DIck and Daniele Donato will go down as one of the most infamous pairs to ever grace the world of reality TV. The Big Brother 8 champion (Dick) and runner-up (Daniele) made their share of enemies along the way with an aggressive style of play, but it all worked out in the end when the father/daughter duo found themselves alone in the Big Brother house, having vanquished 12 other houseguests. Earlier today, on their first day of freedom in months, we were lucky enough to speak with Dick and Daniele to discuss their season of Big Brother domination. The Donato haters of the world may not want to read much further, for the pair are as outspoken and brash here as they had been throughout the Big Brother season.
Below you will find both the written transcript and full mp3 audio of the interview.
This is Oscar Dahl from BuddyTV, and I’m here with Dick and Daniele Donato, the winner and runner-up from Big Brother 8. Dick, Daniele, how you guys doing?
You guys pretty excited to be out of the house?
Daniele: I’m ecstatic.
First off, can you guys talk a little about the casting process. I know it’s probably complicated to get both of you on without each other knowing. Dick, you were cast first I believe and then Daniele was brought in by producers…
Daniele: I was not brought in by producers.
Daniele: We both applied separately and we both made the show.
Dick: And they’ve been very adamant about not talking about the casting process.
Alright, next question.
Daniele: I was not recruited.
Dick: She was not recruited.
Daniele: I applied.
Dick: We met at the auditions and happened to run into each other at the audition.
So Dick, I know you’ve been a big Big Brother fan for a while and a live feed watcher I believe. Did your Big Brother fandom help you formulate a strategy going into the house and did that change at all when Dani showed up?
Dick: It did a bit. My basic strategy was, you have to bend and you have to change things at the drop of a hat. You have to be very flexible and be willing to work with people that you don’t even really like. And that’s what we did. Did my strategy change when I knew Daniele was in the house? Absolutely. I knew that, no matter how screwed up our relationship was, that there was someone in the house that I could trust no matter what. And she knew the same thing about me. So our disadvantage was actually our advantage as well.
Dick, I also want to talk about your late night, one-man shows, Dick at Night as people are calling it. Did you have fun doing that, and how important was it for you to entertain the live feed watchers?
Dick: I’ve bought the live feeds at least two times over the years if not more. And you’re seeing the people pacing back and forth, not necessarily at night, but during the day, whenever they’re alone, and you know that their brain is just a wheel that’s spinning so hard and so fast and you’re like “What are you thinking!?” I just always wanted to know what they were thinking and I was bored out of my mind watching people pace or just sit there and contemplate. Everybody’s asleep, I got the double-pane glass between me and the rest of the house, nobody’s sneaking up on me, nobody can hear anything, and I just let the people on the Internet know what was going through my mind. Or just talk shit, one or the other.
Daniele, when Nick was in the house, you two were really close, you spent a lot of time together, but it kind of seemed at times that you were stressed out, maybe on the edge. But when he left the house, it looked like it kind of freed you up and let you focus on the game. Do you think that was the case, and do you think when Nick left it kind of helped your gameplay?
Daniele: You know, a lot of people say that to me, people as in houseguests have said that to me. I personally don’t see it that way. I was completely focused on the game, I just had a friend in the game at the time. I don’t think it distracted me whatsoever. Yeah, I didn’t hang out with everybody all the time and make great friendships with all these people I’m never gonna talk to again, so what? I definitely was not distracted from the game whatsoever just because of Nick.
Dick, what do you think?
Dick: I think she was a little.
Daniele: I disagree.
Dick: You can disagree. He asked me what I thought, and I said I agree.
After Eric revealed the whole America’s Player twist yesterday, and specifically the Dustin eviction, does that change at all how either of you view what you guys accomplished in the house?
Dick: You know, I said this in a couple of interviews earlier today, and I’m gonna reiterate, but I think that that had, although it could’ve been…I have not seen the show, so it could’ve been something to do with Eric staying the week before. I also believe that, if Eric was not America’s Player and Eric was playing a straight-up game and went through what he went through the week before, with being so nearly evicted and not being able to trust people like Amber and on the fence with Jameka and a couple of the others, and the deal that I offered him, the proposal as I said, with the leverage of the plan that we had, the strategy that we had to get him out had I left the house, to split up their votes by putting Dustin and Eric up on the block, taking Jessica and Amber’s votes completely out because they would vote to evict the opposite people, leaving Daniele, Zach and Jen in control. The way it panned out with Daniele winning HoH that week, they would’ve went up and the only way Eric would’ve stayed in the house was by him winning the PoV. So I think that I might have been able to work a deal regardless of America’s Vote or not, or America’s Player or not. I haven’t seen it, I don’t want to sound like I’m too cocky or anything else, but you don’t know. You just don’t know how it would’ve played out. Am I happy that it sounds like I got America’s vote every single time? Yeah. Am I surprised and shocked, bewildered? Yeah, beyond beyond. I have to watch the show. I’m not even getting the whole…grasping the entire America’s Player thing. We were only shown a couple of things then told about a couple more. So I don’t even really understand the whole thing fully at this point, the whole magnitude or the scope.
