Thirty-six gallons of spit and 18,000 cigarettes after entering the house, bartender ”Evel” Dick Donato took home Big Brother 8’s $500,000 prize, with his estranged daughter Daniele nabbing second place ($50,000). We talked to the father/daughter team, and found out that no matter what the opinions of the seven jury members, still smarting from the verbal abuse tossed their way by Dick all summer, this duo is confident they have nothing to apologize for.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you first discovered each other in the house, how long until you decided that was a good thing?
DANIELE: Never. I’m being honest. It was definitely a disadvantage. A lot of people said, ”Oh, if I had my dad in the house I could have made it to the end too,” which is a load of crap, because we had it the hardest. We were the biggest targets from day one.
How long until you started working together?
DICK: We started playing together within an hour of me walking down the stairs, if that. We went into the bathroom and aligned at that time to play together until the end. We knew we could trust each other, and neither one of us was gonna turn on the other. I was a finalist [to be on BB] in season 5, and Daniele was going to be my supposed secret partner in season 6, and we didn’t get on the show either year. And so this year I said, Let’s go back to our season 6 strategy, which is play together and go with the flow, see what happens, and make moves together.
When you were up for season 6, I assume you were talking to each other.
DANIELE: Yeah, that was over two years ago. [Laughs] We were actually friends.
Was it difficult to slip into a team plan now that you had so much personal tension?
DANIELE: In the bathroom, when we did decide to align, I told him, I don’t know what’s gonna happen with our personal life, but let’s focus on the game. If you have my back, I’ll have yours. Period, end of story. When we took the personal out of the game, it was game, and it was on.
Dick, was it your strategy to be ruthlessly confrontational, or is that just your personality?
DANIELE: Personality — I’ll answer that for him right now.
DICK: It was a combination of both. In week 3, when I won the HOH, Kail flipped on her whole alliance and gave up everything to me: I can’t stand the he-said/she-said private conversations that Kail did to me twice, where she lied to me, and turned around and lied about what was said when I laid it out to the [Late-Night Crew alliance]. So number one, when you [confront people] in front of everyone, it kills that, because everyone hears exactly what’s going on. Number two, most of those people in there didn’t deal with confrontation very well, including Eric. When I confronted him when he was in the Jacuzzi, the guy was shaking like a leaf. It worked for me, but I would not recommend it for people playing this game in the future. [Laughs] I should have been gone quite a number of times. But through everything I said, there were no lies. And very, very little embellishment. Most of it was straight up the truth, and most of the people in the house knew that. I would keep saying, ”I haven’t lied to you,” and no one could dispute that fact. Even when Eric tried to [say] that I was a liar, I asked him repeatedly to tell everyone one lie that I have told in the house, and what the heck did he say? That he wasn’t gonna get into it and he wasn’t going to go into details and blah blah blah. The fact of the matter was, there was nothing he could grab on to. He was the one who was full of s— at that time, not me. So just bringing everything to the forefront in front of everyone, I don’t know, it worked.
Did you ever think you were going too far? You said some pretty brutal things to people.
DICK: During hell week?
Hell week (when he taunted everyone in the hopes that they’d evict him in place of Daniele) only seemed marginally more hellish than other weeks.
You were unrelentingly cruel to Jen, calling her all sorts of horrible names, not to mention pouring iced tea on her head. The Sacramento chapter of the National Organization of Women protested CBS about you.
DICK: I can’t stand Jen. I look at her as just a horrible person, and I had no problem calling her out on all of her bulls—. I’ve never met anyone so self-absorbed in my life, and who treats everyone like they’re not just below her but they’re not even worth her time. The fact of the matter was, she’s a friggin’ nanny. Give me a break.
DANIELE: Here’s a comment she made. Jessica had been talking about moving to L.A. to become a model or an actress or something. Then, when Jessica was debating putting Jen up as a replacement nominee, the comment Jen made was, ”I don’t understand why Jessica would want to make an enemy out of me. If you were my friend, you’d make more out of your life than anything you ever tried to do on your own.” That’s the epitome of Jen, that’s who she is.
DICK: I don’t know what they showed on the show, but it was nonstop with that girl. Every single conversation, she would turn around to herself. She wouldn’t be included in conversations, and she would answer people’s questions that were posed to other people. There was one point where we were talking about what we wanted to eat, and BB was getting us In-N-Out burgers. Jameka’s from D.C., and I guess there’s no In-N-Outs over there. So I asked Jameka something, and Jen answers, and I turn around and say, ”I’m not talking to you.” And she says, ”Well, I’m speaking for Jameka.” And I look at her and just shake my head, and Jameka starts yelling that she can speak for herself. It was nonstop with her.
NEXT PAGE: ”There were points where no one in the house would even look at me, because they’d be upset with him and I’d be guilty by association. How is that supposed to make me feel?”