Survivor contestant backed out of Big Brother 4 after learning about the exes twist

Jessica DeBen, the first person voted out of Survivor Fiji, was previously cast for one of CBS’ other reality shows, Big Brother.

She was set to appear on the show’s fourth season, during which the producers decided to screw with some of the houseguests by sending their exes into the house. At the time, producers said none of the houseguests were aware of the twist.

But Jessica learned that her ex was going to be in the house, and she backed out. “I thought, ‘Oh my God — if they lock me in the house with this wacko, I’m never going to make it,” she told the Calgary Sun. “So I called CBS and said, I can’t do it.’” She doesn’t identify who that “wacko” was, although they’re pretty much all good candidates.

She elaborates in a separate interview with BuddyTV, explaining that she accidentally discovered the twist. “And my ex-boyfriend called me before I went into the house and said, ‘I’m going to go into the house.’ And I backed out, I said, ‘Now, I know what you guys are doing and I’m not going to do it,’” Jessica said.

She was cast for Survivor because “it ended up being the same casting director in the end, so I felt they kind of knew my personality, which maybe helped and maybe they kind of remembered that thing, the snafu from Big Brother.”

Being backstabbed not so bad [Calgary Sun]
Exclusive Interview: Jessica deBen, 1st Survivor Voted Off [BuddyTV]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.