Against all odds from predictions the first week, Big Brother 8 ended with a father-daughter pair sitting in the final two, prompting the second-place winner to say after her father was announced as the winner, “We won.” After watching Dick progress through the season with a foul mouth and an incessant spitting habit, and seeing Daniele whine and complain her way through much of the summer, on the phone I found them to be…shockingly likeable. They were funny and passionate and ramped up from their win – and ready to bash on Jen for one last time.
From what we saw on the show, Daniele found the experience frussssstrating. What do you predict people are saying about you?
Dick: That I’m an asshole and a she’s a beautiful little blonde with a huge heart.
Daniele: Shut up. (laughing) Honestly, being cooped up in that house, I always said that I don’t feel like I’m on TV, I feel like I’m stuck in weird situation. It’s so surreal that everyone knows everything that is going on, even little conversations that you forgot about. I have absolutely no idea what people think of me or how people view me. We just got out of the house, we haven’t had time to look it up and talk to everybody and figure it out. It’s really bizarre knowing that there are people out there who know everything.
Like, it felt like you were isolated all summer but actually you had millions of people watching?
Dick: You know it, but you don’t –
Daniele: --process it.
Dick: One of my last days in there – the days kind of run together; I don’t remember which day this was – but I would talk to my son knowing that he was watching the live feeds. One of the things I said was, “Please, someone, get me a sports page!” During the finale, as soon as we were being rushed somewhere else and people were shaking my hand, someone stuck a sports page in my hand with all this stuff written on the top of it: “Big fans of the Donatos”, “1-5-3” for Daniele, all of this stuff.
Daniele: (laughing) “We trust the Donatos!”
Dick: Yeah, it was amazing. It was just something I said randomly in the middle of the night! It just blows you away. I do not understand the magnitude and the scope of this yet. We haven’t even gone out into the real world yet. We’ve been ushered from limousines to hotels to a hotel room with security guards with us in the next room. A few phone calls is all that we’ve had.
So how the heck did the two of you last so long when you couldn’t have been more visible as a matched pair, a father and daughter?
Daniele: You know, coming into the house and being father/daughter, we were the biggest targets from day one, the biggest targets the whole entire game. Everyone wanted to get us out. Every time we went up on the block, every time we needed it we came through. When we needed to win a veto we won a veto, no matter who it was. When one of us needed to win in the end, he won. There was always somebody there to do what we needed to do. There was always someone to convince somebody else to go another way, or do something else. We were an awesome team, and we never would have thought it.
Dick: We won five HOH’s between us, and six POV’s between us.
What I will remember most about this season were the rants and fights with other houseguests, especially Jen and Kail. Dick, how much of that was strategy and how much was emotional reaction?
Dick: You know what, honestly, people are going to think I’m full of sh**, but you know, Julie Chen asked me this when I was HOH. That’s exactly what she asked me: “How much was emotion, and how much was strategy?” And I sat there and I said, “Julie, it’s all strategical.” There were so many times when it was planned. The thing with Kail when I called her out on rolling over with Jen, and her whole thing of, “Evel, I know you can turn the votes and keep me, and send Jen home” – I told everyone that I was going to do that ahead of time. When I called Eric out in the Jacuzzi, me and Daniele had talked about it.
I made dinner the night before and [Daniele] was asking me, (low voice) “You’re not going to do it over dinner, are you?” I said, “No, not tonight, everybody needs a break.” I didn’t do it until the next day. There were so many times – like the thing with Zach in the bedroom, at the last minute before the eviction between him and Amber. There were so many times it was planned out.
Now, was it emotion as I was speaking, as I was going off? Of course. But it wasn’t just random, doing it. It was planned out. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t work. Kail came off the pedestal in week three when I was HOH, she came off the pedestal in a record ten seconds. The glass fell off her Mad Hatter hat. Are you kidding? I was deep in her head. What did I say? I was so deep in her head that I needed a tent and a campfire.
Okay, I can believe that for all those examples, but it seems like with Jen you took it to another level. You never stop talking about Jen, even after she left the house.
Dick: I can’t stand her, she’s insane.
Daniele: No one had to live with her. No one understands.
Dick: Yeah, you guys really don’t understand. We’ve told this to a few other interviewers. I’ll let Daniele tell it – tell her the epitome of Jen, the gardener...
Daniele: No, I think it was more --
Some discussion between the two of them over what anecdote to tell.
Daniele: Okay, basically, my nickname for Jen was “a fable.” I’ve never met anybody like Jen, and I honestly hope I never meet anybody like Jen ever again in my life. Two stories I can give you off the top of my head to describe the epitome of Jen. One was in the hot tub. Apparently Carol was speaking about a taxi driver who spoke Spanish, and that she herself spoke Spanish. Jen comes back with the comment, “I know how to speak Spanish because I talk to my gardeners and my maids.” Everyone gives her this look like, I cannot believe you just said that. So then she starts laughing hysterically, and she says, “I’m just kidding, I don’t talk to my gardeners or my maids.”
