Don't believe everything you hear in the Big Brother house.
Red Utley learned that lesson the hard way when he trusted Jared Fields, who told him that his biggest ally, Cameron Hardin, had turned on him. It wasn't true, but Red bought the lie and severed the alliance with his fellow Chiller.
Ironically, it was actually Red's comment a few days later that he wanted to hash it out with both Cameron and Jared that may have gotten him voted out. When he mentioned wanting to get to the bottom of the situation, the house tides turned and Red was evicted 10-2 instead of Jag Bains.
How surprised was Red by his elimination? Why did he trust Jared and not Cameron? And how does he feel about not making the jury? We caught up with the self-proclaimed Chillbilly the morning after his ouster to ask all that and more. You can watch the interview above or read it below.
CBS Red Utley on 'Big Brother' season 25
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Going into the vote, how confident were you that you would stay?
RED UTLEY: Going into the vote? Honestly, I wasn't very confident at all. I'd heard some murmurs around the house, I'd seen some weird behavior. You always get that little bit of an inclination that something might be going on, but I did have a lot of people telling me that I was good. So I'd say I was about 60–40: 60 that I'd stay, 40 that I'd leave. So it was a bit of surprise.
Who did you think, like, Okay, I've got these votes and these votes I'm not sure about?
Well, honestly, the only two votes that I knew for sure was Bowie Jane and I thought Cirie, but apparently not.
It's interesting you say "apparently not." You've only been out of the house about 12 hours at this point, so I don't even know what you know. What have you heard in terms of what really happened in that conversation between Cameron and Jared?
Well, I'm getting the gist [that] it probably wasn't exactly how I thought it was now due to my honesty and loyalty. When I tell somebody that I'm going to do something or I ain't going to do something, I stick to it. I hadn't got down to having that conversation with Cam yet. Honestly, I believe maybe I should have, but at the end of the day you can't compromise your morals and your integrity. So I don't think I'd change anything, but I'll be giving him a big sorry at some point.
CBS Cameron Hardin and Red Utley on 'Big Brother' season 25
Why did you not confirm with Cameron what Jared said he said instead of just taking his word for it?
I didn't want to act emotionally in the moment. Also, I'd heard from other people that this was going on, too, so it seemed to be corroborated by a couple other people in the house — who were obviously working with Jared. And because I had given my word to not say anything about it — because there was a plan to backdoor Cam — and if he had said the things that he had said, then I was on board with that plan.
You said you thought you had Cirie's vote to stay. It seems like a lot of people think they're very, very, very close with Cirie. What is she doing in the house to make you and everyone feel so comfortable around her?
I think she's just really calm, collected, and she's been in these scenarios before, so I think practice makes perfect. With Survivor, it may have trained her up a bit to make people feel comfortable about it.
You've had some time to digest the news that Cirie and Jared are mother and son. What, if anything, would you have done differently in the game had you known that piece of information?
I believe I'd have definitely been more careful with my information. When you got people that are that close, you really got to be more leery of their relationship because of their communication skills. I mean, they've been together their whole life, so they know each other really, really well and would have each other's best interests in mind. So I think they would've definitely been more of a target early on, and I would've been more leery about the things that I was hearing from either of them.
CBS Red Utley and Jag Bains on 'Big Brother' season 25
Once you put the Chillers on ice, as it were, who were you looking at as your new number 1 or the person you hoped you could make that connection with? You had such a strong bond with Cameron, you thought that was severed. Were you trying to find someone else to replicate that?
I don't know about replicate. The thing that me and Cam had was based on basically where we're from and the kind of upbringing that we had and such like that. The fact that we're both girl dads, dads in general. But there were other people that I felt like I was close to. I found out Matt had an alliance with Jag from day 1, but I did feel really close and comfortable with him. And Bowie Jane was just absolutely amazing in stepping up into that position even though I didn't really pursue that as much. I think she's a really loyal individual and there's a lot to be said for her character.
It's interesting that Bowie Jane did vote for you to stay, as did Cameron. You said the two votes you thought you were going to get were Bowie, Jane, and Cirie. So you thought Cameron was going to vote you out?
I honestly thought that he would go with the house on that if that was the case. Those were the only two that I felt sure about, because I had felt betrayed by him, so I didn't want to include him as a vote and then feel betrayed again. So it was kind of, although I had an inclination that he would vote to keep me, it wasn't something that I was willing to verbalize just out of... I felt like I'd already been burnt once.
Were you frustrated you didn't win more competitions?
I mean these games are designed that anybody can take 'em. A lot of 'em were luck. Well, there's a certain element of luck. I think the ones that I did really well on are ones that I could get hands on that I can observe, and then there were some that it's one little thing that may change the whole course.
Like the Odd Couples comp for HOH, that's my kind of thing. I'm very visually responsive and quick with that sort of thing. But the buttons on our side were inverted. So when you look at the screen, you may see the answer really quick, but then you have to stop a tick and a think, Well, now I got to hit the button in the opposite direction. And that kind of done me in there. Every competition that I went in, I went in with the same mentality: I'm giving 125%.
CBS Red Utley on 'Big Brother' season 25
Who's playing the best game in the house? Not who you want to win, but from what you saw in there — and obviously you only know certain things at this point — who do you think is playing the best game?
I think right now Cirie is playing an awesome game, if she was able to get that over on me. I mean, I felt really close and connected with her, and I think a lot of people do. She's set up to go far, but I also think Cam is a competitor. I mean, he is smart. He knows a lot about the game. A lot of people, I don't think they look at him as much of a super fan as some of the others like Cory and America and Izzy. But I think he's got a good chance if he can keep winning to stay in there. If he can keep doing that long enough to where he can build maybe an alliance and somehow recover from the deceit from the other side, then I think he could do really well.
Big Brother is an experience with a lot of extreme highs and lows. As you look back on it, what were your highest and lowest moments in the house?
Obviously, any time you win something and get that dopamine and adrenaline rush. So winning the Artifact Stack was definitely one of those high moments. Also, my birthday. I mean, even though some of the people that were in that weren't necessarily on my side, it was nice to see the whole house come together just for me in that moment. It was also hilarious. That was an absolute high point. I've never laughed so hard in my life.
As far as low points go, I think feeling like I was betrayed by somebody I considered a very, very close friend was the lowest point. It's one of those situations where you can build relationships way faster than you would in the outside world because those are the only people you got. It's an interesting little fishbowl that we're in there and it's odd how it affects the way that you develop relationships. I felt really close to Cam really quickly, and that hurt when that got disrupted.
Sonja Flemming/CBS Red Utley from 'Big Brother 25'
If you could go back and change one thing about your game that maybe would have led you down a different path, what would it be?
With the information that I had in the game, I don't think I'd change anything. I was playing the game that I felt like I should play — one of loyalty and honesty and integrity. Going back, would I lie and cheat and manipulate? I don't think so. I feel pretty good about the game that I played. Even though I was played a little in the game, or quite a bit, I don't think I'd go back and change anything really.
Does it hurt to not make the jury or is it nice that you have your freedom and can go home and not be stuck in the jury house?
It's a bittersweet moment, to be honest with you. The thing I've struggled with most has been missing my family. So I was thinking if I wanted to go out, which I didn't really want to go out ever, but if I was going to go out, I'd rather I went out pre-jury as opposed to going out and then having to sit for an extended period of time without seeing my family while not playing the game. I think that would've been tough. It's tough to say, but I think the time I was supposed to go out was the time that I went out, so I'm tickled with it.
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