Jun Dishes

verb/diSH/ : food or sex or gossip or fiction in real life

Just Jack

These two words, Just Jack, have been on my tongue and fingertips and tweets more often than any other answer to Big Brother questions I’ve received.  Just Jack.  The answer to that never-dying “Do you keep in touch with anyone from your season?”  There’s nothing wrong at all with the question, yet it is the last question I would ask myself, if I was…you.  Some ask if I have kept in touch with Jee and no, I haven’t.  He came to my father’s funeral when he passed in 2004 and we cried together, then Jee and I have not kept in touch since.  I know he is married and through mutual friends, I see he is smiling with his new bride, the same girlfriend he had during our Big Brother season.  I forget her name.  This is how much I don’t keep in to touch.

But back to Jack.  He is the one person I said I would love to keep in contact with and in the 9 years since my season, we have done more than that.  Our bond reaches to each others families. Jack’s is a beautiful family inside and out, and have such a strong web of love and support.  I couldn’t cherish more or be more proud of the bond Jack and I have formed.

Jack speaks volumes of the game Big Brother used to be.   I don’t hate Big Brother as it is now, and as a fan first, I really never mean disrespect to the show, or CBS.  I just voice my frustrations like everyone else does. But I don’t “hate” anything or anyone, really.  Not even Julie “Homegirl” Chen, although many people think I hate her.

And when my father passed away, I will never forget just how gracious and warm CBS was to me and my family.  And I was blessed to have real people on the staff who connected with me.  I still have a very few but real freaking friends I’ve made within the Big Brother staff..those people who “live behind the scenes”.  Those few friends know who they are and they are friends because we do not need to name names or name drop.  There is no leaking of insider information from them to me and I am just a girl who happened to win a reality show they work(ed) on.  Among BB alum, I have relationships of all degrees, but my deepest connections are actually not the ones that happen on Twitter or otherwise in-your-face.  Real friendships don’t depend on Big Brother.  It is why I cut people hard and cold when they become anything but friends.  People have called me crazy for doing so, but I call it “clearing out bad energy to make room for better energy”.  Hello.

And so Jack remained in my life as a fixture and he is nothing but jovial and uplifting in all our exchanges but real and firm when he needs to be. And as he and I watch our families grow, mine just starting to, it’s no wonder all I answer is “Just Jack” anymore.  Because that’s all I need.  Literally, Just Jack works for me.  Jack is a published author and brilliant mind, and one of the last class acts to have graced Big Brother.  We can look at Jack then and look at him now and he is still the same comfortable-in-his-skin Jack.  Only now, at least to me, he is the one person from my season that tells me it was worth being a part of something that now reeks of plastic and mugshots and other bad-press-is-good-press.

On Twitter, there’s a hashtag going #JustJack, because that’s how often I get this question…and so my long-time followers feel my pain when I have to answer, yet again.  Jack Owens has a hashtag and I can’t convince him to get on Twitter!  But maybe that’s a good thing.  He spends his time more wisely than the average bear.  And Twitter is such a dirty dirty place.  And I relish in Twitter just like I relished the diary room.  Jack relished my diary rooms too, and we just get each other.  That’s why, it’s Just Jack.

I know those of you reading this nodding and/or otherwise agreeing, get it too.  And the unfortunate remedial portion of those who will read this, will just never get it.  Why there are “armies” assigned to the Hantzes, Brenchels, and other BB alum, I will never really get.  But I’m more than okay with that.  Because I know you know I know I’d be the first one to shut down anything remotely close to some “JunArmy” bullshit.  Why do you need an army if you can handle your business yourself.

Let’s be thankful there was a time when Big Brother cast people like Jack, and not TMZ “stars”.  And a time when hating the person you saw on television could be separated from  hating the person in real life.

All this wishing harm on lives (this goes for BB alum hating on one another too), and tormenting Big Brother alum with threats on their families because you did not appreciate them in a context of a reality show is spinning more and more out of control.  Perhaps it’s getting time to step away.

Old school Big Brother was the best of Big Brother.


Always Dishing,


Posted under: Big Brother, Reality TV Dishes

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  • Great article, Jun! I agree with all that you wrote regarding the decline of Big Brother, the types that are and have been cast the past 8 or 9 years. I was and still am a huge Jack “fan”. I appreciate the fact that he “steers clear” of what Big Brother has become. I always found it very endearing when Jack referred to you as “Junbug”. I so wish Big Brother was real, as it was before all that casting is nothing but models and “Hollywood hopefuls”.

