TheBig Brother season 8 kept us in front of TVs from July 5, 2007, for 81 days in total. The season ended with a spectacular Finale on September 18, 2007, in which we learned who won the season and received 500,000US dollars on their bank account. If you don’t remember, we’re here to remind you – the winner of the season 8 was Dick Donato, who came in front of his daughter, Daniele Donato.
The father-daughter bond was far from the only thing that marked this season. There were many thrilling moments throughout the 11 weeks of broadcast. In fact, the series was one of the most entertaining, which is why it wasn’t a surprise that it gained a loyal followership of 7.52 million viewers on average.
The season 8 of US version of Big Brother brought a lot of attention to CBS, which has been airing the game show from the very beginning. But, it also brought a lot of viewers to the cable/satellite TV network Showtime (at the time known as Showtime Too), which aired a special spin-off program called Big Brother: After Dark. As the name suggests, the series revolved around what was going on at night in the Big Brother house.
Big Brother Season 8 HouseGuests
The Day 1 of the season saw 11 people entering the Big Brother house. But, that’s not the end of it – another 3 HouseGuests previously entered the house, as a part of the season’s twist. The three of them previously had close relationships with some of the initial 11 guests. The point of the Biggest Nemesis Twist was to raise the tensions among the HouseGuests.
A total of 14 people had spent time in the Big Brother house during the season 8. Some of them managed to stay in the house until the Finale. Others weren’t so lucky – some of them, like Carol, got evicted after only couple of days spent in the house.
Biggest Nemesis/Rivals Twist
The main twist of Big Brother season 8 was the Biggest Nemesis/Rivals Twist. Before the initial 11 HouseGuests entered the premises, another three people got in the HOH room. All of these three secret guests had previous relationships with some of the 11 HouseGuests and all of those ended badly.
For example, Daniele Donato was not talking with her estranged father, Dick. The same was the case for JessicaHughbanks, who used to be best friends with Carol Journey. The third HouseGuest secluded in the HOH room was Joe Barber, the ex-boyfriend of Dustin Erikstrup. Joe was there to stir up tensions by revealing that he had gotten gonorrhea from Dustin.
Biggest Nemesis/Rivals was not the only twist of the season. In Big Brother season 8 we also witnessed the America’s Player twist. Eric Stein entered the house as a part of this twist. His every move was controlled by the US public, hence the name of the twist. How that worked was then whenever Stein needed to make a decision, such as to nominate a HouseGuest for eviction, the public would vote by telephone.
Apart from making in-house decisions, he also had secret tasks to perform, also created by the public. Once he got evicted and became a part of the Jury, Stein had no right to make his own vote. Instead, he had to vote according to what the public decided.
The Power of 10
The Power of 10 is another TV show aired by CBS. At one point, the producers decided to mix up these two shows. They come up with an idea to put some of Big Brother 8 contestants into the Power of 10 show. The HouseGuests who earned a chance to appear in the game show were Amber Siyavus and Daniele Donato.
Daniele came really close to making quite a lot of money. In fact, she had a chance of winning a prize of 100,000 US dollars, but gave a wrong answer and ended up with only one thousand dollars. The other Big Brother contestant, Amber, also failed to make big money.
Relationships & Alliances in the Big Brother House
Big Brother season 8 was one of the most exciting seasons up to date. We saw lots of emotions in the house, both positive and negative. We saw lots of fights, but also some passionate romantic relationships. The season’s winner, Dick Donato, was in the spotlight for most of the season. It’s mainly due to his quarreling personality. He used to mock almost every other HouseGuests, although he was particularly hostile towards Jen Johnson, whom he found too self-centered.
When it comes to love affairs, we save Daniele and Nick falling in love. We also saw the start of the relationship between Eric and Jessica.Unlike many other seasons of Big Brother, this one was not marked by alliances. At least not successful alliances…
There were some attempts of creating pacts among the HouseGuests, but most of them failed. For example, Michael Dutz had an alliance with Zach, Nick, and Kail, but it quickly fell apart.What lasted longer was the father/daughter link. Although nemesis at first, Dick and Daniele became closer over the 11 weeks spent in the house. On a few occasions, they backed each other, which might have helped them reach the final, in which they won the two top prizes.
