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Holly Allen of Big Brother almost threw final HOH competition

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EW She tried to make her case to the jury that she played her own game, but in the end, Holly Allen’s game was deemed not as strong as her showmance partner’s. Holly could not pull out the big win in season 21 of Big Brother, being named runner-up to boyfriend and champion Jackson Michie, but she still outlasted everyone else in the game.

We spoke to Holly soon after she walked out of the house to get her take on if she thought she had a chance to win, if there was any way she would have brought Nicole to the end had she won Head of Household, and what it was like having to sit in the middle of that Jackson and Tommy blow-up. And she stunned us by revealing that she considered staging a break-up with Michie and almost threw part two of the final HOH competition so that Nicole could bring her to the end. Read on for the details! (Also check out our exit interviews with winner Jackson Michie and third place finisher Nicole Anthony.)

SONJA FLEMMING/CBS

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So when you knew it was going to be you and Michie at the end, were you doing any jury math in your head and how did you think you would do?
HOLLY ALLEN: Honestly, I thought it would be pretty close. I didn’t know if Christie and Tommy would give me their votes. Actually, I thought for sure I’d have Sis’ vote, so that threw me for a loop. Christie and Tommy I know are both huge game players, but they were some of my best friends in the house, so I didn’t know how their vote would go. And I was afraid that I hadn’t really shown my cards to them enough before they left because I was so under the radar, so low key, and I should have been telling them more about my strategy in my goodbye messages, and so I kind of goofed. But I thought it would be close. I thought Michie would probably have it, but I wasn’t quite sure.

You and Michie had a rocky showmance at times in the house. A little on again off again at times. What do you think happens to your game if you two don’t get back together?
I contemplated staging a breakup just for strategy, but I think we were better as a duo. And of course, it was rocky. We’re 24/7 locked in a cage together, and we can’t really talk freely about things because we’re being watched, and so we don’t understand each other’s communication styles and everything. But ultimately we were both there for the game, and we knew that we were better together, we were power players, and it was important to stick together on a game level. That helped us keep everything else in check as well.

Let’s talk about how you were this close to being eliminated at the final 5. Michie then makes up the lie about Tommy and you’re saved. What are you feeling as Tommy is sitting there sobbing and yelling and asking how you as such a decent person can allow this to happen?
Dalton, I was gutted. That was one of the hardest moments of the entire summer. Tommy is one of my best friends. I adore him, and I did not want to hurt him, but I didn’t know if this was my lifeline. I also didn’t know if it would do the opposite and send me out the door for sure because I really, at that point, didn’t know where Nicole and Cliff’s heads were.

So I didn’t know if Jackson was saving me, and I didn’t play that kind of a game. I knew he had to pull out any last-ditch effort, but I preached honesty, integrity the whole time and it wouldn’t have been a move that I would have made, but at the same time my life was on the line. So I was just hopeful that it would work, and hurting at the same time just knowing that I was standing by and letting Tommy be hurt.

I just hate that that happened, but ultimately my life was saved. Cliff and Nicole told me that what saved me in the game was my response. They took everything with Michie and Tommy aside and focused on how I pled my case, and they told me that that is the reason that I stayed. That makes me feel better that I kept my own self in the game, and the boys had nothing to do with it, ultimately.

Speaking of the tough times department, how hard was it to have to throw that final 4 competition? And had Michie not been urging you to drop do you think you would have just stayed on and played?
No, I think I would have dropped regardless. I knew that I had to. I just, I actually wanted to stay up there longer because I felt awkward making it so blatantly obvious that I was throwing it. And I figured Nicole would be able to hang on for a little while, so I was going to talk to her and see how long she wanted to stay up there. I didn’t want to drop right away, but I knew in my heart I couldn’t go back on my word after I looked him in the eyes, after I’d shaken our hands. I just knew I couldn’t go back on it. I just wanted to hang up there a little longer. It was fun. I was having fun, and I was so excited to play that comp. It sucked.

I love to play a little game called Big Brother What-If. We know what happened going up against Michie in the finals. How do you think you do in a final two against Nicole?
I would like to think that I would have the votes against Nicole. I love her so much. Oh my gosh, I cannot say enough good things about Nicole, and I’m so blessed that I got to spend this last week with her when it was just the three of us. From a game standpoint, I don’t know if she fully showed all of her cards or if she had any tricks up her sleeve that she would have used in a case against me. But I do think ultimately I had a better game than her in a lot of aspects, but I know a couple of jurors that would have voted for her. And so, yeah, when I won round two of the HOH, I wondered if that was a bad mistake.

It did cross my mind to throw it and let Nicole win because then if Nicole went on to win part three, I thought that she would likely take me to final two over Michie. And in that case, I did think that I’d be able to win against her, so it crossed my mind to throw part two of this final HOH. But it was a gamble. And so I couldn’t, I just, ah, too late in the game to gamble.

Holly, is there any scenario, had you won the final part of that last HOH, that you would have brought Nicole instead of Michie to the end?
That was on my mind. I haven’t slept this week because it was constantly on my mind. And of course, a part of me wanted to on a game level, because going up against Michie, I figured that the result would be him walking out with $500,000, and me not. Of course, it crossed my mind. And I love Nicole and I would’ve loved to have two females standing up there, especially because we’re very fatigued, we are very quiet typically. And I would have loved to sit next to her, but I just don’t think I could have felt morally okay with turning my back on Michie. After everything we’ve been through, it just wouldn’t have sat well with me on a moral standpoint.

You’re out of the house now, the showmance is now over. Now, what about the romance? What’s your future with Michie outside of the house?
We’re seven years apart and have a lot of very, very different interests, and we know that. We’ve acknowledged it since the beginning. The one thing we promised to one another before anything started romantically is that regardless of how it turned out, we would be friends forever. And so as of right now, we have some travels planned, we have some fun things planned, but we’re taking it one day at a time. If romance happens now or maybe later on down the road, great. If it doesn’t, great. I have a best friend.

What’s the first thing you want to do now that you’re out of the house?
Go see my dog, but I don’t know if I can do that yet. I don’t know. There’s so much freedom. I have so many opportunities. I don’t know. Breathe fresh air, see my family again. They were in the audience. But I really just want to see my dog.

Also read our Big Brother exit interviews with winner Jackson Michie and third place finisher Nicole Anthony.

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