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Jen evicted after receiving Big Brother’s first-ever penalty vote

The big news about Jen Johnson’s eviction from the Big Brother 8 house is what didn’t happen. She didn’t ignore Julie Chen or refuse to go to sequester; she didn’t have any kind of meltdown after her week-long meltdown in the house.

That meltdown was actually shown on Thursday’s episode, although Julie Chen treated it jovially, calling it “an exciting and explosive week in the house.” Oh yes, watching someone break down after being abused all summer is totally exciting. Basically, Jen packed her clothes into bags and hid them and destroyed Dick’s cigarettes while cooking; meanwhile, Dick found her clothes while searching for his cigarettes and hid them. Then Jen went outside and started ravenously eating a turkey burger and apple.

The editors included clips of both Jameka (“It just really degraded the integrity of the game.”) and Zach (“I have a big problem in the game with people that cheat or break the rules in the game.”) insisting that Jen eating was ruining the game. They have a good argument to make, considering that Jen won the veto by agreeing not to eat, and that led to an eviction that might otherwise not have occurred. Still, Jen eating food a few days before being evicted is pretty much the least egregious thing that’s happened this summer.

Later, in one of the most disturbing scenes ever, Dick lit up and blew smoke at her, and she started stupidly swatting at his cigarette. That led him to start jabbing his lit cigarette at her hand, and she started crying and said, “You’re burning me on purpose!” Dick said, “Get the fuck out of here. I don’t care. Get your hand out of my face. Get out of here, you crybaby little bitch. … Go home, psycho bitch.” Jameka pulled Jen away.

The editors showed Jen going to the Diary room, but none of the actual conversations; instead, we saw her just summarizing what someone probably told her to say: “So when I ate, Big Brother gave me a penalty vote.” The penalty nomination, which was in effect for at least some time, was ignored on the live show. Jen was evicted by a vote of 6 to 0; America’s vote was also for Jen.

Outside the house, Jen talked to Julie Chen, and seemed back to her old airheady self, saying things like “fun!” when she saw the crew. Interpid interviewer Julie asked Jen, “Dick said some pretty mean things to you in the house. Do you think that’s really how he feels, or was that merely strategy?” (The correct answer, for those of you playing at home, is “merely strategy,” which we know based upon the suggestive wording of the question.) Jen had a good answer: “I think either way if it was Dick’s strategy or if it’s how he really feels, it’s not appropriate in any way or true, for that matter, I honestly don’t even know where he came up with most of the things that he said.”

Apparently trying to win her back, the producers kept Jen around to participate in the HOH competition, where she pressed a button that send losing houseguests splashing into a dunk tank. Jessica won HOH for the second time, meaning that both Daniele and Jessica have ruled the house for about a month now. Time will tell if she sticks with her Dick/Daniele alliance, or decides to change things up again.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


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