'The Traitors' star Janelle Pierzina thinks fellow 'Big Brother' legend Dan Gheesling is making a big mistake by underestimating these 2 players

  • Janelle Pierzina, of "Big Brother" fame, was the latest banished contestant on "The Traitors" season 2.

  • Janelle spoke to Business Insider about her allies Peter and Bergie.

  • She also broke down why Phaedra is playing the best game out of the traitors.

Reality TV veteran Janelle Pierzina knows how to play the game — and she's not quiet about it.

That's part of the reason for her demise in episode five of Peacock's "The Traitors," when the four-time "Big Brother" alum was banished from Alan Cumming's Scottish castle after drawing suspicion from her fellow Faithfuls in the "Mafia"-style competition series.

But Janelle has no regrets about her aggressive gameplay. Speaking to Business Insider after her elimination, she dished about her closest allies in the castle, who she thinks is playing the best game, and the big mistake fellow "Big Brother" legend Dan Gheesling is making as a Traitor.

On her biggest allies in the game

Sandra Diaz Twine, Peter Weber, John Bercow, Janelle Pierzina, Maksim Chmerkovskiy on episode 1 of "The Traitors" season 2
Janelle and Peter bonded over John's asthma in the first episode.Euan Cherry/Peacock

Pilot Pete from "The Bachelor" ended up being one of your closest allies on the show. Many viewers and "Bachelor" fans were surprised at how good he's been at this game. Were you?

I had never watched Peter's season. I had stopped watching "The Bachelor," so I was not in Bachelor Nation anymore. But Pete and I started working together right away because of the thing with John's breathing problem.

Peter had heard the breathing too and we were both so freaking scared. We were like, "We're going to be murdered." Then in that instant, we knew that we could trust one another because if we're freaking out over this, we're obviously both Faithfuls. He's like, "Janelle, let's just be super chill about this and let's go for the shields at the mission."

He's someone that plays the game really aggressively, like I do. We're always thinking. Peter and I are not the type of personality to go under the radar. Yes, we were quite wrong about who the other Traitors were in the beginning, but Peter's always thinking.

Another one of your allies, Bergie, really starts speaking up at the very end of the episode where you're banished.

Bergie was, again, someone that I worked with since day one. He had told me he had done his research for the show and he felt like he could trust me based on my previous performance on "Big Brother." He said, "You are someone that I want to work with because you go after the bad guys and I want to do that too."

I didn't want to tell him that I know Dan's a Traitor because Bergie's going to want to burst out of the gate and go after Dan, and I don't want that. I don't want to put us all in danger right away. Let's just play it cool and just get some people out of this castle. But Bergie is a very aggressive player like Peter and I as well.

People underestimate Bergie because of his age and maybe the way he looks, but he's just as fiery. He actually called out Parvati big time. I wish they would've showed it. He was going after Parvati at the round table. He was very vocal and he was always working hard. He's not an under-the-radar kind of Faithful.

On why Dan is making a big mistake in underestimating Peter and Bergie

Peter Weber, Dan Gheesling on episode 3 of "The Traitors" season 2
Dan underestimating Pete and Bergie might be his downfall on "The Traitors."Euan Cherry/Peacock

You said on Johnny Bananas' podcast that you clocked Dan Gheesling and Parvati Shallow as Traitors right away, but opted not to take them out because you wanted to play the game a little bit longer. Do you have any regrets about that at all?

No, that was absolutely the right move. Me taking a shot at Dan or Parvati right away would've ensured that I would be out of the game even quicker. I would've been absolutely up for murder. I had to basically dance with the devil a little bit for as long as I could.

I was always hoping Dan would give me a name, even the first initial of the other Traitors, because I was so off. I was like, "Dude, you have to give me a name. I need a name." He was like, "I can't do it. I'm not ready. I'm not ready." I was so ready. I wanted Dan to give me a name. I wanted to make a move. Let's do something and he just wouldn't do it. He was like, "No, no, not doing it."

How do you feel about Parvati now? How do you feel about the game that she's playing?

