Jun Dishes

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Entering the Big Brother House

I sat in a trailer parked on the lot at Studio City before I actually entered the “set” of the Big Brother house, my season. I remember sitting in the small but clean space of the trailer and staring at the mirror incessantly, and drinking a LOT of water. I took deep breaths knowing I was about to give up my freedom for a chance at half-a-million dollars. Before I was mic’d up to go in, Robyn Kass knocked on my door and came in to the trailer. We hugged and she got me hyped up all over again that I was about to finish what I started during the casting process. Robyn and I took a photo together, which we still each have a copy of and sincerely cherish, and then she was off. I figured she was doing the same thing with every HG and I wondered who I’d be sharing the BB house with.

I had no idea at the time that it would be with my ex-boyfriend Jee….

A few minutes later it was show time, and I was herded onto the set…to the “faux” exterior of the BB house, where I stood for this photo…

We stood for this photo…

EliteEight

 

We were instructed not to make eye contact or talk to each other while posing, which was incredibly awkward. Facing in front of us were bright lights and cameras and microphones, and lots of producers. Organized chaos.

I didn’t know their names yet, but I recognized Jack and Nathan from my week at finals casting in LA. Finalists were always broken up into groups by sex, and the groups traveled in packs for meals and gym time, etc., under supervision of a “handler.” I knew Jack and Nathan had been in the same group because I’d seen them marching by single file quite a few times when my group of five ladies were lounging by the pool or eating lunch, etc… Nathan seemed cold but Jack seemed very warm, and from behind my sunglasses I watched them walk around the hotel.

We were never ever allowed to talk to each other or even make eye contact with any of the other finalists, whether they were in your group or not, but it’s not like I was going to gouge my eyes out if I happened to turn my head and see someone.

I remembered Scott too because even at finals in the dry LA heat, he wore his knit hats. It was always odd seeing “the skinny dude” before I knew his name, sitting on the terrace in the blazing sun with a wool or whatever mini-cardigan he wore as a hat. So when I saw Scott on the steps of the house with me, about to enter the house, I laughed inside because I knew the hats would make me crazy. I’d also remembered and liked Dana right away when I accidentally met eyes with her once during finals. I say accidentally because some dude talking loudly on his brand-new bluetooth ear thing was sitting by us, and Dana and I happened to look up when the douchebag was shouting.

Both Dana and i looked sharply away. All the finalists were watched by hawks with different sets of eyes at all times, and we were warned we would go home if we were caught violating the rules of the casting process. I was all about following the rules. Of course I’m dramatic but it did all feel like a mini-drama to me, and I hated having to deliberately avoid four other grown women who were vying for my key into the Big Brother house in the final rounds..

My douchebag story has a point because bluetooth guy was sitting between me and Dana, and there were plenty of other “regular” hotel guests there with the BB crew. Most people were there with their kids to check out Universal City just a walk away, or film whatever local porn they were on location for…whatever. It’s not like CBS shut down the Sheraton for BB finals casting, so it really was odd sharing the elevator with people who had no idea there was anything going on.

So Dana and I shared a douchebag experience and without words it created a bond between us, and then when we learned we were both from New York it was an instant connection. It wasn’t our fault how we’d been seated at breakfast during finals. So as Julie told us to check each other out I looked most forward to meeting Jack and Dana.

Erika just rubbed me the wrong way immediately and I can only chalk it up to mismatched menstrual moon cycles, but of course I envied her emaciated tummy. She never ate much from what I saw at the hotel…I also hated her for her perfect but so fake breasts. I was so judgmental, and I still am. I’m working on it.

I thought Alison was so cute but vanilla, and I loved her short short skirt even though Dana thought it was too short. I didn’t sense at all the menacing terror Ali would turn out be, on that first day. She fooled me. David was attractive but very hard to read standing there on the steps but he was a joker, unlike Nathan who turned out to be as slow as I thought his eyes looked…in those first minutes standing around awkwardly.

The vibes from Scott and Erika threatened me most that day. My gut said no to Scott and Erika, but there I was about to enter the house…as a fan of the show who applied the old fashioned way I was ready.

I knew there had to be more than eight people in the house, but I decided to worry about that later and focus on the very seven people Julie Chen just told me to “take a good look around at.”

In my mind the start of the season right then was nothing and everything I thought it would be, and in the moment you’re waiting for Julie Chen to address you for the first time it’s…magic and rainbows and Ashley’s dreamboard unicorns. You can’t see Chenbot but you can hear her Chenbot voice. Then you’re jarred back to the reality that holy shit the game’s already started and the battery pack on the microphone felt damn heavy clipped to the back of my skirt. I’d shoved the pack between my skin and skirt, so my skirt felt extra tight and I felt like a sausage.

