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Where I Was for The 2003 VMAs…

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I walked the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2003, and got interviewed live with a huge bodyguard standing behind me. I thought I was dramatic, but there were bodyguards and bulky security everywhere that day. What the hell was I doing there?

I remember everything about getting to feel like a celebrity for a day. What I remember most is how rushed I felt the entire time, during the whole experience. Winning Big Brother 4 that summer is still surreal to me, but winning HOH at the right time and getting to fly to my hometown of NYC and walk the red carpet with real stars is unreal.

With five of us still remaining in the Big Brother 4 house, I’d won HOH for the first time. I wanted to win it, and somehow I did because it was a memory-based competition. After celebrating hysterically about my win I was instructed to report to the Diary Room. Once in the DR, I was told by Chenbot that I’d also won a reward in addition to my HOH reign. My jaw dropped open when she told me it was a trip to the VMAs. Chenbot then told me to put on some blindfold sitting there next to me, but all I was thinking was that I was leaving the house. I was going back home!

I couldn’t see a thing, and I felt stupid wearing a blindfold. Then Chenbot’s voice came back and told me to “open the door.” What the fuck door was she talking about? The door I came in?!

I struggled and eventually found a knob and opened the “secret door” used by production to get in the DR when they need to. My point is, I made a complete fool of myself groping blindly in the diary room and I hope Julie Chen was laughing. I would have laughed.

I was then guided, still blindfolded, down a hall eventually out some heavy door. I knew I was outside and probably in the parking lot outside the BB house right where I’d stood the very first day I entered the house. I heard a few voices and one voice in particular I found comfort in. Shawn’s. Shawn was the backbone and rock of my Big Brother season and other seasons, and she was like the mama bear while Robyn Kass was cheering squad.

I was whisked into a limo, and then and only then could I remove my blindfold. Shawn was in the limo with me and I shrieked while I hugged her, and I was thrilled that she’d personally be making the trip to NYC with me. We got to the airport and I was rushed into a bathroom like a hostage, and I had to change out of my bright pink “live show” dress and into incognito mode. CBS wanted to be sure I wasn’t recognize by anyone at the gate, or in public in general.

Shawn had handed me an outfit to wear, including comfy flip-flops, sunglasses and a baseball cap that I had to wear asap. Thankfully all the clothes were a size bigger than my original size walking into the house, because I’d been stress-eating for nearly two months. We checked-in and sat in one of the plusher lounges at LAX and I had to keep my head down the whole time. I didn’t get to read a paper or magazine, and I was not allowed near a television as we waited to board. To my left and right in that lounge were real celebrities on their way to the VMAs, to be an actual part of the VMAs. I flew with Ryan Seacrest and André 3000, and Tara Reid too, and I was barfing every few minutes because Shawn had not packed any Dramamine for me. Air sickness may one day kill me, and I thought on that first class flight to NYC I would die from barfing and never make it to my red carpet interview.

We got to New York and checked-in into our Times Square hotel, and I realized it was just like when I was sequestered before the start of my season. I had no access to television or internet or telephone, and I couldn’t leave my hotel room and I was home. Home, but so far away. So dramatic, but I did get made-up and touched-up from top to bottom on CBS’s dime. From my Calvin Klein panties to my lovely Diane von Fürstenberg dress, I was happy and my hair and makeup were done just before I got escorted out of the hotel again. When we got outside we had to film my getting in the limo and riding in the limo and getting out of the limo, and it was ridiculously organized and planned. It was nothing like reality yet reality television.

While I stood and waited for my big red carpet interview, I watched Jessica Simpson in her white suit walk by me with Nick. I was in awe of Christina Aguilera just a few feet away from me, even if she was wearing only feathers. I loved the the adorable group of gay boys getting so much attention from reporters, but I had no idea who they were. They were the Fab 5 from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and their first season had started airing when I went into the BB house. I watched religiously for years after, and I loved most their earlier seasons.