Road to the Final
Each week, one of the HouseGuests had to leave the Big Brother house. The decision was based on the votes by other HouseGuests. Usually, the rule was one eviction per week. However, there were times when this rule didn’t apply.
That was the case in Week 9, which featured a double-eviction night. In the round 1, Jessica got evicted after a stand-off with Jameka, who participated in the Round 2 eviction, which saw Eric leaving the house. Unfortunately for Jameka, this prolonged her stay in the house for just another week.
Last Week in the Big Brother House
After Jameka got evicted in Week 10, there were only three HouseGuests left in the house – Dick, Daniele, and Zach. The Week 11 was when the final Head of Household competition took place. For the three contestants, it was extremely important to win the HOH position, as it would guarantee them safety from nominations. It would also mean that they would have the power to evict one of the HouseGuests before the final.
The Head of Household competition consisted of three challenges. Dick did well in the competition and was awarded the HOH title. This meant that he was to judge who was to leave the house – Zach or his daughter, Danielle. As you’ve probably imagined, Dick decided to say farewell to Zach.
The finale of Big Brother season 8 took place on September 18, 2007. After 81 days spent in the house, it was the time to find out who’s getting the $500k prize – Dick or his daughter, Daniele! The decision was to be made by the Jury, which consisted of 7 previously-evicted HouseGuests. The Jury members were the following:
• Zach Swerdzewski
• Jameka Cameron
• Jessica Hughbanks
• Amber Siyavus
• Jen Johnson
• Dustin Erikstrup
• Eric Stein
The voting process was simple – the jury members just needed to cast their vote. However, there was one exception. Eric Stein didn’t have the power to make his own decision. Instead, his vote was based on the public vote, which was one of the rules of the America’s Player Twist.
Who Won Big Brother 8?
The Jury voted in favor of Dick, who got 5 votes, while only two ex-HouseGuests voted for Daniele. What this meant was that Dick was the one who won Big Brother 8. He got richer for an additional half a million dollars in his bank account! His daughter too one a cash prize, although not as impressive as Dick. The runner-up, Daniele Donato, won herself the $50,000 prize.
The Big Brother season 8 was broadcasted during summer 2007, so you’re probably wondering how the winner is doing, a whole decade later. Unfortunately, the news isn’t that great – in 2013, Dick was diagnosed with HIV. However, it seems that he’s been dealing with it well.
When asked what he did with the money from Big Brother prize, Dick said that he used a part of it to pay for his daughter’s college, a part to get a new car, and the rest to travel and have fun. The 8th season wasn’t the only time when Dick appeared in Big Brother. In 2013, both he and his daughter participated in Big Brother 13, although this time, they went home empty-handed.
Controversy and Criticism
Same as any other season of Big brother, the season 8 was also full of controversy and criticism. First of all, the Nemesis Twist was criticized heavily. Some people felt that the whole point of the twist wasn’t to straighten things up among the estranged contestants, but to induce tensions. Although the twist helped Dick and Daniele strengthen the father-daughter relationship, it failed to reconcile Joe and Dustin, who has fierce arguments inside the Big Brother house.
The views of certain HouseGuests were also considered controversial. Jameka’s deep religious views seemed too radical for some. Still, the biggest controversy was stirred by Amber, who was accused of being anti-Semitic. Her comment that she’s capable of recognizing Jews brought a lot of negative attention to the whole show.
How Will We Remember the Season 8 of Big Brother?
If you’re a Big Brother fan, the season 8 is probably among your favorites. The season saw so many exciting moments and made the viewers fall in love with some of the contestants. In fact, some of the HouseGuests were so likable that the Big Brother season 8 is now considered to be a true hang-around season. What this means is that people watch its best moments only to remind themselves of the good times they had in 2007, when the season was on-air.
The 8th season of US version of Big Brother also set a kind of standard for future seasons of the game show. It showed the producers that the public wants to witness true emotions on their TV screens – including anger and resentment, but also love and passion. The season 8 also brought us faith in people. The father/daughter relationship between Dick and Daniele thought us that people can get back together, even after their lives went separate ways.