Jun Dishes

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

Big Brother Diary Room FAQs

What’s the diary room like?

The Diary Room. The room in every Big Brother house that is soundproofed, and then carpeted on the inside with some double sided mirrors on the walls. There’s a love seat in the middle of the room with a little side table sometimes, and across from the seat is a wall with a square cutout and glass separating you and a camera lens.

Diary Room

It’s where you get your daily meds, if you take any, and also where you’re expected to report to when summoned via a pre-record message…”Jun, please go to the diary room.”

Update: My season there were two ways to get into the diary room…you were either called or you went by the diary room door and pressed a small button to let the producer on the shift know that you wanted to get in the DR. Sometimes they let you in, and sometimes they didn’t.

Is there anyone in the room with you?

There’s nobody physically in the room expect you, and you just imagine someone is sitting on the other side of the camera wall. When Julie Chen asks for live votes, all you hear is her voice and you still don’t see a thing. You’re not supposed to see anyone but fellow HGs while you’re inside the house, unless it’s medical or reward. Periodically a camera man’s head would pop up accidentally up on the roof while filming our competitions in the backyard, and that was pretty exciting…another human face. My season, Ali and Nathan did have a dentist come in and check their teeth because they were being such crybabies about PB&J rotting their perfect teeth.

Who talks to you in the diary room?

The voice welcoming you and asking you questions in the diary room may sound familiar, because much of the pre-production staff carry over to production once the season starts. So it’s someone from production, basically, that you interacted with during the finals casting process, etc… Sometimes the voice on the speaker may not sound familiar, and really, I didn’t  care who was asking me the questions. I sincerely loved the team working BB my season, but when I got in that house it was my game to win and I treated the diary room like my shrink. I answered all questions honestly and obnoxiously just like I did through my casting process, and I loved the diary room. Then we have GinaMarie who picked her nose with those grimy red shorts after blowing her nose into them, and she did it in the diary room for the whole world to see.

DiaryRoomBB15

 

The photo above is one that Rob Cesternino put together for me when I joined him for a podcast on Rob Has a Website. I still don’t know how I feel about my head being so close to GinaMarie’s booger shorts, but I include the photo to give you another angle of the diary room. That’s it. GinaMarie is breaking down in front of a square plexi-glass window, except she’s not at Rikers but the BB15 house.

Do they tell you what to do in the diary room?

Yes and No. Yes, they give us instructions for ceremonies and competition. No, they don’t tell us what do as far as the game and strategic moves.

Why do HGs say the diary room told them what to do / not to do in the game?

Ask those HGs. I’ve never said it, and every season it happens more and more and then when the season is over…even years later NOBODY has stood up and said they were used or abused in the diary room. When you’re in the diary room  all the questions you’re asked are questions you should already be asking yourself anyway, if your head is in the game. You can’t let the diary room get you paranoid.

What do you they ask you in the diary room? 

Let’s take for example this week in the Big Brother 15 house…Aaryn and Kaitlin and GinaMarie are up on the block:

– So what do you think about the three nominated HGs this week?

– Do you think it means something that those three are all up together?

– What are some reasons you might want to evict Aaryn? Keep her around? (Then for Kaitlin, and then for GinaMarie)

– Who do you think is the strongest of the three and why?  Weakest of the three and why?

– Which of the three is the biggest threat to you specifically and why?

There would be some questions about other key players of the week, for soundbites, and other questions depending on what they need. But similarly two-sided questions every time.

Do they give you hints or lead you a certain way in the diary room? 

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to piece together a few things while you’re in the diary room. For example, in my season when the diary room asked me questions about my fishnet top and who I thought had the worst fashion sense in the house, and what one article from that HG’s wardrobe was the worst… I knew something was coming up as far as clothing was concerned but I didn’t know it would entail burning my poor innocent fishnet.

 

Fishnet

 

BB then gave us a “shopping spree” luxury competition so I was slightly appeased.