(Pausing because I chuckle.)
Dick: Wait, see, you laugh…
Daniele: -- but she was serious.
Dick: Absolutely, that right there was Jen.
Daniele: It was not joking. Another comment made by Jen was about Jessica wanting to move out to California to be a model and an actress. At this time, Jessica was debating putting Jen up as the replacement nominee. The comment Jen made was, “I don’t understand why Jessica would ever want to make an enemy out of me. Having me as your friend will take you farther in life than anything that anybody could possibly do on their own.” These comments weren’t jokes – that’s the thing. She actually believes this and tells people this. That’s the life that she thinks she’s living.
She’s a narcissist.
Daniele: She’s unbelievable.
Dick: No kidding, didn’t they show any of that, me calling her a narcissist in my Diary Rooms?
Oh, yes, for sure.
Dick: She’s self-absorbed, self-centered, conceited, and a million other self-describing adjectives.
I guess what I’m saying is that she seemed to get under your skin in a way no one else did.
Dick: I couldn’t stand her. She needed to go.
Daniele: Nobody in the house liked her since day one.
Dick: She should have been on the block week one. If it wasn’t for her sleeping with Kail and Kail being so god dammed stupid that she fell for it, she would have been gone week one.
Daniele: We would sit around the couches and talk about best first impressions and worst first impressions. We went around the house and every single person said that Jen was their worst first impression. Everyone hated her since day one. It wasn’t a coincidence; it was that she showed who she was from day one. She was absolutely unbelievable, a non-existent person.
Dick: From the time I walked into the house, I was trying to keep it as simple as possible, saying, “I’ll take whatever bed is left, I don’t care.” Walking in that room, she’s trying to switch beds with everyone, carrying on for a half an hour until basically, I think it was Nick who told her to f*** off or go f*** herself or something. “Get out of here, we’ve heard you fifty million times and we’re not switching beds.” A couple of days later during the Butter Me Up competition she says to me, (whiny voice) “Don’t touch me. I don’t want you to touch me.” I’m just sitting here going, “I can’t stand this bitch.” It just went on and on and on. I think the first time I went off on her was during the Hide and Seek POV. Being trapped with her, it was like listening fingernails on a chalkboard for six hours straight. (The houseguests who didn’t play POV were locked in the HOH room while it was played.)
Daniele: How about the toenail comment?
Dick: (agreeing animatedly) Oh, come on…and these were serious!
Daniele: Jen makes this comment – and these were not jokes. Jen says, “What am I going to do about my toenails? I’ve never had to cut my own toenails.” Amber looks at her and goes, “I think your toenails are going to be awfully long by the end of the summer.” Jen goes, “Will you please cut them for me?”
Dick: And she said something like, “What if I cut my toe off?”
Daniele: Yeah, “I’ll probably cut my toe off.”
Dick: Chick is like –
Dick: She’s out of her mind. You try living with something like that for a couple months and see where you’re at.
You know what? We’ve given her enough time. Let’s just move on.
Daniele: Yeah, we have!
Dick: Way too much time.
Dick, now that you know about America’s Player, do you realize now how close you came to being evicted over Dustin?
You know, I’ve answered this question a few times. I haven’t seen the show, I’ve just heard. Number one, I think that it skewed the game, but I haven’t seen the show. Number two, from what I understand from the people I’ve talked to, if it wasn’t for that, and some of the other things that went on, I think that Eric certainly would have gone the week before.
Dick: When Danielle put him up and tried to backdoor him. The next thing is, who is to say that if he was not America’s Player that the strategy that I pitched to him in order to save myself and form this alliance with Eric – as it played out, with Daniele winning the HOH the next week, and I explained to him about splitting votes and that unless he won the POV the following week, if Daniele or anyone else – at that time we were aligned with Jen and Zach – any one of them won the POV, putting Dustin up and him up, would pretty much guarantee he go home. Would I be a better ally or would I be a better enemy? What was going to benefit him more? Can he trust Dustin? That whole conversation that we had, take America’s Player out of it, would he have gone for it? Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn’t. Who knows?
I don’t think the viewers really know what Eric would have done if he hadn’t been America’s Player.
Dick: So who’s to say? Do I appreciate it? I’m…shocked. Seriously. Even hearing about it, hearing that America voted for me time and time – and at the end, with Eric’s vote – it is dumbfounding and absolutely shocking when I swore up and down the entire season that America hated me.
Daniele, the week Nick was evicted, Eric was supposed to campaign to get Kail evicted. Do you think he complied with America’s wishes that week?
