Sorry, Dick Donato fans — the man you love to hate will not be returning to the Big Brother house this summer unless it involves hosting a goofy challenge or appearing in the finale.
Executive Producer Allison Grodner told EW that it would be unfair to bring back Donato now that he’s left the house for an undisclosed reason. Some details about his unexpected departure were revealed during Wednesday’s telecast but none of the houseguests appear to know what prompted him to leave. (After he left the show, Donato used his website to say it was his decision to leave because of a personal matter.) “He needs to do what he needs to do to take care of situation,” said Grodner. “Our practice has been that when something urgent has happened that could affect someone’s life that cannot be addressed three months from now, the houseguests are told. He needed to take care of it.
“The issue now is that he’s been in public, he’s seen the show and press coverage. Once you’re out of the bubble, you cannot come back into the game,” Grodner continued. “Is there a possibility we’ll see his return in other ways? Like maybe he’ll make a statement to the houseguests as part of the finale? All options are possible, which we will talk about. But the idea that he’ll come back now that he’s outside of the bubble, it’s not to going to happen.”
Despite having already announced Donato’s departure, CBS still aired the nomination episode on Sunday because the show was taped days in advance — long before the elder player left the game. Because of his departure, his daughter (and partner) Daniele became the first recipient of the Golden Key, which assures her safety from elimination for a month. Either Keith or Porsche will still be evicted on Thursday, however. “There would have been a double elimination during the season, anyway,” Grodner said.
Grodner also confirmed Donato’s comments on the show that he and his daughter had not talked for three years. “They knew that in order to come back they would need to play together,” she said. “They did not talk to each other until they were inside. That was their choice. It’s odd and unfortunate but their relationship exists better in the game.”
This wasn’t supposed to be an all-star season, Grodner says: She just liked the idea of bringing back dynamic duos that developed relationships while in the house. That doesn’t mean she and the other producers are opposed to scheduling another all-star season – one that comes with a twist, of course. “We think the idea of having an all-star show in the future that involves legends of the game with new all stars would be interesting,” teased Grodner.