Another example it seems, this season, is that the diary room asked questions about racism. They can and should. It is is a necessary evil of this Big Brother 15 summer, and I’m 150% sure the diary room did NOT ask the HGs, “Is Aaryn a racist?”

Instead, they probably asked HGs something along the lines of:

– Whose “true colors” have surprised you the most?

– Has anyone offended you in the house more than someone else?

– Does it bother you to hear racially-motivated insults thrown around in the house?

– Who in the house do you think is most guilty of making racist remarks?

And so on and so forth. The diary room only puts words in your mouth when you have to explain instructions for a competition, or if they need you to repeat something more clearly, but that’s about it. Any BB alum can surely step forward and let me know differently…I realize “it’s been 10 years” since I was on the show.

Update: Following up on some questions around “DRs have changed”. Of course they’ve changed. I’m not saying DRs haven’t changed, but I’m saying the professionalism of some very good producers has not changed. Alison Grodner and Rich Meehan and crew now cast a very different breed of Houseguest, and it’s only natural that some of them need to be fed lines because some of them are just plain dumb. But most of the time you’re seeing “rehearsed” lines is because the first time the HG said something original in the diary room, it probably wasn’t a perfect thought. And so the diary room may ask the HG to repeat what they said in an exact way. The gist of the line is no different than what the HG originally said. The producers are just asking for specific soundbites so they can air them on the televised shows. There’s no “script” in BB…just having to say something “just right” for the diary room. It’s the least you can do. Amanda is good at this.

Until past HGs start stepping up and confirming all the conspiracy theories out there about Big Brother…that’s all they are. CBS and Julie Chen & Co., are far from perfect but…all these…conspiracy theories.

Always dishing,

Jun

Posted under: Big Brother, Reality TV Dishes

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50 comments

  • here’s another question: does the diary room pick their “favourites” about who they give more detailed “hints” to or instruct them to do certain things in the house for the entertainment value of the tv show? reason I ask is because i heard a lot of this happened with BB Canada, specifically with Glitter Gary. I sometimes get the feeling they entice the houseguests in the diary room into acting a certain way to bring out some action within the house in return from some kind of pay back or reward. That’s the thing about a show that claims they are on constant surveillance 24/ when they’re really not, because we never get to see what is really said or talked about in the diary room.

    • Michelle on July 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm said:

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      The only time we were able to see the DR sessions was Season 1, but back then it was called the Red Room and it was definitely NOT sound-proof. The hg’s talked constantly about what was discussed and what they were asked, which is why (or one of the reasons) why they’re such sticklers for the players not discussing production or their DR sessions. Also, as a side-note, I’ve met Glitter Gary and he was exactly the same in person as he was on the show, there was no acting at all as far as I could tell, what you saw was who he was.

  • Jun,

    Can you explain to me why the HG’s DR sessions sound more and more scripted and forced now (sometime I feel like I’m watching a horrid MTV reality show sometimes)? I remember earlier seasons (including yours) having DR sessions that were much more candid and natural-sounding. It didn’t sound like the production was feeding them lines.

  • Howard is reading a scripted line that they most likely have needed to ask him to do three times. The DR is so different now. I have Jun’s season on DVD and just for shits and giggles, watched it again over the weekend. DR has changed.

  • Anonymous on July 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm said:

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    The diary rooms are obviously scripted, everyone seems like they are acting(badly) when they are in there. I wish they would follow BB UK where you hear what BB is asking and they just answer normally. I think things have changed dramatically since Jun’s season. If you watch earlier seasons(before seAson10) diary room sessions were much more real.

  • Jun, I see changes every season so I am certain that you are correct that things in the DR have changed as well. Exec Producer changed, production, pre and post have changes yearly.

    I liked the early seasons where you were yourselves without the ‘can you say it this way’ instructions.

    Did you ever wonder how you would have placed had they shown your DR sessions to the others as they did with Danielle Reyes?

