Another banishment, another fail for the faithful.
In Thursday’s episode of The Traitors, Big Brother legend Janelle Pierzina found herself in the hot seat after her competitive gameplay raised some of her fellow faithfuls’ suspicions. But when she was backed into a corner, she let loose, telling the group that she thought Dan, Sandra and CT were traitors. Ultimately, when he was forced to say a name, her taciturn former BB castmate Dan turned on her and she was banished from the roundtable without sniffing out a single traitor. (Read a full recap here.)
More from TVLine
Below, Janelle talks to TVLine about her explosive fight with Sandra, how she knew Dan was a traitor all along and the one move she should’ve pulled to try and stay in the game.
TVLINE | Not many people seemed to know about Dan’s Big Brother history. When MJ, Larsa and others first brought him up as an option, did you ever slip them any info about Dan’s reality TV prowess?
JANELLE PIERZINA | No, definitely not, especially in the beginning. His name was out there a lot in the beginning, but I knew that Dan was a traitor and I was like, “I’d rather work with Dan in the early, beginning of the game because I don’t want to get murdered. And if I’ve got his back in the beginning, he’s not going to murder me in the turret.” So when I actually heard his name, I let him know that his name was out there.
TVLINE | I saw one of Dan’s Instagram Lives and he said he made a mistake by distancing himself from you because he didn’t want anyone to target you as a pair. What’s your response to that? Was that something you both discussed together?
We didn’t pregame, but it was absolutely the reason why we stopped working together in the castle. I worked with Dan early on, I was filling him in on who was coming after him and what was being said because everyone was targeting him. I actually went to a banishment table and even said Dan is not a traitor. Dan is acting like Dan. Dan is a faithful. I think where it fell apart for him and I was the Ekin-Su poisoning. I know that he didn’t do it now watching the show, but knowing he was a traitor and having Ekin-Su poisoned, I blamed Dan and I couldn’t tell him that. But it was a major turning point for us. In my mind, I was like, “Why would he set me up for murder?” Because everyone was saying, “Oh, you would poison Ekin-Su.” So in my mind, I was like, “Why would Dan do this to me?”
At that point, I knew that we needed to take a traitor out because of the numbers. Everyone that I was working with thought there were probably four traitors, just from numbers alone and not knowing that Kate was coming back into the castle. Our alliance thought it was imperative. If we missed this banishment and didn’t get a traitor and missed the next one, and having people like MJ and Kevin still in the castle, we would no longer have the votes to take out a true traitor. They would have power because we knew MJ was with Bravo and Kevin is just floating in the wind, so we were very concerned. I actually went to Dan and begged him. I said, “At this point in the game, you have to give me a name. You have to give me a name! I’m not going to go out and say Dan said it. I need this name so I can tell the people that I’m working with.” He wouldn’t do it. He wouldn’t give me the name. And that’s when I told Trishelle and Bergie, “It’s Dan. We have to go after Dan now.” Peter was already coming after Dan and so was John. But it was unfortunate. I wish he would have just given me a name.
TVLINE | Why do you think you were unable to get more people to vote for Dan?
A lot of it came down to the night before. I think they were still mad about the Ekin-Su thing. I mean, I’d like you to ask them. I don’t know. MJ was adamant that I was a traitor because I poisoned Ekin-Su and because I went for the shield. Kevin thought I was a traitor since Day 1 and I’m not really sure why. Peter was constantly telling me, “You need to work on Kevin. He thinks you’re a traitor.” And I was like, “That’s the dumbest thing ever.” So yeah, I don’t think I could have ever changed MJ or Kevin’s votes because those votes were locked. I guess you’d have to ask MJ who she was speaking to that made her think that I was a traitor. I don’t really know.
TVLINE | You mentioned that you thought the traitors were Dan, CT and Sandra. Why CT and Sandra?
The people I was working with — the faithful alliance with Bergie, Peter, Trishelle and John — we always knew Parvati and Dan were traitors, but we had suspicions on CT as a possible recruit and some people in our alliance thought it was Sandra. Actually, just me and Bergie did, and some people thought it was Phaedra. We never really agreed on that other person, that fourth person, the other woman.
I knew I was going home when I walked into the banishment. I told everyone, “I’m going home tonight. It’s fine. Just keep going after Dan. It doesn’t matter because he’s going to be gone after I leave anyway because I’m going to go out and say I’m a f–king faithful” and they were like, “I know, but this is so traumatizing.” I said, “It’s fine. I’m going to die, but you guys are gonna go on because he would not be dumb enough to target you. If you’re gonna be screaming at him that he’s a traitor and Parvati is a traitor, they won’t target you.”
