Anthony Scaramucci has some big shoes to fill on season two of Big Brother: Celebrity Edition.
Last season, his fellow former Trump administration staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman took the CBS reality show by storm when she started spilling her guts on camera about how “bad” things had gotten in the White House. When fellow contestant Ross Mathews asked her if things were going to be “OK,” she tearfully replied, “No, it’s going to not be OK. It’s not. It’s so bad.”
Of course, it was all one big publicity stunt to promote her tell-all memoir Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House, which was scheduled to hit shelves just a few months later.
Scaramucci’s reasons for joining Kato Kaelin, Dina Lohan and the rest of the C-list Big Brother cast are less clear. He released his own book last fall that failed to make news like Omarosa’s and he was reportedly already worth upwards of $200 million before joining Trump’s White House for a record-setting 11 days.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, executive producer Allison Grodner said that Scaramucci “did it for the experience,” explaining that Omarosa’s “positive experience” helped convince him that it was worth any potential embarrassment or fallout. In a separate interview, Scaramucci’s wife said he’s been “known to blab sometimes when he shouldn’t, but I think he’ll try to rein it in,” adding, “I don’t think he wants to ruffle any more feathers at the White House than he already has.”
The Mooch didn’t show up until nearly halfway through Monday night’s premiere, the last of the 12 contestants to introduce himself to viewers. “My name is Anthony Scaramucci,” he said. “I’m also known as The Mooch.” After talking up his various business credits, he moved on to his main claim to fame.
“I got fired from the White House for using a few curse words. I mean it happened, it is what it is,” he added, before offering a bleep-filled comment about his surroundings. “I still get along with the president. I talk to him probably once or twice a month, but I’m usually the one making the call. I would think that a portion of the public probably dislikes me because of my Trump support, but I had a great time.”
“I haven’t come across one person who doesn’t think I’m nuts for going into the Big Brother house, which is probably the reason why I’m doing it,” Scaramucci said, adding that he hopes to leave as a big a “mark” on Big Brother as he did on the White House.
After entering the house, it seemed as though even he couldn’t quite believe that this is what his life has come to. “Yesterday, I’m in the office managing billions of dollars, but today cameras will be watching me while I take a shower,” he said into the camera. “This is surreal.”
It only became more surreal as Scaramucci teamed up with Lohan—fist-bumping her, he shouted out “Strong Island”—for a competition to see who would become head of household or “HOH,” during which everyone was forced to wear brightly-colored old-timey garb and try to catch champagne in their glasses while riding giant swings for some reason.
“I’m having a horrible time, embarrassing myself with my athletic prowess,” Scaramucci said in his testimonial about the experience. “Being on cable news and answering tough questions, that’s nothing compared to an HOH competition.”
So far, Scaramucci hasn’t blurted out one negative thing about his former boss, let alone the cascade of crazy that his predecessor let spill. Unlike both Trump and Omarosa, Scaramucci was not already a reality TV star when he entered the White House a year and a half ago. After embarrassing himself with this unnecessary stint on Big Brother, there’s no going back now.