    They screwed her royally with that b.s. Still rankles with me.

    Thanks for the insight from the contestant point of view.

  • elliott on July 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm said:

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    Jun, in curious how hg can go in together, for excample, Will and Boogie famous telephone skits

      • elliott on July 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm said:

        Do they have to set up with production ahead of time to go in together, as they are usually called in alone

    • Jun Song on July 23, 2013 at 6:55 pm said:

      Reply

      When production wants them, they’re called. If they want to go in together, they go to the diary room door where there’s a button. You press the button, and go in…sometimes you can’t go in (maybe someone’s not there or they don’t need you…who knows).

      • I guess his point was more on the fact that calling multiple houseguests at the same time might blow some cover on their alliances? For Will and Boogie it was kind of obvious, but I remember in BB Canada that Alec and Peter went in a couple of times..

  • I can’t believe you’re STILL getting asked questions like this!! Lol

    I think more and more HGs are saying these things simply to take heat off themselves

    ‘The DR told me to do this’ is just their way of defending themselves because they’re not brave enough to own their actions!!

  • Jeff made a comment during BB13 that the DR wanted him to keep Dani and it made me wonder how much influence (if any) the DR really had.
    Is there any reason why one person would be called to the DR more than another person? Last night Amanda told Mccrae that she was questioned about Howard in the DR now she’s convinced the house he’s MVP. She then used that information to turn the whole against Howard & Candice . Somehow I don’t see this going over well .

    My DR questions:
    Elissa:
    1)How will keeping Aaryn over kaitlin help your game?

    2)Who will benefit the most if/Aaryn stays? Kaitlin stays?

    3)If you were on the block would Aaryn vote to keep you ?

    4)Who would you rather work with? Aaryn/Kaitlin?

    5)Helen & Andy promised to keep Kaitlin safe but now they want Kaitlin out , are you worried they might not keep their word to you?

    Helen:
    1)You promised Kaitlin several times you would do everything to keep her safe but now you want her out ?

    2)Do you think this will portray you as untrustworthy ?

    3)Have you confronted Kaitlin about wanting you out?

    4)Do you think Judd has an ulterior motive ?

    5)Who would Judd have a better chance of winning against in the end you or Aaryn?

    6) Last week you said you were “getting rid of Jeremy for America ” what is your reason for keeping Aaryn?

    8)Who will benefit the most if /Aaryn stays? Kaitlin stays?

    Jessie:
    1) Why do think Judd wants to keep Aaryn?

    2)Would Judd have a better chance of winning against you or Aaryn?

    Howard :
    1)Why do you want to keep Aaryn over Kaitlin?

    2)Do you know who Aaryn would target if she won HOH ? Kaitlin ?

    • Jun Song on July 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm said:

      Reply

      Helen’s said the same thing along the lines of what Jeff said. She said last week while she was HOH that the DR didn’t want her to put Howard up. I call bullshit paranoia on that one. HGs do it a lot. Instead of taking 150% ownership of their moves, they use the DR as a crutch. That’s how I see it.

      As far as calling one person more than the other…more interesting people…people more tied to some drama going on…basically if you’re boring or super unattractive you’ll get called to the DR less.

      • Shannon Drew on July 24, 2013 at 12:24 am said:

        I think Howard is called a lot bc he’s good looking,he gives the Christian view,showmance & he’s a target right now. He doesn’t talk another his DR but he’s paranoid & I bet it’s because certain questions he was asked! Thanks again for sharing! Love your openness.

      • Hey Jun, great post! Very insightful. I get what you’re saying in regards to HG’s becoming paranoid about what the DR supposedly wants them to do in regards to nominations and just chalk it up to the questions being asked as leading them in another direction. I imagine that Helen may have been asked questions along the lines of “What are the benefits of making Howard your target this week? Do you think that he will target you for eviction if he were to win Head of Household next week?” and so on.

