Since Manigault Newman — who appeared on The Apprentice with Trump before joining his administration as director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison and was one of the president’s most prominent African American supporters — announced her resignation from the White House in December, she traded Washington for the Big Brother house and was introduced to audiences on Wednesday evening’s premiere.
“I am a reality TV legend. I am most famous for the first season of The Apprentice and then I had an opportunity to work in Washington in the Trump White House. The one thing that I learned from politics is you have to know how to watch your own back — and in some instances, you gotta watch your front too,” she said during her introduction.
“After the very interesting year I’ve had, I’m actually looking forward to being away from … the press. I’m pretty sure that the world doesn’t know that I am a Big Brother superfan. As I enter into the Big Brother house, as challenges come my way, I will seek to overcome each and every one of them,” she continued.
“I’m exceptional, in everything that I do and I aspire to do. I was the queen of the boardroom, now I’ll be the queen of the Big Brother house,” said Manigault Newman, 44. “Celebrities, you better watch your back.”
When it comes to her strategy for competing on CBB, Manigault Newman, who described herself as “fiercely competitive,” said: “I came in with a strategy of building a very strong social game. And so I’ve got to control my competitive nature to build trust.”
After meeting her fellow competitors — Mark McGrath, Shannon Elizabeth, Metta World Peace, Brandi Glanville, James Maslow, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Marissa Janet Winokur, Ariadna Gutierrez, Chuck Liddell and Ross Matthews — Manigault Newman had her defenses up and game face on.
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“Everybody’s enjoying themselves, popping champagne, but here in the Big Brother house, there’s a lot of people who want to stab me in the back — kind of similar to the White House,” she shared. “So believe me, it’s game on.”
During the premiere episode, audiences watched Manigault Newman build an alliance with the women — “Oh my God, am I teaming up with Omarosa?” said Hairspray Broadway star Winokur. “This is totally insane. But I would rather team up with her than have her against me” — and was declared safe for the week ahead of the first Head of Household competition, “Awards Squeezing,” which Shannon Elizabeth won.
Celebrity Big Brother airs on CBS.