No matter how much you’re prepared for Big Brother, everything flies out the window when you get there and it’s up to you to close the damn window. You realize you have to be locked up with most probably and certifiably crazy people around you, and you have to watch your back because everyone wants your $500,000. Plus, you have to pee and poop on film.

Even at my coolest and most relaxed state I usually have a dozen things running through my head, but when I was standing on those steps my mind and heart were racing. No joke. So what do you do?

I chose to listen closely to the instructions I was given by production and hoped I wouldn’t be the first HG to faint on those stupid fake steps.

So as the first eight of us HGs stood on the stairs leading to the BB4 house, not knowing each other’s names, I felt like I was high. I wondered if they were thinking what I was thinking. Where were the rest of us?! Why only eight?

I’d looked around trying to get a read from Robyn or Kate or Shawn’s faces, anyone from production, but they gave me nothing. Little did I know they were trying not to laugh in our faces as they anticipated drama to the highest degree, because the remaining five HGs yet to arrive were ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends of most of us standing on those steps.

I don’t blame CBS for putting my messy break-up on blast, and making me share a house with Jee. It was a game-changer and better than any twist we’e seen in recent seasons because the producers just let things play out more, but maintained humane conditions.

~ ~ ~

I’m getting asked often now about the fact that I’m the only non-white HG to ever have won Big Brother…but 10 years ago standing on those steps it didn’t matter to me what color my fellow HGs were at the end of the day because the only color that mattered to me was green, in the form of a cash prize at the end. I wasn’t poor in 2003 by any means, but I was greedy and pretty ruthless and I wanted to win. The money was great, but I wanted to win.

~

End of Entering the Big Brother House.

Always dishing,

Jun

 

Posted under: Big Brother, Reality TV Dishes

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29 comments

  • I’m really enjoying your posts! Both the glimpses behind the scenes of the Big Brother world, and your non-BB posts as well. Thanks for writing and sharing them!

  • Love the conservative outfit! You were trying to throw them a curve ball from day one! If they only knew what lurked beneath! Hey… It worked. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Jun Song on August 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm said:

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      I thought it was “conservative” too hahaha but my mother thought the skirt was uber short. But then again she’s my mom :)

  • Fun read, love the different perspective of the BB experience. More please! I keep waiting to hear the douchebag on the phone turned out to be someone we know….

    • Jun Song on August 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm said:

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      He gave his business card to our waiter to give to me! HAHAHAHA! It turns out he was in sales at the same bank I was working for at the time, except he was in an LA office. We never went out. But I did get some gossip on him through the grapevine. It turns out he was indeed a douche.

  • I remember watching your season…I am pretty sure I was around thirteen. I didn’t like you very much, and I am pretty sure I liked Alison. Thirteen year old me was a little bitch. I am a bit older now and just rewatched your season, and you are one of my favorites. And I am loving your blog…just had a question that I am sure you have answered, but what part of Belgium are you from? I was an expat in the Netherlands from 2009-2012, and spent many weekends in Belgium, til my little boy was born and we moved back to Canada, loved it over there! Your little Noah is adorable by the way :)

  • You write so well Jun. I was transported back to that moment in time. I will never again wonder how it would feel to be a house guest waiting for the game to begin. I was sitting in that trailer. I was standing on those steps. Your Scott vibes made me want to move away from him on the steps.

    I hope you will continue to share your memories with us.

    • Jun Song on August 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm said:

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      I work everyday on my writing Jill, thank you :)

      I’m so glad you’re open to chatting like this. It’s why I love having this site. Thanks again!

    • Jun Song on August 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm said:

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      I think my season was pretty great too, but then again every alum thinks so about their season :)

      I’m pretty sad about this current season as well. Oh well. It goes on without me :)

  • nicholasmri on August 10, 2013 at 10:03 am said:

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    Hi Jun, I just started watching BB4 today, but have been reading your blog/twitter and read your superpass blogs. Just wanted to let you know thanks for such great posts and have a quick question. In the DR room do producers push for you to make a certain game move? If so how? THANKS FOR ALWAYS DISHING :)

  • Your season was the best season and the one that got me hooked. It felt epic in many ways. Not just for the interplay between the contestants and the X factor twist but in the editing. There was one bit where they showed Alison in bed, with night vision, I think she was betraying Nathan (to you) and they played psycho horror music and did a close-up on her eyes and it actually made me cry a little bit.

    I love reading your insights anyway. You have a great book in you.

    • Jun Song on August 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm said:

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      Hilarious. I know that moment you speak of hahahaha! Ali was SO crazy! But it wasn’t like what we’re seeing in BB15. We should all be more grateful for Alis :)

  • I love living this as I read it. And make no mistake…in that moment…as I read…I feel your heart racing as if it were my own. Probably my envy. Just love your way, Song.