        However, I do think that some of the more perceptive players can also discern from the questions being asked of them that production doesn’t want them to go after certain players, as well. Prime example was an exchange between Britney and Dan last season where Britney was sure that production wanted to keep Frank around and said that she felt as if the questions they had been asking in the DR is what ultimately convinced her and the others to get rid of Janelle the week the Silent Six was formed. Frank did seem to have nine lives in the game last season, he had been on the block three times at that point and somehow survived eviction every single time. I can understand newbies being paranoid about production playing favorites, but when veterans of the game are voicing their concerns about how the questions that are being asked of them in the DR are leading them to believe the game is skewed in someone’s favor, it does tend to make you wonder how much influencing is actually going on in there.

      • I forgot to clarify that Britney had come to the conclusion that she did because they really had not been asking her what the benefits were for her to keep Janelle in the game over Frank and that they really must have wanted to keep him in the game badly if they were willing to let a fan favorite go out the door before he did. It was the lack of persuasion to weigh out the pros of keeping Janelle around that set off red flags in her mind later on and she regretted not coming to that conclusion sooner.

  • I wish another BB contestant from a later season – say maybe 5 years ago – would read this & answer. Yeah I can tell these guys are reading off something – and it sure ain’t good LOL

  • jasmine on July 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm said:

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    The DR sessions we’ve been shown during the past few seasons vs the DR sessions from the early season just seem so different. Houseguests have definitely been complaining about non-game related lines that the DR makes them say. This season on the feeds, Kaitlin and Jeremy were talking about it and Jeremy said that none of his DR’s are scripted and Kaitlin said that all of hers are. Elissa’s complained about them making her make cheesy Rachel references. It’s obvious that there are a few people that are witty enough to say what they really think in a clever way but a lot of them definitely look like they’re repeating lines that they’ve been told to say.

  • OK – after a long email to Jun – I feel like I should address this.

    Jun’s post is 100% spot on to my experience in the Diary Room. Two things in particular

    1 – But most of the time you’re seeing “rehearsed” lines is because the first time the HG said something original in the diary room, it probably wasn’t a perfect thought.

    We may say something great, but in the wrong tense (mind you the DR’s are done after the competitions / conversations happening) so we have to go back and say them again. You lose a little spontaneity the 2nd or 3rd or 4th time. Also some of the DR’s are done early in the morning, late in the day – so you may have to go back and redo it. This is also why you may see someone wearing different clothes during the same DR session on TV.

    2 – When you’re in the diary room all the questions you’re asked are questions you should already be asking yourself anyway, if your head is in the game.

    They never tell you anything you do not know already. They just need to try and get your thought process. My issue with this is the edit. When giving pro’s / con’s on any idea, they can take your words and make it sound completely different then you meant it. I sat in bed almost every night tossing and turning trying to think everything through – so when it came time to make a decision I could do what was best for my game. I never thought – wow DR just told me something I did not think of already.

    This could be different for other people, but I am just saying how I saw things.

  • thanks for a look into the DR, answered a lot of thing for the millions who will never know. love all ur posts cause u tell it like it is.

    Personally i think some of the stuff said by HG’s about DR pushing them one way or another is just that HG covering their own ass in the house.

    for example when someone told someone else DR wouldn’t let them put Howard up, i think it was more, that person didn’t want to put Howard up and the easiest way to squash the whole situation is to say DR wouldn’t let them. but i could b complete wrong as i never been in bb, but it’s seem reasonable enough

      • it’s quite possible they would, the other night when Elissa was talking about how DR seemed mad at her or something, they cut to fishes, now i really can’t see DR being mad at her, i think it was more to get pity from other HG and to deflect the fact she is sorta BB’s “the chosen one” this season.

        again though, just spectulation, hope to one day find out myself..lol

  • Freak_Show on July 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm said:

    Reply

    Diary Room manipulation is low priority for questioning the integrity of the game, however it’s unfair of you to use the pejorative “conspiracy theory.” You don’t know what goes on in there, and can only resort to theories of your own. Theories like, “my experience, now over 10 years old, is the same experience everyone has had or ever will have.” One certainty is corruption breeds where nobody is looking, and branding questions with pejoratives hinders line of sight.