After having a night to let it sink in and having talked to Eric about it, you both were pretty shocked, but does it change your view of him at all?
Dick: There were some other things that Eric said that kind of changed my view of him, that my friends have told me that he said about myself and my daughter, that have kind of changed my view. Anything that he said? No, not really. I have to watch the show, and I’m reserving judgment until I watch the show. So far as anyone in the house and how I feel about anyone in the house, at this point right now, I could really care less to be honest with you. I went in to do a job, as Zach said, “I was hired for a job and I did my job and I did it well.” I went in there with one thing in mind, which was to get as far into the game as I possibly can and try to win.
Throughout the season it really was clear that you two, in a strictly game sense, played off each other really well. Early in the season there were some “good cop, bad cop” moments. Daniele, did you consciously change your gameplay because of the way Dick may have acted towards people? Did it change the way you thought you were gonna play the game?
Daniele: I had to change the way that I was gonna play the game, because I was playing my own game and he was playing his own game, and that’s not easy when your two games are completely different. At the same time, I think that’s what took us so far. I believed that I was playing two games – I was playing my own game, and I was playing a game of damage control for my dad. After he did all these things to everybody, all the time everybody would look at me like, “OK, apologize for him.” I even had a comment from Dustin about “Daniele, I know you’re not the parent, but it’s time you start acting like one.”
Dick: Oh yeah.
Daniele: These people are so ridiculous, it has nothing to do with me. We’re not the same person and I’m not gonna apologize for everything that he does. But yeah, it definitely changed my game,
Dick: She took a lot of flak because no matter what they would say or try to do to me or towards me, I didn’t care. It didn’t matter to me. So they couldn’t get to me and that really frustrated them, so the only way they could think to get to me was through Daniele.
Dick, my sense was that you played a pretty calculated game the whole time. Were there any of your personal tirades on people totally out of the game, totally personal, or was there an element of gameplay in pretty much everything you did?
Dick: I think I would say, at the end, when Daniele won the last PoV and I went off on Zach, doing that celebration – I don’t know what they showed, I don’t know they didn’t – but I was…after the speech Daniele and I said this quite a few times, if Zach, when we put us on the block and nominated both of us, if he would’ve just said, “You know, you two are good players, whatever, and this is strategic, it’s totally game and this is why I’m doing it,” I could’ve respected that. But he had to stand up there and grandstand and say that he’s the muscle of the house and he’s gonna get us out, that we dominated the game and haven’t given other people a chance, that he now has his faith in God restored by Jameka, all this whole line of bullshit, just left a really bad taste in my mouth. And that bad taste got turned up on him after Daniele won the PoV.
The thing that I didn’t understand about that whole situation is that, in reality, for Zach, it did not really matter who he put up, the only thing that mattered was the PoV. Did that confuse you guys at all, why he would go back on his word at that point?
Daniele: That didn’t confuse us. Zach was a mastermind and apparently he knew what he was doing.
Dick: Apparently he was the “silent assassin.”
Daniele: But it didn’t matter, we even told him it didn’t matter. At first we figured it would be better if we weren’t both up on the block, but when we realized after we knew it didn’t matter we wanted to go up on the block together, the third time’s a charm, you know. My dad was getting lonely up there by himself.
Dick: It was perfect. It was perfect! If it played out any different, maybe we wouldn’t be here right now.
One more question, how do you two see your relationship going forward? My sense would be that if you can survive three months in close quarters like this together, you should probably be alright on the outside. What are your thoughts?
Daniele: It’s over. I’m just kidding. Dead silence. I’m just kidding. Obviously this was like a serious stepping stone for our relationship. Oh my God, we’ve been through so much this summer. Definitely something we can look back on together forever. And there’s only forward to look to right now, putting the negative behind us and just moving forward.
Dick: The love for my daughter was more important than any winning or prize or anything else…
Daniele: You say that after you won.
Dick: My getting both is even better.
Alright guys Dick, Daniele, I really appreciate the time, and although I didn’t get to ask any Jen questions, that might be for the better. Goodbye guys.
Daniele: Bye now.
Dick: Thanks Oscar.
Also check out our exclusive interviews with other Big Brother 8 contestants:
-Interview Conducted By Oscar Dahl
(Image Courtesy of EW.com)