One Celebrity Big Brother Surprise That Helped Marissa Jaret Winokour Win Out

Marissa posing with Julie Chen

While it was released over a week ago, fans of CBS' Big Brother are still reeling from the wild conclusion of Celebrity Big Brother. This was the first time that a celebrity version aired in the US, and millions tuned into the show and live feeds to watch characters like Ross Matthews, Omarosa Manigault, and Marissa Jaret Winokur. The latter ended up winning the competition, after playing the strongest social game of the season. I recently spoke with the Tony Award winning actress and CBB winner, where she revealed one aspect of the competition that helped her win: the eviction schedule. Namely, how few eliminations occurred in the first few weeks.

It made my game better, because I'm not a threat, I'm going in slow. People are going to love having me around. I'm not going to be on anyone's radar for a while.

Because Celebrity Big Brother took so long to eliminate its housemates, Marissa Jaret Winokur was able to fly under the radar for an even longer period of time. That, combined with her personality and skills at connecting with housemates, ultimately helped Winokur get deep into the game, and eventually pull out a win.

Marissa Jaret Winokur's game is in stark juxtaposition with players like Ross Matthews and Shannon Elizabeth. Those two played very strategically and with a more cut throat style, which ultimately put targets on each of their backs. Meanwhile Marissa could be her charming self, while also developing strong bonds and alliances with the other housemates, especially the women

In our conversation about her win, Marissa Jaret Winokur cited Shannon Elizabeth as a victim of the eviction schedule. The American Pie actress hit the ground running on day 1, presumably in order to save herself from an early eviction. But this backfired when the eliminations never came, making Elizabeth seem way too aggressive. As Winokur told me,

In the defense of Shannon, who was playing so fast and hard, is that we didn't know when the evictions were going to be. So we all thought people were going to be voted out in the first couple days. If anybody knew on Day 24 of 27 days, before the double eviction, there were still 7 people in the house. So Shannon didn't have to play so hard so fast. We thought we were going home immediately.

That, ladies and gents, is why the folks at CBS are so good at their jobs. Shows like Big Brother, Survivor, and Amazing Race are constantly throwing their contestants for a loop with twists. And with all eyes on the celebs as they evicted each other from The House, it makes sense that the network would want to utilize the cast for as long as possible.

You can catch up on Marissa Jaret Winokur's win on CBS All Access and On Demand. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch. Plus, check our Amazon premiere list and superhero premiere list to make sure you don't miss a single episode.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.