Rachel Reilly made her reality TV debut on “Big Brother 12,” where she met her now-husband Brendon Villegas and uttered iconic phrases such as “floaters, you better grab a life vest” and “Brendon, I am Vegas.”
She returned to the “Big Brother” house the following year for season 13, where she took home the $500,000 grand prize.
Since then, Reilly has become reality TV royalty, appearing on multiple seasons of “The Amazing Race” and one season of “Celebrity Fear Factor.”
In 2012, CBS News reported that she tied the knot with Villegas in a downtown Los Angeles ceremony. The former “Big Brother” winner is now a mom to two kids. A six-year-old daughter Adora, and a 1-year-old son Adler. She also currently stars in “Better with the Brenchels” on bspoke TV.
Heavy had a chance to talk with Reilly about her upcoming show “Snake in the Grass” and all things “Big Brother 24.”
Here’s what you need to know.
Rachel Reilly Talks ‘Snake in the Grass’
Reilly is set to appear in a new reality competition show called “Snake in the Grass,”which premieres August 1 on USA network. The show, created by the producers of “Naked and Afraid,” is hosted by American radio personality Bobby Bones and is a cross between “Survivor” and the ABC series “The Mole.”
Each episode of “Snake in the Grass” drops four players into the jungles of Costa Rica for 36 hours. While in the jungle, the four players must compete in various challenges in hopes of winning the $100,000 prize.
But wait, there’s more. One of the four players is actually the Snake, whose entire goal is to sabotage the game. The Snake may try to sabotage challenges in order to prevent the other players from uncovering a clue about their identity.
Reilly appears in one episode of “Snake in the Grass” alongside “Big Brother” fan-favorite Janelle Pierzina and “Survivor” legends Cirie Fields and Stephenie LaGrossa Kendrick.
Reilly spoke to Heavy about how she got involved with the show.
“[The Producers] reached out to me, and they were like ‘hey, we’re doing this really cool, “Survivor” type show. It’s [going to] be filmed in Costa Rica. It’s like [nothing you’ve ever done] on any of your other shows,'” she said.
“And I’ve done “Fear Factor,” so I was thinking, ‘wait, this is more intense than “Fear Factor.'”
Rachel Reilly on Working Alongside Reality TV Legends
In our interview, Reilly spoke about her experience filming alongside reality TV legends Janelle Pierzina, Stephenie LaGrossa Kendrick, and Cirie Fields. The former houseguest revealed she had no idea they would be on the show.
“I’m telling you, I arrived on the island and I saw Cirie, Stephenie, and Janelle. I was just like, ‘oh my god,'” she said.
Reilly told Heavy that she didn’t talk to her fellow competitors before arriving in Costa Rica.
“We didn’t talk. We had no idea that we were all doing this,” she said. “I know them from other things but you know we’re all like hush hush. [The producers] told us to be super secretive about it, so I had no idea they were [going to] be there.”
Reilly gave props to her fellow “Snake in the Grass” competitors and praised their work on previous competition shows.
“[Cirie] is so powerful and like she is a force. She is a “Survivor” legend,” she said. “And Stephenie, she lived on an island by herself. She was the Sole Survivor on her tribe.”
“And then, of course, I’m a huge fan of Janelle,” she continued. “I consider Janelle a friend, but I’ve never gotten to actually play a game with her, so I was just like blown away that Janelle was there.”
Rachel Reilly Says ‘Snake in the Grass’ Is Different From ‘Big Brother’
Reilly said her experience filming “Snake in the Grass” was unlike her previous experiences on reality TV.
“This show is so different than “Big Brother,'” she told Heavy.
Reilly then explained how the role of the Snake is different from the Saboteur in “Big Brother 12.”
The Saboteur was one of the many twists in “Big Brother 12” The role of the Saboteur was to wreak havoc on the house by causing paranoia and physically sabotaging the game.
“I played “Big Brother” on a season with a Saboteur, but with “Snake in the Grass,” it’s so different because one of us is a Snake. And it could be any of the four of us, whereas on “Big Brother” with the Saboteur, it was a little different,” she said.