  • Anonymous on August 11, 2013 at 12:02 am said:

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    Hey Jun. We shared an unauthorized moment around the Sheraton pool during finals. We were side my side on towels, sunning and watching, trying to figure who else was being considered. We made eye contact, laughed and looked away. Your blog is terrific, as was your game in the House. Just Jack

    • Jack! I remember that! It was such a cardinal sin :)

      As a huge fan of yours and your writing, it means so much to me that you come around here! Even a sex blog here and there! Ha!

  • Steph Foster on August 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm said:

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    Jun I’m curious, did you know you had the game sewn up with the jury before they cast their votes? Were you confident after the jury questioning that you had won? How did Allison feel?

    My favorite moment of the finale was when Nathan said he expected smack talk from you (*snicker*) but not from Ali and you awesomely put your hand to your mouth and chuckled away like you were already talking smack about him in your head. LOL.

    Love you, love your writing, love that you won BB4, love EVERYTHING about you.

  • Hi Jun. I just wanted to tell you that when I watched your season on Youtube, it may have been my favorite season of the first 1-6 seasons. I also really like your blog, ‘kay, just wanted to get that out there :)

  • Thank you for your blog, and for taking a stand against the “issues” with this season’s show. I admit that I’ve never really followed the show (the complicated rules for challenges taxed my attention span), but my 6 year old niece loved it so much we watched it together all July. Explaining some things like lying and racism was unexpected, but we managed along and enjoyed picking favorites to win things.

    That said, after Candice’s eviction, I dont it’s hard for me to understand why it’s still on. You describe more of a competitive game from your experience, but I don’t know what this is and it’s bugging me. I’m sorry if this is long-winded, but I don’t belong to any of the fan forums, and your twitter post quitting viewership is why I respect and follow your blog. It goes beyond “bad TV” now for me. I’m watching as a biracial female lawyer, and I gotta say, this show is causing “issues” in my brain.

    There have been more than just a constant onslaught of racist behavior and outright attacks on the only two black houseguests (who were nominated for eviction by houseguests with an openly bigoted agenda), plus the ongoing defamatory slurs about Candice – there have been threats of physical violence against her by Gina Marie. Speaking of whom, not even her psychotic ranting at Aaryn and physical intimidation have had any effect on her tenure in the house.

    And of course, there is Spencer, whose more notorious acts have involved intentionally exposing himself to the cameras, masturbating on camera, joking about child porn being masturbation material, talking about what he’d like to do to the female cast-members sexually (specifically Elissa), constantly leering at the women when they exercise, and now that he would masturbate on Elissa’s pillow to get her to leave. He seems like someone with the criminal profile of a sexual predator in escalation mode, yet he remains. Viewers have been blogging about how perverted he acts since the first week of the show, and the sheer volume of inappropriate sexual behavior, coupled with his ongoing bigoted, homophobic and mysogynistic narrative convinces me that whatever isn’t assessed as potentially criminal by the producers is, at a minimum, harassment worthy of civil suits by the cast members or CBS employees forced to endure it daily by working on the show.

    I know people, including myself, have complained to CBS about the hurtful and disgusting behavior shown just by the televised cuts. When you add in the fact that live feed updates have advised a social-media-aware, socially conscious public that the truth has been sanitized and that these people are even more vile than the select glimpses permit, we are properly outraged and offended that network television thinks this is an appropriate glorification of toxic stupidity and/or we’re too gullible to know we deserve better.

    Freedom to change the channel isn’t a proper defense to CBS’s reckless indifference to the effect this show has had on the public. The level of hate being broadcast has escaped the confines of social media to become mainstream news. Further, to deem it a “social experiment” as a way to justify it’s continued airing is doublespeak. This isn’t a “socially diverse” mix of people worthy of study, and the vast majority of us aren’t sociology, psychology or anthropology students such as would justify the trauma we experience watching people victimize, torment and alienate each other. Lastly, they need to understand that freedom of speech is not absolute. Speech that tends to inflame or incite certain bad behavior has never been constitutionally protected. CBS does have a responsibility not to widely disseminate this type of programming, and I hope that a challenge is made against it by the FCC as soon as possible. A disclaimer simply can’t cover them the longer it knowingly continues.

    The producers should really be fired and banned from television for the opportunistic way they’ve used the public and the contestants, some of whom are clearly mentally and/or emotionally disturbed.

    Why hasn’t their been more of an explanation from CBS as to it’s non-response to public outrage over this show, and this cast in particular? How to they excuse apparent criminal threats of harm by mentally unstable houseguests against jury members who aren’t aware of the danger? Why is there no consequence to Spencer for his lewd comments and behavior or any other cast member for their bigoted and hateful remarks and threats? At a minim, why haven’t the cast and producers had to publicly answer for broadcasting views that historically have had consequences in the real world?

    I’m disgusted. And I’m waiting to see if CBS will ever step up and own the mistake that IS this season of “Big Brother.”

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