Over the years, I have been to many reality show finales. In terms of sheer attendance, I have been to the Survivor celebration the most times (going to the Marquesas, Thailand, Amazon shows and throwing the parties for Survivor Fiji and China). After that, it’s The Apprentice, where I have been to the final show for seasons 2, 3 and 5. Finally, I have also checked out the TARcon Amazing Race event a few times.
Now, if you are a reality fan, you will notice that I have mentioned three out of the four major shows. There has always been one finale that has eluded me. That is what made my trip to the Big Brother 10 finale such a special experience.
To me, there is nothing better than attending a finale for the first time and it was a feeling that I hadn’t gotten to experience in six years which was the last time I went to my first Survivor finale. The funny thing is that the person responsible for giving me this unbelievable experience is somebody that I would have never expected, when I watched her on her show.
It was Jen Johnson from Big Brother 8. Everyone knows how much I loved the Donato’s on the eighth season of the program. I honestly believed that Dick and his daughter Daniele were two of the best players of all-time and I honestly could not believe how many times they managed to win when they had to. The problem was that this immediately clouded my judgement of Jen Johnson, who butted heads with both.
There are many reasons why I am happy about having my own reality show. Not only is it the pinnacle of everything that I have worked for, but it also offers me the chance to meet the few reality stars that I haven’t met already. One of these people was Jen, whose episode of Reality Obsessed is airing this week on TVTropolis (Wednesdays at 6 PM and 8 PM). While I initially thought that we would clash, she actually became my closest friend during the taping of the episode and my friendship with her was actually one of the best things to come out of the entire show for me.
Anyway, I attended the Big Brother 10 finale with Jen and her boyfriend from the same season, Nick Starcevic. After hitting the CBS lot in Studio City, I met Jen and Nick and we collected our tickets. As we were being ushered in, I saw quite a few of my friends (most of whom are also on Reality Obsessed). There was Erika Landin (Big Brother 4 & Big Brother All-Stars) along with Adam Gentry (Survivor Cook Islands). I also saw James Rhine (Big Brother 6 & Big Brother All-Stars).
After we got inside, Jen, Nick and I sat down and watched the finale with baited breath. I have to say that I was pretty convinced Memphis would win over Dan. I just thought that the jury would be too bitter to award the game to the Catholic schoolteacher from Michigan and that the game rested on who the season’s showmance (Ollie & April)) would vote for. The hardest part for me was not being able to hear Jerry’s jury question (because the sound had to go silent since it was leading right to the live show).
Anyway, in the end, as we all saw, Dan won the game by a shocking 7-0 vote over his Renegade partner and after the finale ended, a quick Early Show interview (along with the check presentation) was taped.
Then it was time for the fun to begin. I went to a small VIP shindig where we got to mix and mingle with the newest members of the reality TV alumni community. I introduced myself to Dan and we talked about reality TV, his show and my show. His charm was easily visible to me and within seconds, I realized why he was able to pull the wool over the eyes of as many people as he did.
I sought out my other favorites, who ironically enough weren’t the best of friends on the show. Keesha and Angie. And the irony didn’t stop there as they just happened to be talking to each other. I talked to both for awhile and immediately realized that the impressions of the world’s foremost reality television expert were dead on as they were both just as cool in person as they were on TV.
I have to say that I got along the best with Keesha after the event. While I managed to quickly chat with Libra, Renny and Jerry, my conversation with Keesha was the deepest and the most detailed.
Because the post-finale party was only a pre-cursor to the real wrap party that was scheduled to take place on Thursday, the night ended relatively early and I went back to my hotel.
Thursday’s wrap party was definitely one of the hottest reality events that I have ever been to. It was a vibe unlike anything that I have ever felt before at any of the hundreds of reality events that I have attended or covered over the last eight years.
You’re probably assuming that I was the first one there, and you would be dead right. I don’t think there’s any shame in admitting it. I mean it was a pretty big deal for me. I liken the experience to throwing a no-hitter in baseball. The Big Brother wrap party was the only one that I had never been to. I wanted to soak in the sights and smells from the initial bottle opening to the final chair being cleared out.
I think that the most impressive thing about the party (which took place in one of the open spaces on the CBS’s lot (right next to where they film The Insider), was the fact that so many props from the show were used to decorate the space. It was pretty cool seeing the diary room couch, the staircase used in the critical POV challenge and cardboard cutouts of all of the houseguests.
Finally, there was a fully catered meal that had everything from chicken to roast beef to salmon, along with about a bazillion desserts. There was even slop available to try which was a great touch.
Highlights from the party included seeing:
– My pals Chelsia Hart and James Rhine
– Libra and April eating dinner at the same table, proving that their feud apparently was on-screen only.
– Angie and Brian spending most of their time together, fuelling speculation that the two are an item after leaving the house early.
– Chicken George from BB1 annoying everyone with constant requests to autograph merchandise for him to hock on EBay.
– An absolutely hysterical gag reel played on a big screen that was the best moment of the entire wrap party. It featured a Batman spoof with Dan playing the role of ‘The Dan Knight’ to battle his nemesis, Renny (who played ‘The Joker’ complete with her white facial cream), a ‘Graduate’ spoof featuring the same pair, a Jerry Gone Wild commercial, and a music video dedicated to April and Ollie’s showmance. It was made completely out of outtakes from the show.
– While most of the cast cavorted around and mingled with fans and alumni, the runner-up was remarkably reserved, with Memphis spending the majority of his time with his family and girlfriend.
– I talked to the winner at the party about what he planned to do with the money and he said that he just planned on taking it one day at a time. Dan also admitted that he planned on keeping his job as a teacher at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prepatory school in Dearborn, Michigan.
I also saw Daniele Donato mulling around, but was too intimidated to approach her.
So that was it. It was an experience unlike any other. One that I won’t soon forget.
Tags: Big Brother