[Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for House of Villains Episode 6, "The Gospel Truth."]
Et tu, Omarosa? On Thursday's episode of E!'s House of Villains, Bachelor Nation alum Corinne Olympios learned the hard way that there's no such thing as a true ally among this group of reality TV baddies.
It's a lesson Corinne should have internalized last week, when Omarosa Manigualt Newman put her and Tanisha Thomas (of Bad Girls Club fame) up for elimination after professing her loyalty to them. Both women were shocked by the turn of events, and Corinne left The Stronghold kicking herself for trusting Omarosa, the reigning supervillain of the week, in the first place.
"It was really a lot. I honestly wasn't expecting it," Corinne tells Primetimer of Omarosa's backstab. "I should've been more on my toes and known that's her gameplay — she's a snake and always will be a snake. So, I was disappointed in myself for not expecting that."
To be fair, while top-performing contestants like Omarosa and The Challenge winner Johnny Bananas have experience with strategy-based competitions, Corinne's time on The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise didn't prepare her for a moment like this. "Nothing was ever that really vicious on The Bachelor," she says. "It's different — there's money on the line, so everyone's out for themselves."
With their futures in the house (and the $200,000 cash prize) on the line, Corinne, Tanisha, and Love Is Blind's Shake Chatterjee prepare for the redemption challenge, but they can hardly predict the horror that awaits in the backyard. If previous redemption challenges were relatively harmless (last time, players had to secretly convince the other contestants to complete silly tasks), "The Darkest Hour" takes the opposite approach. The three nominated contestants must enter a pitch-black room and root around boxes filled with snakes, rats, and scorpions in search of tokens that can be used to sabotage competitors; when someone amasses five tokens to their name, they lose the game and remain eligible for banishment.
The contestants immediately realize that Shake, a veterinarian, has a huge advantage in an animal-related challenge. Tanisha even expresses her irritation to a producer, who defends the decision by explaining that his team "has no idea" who's going to be competing in each game when it's conceived and set up. Corinne tells Primetimer that she voiced similar concerns, but the conversation didn't make the final cut. "I don't think anybody really wanted to see mine. It was full-blown hysteria and yelling," she recalls.
Despite her frustration, Corinne does her best to find a few tokens inside the boxes of terror, but she struggles to overcome her fear, and Shake cruises to an easy victory. "It sucked," she says of the experience. "I know myself — I am so scared of things like that, and I've done Fear Factor and it didn't work out well for me. So it was a full meltdown moment."
Corinne's no good, very bad week gets even worse when it comes time for the banishment ceremony. Heading into the evening, The Bachelor villain believes she's secured support from Jonny Fairplay (Survivor), Bobby Lytes (Love & Hip Hop: Miami), and Anfisa Arkhipchenko (90 Day Fiancé), but after voting, host Joel McHale reveals the group unanimously chose to save Tanisha. With that, Corinne is strapped into a chair and flipped backward out of The Stronghold, just as Jax Taylor and Tiffany "New York" Pollard were before her.
Looking back, Corinne believes she should've adopted Tanisha's strategy and bowed out of the redemption challenge altogether. "I thought really trying hard in the challenge would save me, when in hindsight, I should've known that it's better to just stay wimpy and not [be] a threat rather than trying to win," she explains, adding that Tanisha has benefitted from being "a floater" whom the others believe "is not doing anything and doesn't want to do anything."
Interestingly, putting effort into "The Darkest Hour" remains her biggest regret from her time in E!'s House of Villains. "I just wish that I didn't try in that challenge. I was too scared anyways; I should've just stuck to staying under the radar," Corinne says. "I should've known since the beginning that nobody wants somebody who's trying to take their $200K around."
The house may also have been swayed by Tanisha's decision to hire a gospel choir to recreate her iconic pots-and-pans wake-up from Bad Girls Club, which Johnny Bananas describes as "arguably the greatest prank [he's] ever seen" in his TV career. Corinne's last-ditch effort to appeal to her fellow contestants was less successful: "They didn't show in the episode that I made a corn party for everybody — like a street corn bar to win everybody over — but the corn came out bad because I'm just not a good cook. So everybody was like, 'This is gross. This is not helping.' And I'm just like, 'Okay, great.'"
Now that she's been flung through the wall of The Stronghold — an experience she likens to "going on a roller coaster" — Corinne has a bit more perspective on where the game currently stands. "I think Bananas is the biggest threat right now," she reveals. "He is strong, he's a strategic game player, and he knows how to manipulate people." And for the Corinne-Bananas 'shippers out there, Corinne says his vote to save Tanisha doesn't preclude them from having a romantic future, so keep the hope alive.
In fact, their reunion may come sooner rather than later. "You have not seen the last of me," Corinne teases of House of Villains' remaining episodes. "And I do have a major role in the fate of the rest of the cast, once I'm back."
House of Villains airs Thursdays at 10:00 PM ET on E!. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.