Daniele: Actually, we were just talking about this. Eric actually went around –
Dick: (interrupting)Wait, wait. Can we ask you a question, because I know you know the answer? Did he [officially] complete that task?
No. The person had to be evicted for him to get credit for it.
But even beyond that, I think he had maybe one conversation about Kail that week.
Daniele: Oh, yeah. He went around that morning before eviction going up to everyone, every single person in the house: “Amber, you’re not going to change your mind, right? You’re not going to vote to keep Nick, right?” And he did that to every single person in the house to make sure that even though he would stick with the [America’s Player] vote, Nick would go home. He wanted to guarantee that Nick would go home because he was the only person who wanted Nick out. Everyone else was definitely on the fence. My dad and I, Nick had our vote. If we could have guaranteed two more people, Nick had our vote. Eric went around campaigning to make sure nobody was going to flip sides. So no, Eric did not comply with that. No, he wanted Nick out from day two.
By now, have you heard about him getting paid?
Daniele: We did hear about him getting paid. You know, going back to the other question though, I think it’s ridiculous that Eric’s whole thing was “you have to do this, you have to do that” but he got to pick which ones he did do and which ones he didn’t do because he thought Nick was the biggest threat. It’s funny, because Nick wasn’t even going to go after him if Nick stayed in the house, so it shows where Eric was with that. I did hear about him getting paid, and I do see that he had a harder game having to do those things, but at the same time, he did get outside information from America, outside opinions; and that could have helped him in certain ways, too. But again, we haven’t seen the show and we haven’t seen completely what happened with him, so we can’t really say a lot about it.
Daniele, why do you think your father edged you out on the jury?
Honestly, going into it I knew he was going to win. I told him that weeks before that if we got to the final two he was going to win. Living with these people all summer, I know who they are, I know what kind of people they are, and I know what they’re thinking. After the jury questions, when most of them were personal attacks against me – and a lot of my dad’s questions were completely irrelevant, to be honest. Dustin’s question, Amber’s question, Jen’s question, Jessica’s question –
Dick: Were Eric’s questions America’s questions?
No. America didn’t have any input.
Daniele: It was Eric, then. But it was just all of their questions to him were so irrelevant. All of the questions to me were kind of personal stabs to kind of come off as funny or smug or whatever. By that, I was pretty much absolutely positive he would win. I actually thought it would be 6-1 in his favor.
Did you feel like your father was trying to sway votes with the jury that night?
Dick doesn’t hear and Daniele repeats the question for him, laughing.
Dick: She (Daniele) says yes.
Daniele: To be honest, I don’t know. My whole opinion going into it was, ever since week two when my dad and I went up on the block together, I was freaking out before the veto. If we’re on the block together on eviction day, what am I going to do? Because I’m not going to campaign against him. If it were anybody else, I would campaign the hell out of it but I can’t campaign against him. Going into the jury questions, I just wasn’t going to campaign against him. Even with Jen’s question. She asked me, “Why should I vote for you?” I just told her, “Jen, vote however you want to. It doesn’t matter to me.” She replied to me, “Do you even care if you win?” Of course it would be nice to win, but we already won, we’re in the final two, and that’s all that matters. It really didn’t matter to me at all.
What did you think of Jameka’s description of Daniele being “the pimp, and Dick is the ho”?
Dick: (genuinely surprised)What?
Daniele: (amused) What? I never heard that one, what was that?
Oh, I guess it must have been during the roundtable discussion and you wouldn’t have seen that.
CBS Moderator: No, they didn’t.
She described Daniele as being the pimp in the relationship and Dick was the ho.
Dick: (sarcastically) Oh, right. Well, I’m described that way in real life all the time, too.
I just thought it was funny coming from Jameka.
Daniele: Yeah, well, a lot of things were funny coming from Jameka.
Dick: I don’t think it is funny, actually. Like her calling my mother a f***ing bitch. She’s an ordained minister, who gives clothing to the homeless and drug addicts, and free food -- (to Daniele) What’s the hell is it called, that food program thing?
Daniele: (sounding amused) She doesn’t care!
Dick: Anyway, this is what my mother does, so come on. Am I surprised? No.
CBS moderator: One more question.
Are the two of you optimistic about your relationship with each other in the future?
Dick: Absolutely. I’m looking forward to creating a close, personal relationship with my daughter and getting things back on track. This has been a great break, and an unbelievable memory that we both share and will always have for the rest of our lives.
Daniele: I agree 100 percent.
Daniele: You know, we’ve been through a lot this summer, and we’ve been through things before, but this was one hell of a summer, definitely a rough summer, and definitely a milestone and a stepping stone. We’re looking for the positive, putting the negative behind us, and you can only move forward from there.
Thanks to Dick and Daniele for making it a memorable summer, and many thanks to CBS for the interviews this season.