When Brittany Favre called her parents to tell them she was thinking about stepping out of her comfort zone to compete on “Claim to Fame,” she got got two different reactions.
“The first phone call I made was to my dad. He said, ‘Absolutely. That sounds so much fun. You should do that. That’s great,'" said Favre, who is the eldest daughter of legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre and wife Deanna.
“And then the second call was to my mom and she said, ‘That is a terrible idea.’ She said, ‘Are you sure you want to be on TV?’ Because my mom’s the same as me and she’s just as private as I am.
“My dad’s like, ‘A competition show? That sounds amazing!’ And my mom’s like, ‘But you’re going to be on television.’”
And so here she is — or was.
Brittany’s time on the ABC show that has 12 relatives of celebrities living in the same house and trying to conceal their identities from one another for $100,000 came to an end on Monday in the fourth week of the competition.
It wasn’t so much having to wear the T-shirt with an airplane on it — a subtle clue to her dad’s single season with the New York Jets after leaving Green Bay — that did her in. It was rolling the dice on a risky guess (incorrectly connecting contestant Kai to Andra Day) when there was a safer one right in front of her (Louise as Olympic gymnast Simone Biles' sister) during the guess-off. Think Brett Favre trying to make something big happen late in the fourth quarter and throwing an interception.
For Brittany, just signing on to “Claim to Fame” felt like a victory. It was very much a personal decision for the 33-year-old mother of three sons, artist and graduate of Loyola University’s School of Law.
“I’ve never really been in the spotlight before and that was intentional, and I’ve gone through a lot of things that I’ve been pretty open about in terms of mental health issues and things that I’ve had to work through,” she said in an interview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
“I’ve put my family through a lot of stress, and we’re finally on the other side of it, and I wanted my kids to see me do something like this that that would make them proud of me and they can kind of see me healthy, happy and back to my normal self.
"It just seemed like the time for me to sort of step into ‘a’ spotlight in a way and kind of resolve a lot of that anxiety and that tension that was felt whenever I was going through some really dark times," she said.
On her Instagram, she has talked and written about sometimes feeling insecure, her "self-saboteur instinct" and the power of her faith.
Her kids have loved seeing her on TV as she’s participated in challenges that had her jumping in a pool to grab lettered balls to spell out clues and painting a portrait of Lucille Ball. (By the way, she's painted everyone from Albert Einstein to Johnny Cash and sells her work at art shows.)
“They know I’m a homebody. I’m not super out there socially. I’m not all over the place, so they’ve enjoyed watching this unfold and they’ve enjoyed kind of watching me do something completely unpredictable and unexpected,” Brittany said.
Her parents are fans of the show, too, and have been proud of how she handled herself. There were no hard feelings from her dad that she spilled to a national TV audience how he was “really cheap,” sharing a story from her childhood about how when the muffler came off his old truck, he just chained it on and drove her to school that way.
“He’s like a big kid. He is who he is, flaws and all. He was OK with it,” she said. “He wasn’t embarrassed at all about the chained muffler. It seemed like a practical solution to him at the time.”
Brittany confided to “Claim to Fame” viewers in the second episode that she had definitely inherited her dad’s “competitive nature," but there’s something else she learned from him that served her well on the show.
“Obviously, Dad’s line of work was competition, so he’s playing against his colleagues every week and they’re rough and they trash talk and all that kind of stuff, but he was so quick to always remember it’s just a game at the end of the day,” she said. “So it’s better to just joke around, be friends with each other. You can let things fester and build up resentment, but you’re all human beings just playing a game, and that’s kind of the mentality that I took into the house.”
Brittany said she made it a point not to be disrespectful of her fellow contestants or to take things personally. She was viewed as a threat almost right from the start — so smart she was dangerous. Others in the house often talked of not trusting her and calling her "very calculated." She aimed to be competitive in the game but still enjoy the company of the others.
Her friendship with Logan was well-documented in front of the cameras, but the entire cast has become friends, and they all still talk to one another, Brittany said.
She was born three years before Brett came to Green Bay in 1992 and went on to become one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. The city will forever be dear to her.
“I love Green Bay so much. I love going back to visit," she said. "... I went to Holy Family (Catholic School). Every time I go back to Green Bay for a visit, I drive by the school just to check in, say hi. I love Green Bay. It’s absolutely where I would raise my family if I could tolerate the snow.”
She’s not surprised Packers fans from the city were among the first to recognize her as Brett’s daughter even before she revealed her identity to “Claim to Fame” viewers on the second episode.
“Green Bay figured it out right away. I saw it on Twitter," she said.
And because Green Bay and Packers fans everywhere might also be wondering how the "Gunslinger" is as a grandpa, or “Paw-Paw,” as his grandsons call him, the question was asked.
“Oh, he’s the best,” Brittany said. “He’s so active in their sports and whatever hobbies they’re up to, he plays right along with it. He’s always encouraging them to pursue whatever they’re interested in. If they’re interested in something for six months, he’s like, Oh, go be the best at it.’ He’s a cheerleader.”
Contact Kendra Meinert at 920-431-8347 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @KendraMeinert.
What she had to say about her game-ending Andra Day guess
“Honestly, I wasn’t too surprised. I wasn’t confident in the guess at all, but I felt like in that moment I had a target on my back, because of the previous elimination," Brittany said. "Everybody was a little bit either mad at me or didn’t trust me, and to earn back the trust of the house I felt like I needed to go out and make this guess and sort of put myself on the chopping block for the sake of the house.”
She admits she wasn't familiar with who actress/singer Andre Day is when she went with the guess linking her to Kai, a theory that had been floated in the house.
“Of course, there was Louise sitting right there looking exactly like Simone Biles, and I could’ve chosen her, but I felt like I had this target on my back, and I knew that if I chose Louise that target was still going to be there, so I had to do something to make it up to the rest of the house.”
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Brett Favre's daughter Brittany talks 'Claim to Fame' exit, famous dad