  • I agree Jun, its a shame that BB has turn into the many “Twists” and bringing back “Past HGs” rather than the old BB. Its also ashamed that you and Jee were technically the only Asians to have ever been on there in 14 seasons. And we all know, Jee was only in there because of you. Thank god, we have you as being the only minority asian winner. But, I still hope that one day I’ll get on BB, and win the game.

  • “Just Jack” works for me. I’ve only been following you on Twitter for just over a year now and I can’t BELIEVE how many times I’ve seen people ask you that question!! haha…
    Jack always seemed like a nice guy, and he was the ONLY one that said anything nice at the final key-pulling ceremony on your season, showing what a class act he really is!!

    I’m glad you 2 still keep in touch and get to share your families with each other :)

    • Jack’s freaking awesome. I gave him a heads-up that I’d be writing this just so he wouldn’t be too surprised…he loves it…the bond he and I have is so unique…one of the best things to come out of my BB experience :)

  • @kittenkissies on July 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm said:


    This makes me so happy! You and Jack are two of my all time favorite players. I miss old BB a lot.

      • Diane on July 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm said:

        Every new season of BB I watch hoping that some semblance of the old school version will return. It probably never will, but I can hope, can’t I? Jack remains one of my favorite house guests. Thanks for the update…well done.

  • I think it is awesome that Ian came into the house this season saying he wanted to be the kind of player Jack was because he admired him. Jack was truly an honorable man and a joy to watch. I’m just discovering old school BB thanks to you Jun and I’m quickly realizing it was definitely the best!

  • OMG! IFLY JUN! I am SO on your side! You have my full support! So great to hear about Jack after his BB season. I fully respect both of you and you guys have inspired me!

  • Jun, I love the game of BB. When it was announced that BB Alum would be back in the house, I lost hope of seeing the truest form of the BB game returning. In an effort to keep ratings they lost the best part of the game. 14 individuals going in and figuring out how to manipulate the rest of the players into giving him or her the 500K. I really hope we can get at least one more season of the original game back before the show leaves CBS. Even if it is with all the sexy models.

  • Being a purist when it comes to the game of Big Brother and also of good relationships, that was a good read. “#JustJack”is the kind of sidekick we’d all like to have nearby and the type of person we can all hope to run into through our travels.

    That said, that Army has some more bootcamp to do.
    They flunked the ‘respect’ portion of the drill …

  • Jun, still my favorite winner. nice article. Every season all the BB fans say, “it sure ain’t like it used to be. this season sucks!” And, we are never wrong. Yet, nothing ever changes or mellows. why is that? it must be the audience. more ratings for more crazy. love to hate is the new big thing. sigh. even when old favorites return, they are not themselves anymore. its like there is zero honesty left in this game. I do not mean being honest when playing big brother. that is just silly. I mean everyone is acting, posturing, looking to make it in Hollywood, looking to “sell on ebay.” No one has any more honest human, emotional reactions in the house anymore. it use to have human drama. real people – some good, some lost, some bad – playing a crazy game. now, it is D list “celebrities” acting and posturing for tv time. boring.

    • This, my dear zatty, is GOLD! I could not agree more!! Sure wish AG would read and take advise from this article….She and Rich are ruining my summer fun :( Sure wish we could get back to the “old” days, even if just a little bit :)

  • So very true. I can’t think of anyone in recent BB’s that has remotely come close to being like Jack. And I am getting quite tired of seeing wannabe models and actors/actresses appearing on the show… I’d much rather see real people….

  • Wow. Great article, got me all verklempt. Now, not only do I love Jack but I love you as well (as a writer, nothing serious). Beautiful. Thanks.

  • Word to everything you said, Jun. As a viewer, I felt the energy shift after BB All-Stars (I forget, were you up for that season? If you weren’t, you should have been) and I stopped watching within the first few weeks of BB8 and haven’t looked back since. Jack seemed like an awesome guy during his time on BB4 and I’m glad to know that he really is an awesome guy IRL.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, you are to date my favorite BB winner! You turned “flying under the radar” into an actual STRATEGY, as opposed to Lisa (BB3) and Drew (BB5) who just happened to have their happy-go-lucky asses slip, trip, and fall into the winner’s circle.