I worked with Parvati since the very beginning. I don't know if they're going to show this, but Trishelle definitely knows that Parvati's a Traitor as well.

Me and Trishelle were like, OK, let's work with her. We were like, "Hey, Parvati, we got your back." We were really drilling into her, "Hey, you probably shouldn't murder us because you're going to need us later in the game."

I think Parvati has great instincts. I think she's an incredible player. I think she's a great Traitor. Is she invisible or is she under the radar? Absolutely not. But I do think she has great instincts. I think she's super stealth when she needs to be. I love that she picked up on Pilot Pete trying to trick the Traitors.

We all thought it was Parvati, Dan, and CT, and then we always disagreed on the fourth Traitor because we were looking for four. Peter was trying to trick the Traitors by giving CT, Dan, and Parvati his little information that we've got the shields, and Parvati immediately picked it up, whereas Dan didn't. For some reason, he's underestimating Pete and Bergie, which he should not.

Bergie really did his research before he did this show. Day one, he was asking me about Dan. He was very suspicious and I was like, "Ooh, no, let's not do that now. You're going to get yourself in trouble, Bergie. Just take it easy." But Dan shouldn't underestimate them at all because they did their homework, and they're a force to be reckoned with.

On not realizing she and Larsa were on bad terms and Deontay's surprise exit

Larsa Pippen on "The Traitors" season 2 episode 4
Larsa was banished from the castle on episode four.Peacock

You and Larsa Pippen got into it a bit post-filming where she suggested that you were jealous of the amount of camera time she had gotten. Have you spoken to her at all since being on the show?

I have not. I didn't know that we were on bad terms. I didn't think she would take it so personally that I went after her. I mean, I thought my reasoning for why she could be a Traitor was completely valid because Alan had even told us at breakfast, the poisoning happened in plain sight and it happened when you were all there.

I was thinking in my mind, the only time that we were all together, eating and drinking, was breakfast, and Larsa did get us to cheers. I was like, this is just basic logic. She can't be mad at me for that. That's all I had to go on. I didn't think she'd take it so personally.

One other thing that viewers were a little bit surprised about was Deontay's abrupt exit. From your perspective in the castle, what was that like when he exited the game pretty suddenly?

It was kind of sad because he's such an emotional guy, but I don't think I'm allowed to speak on that and why it happened.

Did you expect he would leave?

No, I didn't expect for him to leave. I would never have expected that, no.

On why Phaedra is playing the best Traitor game

Phaedra Parks on "The Traitors"
Phaedra Parks is flying under the radar on "The Traitors."Peacock

Was there anyone in the house who had clocked Phaedra as the third Traitor?

Yeah, my boy Peter.

Just him?

Him and John. They were telling me it was Phaedra as the fourth, and I was like, "No, it's Sandra. It's got to be Sandra." They were like, "Trust me, it's Phaedra."

I was blinded by Phaedra, and so was Bergie. We both thought it was Sandra and then we all kind of thought CT was the recruit because Johnny Bananas was murdered and we're like, "What a great recruit."

CT would never kill Johnny Bananas, so we always thought CT was the recruit.

Who do you think is playing the best game at this point?

I could say Sandra's playing the best Faithful game, but at the end of the day, it's Sandra Diaz-Twine. Are you going to take Sandra to the end and believe that she is a Faithful? That to me would be the biggest thing. Sandra has the hardest game to play because of that.

I would say that Trishelle is playing the best game as a Faithful. She's into alliances right now. She's still with the Gamers and she's still with the Faithful to some extent because she's never going to burn that bridge with Parvati. She knows. We had already talked about it. I think she's going to continue to work with Parvati and she'll continue to protect the Faithfuls that she can.

As far as the best Traitor game — hands down, Phaedra. I did not suspect her at all. When her name got brought up to me, I was like, "Oh no, I'm not writing her name down." I was just floored when Peter said it. I was like, "No. Not her." He was like, "Trust me."

Who do you personally want to see win?

Oh, I want Peter, Bergie, Trishelle, or John to win, of course. Those are the people that had my back in the game and they were always on my side. They never wavered.

New episodes of "The Traitors" release Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Peacock and also air Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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