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 I liked How I played The Game

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PostSubject: I liked How I played The Game   Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:56 pm

'I liked how I played the game'
Metairie mom has no regrets about her 'Big Brother' experience

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dave Walker

Released from the "Big Brother 10" jury sequestration hut after Tuesday's finale -- during which weasely schoolteacher Dan Gheesling won the CBS reality-TV series' $500,000 prize -- Metairie mom Renny Martyn was immediately headed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for several days of decompression, then home to the Crescent City.

"It was much more difficult than I could ever imagine," Martyn said by phone from Los Angeles. "When you're sitting on the sofa watching it from home, it looks like, 'Oh, why didn't this one do this, why did this one do that?' It's very difficult, and it's really a psych game, too. Maneuvering through all those big personalities was difficult to do, really. It was much more difficult than I expected.

"It's hard to be in that house with so many people, and not being exposed to the outside world. No TV, no radio, no nothing," said Martyn, who didn't learn about Gustav or Ike until after the finale. "So all you have to think about is your game, and your loved ones back home. I did the best that I could."

Much better than anticipated, in fact, based on the first-impression comments of the opposition.

"Oh my God. She's absolutely crazy," said one during the first episode.

"She's so annoying," said another. " 'What were the dinosaurs like when you were a kid?' "

Local viewer reaction wasn't much better. Wrote one nola.com blog commenter: "Note to Vic: We found Nat'ly! She's on BB10!!!"

Martyn turned 54 in the camera-laden, Los Angeles TV set dressed as a "house," into which the "BB: 10" players were sealed in mid-July for several weeks of backstabbing and weaseling en route to big money.

Gheesling ultimately proved best at backstabbing and weaseling -- evidenced by his pocketing of a check for 500 Large -- but it was Martyn's finale question to eventual runner-up Memphis Garrett that exposed Garrett as an even bigger weasel than Gheesling.

"Could you name one thing that you did for me in the game?" asked Martyn of Garrett.

Who, stammering uncomfortably, could not.

When time came to register her vote between the two, Martyn delivered a dramatic speech about the impact of "little things" inside the fake house -- "a 'Thank you,' a 'Good morning,' a 'How are you?' " -- that put players in touch with their competitors' "human spirit."

Her big finish: "That's why I'm voting for this person TONIGHT!"

Garrett got not a single vote from the booted-player jury pool that picked the winner.

Interviewed by Gretchen Massey for www.cbs.com during the post-finale party, Martyn said her question to Garrett was intended to influence the other jurors.

"When I presented the question to Memphis, I knew what his answer would be," Martyn said then. "So actually it made him look not too good. I might (have) made an impact on the other people, because it made them think what (he did) for them in the game."

Martyn's turnaround from her first-impressions splash -- which prompted her housemates to put her up for eviction immediately -- was remarkable.

She eventually survived to the game's final five, but early on it was obvious that nobody in this "Big Brother" cast had ever encountered a brassy New Orleans mama before.

A former New Orleans Saints dancer who ran her own beauty salon, Martyn appeared as equally fearless of straight talk and confrontation as she is of a good time.

"I just figured I would take another route," Martyn said of her strategic adjustment, for which she fashioned herself the role of maternal figure to some of the game's younger players. "It seems like I didn't really make a lot of enemies, and that kind of worked against me in the end, because nobody said they wanted to bring me to the end because they wouldn't win against me.

"The true Renny was coming out, and I didn't have to really call a lot of people out. When I was caring, that was genuine, but I was still playing the game, though.

"I liked how I played the game. Like in the game of life, I felt that when compassion was needed, I used it -- not 'used' it, that's how I really felt.

"I was quite proud of how I ended up in the game, after being up on the block for the first two days."

Martyn said her fellow players said they expected her to win the viewer-voted "America's Favorite" prize based on her flamboyant personality. (She didn't -- Hooters waitress Keesha Smith did.)

After all, Martyn did pack 16 hats, five wigs and several boas for her stretch in the "Big Brother" house.

"They used to tell me, 'Renny, have you been on stage before? Have you done improv?' and all this," she said. "Obviously they thought I was quite entertaining in the house. That was me having a good time, and that's who I really am.

"Someone here in Hollywood said, 'You ought to get your own sitcom.' "

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