    • Anonymous on January 8, 2017 at 6:55 am said:


      No Lisa won because they did not want another Dr. Will and besides Danielle should not have taught Lisa her methods after Eric’s evicition if she did better then she may had a higher chance of winning. With Drew he listen to Mike but Mike did not listen to himself when he was told get rid of Jase and Scott then he will win. Though I can say that was a very close call that I’ve seen yet.

  • Your twitter and blog here have made me want to watch your season. The only BB I’ve watched before All Stars is 2, but I have a feeling yours will be worth it. This was a nice write up, and I do wish they would cast some more genuine people.

  • ohtwiddlesticks on August 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm said:


    I started watching BB in 3008 because of my bff so ive never seen your season but I’m eager to watch from this blot, and comments. It ducks that shows are so type casted because ive wanted to be a BBHG since I first watched in 08! I’m far from Hollywood or plastic… so much for dreaming lol

  • This article is the first thing I’ve read from you. I was curious about a person who would move from their homeland to their beloved’s homeland. So glad I read it. I remember you and Jack and indeed BB was enjoyable back then!

  • Jun, Thank you for this article! It sums it up better than I could ever describe! BB 1-7 Is way better and more real than 8-14

  • Sheila and I am 53 now! on September 11, 2012 at 9:19 am said:


    Here here June! Kudos to you for writing this article. I have watched since Season 1 incuding free live feeds over the phone line! I liked BB more in the earlier days. And Jack, with his stories about the Kennedy assasination, etc, were so captivating. He is my all-time favorite!

  • I get it… Jack was my favorite on your BB season… (sry Jun)… he was the calm in a storm… It doesn’t surprise me that Jack is who you’ve kept connected with in real life.

  • I like how you say you’d immediately shut down anything remotely resembling a “JunArmy,” then dress your kid in “Jun Crew” clothes sent to you by sycophantic fans.

  • I have only watched the live feeds the past 2 years seeing even more of it from HG and fans in the Chat rooms. All of the hateful name calling and death threats really angered me to the point that I wanted to hurt someone, not just have them die, I wanted to do it slowly and painfully. To me seeing how my behavior changed was proof that our societies values are in a dark place. I was so ashamed by my feeling of hate that I do not want to watch BB anymore, it is bad for me. After a show is over I feel bad and that is not the entertainment I want. I never wanted to admit that my Mom was right that TV does afftect us.

    The past four years I kept thinking that BB had changed for the worse. HGs in the past seemed to be pulled from regular population. The Diary Room sessions seem shorter and contrived. I remembered longer sessions when HGs talked more for stress relief sharing good and bad feelings. So I started watching the old seasons and was pleasantly rewarded. For instance I am half way through your season and love the Three Stooges, they are so funny and enjoy each other as men do. Ok there is still some name calling but not like today. It’s as if today’s HGs have a sense of entitlement and it is ok and even expected to throw tantrums, blame others, and bully.

    This article has put into words how I felt by telling us about Jack and the BB experience from your point of view. I will miss BB and always think of it every April but it is not good for me.

    Thanks for helping me understand why I was so frustrated

    All because I found your Power Rankings, they could get me to laugh at it.

    • I know what you mean. It’s what actually pushed me to write this piece in the first place.

      So glad you found me. And now you’re stuck with me! :)

  • Nancy Casserly on November 8, 2012 at 10:03 am said:


    How silly am I? I actually care that you and Jack are still friends. Loved you both, what I remember anyway. I’m not one to go re-watch seasons over and over so I can say all I remember from your season is you and Jack! To stay in my mind that long is a huge complement….things come and go so quickly there :)

    I agree about missing casting everyday type people. Now it’s all extreme personalities, psyche patients, models. Give me a strong, sturdy Jack any day.

  • June now u got me to watch just jack season again. You are a wonderful writer and I will visit you often through my android. I wasn’t online often before but my android made me an internetblogwitterfacebookaddict!
    Love u always my Europe friend.

  • The reason why current (and current past) seasons are no longer “old-school” is because CBS/production sees the benefit of how social media dictates what “sells” this show; ergo, networks are competing on places like Twitter for the most ratings. Thinking they have to be the most “outrageous, most talked-about” season, they get the most outrageous cast of characters, and try to make it more of a shocker. In most cases, it just blows up in production’s faces.

Feel Free to Dish!