Big Brother 8
will forever go down as the season of the Donatos. The father/daughter duo, with their big personalities and enticing back story, stole the headlines for much of the summer, a fact that likely pleased CBS to no end. Big Brother 8
had more to offer than just Dick and Daniele and, when looking back on the season in its entirety, it's fun to realize just how much went on for those three long months in the Big Brother
house. There were severe tonal shifts from a number of players and a striking amount of faulty first impressions. Alison Grodner's first season in charge of the franchise was rocky at times, and while her maiden voyage cannot be deemed a complete success, the ratings were up and loyal fans remained loyal.
The opening episode of Big Brother 8 gave us the two big twists of the season: Enemies and America's Player. At first, the enemies twist appeared the more interesting. Carol and Jessica were feuding high school friends, Dustin and Joe were ex boyfriends and Dick and Daniele were an estranged father and daughter. Tumultuous times were thought to be on the horizon, but mostly the pre-existing conflicts were nominal. Carol and Jessica's “feud” had years behind it and both had moved on. The origin of the feud was even a mystery, besides Jessica's maybe-truthful declaration that Carol stole five dollars from her once in high school. Dustin and Joe's hatred of each other was more prescient, with Joe immediately, in front of the other houseguests, proclaiming that Dustin had given him gonorrhea.
Dick and Daniele did not get along at first, but had an unspoken alliance that would prove stronger (for good reason) that any other in the house. They began the season not speaking, then moved to yelling/arguing, then into a symbiotic survival mode, and, in the end, a better relationship evolved between the two than when they had entered the house. There is clearly some love to be found there. Dick especially displayed unquestioned loyalty to his daughter throughout the season. Daniele's feelings are harder to figure out. She slowly let Dick further in as the season plodded along, but did so grudgingly, never allowing herself to be the daughter. Where there relationship goes from here is a mystery.
Kail, the religious mom from Oregon, was a very visible player early in the game, whose world view clearly clashed with a number of the housemates, including Dick. Kail was a huge Big Brother fans prior to entering the house (as were most players), but she hadn't prepared for a person like Dick. Dick sensed weakness early and got under her skin through verbal lashings. Kail was caught off-guard by his candor, his call-out abilities, and really never recovered. This was a pattern throughout the season: Dick would put someone on edge and keep them there.
Carol left the house first, and it's hard to remember why. She never seemed gung-ho about being there in the first place. Joe was well-liked in the house, but he way overplayed the game, making early alliances with almost everyone and, thus, was sent packing. Mike rarely spoke and looked pleased to leave when he did.
Then we come to Nick. Definitely one of the more enigmatic personalities in the house, the former pro football player turned out to be an extra-gooey teddy bear on the inside. He fell hard for Daniele. Really, really, really hard. Any piece of charm he could hurl Dani's way he did, often with near vomit-inducing cheesiness. Nonetheless, Dani was eventually broken down and fell for the beastly man, despite her having a boyfriend outside the house. Needless to say, that boyfriend is no longer a boyfriend. Nick and Dani spent almost all their waking hours together and even conjured some late night, under-the-cover make out sessions, which were probably the final nail in the boyfriend coffin. Nick, the majority decided, was not to be trusted, however, and was voted out. This mistrust, in reality, stemmed from the America's Player twist, embodied by New Yorker Eric Stein
, student of the game and willing extension of America's psyche. In a couple early evictions, a couple of unexpected single votes popped out of nowhere as a result of America telling Eric who to vote for. Eric never copped to these votes, and the blame fell on Nick, ultimately sealing his fate.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)