Sweet Southern nurse Danielle Murphree, who finished third on “Big Brother 14” last night, charmed and confounded fans all season. She excelled in many of the competitions and built a firm romantic foundation in the house with fellow competitor Shane Meaney. But Danielle’s blind loyalty to her ruthless coach (turned player) Dan Gheesling proved to be her undoing as she lost after taking his advice one too many times. She walked away empty-handed as Dan was the $50,000 runner up and Ian Terry the $500,000 winner. Many viewers couldn’t believe how easily the pretty nurse was manipulated by Dan and took to Twitter to vent about her wide-eyed naivety.
While Danielle lost the CBS show, however, she may have gained a boyfriend in handsome house flipper Shane just by playing “Big Brother.” And she was happy to tell XfinityTV.com in an exclusive interview this morning how it felt to finish third, her thoughts on Dan and Ian, hopes for a long-distance romance with Shane, and her reality show future.
How do you feel about last night’s outcome?
It feels bittersweet. It felt great to have made it to the top three. I’m flattered but it sucks being so close and then being evicted, so it’s good and bad.
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Are you kicking yourself for trusting Dan?
Yes. Absolutely. I do have regrets. I guess maybe you could say I was naïve but I wanted to trust him. I thought he did play a good clean game for the most part. I thought he was a pretty good guy. I didn’t see the whole wolf in sheep’s clothing thing and I definitely found out a lot [after leaving] the house that I’m livid about. I think Dan was playing very selfishly and only for himself because he didn’t care who he had to hurt or ruin their game to get what he wanted. I don’t think he cared about me at all.
Why did you vote for him to win over Ian? Dan only got one vote from the jury—from you!
I didn’t have the feelings that he didn’t care until today. I have new information. The only reason I voted for him to win is because I gave him my word. I had been loyal to him up to that point and so I just wanted people to know that I was trying to play loyally. Now after learning all this information, if Dan had won, I’d be sick!
Looking back, what should you have done differently?
The first time Dan pulled his antics on me in week two should have been my, “hey, you need to get out of this” [moment]. So when the coaches re-set on week four, I would have gotten Dan out instead of Janelle [Pierzina].
How do you feel about Ian?
I think Ian’s a sweetheart. I’m definitely glad that he won it instead of Dan. I‘m happy for him.
Yet you yelled at him at the end, threatening to sway the jury against him unless he picked you for the final two instead of Dan. Thoughts?
I was frustrated. I’ve apologized several times to him for it. I couldn’t believe they’d had a final two deal the whole time behind my back — and he knew Dan was my previous coach. It felt like nobody cared and I was there just to be basically thrown away.
On a happier, note, how did it feel to be reunited with Shane last night?
Oh, my gosh! It felt so good! I missed him so much. I was so glad to see him.
That was quite a hug when you joined him on the jury!
Oh, yeah. [Pause] I can’t talk about Shane without blushing a little.
So this isn’t just a showmance, right?
No way. This was not just a showmance. My feelings for Shane were real the entire time. They still are.
What do you like best about him?
I like that he’s so, so loving and affectionate. He cares. Every time he’s been there for me. Yeah, he’d pick on me a lot and stuff but when I needed him he was always there and he never wronged me.
He had doubts about you, though, thinking you knew Dan would vote him out—
I feel so upset that he thought that I knew because had I known Dan would get rid of Shane, I wouldn’t have used the veto on Dan. There’s no way I would have put him in harm’s way so I feel terrible.
Were you able to reassure him last night?
Yes. I told him over and over again that I did not know. I reassured him all night that I had no idea and he believed me.
Will you guys date now that the show is over?
I think it’s a very, very strong possibility. I’m not going to let the distance be an issue. I’ll always, always have feelings for Shane and even if it doesn’t work out he’ll always be one of my dearest friends. But I hope it does work out! [Laughs]
What had you planned to do with the $500,000 had you won?
It’s a bummer. I would have definitely given a lot of money to my church, get my mom a new car, use it for schooling and save the rest of it.
But you beat out lots of your fellow houseguests. What about being a nurse helped you in the game?
Being able to think quickly in stressful situations definitely helped, especially with the puzzles and having to memorize patient information was a definite advantage.
Did you feel like you were going a little crazy towards the end?
I was definitely getting stir crazy, especially when I found out about Dan and Ian and I was broken hearted and missed Shane, and I just wanted to get out of there! I was ready for it to be over.
How happy are you to leave the 24/7 cameras?
It feels amazing! It feels really nice to know I’m not getting ridiculed by the entire world every time I walk around. I feel like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders and I can breathe. I’m really enjoying my freedom.
What did you learn about yourself by doing “Big Brother”?
That I can take a lot more than I thought I could and that I should go with my gut feeling. I had a gut feeling about Dan in the beginning but he kind of talked to me, said he had never hurt me in this game and [at that point] he hadn’t. I should have gone with my gut instinct [instead].
What will you do next?
I’m going to go home, catch up with my friends and family that I’ve missed the most, and see my apartment I haven’t even been in yet. I’ll go back [to nursing] in two weeks once everything has calmed down. It’s still a little overwhelming for me right now [but] I love my job.
Would you do another reality show, though?
Oooh! I would possibly do Amazing Race. I don’t know if I could do Survivor because I feel like that’s very similar to “Big Brother.” Anything where I didn’t think that I was recorded 24 hours a day, I’d consider. I’m over the cameras!