We did go after Parvati at that banishment as well. I think bringing up CT and Sandra’s names was the end of that fight and at the end of the roundtable. I was basically just throwing it out there to any faithful that they could use it to further their game because I thought maybe they were traitors. I don’t know. Sandra was sticking up for Parvati and Dan so much that it made me even more convinced that she was a traitor. We were fighting over the mission challenge that we did, and we started arguing back and forth. She thought it was absolutely insane that I was convinced that the six people who were playing for shields were faithfuls. And I said, “I know 100% they were.” She was like, “That’s crazy. You think the traitors were in the house doing the bird calls?” I said, “Yes, absolutely.” She was like, “That’s stupid. That’s crazy. We’ve always had your back in this house.” And when she said “we,” I thought she meant her, Dan and Parvati. So I was like, “Are you kidding me? You’re really gonna be that bold at a roundtable? You must be a traitor,” because she was so forceful about it. And that’s when we started fighting even more.
TVLINE | You mentioned going after Parvati. Why weren’t more people gunning for her?
I didn’t even want to bring her name up at that banishment. I actually didn’t until she came after me. I didn’t want to throw her under the bus because I had been working with her. I always blamed Dan the most because I was like, “He’s the one who poisoned Ekin-Su and set this whole thing up.” I was like, “I’m not going to blame Parvati. Her days are numbered anyway, probably.” But she did start to go off on me a little bit. She was saying things like, “You’ve played four times and Cirie played four times and she had such a fire in her to win this game and to play as a traitor. You would be the perfect traitor to do that because you and Cirie, although you guys do play differently, you both have not won this game. You have everything it takes to be a traitor,” and all this stuff. I was like, “You’re a f–king traitor. And Bergie actually went after Parvati the hardest at that banishment table. I think that was shocking to her because she was like, “Where the hell is this coming from?” But yeah, Parvati’s name was out there too. I don’t know why it wasn’t on the show.
TVLINE | Dan’s been saying that he wishes he could’ve played more with you, but he could’ve recruited you! If that had happened, would you have accepted the offer?
Of course, I would have accepted! I think Dan’s biggest error wasn’t even the fact that he didn’t recruit me. It was the fact that he didn’t continue to nurture our friendship throughout this game. You know what I mean? I’m giving you who’s coming after you and I’m in danger and I’m telling you, “Give me a f–king traitor’s name!” I didn’t say it like that, but that’s basically what I was saying. [Laughs] “I want to go after this person and I will target them at the next banishment and I will come for them. I want to go after a different traitor, not you,” but he wasn’t willing to even give me that. And I was like, “F you, goodbye!” [Laughs]
TVLINE | People thought your gameplay was aggressive and selfish, but why weren’t more people going for the shields? That’s crazy to me.
I tried to tell them, “Look, I’m terrified of being murdered because I did X, Y and Z and I’m not going for a shield just to go for a shield and win it. The first one, 100%, I thought I put my name out there when I said, “John, your breathing is awkward. What is wrong with you?” So I was like, “Nope, I’m going for a shield.” The second time I went for a shield, I was last to come into breakfast, so I knew my name was up for murder. And I told that to the cast! “I came into breakfast last. I was up for murder. I’m 1,000% going for a shield,” and they were like, “You don’t know that. No, no, no.” The last shield I went for, I was like, “I will be saying a traitor tonight. I’m going for a shield to protect me if that traitor goes.” They still are not getting it. I don’t know. Maybe they’re just not good at these games.
TVLINE | You said you didn’t think a housewife could be a traitor. How surprised were you when you found out Phaedra was in the mix?
I was freaking shocked because I had a housewife’s theory, OK? It was thought out. I talked to Peter about it all the time and he was like, “No, Janelle, you’re wrong.” But my theory was that, I know for me personally, my hair and makeup and getting dressed and looking good and going into the castle every single day, that takes a lot of work. It’s like two hours to get ready and I was getting up at five in the morning. I was going to bed at like one and I thought the traitors, they’re out doing their murder thing in the turret in full hair and makeup. They’re out there till 3 or 4 am, and they’d have to get up at six, at the latest, to do this. How is a housewife doing full hair and makeup on two hours of sleep? I just couldn’t see it because I personally could not do that. So that for me was why there couldn’t be a housewife. They would literally never sleep.
TVLINE | Is there anything you think you could’ve done differently to try and save yourself?
It’s total hindsight, but the day that I was banished, John and Peter were like, “Phaedra is a traitor.” And I mentioned to Sandra and Dan, I was like, “Oh, I cannot believe there are people in this castle that are going around saying this person is a traitor. I’m so shocked.” They were like, “Who is it, Janelle?” And I was like, “I don’t know, it doesn’t matter, you guys.” If I would have just been more forthcoming with Sandra and Dan, Dan would have been like, “Holy f—k, Peter and John are thinking that Phaedra’s a traitor. Gee, maybe I could give that name to Janelle and they could do something tonight,” because we definitely would have. We were all trying to save me. We knew we didn’t have the votes. But I was like, “It’s fine. Just vote for Dan. We’re gonna go for an actual traitor tonight. You guys should be protected, just don’t burn your votes because there’s no way he and Parvati are going to come after you.” It’d be so obvious because you could pin the murder on what happened the night before, but I don’t think they were playing that smart in the castle anyway.
Best of TVLine