Bohemia's Nicole Anthony is back from the California set of "Big Brother" after becoming this all-star season's second casualty.
"I returned home, like, 6 a.m. yesterday," the 25-year-old told Newsday on Sunday. "And yesterday was a lot of crying, some sleeping, some eating, a lot of hugging the family."
Anthony — who finished third in last year's 21st season, winning $25,000 as America's Favorite Houseguest — was eliminated from the competition on Thursday's live show. Head of Household Memphis Garrett had nominated her and David Alexander, her castmate from last season, for eviction, and the tally fell 10-2 against her.
"Memphis got me out, and I guess I should be impressed he thought I was a threat," Anthony said. "I was strong, I did my best. He might be an Alpha, but I'm an Anthony," she added proudly of her family, retired state worker Jerry Anthony, homemaker mom Kathy, and two sisters.
"It's bittersweet," she said of leaving the show, which began airing season 22 on Aug. 5. "I was struggling in the house so it's nice to be in a better mental state with people who know me and I can trust, rather than a house of fear, paranoia and anxiety, though I am a huge, huge fan of the game. I love playing 'Big Brother,' but I don't necessarily like the ruthlessness and the whispering and the cutting throats. Being from Long Island, I'm very straightforward: 'Hey, I'm targeting you, I'm not targeting you, I'm voting you out, I'm not putting you on the block.' "
Her previous season had taken a toll on her, she said. "A lot of things went down that gave me anxiety. I didn't even realize how much emotional baggage I had from last season until it got stirred up again when I went back into the house this time." She has never watched any of 2019's season 21, she said, but will do so now since it "will help me process things and find closure. And watching this season will help me move forward."
Moving forward, said the 2013 Connetquot High School salutatorian, who went on to an education degree from St. Joseph's College in Patchogue, means returning soon to her "Hello, Friends!" podcast with co-host Eric Curto. Nicole Anthony added that she also plans to look into getting contact lenses and the orthodontic treatment Invisalign. And a car. "I was looking into cars prior to COVID [the coronavirus pandemic], then thought, 'I'll just wait. Everyone's home anyway.' "
And despite her early eviction, the show's intense, foxhole nature makes castmates "such a family, and only the people who have experienced it understand the toll it takes on you as a person — and even then, every season is different. The 'Big Brother' community is a whole community, and each season is a family."