Reilly explained that on “Big Brother,” the Saboteur was just one component of the game amongst many other factors, but with “Snake in the Grass,” the Snake is a crucial part of the game.
“[On “Big Brother”], you’re competing for power, you’re playing for HOHs, and Vetos, and all these different things,” she said.
“It’s so different because the Saboteur on “Big Brother,” it was just like we still had to play the game,” she continued. “The Saboteur wasn’t necessarily trying to throw competitions because there was [no] incentive for that, whereas on “Snake in the Grass,” [there is an incentive]. The Snake wants to win.”
Rachel Reilly on ‘Snake in the Grass’ Living Conditions
Reilly spoke about the living conditions on the show, telling Heavy that her previous reality TV experience did not prepare her for life in the Costa Rica jungles.
“I don’t think my experience on other shows [could’ve] prepared me for this show at all,” she said. Reilly then detailed the less-than-glamorous living conditions of the show.
“We camp out. We don’t have tents. We don’t have the modern conveniences,” she said. “I don’t think we even had sleeping bags. We might have had a mat to sleep on, but we slept in [the] open air.”
“I’m not even kidding you,” she continued. “[There are] crocodiles, [there are] jellyfish, [there are] sharks… [There are] snakes literally in the grass.”
Rachel Reilly Talks ‘Big Brother 24’
In our interview, Reilly also shared her thoughts on season 24 of “Big Brother.”
The season 13 winner revealed she is a fan of Taylor Hale, the beauty queen from Michigan.
“I really like Taylor,” she said. “I like her because she’s a huge Janelle fan. She’s also a fan of Danielle Reyes.” Reilly said she is also a fan of the current Head of Household, Daniel Durston.
“I really like the HOH,” she said. “He’s the Elvis performer, he’s from Vegas, so I’m excited to see what he does this week.”
Reilly revealed she is not a fan of Joe “Pooch” Pucciarelli, the Backstage Boss.
“Pooch was not my favorite because I know he had to play strategically by nominating the girls, but like, come on, you nominated three females,” she said.
The former winner then shared her thoughts on the first twist of the season, the Backstage Boss.
“I’m not a fan of that twist,” she said. “I don’t like that Pooch got so much power from doing nothing. I think he should have had to win a competition or something…He literally was handed the backstage boss. It wasn’t like he [had] won a competition.”
Reilly also spoke about her hopes for the season, telling Heavy she really hopes to see an all-girls alliance make it to the end.
“I’m really hoping to see a female alliance. I would love to see the girls stick together,” she said.
“If they can work together and make it to the end, [kind of] like how The Cookout did [on season 23]. I would love to see that happen,” she continued.
Reilly told us she is rooting for a strong competitor to win the game.
“I would really love to see a strong competitor make it to the end. Someone that’s playing the game the whole time,” she said. “I get disappointed, personally, when I see floaters, obviously. People that are just hanging out.”
“I would [also] love a shift in power every week,” she continued. “I think as fans, we [want to] see the back and forth where it’s not just one giant alliance carrying it through the season.”
Would Rachel Reilly Play ‘Big Bother’ Again?
In our interview, Reilly revealed if she would play “Big Brother” again. The reality TV star said she would love to play the game again but doesn’t know if she could do the full three months.
“I would love to play “Big Brother” again. I just don’t know how realistic it is because now I’m a mom of two,” she said.
“But if they ever did a shortened season of “Big Brother,” where it was like three weeks, I would a a thousand percent be there,” she continued.
Reilly proposed a shortened season featuring “Big Brother” legends.
“Throw winners in, throw legends in. I think it could be really epic,” she said. “I know Danielle Reyes would be there. I know Janelle would be there…Jun Song has said that she would be there.”
“Snake in the Grass” premieres August 1 at 11 p.m. on USA Network. You can watch “Better with the Brechels” at 9:30/8:30c on bspoke tv.