There were Big Brother fans lined up on the streets around Rockefeller Center leading to Radio City Music Hall, scattered among every other fan of every other star walking the red carpet. Shawn and our bodyguards and small production crew made sure nobody talked to me or got close enough to me to tell me anything, most of all BB fans. It all felt like some spy movie. I was not to get any information from anyone, and I wasn’t even allowed to really acknowledge any BB fans in the vast audience because some of them were holding signs. God forbid I read a BB-related sign. 

I had my big red carpet interview and I screamed my answers like a lunatic and it was over. The photos aren’t good quality because it was 10 years ago, but I have the original film footage and that’s enough for me. I was so loud.

 

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It was odd. I felt like a “nobody” all of a sudden thrust into an MTV flesh arena, and I actually missed the BB house just a little bit. I’d never trade the experience though, because I stood in the pit when Dave Navarro performed that night. My hand was next to his ass when he opened his act. The whole thing was surreal. Madonna and Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera kissed, and I was on sensory overload. I was also being pushed around by hundreds of teeny-boppers in the pit, crashing into me. My feet were pained and hating me.

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At one point a young girl threw herself at me before Shawn could stop her.

“You’re Jun and you’re here! Oh my god Jun I love you!”

I thanked the sweet fangirl as she was pulled away from me, and that was it. Party was over for me because a BB fan had talked to me, even if it was just to say she loved me. I was pushed through the crowds and down back halls and stairs, and then we were outside on Fifth Avenue where our limo awaited. I was rushed into the limo as if rogue BB fans would attack me, and I was taken back to my hotel room.

I went back into the house after all the craze, and I was blindfolded for some part of it again. I hated that stupid blindfold and I kept it as a souvenir of my summer in the BB house. I’ve kept a lot of my Big Brother memorabilia from my season. I’m no hoarder, but I consider my red carpet passes and badges from the VMAs very special. That whole summer was special.

This summer is special for me too, and not because of Big Brother.

What a difference 10 years makes.

Always dishing,

Jun

 

Dear Julie Chen

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Dear Julie Chen:

I know you remember me though you’ll never acknowledge me, but I do have some words for you. Woman-to-Woman. I never liked you, and I judged you before I even met you in 2003, because of your very public affair with the President and CEO of CBS Les Moonves before he was ever divorced. Your sleeping with a married man with children in the public eye was unacceptable to me then, and it’s unacceptable to me now.

Your multiple reconstructions to your facial structure to lose your naturally Chinese features sent a message to me and other Asian women at the time, that looking more “white” is how you got ahead in life. Your drastic plastic surgeries were unacceptable to me then, but now I understand more the pressures you must have been under at the time your career needed a boost. You must have faced worse racism than anything any of these Big Brother Houseguests could throw at you or me, because I know that in a white corporate conglomerate being Asian sets you apart. Racism is closeted and hidden to the highest degree, and I don’t want to judge you anymore for what you felt you had to do to fit in to be a cookie-cutter journalist…and apple of the Moonves eye.

I remember that you were sent to Kuwait and you bombed. You did. You went over there expecting your usual bottled water, and wearing pretty sweater sets like you were about to have brunch, and not expecting sand storms all up on your lip-glossed mouth. You were only there because of your relationship with Les Moonves, but I followed you, and researched you because there aren’t many Asian women in media with the kind of klout that you have…that you can have. In a field dominated by white women, you simply were one of the few Asian could-be trailblazers.

I’ve always been harsh on you from the beginning, and everybody in the Big Brother 4 house and production knew it the season I won. I was aware of my acts when I talked badly about you during live shows when we went to commercial. I was obnoxious and rude, and took advantage of the fact that you might be able to hear me from the studio on those days as I cracked jokes about you. I remember I was asked to “take it easy” but I wouldn’t. I had so much respect for everyone on the Big Brother 4 team but I had no respect for you. I am sorry that I was such a hostile bitch then. Our exchanges were awkward at best after I’d won, and I know it was because of me. Deliberately.

