In the most shocking eviction of the season, Danielle booted her showmance Shane on Thursday’s episode of Big Brother. So who made the bigger blunder — the nurse from Alabama or the BB vet who’s pulling her strings? In her weekly talk with EW, Julie Chen talks candidly about Shane’s ouster and whether Dan blew his chances at a half million bucks.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY The audience clapped when Shane called Dan a dirty player! Was that a completely off base thing for him to say?
JULIE CHEN Not off base at all. When you start throwing around your wife’s name and using the Bible to gain people’s trust in a very murky gray area where you’re not technically lying, but you’re also not being an honest person — that’s dirty to say the least. It’s not against the rules, but it’s not qualities or traits you want to practice in real life, outside the BB House.
Did Shane burst into tears when you went to commercial?
No, but I could tell he wanted to. It was all so surreal for him. Luckily our houseguest relations handler came up immediately with her friendly, nurturing, smiling face and I think he was relieved to see a familiar face. I thought he was going to nuzzle up to her bosom and start saying mamma while sucking his thumb.
Dan gave Danielle a pretty convincing argument after Shane’s eviction, saying that he was looking after her in the game. Dan can’t think he will win the jury’s votes now, though. Do you think it’s all about Danielle for him at this point?
I think it’s anyone’s guess how this will play out. If he gets to the final two with Ian, he will probably lose and he’s probably happy to get 50K. If he sits next to Danielle, he might take home 500K. People might get over their hard feelings and bruised egos and say from a pure game standpoint he deserves it over Danielle. But we all know people are emotional and may vote with their emotion and say, ‘who cares if Danielle doesn’t deserve it based on game.’ They may want anyone but Dan to win. I call it the ‘anyone but Dan’ factor.
If Dan is still in it to win it, do you think he should have booted Ian and not Shane?
Yes, 100 percent. This was his biggest flaw in the game. He failed to see that he would probably get more respect, votes from the jury sitting next to two relatively non-aggressive, non-scheming players. But he was blinded by the potential physical threat of Shane in any challenges that require a little brawn or stamina.
Shane didn’t even try to talk Danielle out of putting him up! Was he overly confident about his safety or just being a colossal knucklehead?
Uh, I’m going to go with ‘knucklehead of the season’ award. He was right to trust Danielle but he didn’t think it through far enough to realize it doesn’t matter what Danielle promises him. What matters is what Dan is thinking and will most likely do to help Dan’s game.
What do you think about Danielle’s game to date?
She strikes me as one of these people who likes her power and can get drunk with it when she has it — and as long as you (Dan) tell her to do what she really wants to do anyway. She gladly says okay — I will do whatever you say. But if you tell her something she doesn’t want to hear, then she conveniently becomes her own person. She is not dumb. But she can be weak when it serves her to be this way. She is afraid to stand up for what she wants and believes in and I think the coaches twist allowed her to play that card. I think if we never had that twist, she could have been a strong player on her own because she’s not stupid. It would have forced her from day one to be a bigger gamer. Instead, she is a hider, hiding behind Dan.
What were your thoughts about the Britney versus Frank argument in the Jury House? Who were you agreeing with more?
Britney. She was right. Frank lies to himself. Yes he is a loyal guy for the most part and I think he truly believes this, but he also broke his word to Britney and he failed to own up to it. That’s human nature. A lot of people walk through life that way.
Ready to make your winner prediction?
No way! I have been burned before. I have learned to also expect the unexpected. I think at this point it’s anyone’s game!
Who do you think will win the 25,000 from the fans?
Jeff from last year! (Laughs). People still love that guy. They will find a way to make him a write in candidate — even though he’s not eligible. Seriously though, I have no idea. It depends if the voters are voting out of respect for the game or purely making this a popularity contest. Or a beauty contest. So in a nutshell, I really don’t know.
I’ve been meaning to ask — have there been any ex-BB players in the studio audience this year that haven’t noticed on camera? Or will they all come out for the final?
None that I know of so far. But I saw Monica from Season 2 on TV on 9/11 during the memorial. She was reading names of victims at the World Trade Center imprints. She lost a cousin on 9/11 while she, Will and Nicole were the final 3 in 2001. So no, I haven’t seen any former players in the crowd, but I do expect we’ll see some former players on finale night. Sometimes Erika comes. I hope to see her and others this year.