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Big Brother 8: Why Daniele Lostby David Bloomberg -- 09/19/2007
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Daniele made it to the final two with her father, but then lost out to him in the end. She says she’s okay with it, but I doubt anybody believes her. Really, though, that’s not at issue here. No matter how she feels about it, the fact is that she didn’t win. We’re here to address the larger issue of why Daniele lost.
Throughout the season, we’ve addressed this question for each contestant by looking back at What Big Brother 8 Houseguests Should Have Learned. We’ll do it one final time now.
Daniele came into the house as part of a twist that was supposed to turn her life upside down – she was presented with Dick, her father, to whom she had not spoken in two years. The key was, I think, supposed to be the not speaking part. However, the real key turned out to be the father/daughter relationship.
That is largely because the most important rule for Big Brother players is to scheme and plot. Of further importance is that players need to start making alliances and cementing relationships “from the very beginning.”
Under normal circumstances, it can be extremely difficult to figure out who would make a good alliance partner – witness the short-lived Mrs. Robinson Alliance. But Daniele had a bonus. It was even one I foresaw as a possibility in this rule, as I noted that players with enemies in the house should consider teaming up.
While the other enemies were not able to do that, Dick and Daniele share a bond that the others didn’t. Dick was there to help out his daughter and use this as a starting point for a new relationship. That is the kind of alliance partner you simply don’t get on shows like this. It was a strategic dream come true for Daniele.
Building on that, Daniele formed some other relationships as well, such as the one with Nick. However, we were able to see who the dominant partner was in the Donato duo as Dick convinced her to vote out her in-house (boy)friend.
This is not to say Daniele didn’t make any moves – she did. But some of them seemed more based on emotion than strategy. For example, in the final jury questioning, she noted that targeting Eric was a move she made, as was backdooring Jen. But both of those were more emotional than strategic. For example, she worked herself into a lather after seeing the banner plane accusing Eric of being a liar, and immediately “knew” that he was behind all that was evil in the house (OK, so she was right about a lot of it, but not for the reasons she thought).
Meanwhile, some of the key moves in the house were spurred by Dick, such as the alliance with Eric and Jessica (that one was actually spurred by America, of course). And Dick helped her in other ways, such as giving her the veto he won when they were nominated together.
Daniele was smart to use her father as an alliance partner and let him cause most of the uproar in the house while she sat back and pretended to make friends. If the voting had been based more on emotion and less on strategy (as I believe it would have if America hadn’t directed Eric to campaign for Dick), Daniele might have won. But this jury was looking for somebody who followed this first rule, and they didn’t think Daniele did as good a job as Dick did.
Moving to the second rule, did Daniele scheme and plot too much or backstab too early? I’d say no – as evidenced in part by the fact that she’s in the final two! When I wrote Why Jessica Lost, I discussed why Dick and Daniele turned on Jessica and Eric at the right time. To summarize, if the Donatos had stuck to the final four plan, the winner would have come down to who could win HOH and veto because it would have been duo vs. duo. The HOH would nominate both people from the opposing alliance, the veto winner (if not the HOH) would be the vote to evict. Considering that Jessica had done well in competitions and Eric could be a threat in thinking-type challenges, it made sense to eliminate this coin-flip aspect of the final four – and that meant eliminating at least one part of the couple at that time.
But what about the portion of this rule that says to keep your scheming secret? Although she cried when she first saw Dick in the house, Daniele was obviously tied at the hip to him. They never tried to hide it. As Daniele said to the jury, many people viewed them as one player, and there is some truth to that. No matter how much they fought over personal issues, neither one of them ever (to our knowledge) considered betraying the other.
This obvious duo broke the part of the rule that tells players not to openly join up in duos. As the rule notes, “Let’s face it, open partnerships like this are just begging to be split up, especially in a game where each week two people are nominated.” Dick and Daniele were nominated together three times. Smarter players (or players without America telling them what to do) would have gotten rid of one or both of them – there is no way this duo should have been allowed to make it to the final two together.
But really, what could Daniele have done differently here? Not much. I suppose she could have staged bigger fights with Dick and claimed to be done with him, but it just wasn’t realistic. So she had little choice but to violate this rule.
The third rule tells players to pretend to be nice. Daniele was mostly pretty good at this. She could be nice to people when she wanted to, no matter what she thought of them. Look at how she suddenly befriended Zach once he came to power for but one example.
Daniele was certainly viewed as the nicer Donato. But it also seemed that the jurors knew she was only being nice to their faces while being almost as nasty to them behind their backs as her father was in front of them. Still, in a comparison of the Donatos, Daniele certainly did a better job here than Dad.1 2 Next-->
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