Paul won't take anything away from winner Nicole Franzel's game, despite telling Entertainment Weekly he does think he did "a little bit more."
Many fans are frustrated that Paul took Nicole to the end instead of James Huling, who did next to nothing all summer. But from Paul's perspective, the jury was so "bitter" he doesn't think they would've voted for him over James either. (Plus, Nicole confessed that she would've taken Paul to the end, too.)
"I don't know," he told EW of whether he blew it to not take James to F2. "Honestly, I'm hearing left and right — jury would have done this, jury would have done that. I honestly think that the jury was a little bit bitter and no matter what I would have done, the outcome would have been the same."
Was he shocked by the 5-4 vote in Nicole's favor? "I was, man. I was a little bit shocked. I don't know what more I could have done. The most in-house competition wins of the season, cleaning house towards the end of the game, really winning every single competition, and being up against two people who have played the game before. I thought it was a no-brainer, but clearly the jury was a little bit pissed, let's put it that way."
He thought he could've beat both James and Nicole by either a 7-2 or 6-3 vote. "But seeing as how it ended with Nicole — especially with the enemies she had in the house — I knew James created less enemies in the house and Nicole had a little bit more heat on her, so I thought it would be my best move to take her. But clearly seeing how that turned out, I think it would have been the same way with James. I think there was just a slight distaste for how crazy I was."
He, like many fans, was shocked by Da'Vonne's vote. Nicole, in her own EW interview, was also surprised. "I never thought I would have had [Da'Vonne's] vote no matter who I was sitting next to," Nicole said. "I was very shocked about that and it's just crazy that it actually came down to that."
Also, for the record, Nicole told EW she would've taken Paul to F2:
So here's a point to ponder: If Nicole had won Part 3 and took Paul to the end, because he convinced her to, would that have won him more votes, or was the jury already dead set on voting for Nicole to win at that point? Some folks are assuming that they just wanted the first woman to beat a guy, but self-described feminist Bridgette and the woman Paul called the c-word Michelle voted for Paul to win, and nobody's feminist Paulie voted for Nicole to win. Natalie gave Paul an out with her question about the things he said, but he basically just said he is who he is.
"People will argue this with me, but I would have taken Paul because he convinced me to take him, and my slogan going into the house was to be the best, you have to beat the best. And if I lost to Paul I'd be completely okay with it because I think he played a terrific game.... My heart wanted to take Paul but my head wanted to take James. I just didn't know what to follow, and I definitely would have ended up following my heart at that point. He deserved it way too much to let him go at third."
So be it. You can't discard personal attacks in the house if it upsets the jury. You're playing with the people who are there, not the people you want to be there or the fans at home who get you. Jury management matters. (Natalie told TV Guide that Paul making fun of her behind her back lost him her final two vote.)
After the show, pretty much every Houseguest told TV Guide they think it was a $500,000 mistake to take Nicole over James. Da'Vonne also told Jeff Schroeder that Paul would've won against James, and explained her Nicole vote:
Don't worry about Paul, though, 'cause he's fine with how things turned out. Here's what he told TV Guide:
"I thought that I would win either way, but I don't know now if I would've won next to him either. But I don't regret anything I did. I would do it all again and even more crazy. For once in my life, I am not pissed! I am happy. I came out of this game with the same personality. I'm honestly feeling great. Based on all the interviews [I've done], people expect me to be more sad. Did you not hear me all season? It's a game. I had a good time. I talked a lot of sh--. I had fun. I stayed true to myself. This is who I am and if I wasn't meant to win this game as who I am, then I am not going to change myself to win it. I'll take 50 grand and my pride and walk out the door."
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