When I came back with Jack in 2006 to write on the “Revenge of the Houseguests” blog on the CBS website, I was being myself then just like I am now. It didn’t go over very well with many fans online, but it did with others and I found a sample of it on Jokers. My point in this is that I also poked fun at you too…the same things I still poke fun at you about now…your hair and clothes and makeup and superficial things. You were and still are a part of the show, and you are fair game.

So a few weeks into the blog your assistant called me. She asked me if I could stop mentioning you in the Revenge of the Houseguests blog posts and I told her no. There was nothing in the contract I’d signed saying you were off limits. I didn’t care. They were just jokes about you being Chenbot.

Fast forward many many years and you are a mother. I am a mother. You are a wife. I am a wife. You are an Asian voice. I am one too, but yours is bigger. You have a child of mixed heritage as do I. I admire how you protect your son and I strive to protect my Noah too. Actively. I know it’s not easy.

I am not watching anymore. You have to host it.

Talking about “hot” topics on “The Talk” to promote Big Brother 15 is one thing and I understand the need for ratings and Poppy sightings, but Julie…can you walk the walk in addition to the talkity-talk and do something more? Please? I know you’re “normal” off-camera but I don’t care if you do something on or off any camera.

I don’t like how you got to where you got, but I recognize the impact you could have if you didn’t just “sit by and watch like the rest of us.”  We’ve seen where that’s led in history. Have ratings trumped human damage?

Represent yourself and nobody else for a moment and draw the line somewhere? Les can’t because he doesn’t have to, but you still can. If he loves you and you love him there’s nothing you can’t do, right?

Just…something…unexpected.

Facetiously signed,

Jun Song

 

 

Big Brother Canada Finale

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I just watched the three-minute video of how the finale vote went down on Big Brother Canada, without breathing. I can do that, hold my breath for lengths of time, and I’ve always been able to for as long as I can remember. Now you know something about me that you didn’t know.

I held my breath because I couldn’t believe what was happening. Of course as a longtime Big Brother fan I was shocked, because we’d seen nothing like this on the U.S. seasons. Then, as someone who’s sat in that proverbial seat where Jillian and Gary were sitting, I wished security had come out and escorted Topaz off the set for being over-the-top annoying about it all.

That never would have gone down with Julie Chen on stage. Topaz, and some of her hair, would have been tackled for going near Mrs. Moonves. Maybe even a taser or two would come out, but Topaz was actually yanking on Arisa Cox.

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My god, let’s use our imaginations as to what Chenbot would have done. Glorious. Was anyone else surprised Dan didn’t jump up on stage and save the day? He missed a huge coaching opportunity. Chelsea looked beautiful as always.

As did Jillian. I said in my pre-season cast assessment about Jillian:

“She’s a teacher and she went on the show for the same reason I did…out of a long-term relationship and wanting to do it to “shake up” her life.  I consider this a good thing, she seems to be one of the more normal people cast. She reminds me of Rachel from BB6.”

Big Brother is good for the soul of the broken-hearted. It worked for me, and it did for Jillian. Except she should have just owned her merciless game moves and lied better (as opposed to less, because lying is essential in BB) through the season. She’s most definitely one of the stronger females to have won Big Brother. If Topaz did not make that mistake, then Jillian would have been robbed. End of that story, but for Jillian her story has a good ending in many ways.

I had Jillian as second most likely to win, only after Suzette (another disappointment), in my assessment so I’m happy for her. Overall. She almost lost because of her poor social game, but Topaz Emerald Cubic Zirconia handed her the win.

Now Gary…

If I was Gary I would have found Topaz right away at wrap-up, and brought my elbow down on her tit with all my might. No, that’s disgusting. Besides, that would never happen because I’m not Gary. For so many reasons besides glitter, but basically because I won. Plus, I won on my own with good twists and not stupid shady ones. Anyone who knows anything about Big Brother knows that non-sequestered jurors shouldn’t be allowed back in the house. Sequestering versus non-sequestering, hello.

