James Huling is spending his second summer in a row in the Big Brother house, and it sounds like his second annual summer romance — this time with Natalie Negrotti — won’t have much of a chance in the real world. While James is clearly smitten with the former New York Jets cheerleader, some of his fellow Big Brother houseguests are sure she’s just playing him.
As witnessed on the live feeds, Victor Arroyo and Paul Abrahamian were caught talking about the fact that Natalie is just using James to further her Big Brother game.
And in a new interview with Us Weekly, ousted Big Brother star Paulie Calafiore said it’s obvious Natalie is just using James for her game.
“After Natalie has said multiple times that she will only be friends with James outside of the house, I think it is pretty obvious. I think their relationship in the game is purely strategy. They do have genuine feelings, but as far as a relationship she has stated multiple times that she has no interest in dating him and will only be friends.”
Fellow Season 18 evictee Da’Vonne Rogers has a similar opinion. In a separate chat with Us, Rogers said she doesn’t see James and Natalie as a solid couple.
“I think they will be really good friends after the show but a couple? I don’t think [they will last],” Da’Vonne said. “I think this is going to be a situation where James gets hurt again.”
Early on, two-time Big Brother houseguest Frank Eudy told the Hollywood Reporter that he thought James and Natalie would be the first showmance to crack. Frank was wrong about that — Paulie and Zakiya cracked first — but the comment shows that he doesn’t have high hopes for Jatalie.
Even past Big Brother alums have an opinion on Huling’s relationship with Negrotti. Big Brother 8 winner Evel Dick Donato has been especially critical of James Huling, who has been seen on the live feeds begging Natalie for kisses.
When James Huling’s Big Brother 17 showmance with last year’s crush, Meg Maley, didn’t pan out, Maley told People that they were destined to stay in the “friend” zone.
“James is the kid in first grade who that likes picks his nose and smears it on the face of the girl he likes. So I don’t know if there’s fireworks for me and James,” Meg said.
Still, Huling said he had fun with their playful relationship and that he liked that Meg played hard to get with him.
“I like it because you know what, I like the chase. I’m like an antelope in the jungle,” Huling explained to People.
James Huling may have a bigger chase with Natalie, who headed into the Big Brother house with clear plans to have a showmance. Ahead of her stint in the CBS summertime house, Negrotti told Entertainment Tonight she was ready for a showmance with a loyal guy. Before the live feeds were up, she even had a one-week romance with Victor Arroyo before moving on to Huling.
“My guy needs to be by my side, wanting me to win, rooting for me, and just giving me back massages,” Negrotti told ET.
James Huling does all of those things, but once there’s nothing left for Natalie to win, what will she need him for?
Of course, there will always be the Big Brother romantics. Past all-star players Rachel Reilly and Janelle Pierzina have both posted about how cute they think James and Natalie are together.
And even host Julie has said Chen she sees potential for Huling and Negrotti outside of the Big Brother house, so maybe fans can expect the unexpected with this unlikely couple.
Take a look at the video below to see James Huling and Natalie Negrotti talking about how much they like each another.
[Image via CBS Big Brother/James Huling Facebook]