September 25, 2003
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TV Show: Big Brother 4

Finale: Nasty 'Big Brother' season ends
By -- JAM! Showbiz


How do you choose between two evils? The 'Big Brother 4' jury did so last night on the finale of summer reality show series. With a number of them not wanting to side with either of the two finalists, by a vote of six to one the 'Big Brother 4' jury awarded the game and the $500,000 in prize money to Jun Song, the 27-year-old investment banker from New York City.

As the runner-up, Alison Irwin, the 22-year-old beauty queen and retail salesperson from Pittsburgh took home $50,000. The only vote Irwin received was from Nathan Marlow, the 23-year-old personal trainer from Oklahoma, with whom Alison flirted with in the house.

In revealing their votes live and having watched the entire season on tape subsequent to the finale, most of jury did not have kind words for either Jun or Alison who routinely ridiculed the other players behind their backs and during their private confessionals in the Diary Room. However, the jury did not see that the insults included attacks on the families of the HouseGuests as well as homophobic and racist remarks as they were never broadcast during any of the shows in the series.

"I lost a lot of respect for the both of you after seeing those tapes. I want you to know that but you did make it to the end. I am choosing the lesser of two evils," said Dana Varela as she revealed her vote for Jun.

"Alison and Jun, congrats to the both of you. I have to give you guys credit because I wouldn't be able to sacrifice respect for others to win any kind of money but you guys did it and played a flawless game," said Jee Choe as he made his vote known.

In speaking with Jun and Alison after they exited the 'Big Brother' house, host Julie Chen questioned Jun and Alison about the negative reaction they received.

"What just went on in there? They didn't even congratulate you guys," said Chen.

"They hate us. They are not happy that we won," stated Alison.

"...and I don't think they wanted to vote for either of us, in all honesty, and they had to," continued Jun who agreed with Chen that the bad feelings the jury had for them spoiled her victory.

Alison maintained that the trash talking was all just a part of the game.

"I think that a lot of them lost concentration in the game during the game and they don't realize it was just a game and the things that we did were because it was a game not because that's the type of people we are outside the house," she remarked.

"Can you blame them?," asked Chen.

"No, because they lost. They didn't win any money and they got to see Diary Rooms before we did but I am sure when we go home we will be just as upset as they are," said Jun.

"I think we are all going to be hurt out of this experience," stated Alison.

In an often confusing season that featured mostly recycled ideas from previous installments, ex-loves battling each other in the game (the much hyped 'X Factor') and immature, hateful language; fans who longed for the producers to finally air the disparaging statements Jun and Alison made on a regular basis on the live 24/7 Internet feeds were left disappointed. None of them were mentioned during the finale. The attacks included racist remarks made about Robert Roman's Cuban background, the use of homophobic terms to describe him and others as well as derogatory statements concerning his young daughter Elena. Angered by the hateful behavior, fans had flooded CBS and the producers of the series - Alison Grodner and Arnold Shapiro - with angry messages expressing disgust and dismay.

Roman, himself, had been called out by host Julie Chen on national television for calling some of the women players "whores", "sluts" and "bitches". Robert apologized twice. Once in speaking to Chen and again during his America's Choice Internet chat.

While Jun and Alison's sordid comments were left unaddressed, those made by player Erika Landin were highlighted on the 'Big Brother 4' finale. Early on in the game after being nominated by Jee Choe for eviction, Erika referred to him as a "Korean piece of s--t" and a "fresh off the boat immigrant".

"Erika, I have to address this because it is a very serious issue. I think it was really uncalled for. A Korean piece of s--t and a fresh off the boat immigrant? I do have a forgiving heart but that was really cruel," said Jee Choe as he confronted Erika Landin in a taped segment in which the evicted HouseGuests were brought together to air their grievances.

"I have to admit that the first few weeks that I was in the house, I wasn't myself. It was completely out of anger and I completely apologize. I truly deep down in my heart don't feel that way. My grandparents were immigrants. I do hope you have a forgiving heart. I apologize. That is all I can really do," said Erika Landin, who on the Internet feeds admitted to dating Josh Souza, the second-place finalist of the first 'Big Brother U.S.A.' series. That piece of intriguing information also never aired. The current producers took over the series at the start of the second season.

"Well, thank you for your apology. I guess I'll just take that," Jee Choe responded.

This season more than any other installment in the 'Big Brother U.S.A.' series confirmed to fans what they had always feared, that the producers manipulate the happenings in the house...to some degree. Fans watching the 24/7 live Internet feeds heard the HouseGuests publicly complain on numerous occasions about the how the producers tried to coax words out of them in the Diary Room, suggested things for them to say or in some cases actually fed them lines to speak in front of the confessional cameras. Viewers of the television series are led to believe that the Diary Room statements which help to narrate the shows are spontaneous answers to questions asked by the producers.

In a recent occurrence, when asked by Jun about how a particular Diary Room session went, Alison admitted that she couldn't think of anything to say so the producers told her what they wanted to hear and Alison repeated it for them word for word as the Diary Room cameras rolled. In order to curb the HouseGuests from speaking about things they don't wish them to on the 24/7 Internet feeds, the producers had resorted to blasting the HouseGuests with a loud buzzer sound to signal to them that they must immediately cease whatever conversation they were having.

The HouseGuests also criticizied the way in which the producers managed the crucial Head of Household Challenges. Some even thought that a number of the competitions were slanted so that a particular player would win. Though the producers routinely put the HouseGuests through a dry run of the HOH Competitions before the Wednesday live shows, the HouseGuests have griped that the props always seemed to fail. After a HOH Challenge in which he squared off against the last three remaining women in the house, Robert Roman stated that his buzzer didn't ring in properly and that's why he came up short. In another competition in which Justin Giovinco won the Head of Household title, Justin himself admitted that the final question was only one he could know the answer to because it was about his ex-girlfriend in the game, Alison.

In last year's edition, Lisa Donahue, the 26-year-old former L.A. bartender turned photographer took home the grand prize of $500,000. Danielle Reyes, the 30-year-old media buyer from California came in second place winning $50,000.

Will Kirby, a 28-year-old physician from Florida won 'Big Brother 2'. Nicole, the 31-year-old personal chef from Atlanta, was the second place finisher.

Eddie McGee, the New Yorker who lost his left leg to cancer, won a half million dollars as the winner of the first U.S. 'Big Brother' after the viewers and not a jury of evicted HouseGuests voted for him during a finale phone poll.





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