    That said, more obvious issues exist, such as the rigging of HOH/POV competitions, Pandora’s Box, and the “America’s Choice” voting.

    Why doesn’t production release a timeline of every competition to come in the season?

    Why isn’t there a released schedule and description for what each Pandora’s Box will be?

    In Eviction 3 Power of Veto, which Kaitlin won, why didn’t production let each contestant have a stop-watch so they could verify their time?

    Why do the terms and conditions of voting for “America’s Choice” include that any vote can be removed for any reason? Why is it a blackbox system?

    One can come up with a new question anywhere there is a lack of transparency. And the answer to each is because it affords production leverage over what happens in the Big Brother house. It lets them steer the game how they want. It lets them nurture certain stories, and trim the fat.

    Let’s not overlook the irony that the shows namesake was the sheep’s clothing adopted by a viscous authoritarian regime in a dystopia.

    • Jun Song on July 24, 2013 at 10:53 am said:

      Reply

      How could you possibly know how much time I’ve spent behind the scenes at the house? If it ain’t broke they’re not fixing it…and on the back-end not much changes save for better technology. It’s the house that gets the makeover.

      You misquote me as well. ““my experience, now over 10 years old, is the same experience everyone has had or ever will have.” I never said that.

      What I did say was, “Any BB alum can surely step forward and let me know differently…I realize it’s been 10 years since I was on the show.”

      Go back up and read it, since you clearly ignored it so you could leave a smartass remark in the comments. I realize you think you sound really smart, but your thesaurus can only get you so far. Your very “transparent” need to know more than me discredits your theories. Sorry.

      I do get what you’re saying…I do. But with no real voice from BB or alum confirming any of your theories, this doesn’t work.

    • Jun Song on July 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm said:

      Reply

      Btw I’ve delete your other reply/comment in which you call me a “cunt”. Nice. I’m sorry you couldn’t find a longer fancier word for that.

      • caitlin on July 25, 2013 at 12:02 am said:

        jun, you are the best. it’s a shame a lot of recent HGs are found in bars or whatever and aren’t really bb fans at all and when they talk about past HGs it’s all from season 13 and 14 like they just breezed through those seasons in the week before they moved in. They could learn a lot watching seasons 3-6.

  • A supposed ex-Big Brother production person claims the winner this season (and in past BBs) are pre-selected. Here’s the accusation as it appeared on Twitter: http://twitpic.com/d4al7w What was your experience? And what’s your take on this? Thanks!

  • karenrakay on July 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm said:

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    While u were typing this. Did u think u would hear a voice that said “jun ur not allowed to talk about diary room sessions”

  • Freak_Show on July 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm said:

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    If that’s what it really said you would have left it up to discredit me.

    Jun can’t handle the Dishes. What a disappointment.

  • Jennifer Allam on July 25, 2013 at 10:15 am said:

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    Do you think that when certain HG are in the DR, they are given a heads up on what might be happening when it comes to HOH/POV/or any kind of twist that might be happening? It seemed like Elissa already knew that something crazy was about to happen & shake up the house, but she wasn’t scared.

  • This actually clears up quite a bit. I’ve watched every season of Big Brother twice (thanks to YouTube) and this season some of these people sound they are reading from a cue card in the DR. I typed in “is Big Brother diary room scripted?” and this blog showed up near the top of results. I really do think they’re making people repeat themselves more and more. Until a couple of years ago, DR sessions sounded much more natural.

  • Is it embarrassing when you have to take a dump and it stinks up the whole bathroom area? Do you try to take a dump when everyone is asleep?

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