If you were to ask any regular viewer of Big Brother 8
who the all-around best person in the house was, the answer would almost universally be the same: Jameka Cameron
. Jameka, although she did play the game harder than many give her credit for, kept her dignity intact and did so in a way that endeared her to fans around the country. Jameka also made it much further in Big Brother
than anyone could've expected, finishing in fourth place and coming very close to the final three. We had the pleasure of speaking with Jameka yesterday, one day after the Big Brother 8
Below you will find both the written transcript and full mp3 audio of the interview.
Going into Big Brother 8, as you were on your way to the house, what were your expectations? And how different did the whole experience end up being?
I think Eric said it best. Going to the house, my expectations were, basically there are 13 other house guests in my way of ultimately and potentially winning $500,000. And once I got into the house, it's as if my view shifted. I realized that these aren't just individuals, but they're actual people. And I actually was interested in getting to form some type of friendship. Before I didn't think I would be interested in that at all.
You made it clear that you're a very religious person, very morally centered. How do you think you being religious affected your game play?
That is only one aspect of me. I understand I wasn't portrayed in my entirety, in terms of the type of person that I am, so they wanted to concentrate on that. So any opportunity they found to see me engaged in prayer, or reading the Bible, or what have you, they took it. There are so many other facets of myself that, as I understand, were not aired.
Well, being someone who is religious, do you think it's possible to stay true to what you believe in and then play a game that involves so much lying and backstabbing like Big Brother?
I just want to stay that I don't consider myself religious, I consider myself to be spiritual, and I do have what I feel to be a personal relationship with God. Nonetheless, in the game I went in thinking that I have to do whatever I have to do in order to advance myself in the game.
But after being given the opportunity of actually playing the game, my views changed, and I really wanted to advance myself in the game by actually being honest as much as possible to the best of my ability with everybody. And actually looking out for everybody else, and kind of seeing how far that would advance me in the game.
How difficult is it being in the same house, close quarters with a bunch of big personalities? For instance, Dick.
I feel like I definitely have a big personality. Being in close quarters with him, he's kind of like the whole alpha dog, and you can't have five strong personalities going off all at the same time. So a lot of things that would have normally upset me outside of the house, I had to let fly. Because you already have these other outgoing, outstanding, extroverted personalities, and so I had to lay low in a lot of different areas in the game.
One of the things that fans at home and people who watch the live feeds don't see much of or know much about, is the whole diary room experience. How different was it than what you expected? And was there anything that kind of bothered you about all your diary room sessions?
Yeah, the diary rooms are really an opportunity to air out anything that may be bothering you. Anything that you want to speak on that you possibly feel like may not be captured in its entirety on the show. It's a place where you can elaborate on topics, and I've really wanted to use the diary room for all of those reasons. And that's what I was afraid of, that the information I was actually giving out in the diary room would not be played on the show. So, that kind of sucked.
Last night, what was your personal reaction to Eric revealing himself as America's Player?
The fact that Eric was revealed as America's Player probably did not take me by surprise. I knew that something was up with Eric, and I was actually relieved that he was put up to it, and was actually hoping that he wasn't this shady of a person in real life. So that was actually kind of comforting.
For you, how was the whole jury house experience? It seemed like a pretty awesome place to be.
Yeah, the jury house was, honestly, it was paradise. And I mean they, CBS, along with the production team, treat all of us with the utmost respect. They definitely tend to your needs, and it was a wonderful time there.
Being there without the cameras and being with all the other jury members, was there anyone you started to get along with that you hadn't really in the house?
Absolutely not. In the jury house I still maintained what I considered to be my strong relationships from the house. And it was just another chance, actually for us, to take a step back from one another and just get some time to ourselves.
Now that you're free of the whole Big Brother experience, is there anyone in the house you think you'll have long-lasting friendships with?
I would love to say that I would have long-lasting relationships, or friendships with certain people. But as information is getting back to me, the game wasn't what I thought it would be in some aspects, and it was a lot more than what I anticipated in others. So I'm actually gonna wait until I watch the tape and draw my own conclusions, and hopefully I can at least do e-mail with a lot of the cast, and this and there.
Are you excited to watch the tapes, or is it kind of a scary proposition?
I am so anticipating watching the tapes. I am blocking everything off for like a 33 hours straight period of time to watch everything. Don't call me, cell phone is off, don't disturb me. I'll be by myself at home trying to get through the whole season in literally 33 hours.
You voted for Daniele last night. Was that vote for Daniele or against Dick?
Wow, that's actually an excellent question, it was both. Being in the career that I'm in, in counseling children, I do feel to a certain extent that people look up to me. And I can't very well tell my kids, my students at work to behave respectfully and pretty much be honest with people, and then go on the show and do the opposite of what I advise them to do, and furthermore vote for someone who degrades people and demoralizes them on TV, and see that as acceptable. So it wasn't so much that I felt he wasn't deserving of it, I felt he played a wonderful game, I felt he deserved and earned the money. But on the other hand I couldn't reinforce someone who had a game in the way that he played it.
The way he played the game, the verbal abuse he gave to people, do you think looking back that it was very strategic and mostly an act? Or does it not matter, is it still going too far?
I think at that point when he attacked myself, Amber and Dustin, those were very personal attacks. I would much rather have had so much more respect for him if he were to say, “I just don't like you, Jameka. I've seen that the way that you're playing this game is ridiculous, I don't think that you're a genuine person.”
But instead he chose to attack my personal moral beliefs, as opposed to my character in general, and that is something that I just did not appreciate. I didn't go around the house calling him an atheist and putting out all this negative imagery of him, so I didn't feel like I deserved that in return.
Looking back at it all, do you regret anything ? Would you do it again if you had the chance?
I would love to say that I regret giving up the five Head of Houeholds, but I think that was a blessing in disguise. I think if I didn't give that up, I would've been a target even sooner, I would've had less time to form trusting relationships with the housemates. So I would like to say that I would do certain things over again.
If anything, if there is a thing I would do over, maybe I would actually look out for myself a little earlier in the game. And I would absolutely love to do Big Brother again, it was an awesome experience, actually going through it. It seemed as though it was so much idle time, but now that it's all over and said and done, of course I would do it over again. It was a blast.
Alright Jameka, what's in the future? What's coming up for you? Just going back to work?
I hope so much more is coming up for me that is unknown at this point in time, but I'm hoping that other deals or situations or opportunities may arise. And if not, I'm just happy with returning to work.
Also check out our exclusive interviews with other Big Brother 8 contestants:
-Interview Conducted By Oscar Dahl
(Image Courtesy of CBS)
Dick and Daniele Donato