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'Big Brother' Winner Tells All

Twenty-seven year old Maggie Ausburn was the captain of Big Brother's "Friend Ship" alliance. And not only did she steer that ship to victory, Ausburn herself took home the show's $500,000 prize.

Like everyone else in this game, she started with a secret partner, her friend Eric Littmann. But when he was evicted she tells The Early Show co-anchor and "Big Brother" host Julie Chen, "It became immediately game-on.

"Everything was turned upside down," Ausburn says. "I had to get intense, get aggressive and start playing. And I really wanted to enjoy my time in the house. The only way to enjoy my time was to meet friends that I would have for the rest of my life, and I did that. I have four other people after Eric left and we formed an amazing alliance. That's why we were called 'The Friend Ship,' because we really cared about each other."

Some of her fellow houseguests wondered, however, if, as the mastermind, she used the "alliance" to further herself at their expense.

"That's really hard to hear, to be totally honest," Ausburn says. "I didn't know I was seen as the mastermind, first of all. But every single person within that friendship thought it was an equal alliance. We thought we were all leaders."

First runner-up Ivette Corredero says, "I think Maggie did watch out for everybody in the group. I do. I hate to be part of that friendship now, to be honest. That sounds horrible to say. I never liked the name 'Friend Ship' anyways. It's hard to play that game and say that you have a friendship going on."

At the end of the game, it looked as if the 25-year-old waitress from Miami Beach had given up after rejecting Janelle Pierzina's proposal to stick together to the end.

"The way I saw it, was it came down to Maggie, April and myself," Corredero explains. "There was going to be no way I was going to win either against Maggie or April, just because of the people who were going to be on the jury. Even if I were against Janelle, throwing the competition or having to now pick me; it wouldn't have worked out."


And so on Sept.13, the Friend Ship sprung a leak. April Lewis was shown the door. After a major blowout, Corredero did her in.

"I was so emotional in the house," Lewis told Chen. "I am not really like that on the outside world. I would definitely have to say that the house has a lot to do with it. Normally, if there is a person that's annoying you, you walk away. But in the house, you can't. I would definitely say that just the stresses that are put on us in there definitely add emotion to it and takes an emotional toll on you."

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Now, $50,000 richer, Corredero plans to give part of the money to her family. As for Ausburn, after 80 days cut off from the rest of the world, she plans to buy lots of gifts.

"I couldn't be here if it were not for the people within my alliance," she says. "I won't forget that."

With the show's record 47 cameras and 76 microphones, the backstabbing and back scratching didn't go unnoticed. Click on the links in red below for strategies and secrets uncovered:

Aug. 26:

One of the biggest rules of the game is that no one from the outside world is allowed inside the house. But sometimes, there are guests that can't be stopped, like a big bee that has been bugging the houseguests. Their reactions run the gamut from bravery, to terror.

Evicted Houseguest: Another power pair has been split-up in the "Big Brother" house. Rachel Plencner, the 33-year-old horse breeder from Colorado, was up against her friend Howie. And when the votes were counted, Rachel wound up on the outside looking in. What did she think of the turn of events?

to find out.

Aug. 19:

Howie, whose sex drive always seems to be in over-drive, has a friend in the house, Rachel. But she wants to keep things platonic. And while he can cuddle with Ivette, she happens to be gay. By the way, much of this scene is shot in the dark, with special "night vision" cameras.

Evicted Houseguest: Two strikes and he's out! Kaysar Ridha has the distinction of being the first and only houseguest on "Big Brother" to be evicted twice. On Aug. 11, viewers across the nation voted overwhelmingly to put him back in the game. But it was the vote of the houseguests that mattered.

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Aug. 12:

As you know, the folks in the "Big Brother" house have no TV to watch. But some of the women found something very interesting to look at. Beau was in the shower and, well, let's just say the women treated themselves to a Beau peep show.

Evicted Houseguest:

was in the house with her boyfriend James, an alliance that led to her downfall. She not only said goodbye to the game, but she also left her true love behind.

Aug. 5:

While he was still in the house, Kaysar Ridha won a special treat, a hookah from home. Before you know it, he gathered his fellow housemates and things started really smoking! Note: smoking a hookah is perfectly legal.

Evicted Houseguest: After being in a position of power the week before, the tables were turned and

was evicted this week from the "Big Brother" house.

July 29:

Sarah has a heart-to-heart with Kaysar. She is upset that there's no one in the house she can trust. Apparently, the pressures are having a bigger affect on her than she expected.

Evicted Houseguest: Ironically enough, a firefighter was extinguished on "Big Brother 6."

started out as one of the game's strongest players but he got burned by some of his former allies.

July 22:

Houseguests think they're living with only one gay person: Beau. But Beau has a friend in the house, Ivette, a waitress from Florida, who hasn't told the others she's gay, too.

Evicted Houseguest: After 19 short days in the "Big Brother" house, artist

painted himself into a corner and faced eviction. Michael is a free man. He tells about the twists and turns that landed him on the outside.

The 14 houseguests — the biggest cast ever — compete for up to $1,000,000, double the usual jackpot. They are seven couples, each made up of friends, partners or co-workers.

Catch "Big Brother 6" Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.