As far as Peter and Alec and the rest of the disappointments, I’m over them. Topaz should be mortified and persecuted in reality television life, but not in her real life. Fucking fuck if I’m going to ever send anyone death threats over a freaking television game show, whatever, seriously? Stop the madness. With so much violence plastered in headlines and scrapbooks all over and close-to-home…find another way to get your anger out. Don’t threaten to kill Big Brother houseguests. Go kill a dragon instead.

Always dishing,

Jun

P.S.: I know some of you may disagree with me, but it’s not like the first season of Big Brother (U.S.) is something to be fiercely proud of either. Hopefully Canada gets over this one and they get their shit together for the next season.

 

CBS versus ABC

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CBS. ABC.

Battle of the Acronyms

In this corner we have Big Brother…                              and then there’s “Life in a Glass House

Life in a Glass House? That’s so looooooooong.  It should just be called Glass House. Two words.

Will I watch it?  Of course.

Will you?

According to this news piece, ABC is claiming, “The differences between Glass House and Big Brother are both fundamental and obvious, ranging from Glass House’s interactive elements and audience participation to its deployment of cutting edge technologies”.

Well, when I read “cutting edge technologies” I think immediately of toys. The Japanese kind…for adults. And “deployment” seems like an odd word.  But I still can’t wait to check out the show.  And CBS knows it.

CBS knows we’ll all “check it out just to see what it’s like/the fuss if all about/will happen. Will Glass House bomb or will it deploy a bomb? I’m going to try to use “deploy” at least once a day now via my Twitter, until BB14 starts.

Plus, we’re Big Brother fans.  While waiting for the start of our dirty cheesy whiny summer pleasure any form of new reality television, minus tiara’d toddlers or pregnant teens or Ktrashians, is always welcome.  Right?  Though as a winner, I really do turn up my nose. Curses on you Glass House!

But hold on to your panties, CBS is pulling out the big water guns and sending the ladies of The Talk into the Big Brother house. Yup.

How cute. Cute is a one of many four letter words I know.

This photo reminds me of that drunken party game…the one where a few people have to stand in the middle of the room while the rest of us, one by one, position their body parts awkward ways.  Yeah. I know. You’ve played that game before too.

I also know that watching the video of Chenbot and Sharon Osbourne had me laughing. But I won’t be watching The Talk Talking The Talk.  Will you?

And btw…I’ll be blogging through the summer with you guys so if you’re going to sign up for feeds then try to use the link below to sign up.


Watch Big Brother 13 on SuperPass!

And if you’re not signing up for feeds then I’ll be tweeting bits and pieces of feeds anyway so see you on Twitter!

Always dishing,

Jun

Big Brother 13 – Fans versus WTF

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Pictures of the house have been unveiled,

Identities of eight houseguests now revealed…

The gimmick they call a twist declared,

“Dynamic Duos”, um, old houseguests to be paired…

Wait, so really, this summer is basically a “fans versus CBS’ favs” season?

Okay.  I can live with that.  And I can live with waiting until July 7th, when the show premieres, to see what really gives.  I really don’t have any interest or tolerance in hashing over theories and rumors over which dynamic duos will be returning to the Big Brother house.

All I know of is one Dynamic Duo returning, and that’s Chen + bot, so that’s enough for me for now, thanks.  But by all means, carry on with the rumors…some of them are quite entertaining!

We have no clue as to which past HGs will actually be getting another shot in the game so until then, let’s get to know aka dissect the poor eight newbies who will be facing that veterans shall we?

These eight (plus one) will have to get over the initial shock of seeing some of their BB heroes and zeroes walk into he house and I really fear for them.  I wish I could coach them all season…

All superficial, catty and shallow opinions aside (which are three of my favorite kind actually)…let’s talk about the strengths and weaknesses each of the new HGs are bringing with them on July 7th:

ADAM – 39, Hoboken, New Jersey (originally from East Brunswick, NJ)

Strengths: He’s followed the show since season one which will serve him well, as the Wikipedia of Big Brother history, when it comes to certain competitions involving facts and figures. He should use his knowledge to his advantage and be quiet about it.

