Eric stays after Amber explodes; producers try to protect Diary Room sessions

“America, your player is at risk,” Julie Chen told us at the start of last night’s episode of Big Brother 8, but that wasn’t exactly true. Well before the live vote, the houseguests decided to keep Eric and vote out Kail, apparently mostly as a reaction against Dick’s behavior and control of the game. But there’s also speculation that conversations with producers in the Diary Room led the house to keep America’s Player, instead of voting him out.

Before the live vote, there was a lot of drama to catch up on. A few weeks ago, we learned that Amber told Eric, “I lied to him [her boyfriend] and told him I was pregnant twice. And wasn’t. So, I left and we didn’t talk for eight months.” (Later, she called them “lies that I said to my boyfriend when I was on drugs.”) Eric later told Dick, “She told me one of the worst stories I’ve ever heard about her background, and at any time, if she starts to play this self-righteous thing, I will sink her dead, and tell everyone the story she told me, and it will be the end of her, and her God-loving friends will send her right out.”

Of course, Dick is Dick and a dick, so he told Amber that Eric threatened to use that against her. That led to this outburst, in which she said, “I’m kicking myself in the ass for swearing on my daughter’s life to you. Because I don’t want to fucking give you that goddamn vote. … You’re a piece of shit, and you’re going home. I fucking hate you. … That felt so good; thank you, God.”

Sometime after that, Amber and her alliance–Jessica (the new HOH), Jameka, and Dustin–all decided to keep Eric, their new best friend. On the one hand, this is great for the show: Dick needs a real adversary, and without Eric, does not have one. On the other hand, the houseguests seem dead-set on getting rid of Dick, and ensuring their season will limp toward its finale. Still, what the hell happened? It may have been something in the Diary Room.

In the back yard, Amber and Jameka talked about their Diary Room sessions, in which they express irritation at the producers’ conversations with them about Eric in the Diary Room. The audio on the video is horrible, but some things are audible: Referring to Eric, Amber says something like, “he can relax now” or “I’m mad now.” Tameka asks why, and then shouts, “Shut up!” Then she says, “Uh huh. Mmm hmm. I’m telling you, I walked out. Literally, I walked out.” Jameka says of the interviewer, “he cuts you off.” Amber says, “Because he can. He is a big wig.” That’s about when they’re ordered to stop talking about their Diary Room sessions.

Whatever happened in the Dairy Room, all that’s really clear from that conversation is that the producers are scared out of their minds that the houseguests will reveal what actually happens in the Diary Room, because that’s apparently where the mental manipulation really occurs.

For example, a few weeks ago, Daniele revealed that the Diary Room producer called Jen a “cunt.” She told Dick and Nick, “What I told you about yesterday, about in there, the name that was used.” Nick guesses “Transamerica?” And Dick says, “Cunt.” Daniele confirms that, in the Diary Room, “somebody called her that, and it wasn’t me.”

On Wednesday night’s Showtime Too feed, Daniele told Amber, “Man, that Showtime thing has to be cancelled. Oh my God. Either that or it’s doing awful.” She then said that the producers changed the hours they’d have to wear the bunny suits, apparently so they’d have to wear them during the live show. She said, “That’s bull. I’m pissed. That’s crap. My whole thing is that it was how many consecutive hours. If they would have said more, we would have maybe not been on it. And they already screwed us on the funk dunk thing, too, because they went two hours over and we had to wait in all that stuff. I just think that’s rude. And then they told us it’s not after the live show that we can take them off, it’s when we go to bed.”

Immediately, the booming, recorded voice of the real Big Brother, producer Don Wollman, said, “Houseguests, you are not allowed to talk about your diary room sessions with other houseguests.” Daniele shook her fist at the voice, and then changed the subject.

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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.