatly benefited her and ultimately helped her win the $500k prize.

    But Paul said it best when he said he played the game and didn’t change who he was. WE, yes WE, respect him for that.

    And we thank you, Matthew, for making superfans out of all of us!

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