Weaknesses: I don’t really know that there’s a big demand for “heavy metal teddy bears” that he claims to be supplying.  Because of his stature and facial hedge he’s already a bit “hard to approach”.  Dude, chill out, don’t be so eager or you’ll be ousted.

CASSI – 26, Nashville, Tennessee (originally from Allen, TX)

Strengths: She seems so cool and level-headed that she’s almost too good to be true.  Combined with her looks she may be able to last the whole summer.

Weaknesses: She may come off as cold/indifferent.  And unfortunately chicks in the house will find her incredibly threatening if it turns out she’s as cool as she seems in her video.  She may also fall into the showmance trap and alienate herself further from the other ovaries in the house.

DOMINIC – 25, San Francisco, California (originally from San Mateo, CA)

Strengths: He gets that being too strong too soon is a downfall (unlike Adam).  He is afraid of STDs so perhaps there is hope for him yet…meaning, thinking with the right head once he’s in that house.

Weaknesses: He says “Meow-Meow” aka Enzo is his “man”. He seems like he won’t be serious enough about gameplay. He’ll need to watch his mouth and listen more than flap his mouth (which he’s admitted he has a tendency to do).

KALIA – 30, Los Angeles, California (originally from Philadelphia, PA)

Strengths: Well-spoken (background as a writer) so she’ll be able to formulate any campaigning or lies off-the-cuff and without a hitch. Her fav HGs (Dr. Will, James, Janelle) were all gamers so that’s a good indication that she understands the game.

Weaknesses: She claims to hating “sharing things”, “living with people”, “dirty people” so she may have a hard time adjusting to life in the BB house.  She thinks everyone in the world loves her which is never a good thing.

KEITH – 32,  Bolingbrook, Illinois

Strengths: He works in human resources so hopefully he is armed with some diplomacy in addition to his sex cravings.

Weaknesses: He predicts he will have the BB ladies swooning over him and wanting to be “Keith’s Angels” which is great if this was pre-Betty Friedan era.  He claims to have two sides to him: Professional Keith and Playboy Keith…referring to yourself in the 3rd person will only make your fall three times harder.

LAWON – 39, Inglewood, California (originally from Urbana, IL)

Strengths: He may just be obnoxious and annoying enough for someone to want to take him to the end.  He’s shed 54 pounds and maintained it so we know he has some discipline beneath all that “buckwahhhhld” (“buckwild” to the rest of us) crazy.

Weaknesses: He seems more a caricature than anything else so the other HGs may be unable to achieve any sort of comfort level with him.   But I can’t wait to see him in the Diary Room…if I can understand him that is…he makes up his own words apparently.

PORSCHE – 23, Miami Beach, Florida (originally from Fort Lauderdale)

Strengths: She claims that taking care of her dad after his heart attack is her proudest accomplishment so there may be some iota of likability to her once she’s playing the game.

Weaknesses: She seems to think her fav past HG Natalie Martinez and the strategy she employed “worked”.  Um, it did not. She also thinks “selling herself” is what she needs to win the game.  Um, sweety, nobody’s buying your bubbles in that house.

SHELLY – 41, Prairieville, Louisiana (originally from Centerville, Ohio)

Strengths: Like Adam, she seems to be a true fan and follower of the show which will aid her.  She is certainly “tough” in her demeanor (almost masculine?) which will help her through the sometimes brutal/tough times in that house.

Weaknesses: Her background as a “leader” may hamper her ability to go with the flow which is necessary in this game.  She also wants to play a “classy” game which sounds great but will eventually consume her gameplay if she let it.

And last but not least…in lieu of an “America’s Player”…I have sent in a “Twitter’s Player”…

ROCKY – 6 months, Ghent, Belgium

Strengths: She has had the best coach, ME, and so she is armed with everything she needs to last the whole three months in the BB house.  She hears everything. And she will be tweeting from @Rockytown.

Weaknesses: She has major dietary restrictions so living on slop is not really an option. Nobody in the house will actually know she’s there since Rocky will be living in the walls of the BB house so she will never have the opportunity to become HOH.