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Jen Johnson the seventh houseguest evicted from 'Big Brother 8'


By Steve Rogers, 08/24/2007 

Jen Johnson, a 23-year-old nanny from Beverly Hills, CA, became the seventh houseguest evicted from Big Brother's eighth season during last night's live broadcast of the long-running CBS reality show.

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Although only five houseguests voted in this week's eviction, Jen was evicted by an unanimous 6-0 vote that included an extra "penalty vote" that Big Brother's producers assessed after Jen broke the show's rules -- a move that represented the 8-year-old CBS reality show's first-ever "penalty vote."  Jen's ousting means that Jameka Cameron, a 28-year-old school counselor from Waldorf, MD that had been on the eviction block with Jen, will get to stay in the Big Brother 8 house for at least another week.

Jen's "penalty vote" was assigned as the result of her actions after 20-year-old Danielle Donato, Big Brother 8's seventh Head of Household, won the week's Power of Veto competition and revealed that she planned to "backdoor" Jen by nominating her as a replacement nominee for Amber Siyavus, a 27-year-old cocktail Las Vegas waitress that Danielle had originally nominated for eviction alongside Jameka.

After being nominated for eviction, Jen destroyed four cartons of cigarettes belonging to Dick "Evil Dick" Donato, Danielle's formerly estranged 44-year-old father, and decided to begin eating regular food and prematurely end the "Big Brother slop"-only food restriction that she had voluntarily agreed to as part of an earlier Power of Veto competition victory that had allowed her to remove herself from Week 5's chopping block.  Dick retaliated by hiding all of Jen's clothes in Danielle's vacant HoH room.

(As part of her victory in this week's PoV competition, Danielle also received a "top secret" trip out of the Big Brother house. Amber, the PoV competition's runner-up, also won the right to go on the trip. The pair later learned that their prize would be the opportunity to compete on Power of 10, CBS' new Drew Carey-hosted game show. The pair's Power of 10 episode will air on Tuesday, August 28 at 8PM/PT, immediately before Big Brother 8's 9PM ET/PT broadcast.)

Although it wasn't mentioned in last night's CBS broadcast, Big Brother's producers originally declared that since Jen had already been nominated for eviction this week and the show's never previously publicly-disclosed rules allegedly call for an automatic "penalty nomination" as punishment for breaking the show's rules, Jen -- assuming she had survived this week's nomination, which was already looking extremely unlikely -- would automatically once again be up for eviction again next week.

However the rest of the houseguests (minus Danielle and Amber, who were still off in New York filming their Power of 10 appearance) balked at the producers' decision and claimed that the guarantee that Jen would once again be up for eviction next week might unfairly result in some houseguests that had otherwise planned to vote for Jen's eviction to instead vote for Jameka's eviction.

In response to the houseguests' complaints (which also included a protest of the fact that Jen's slop restriction was the direct result of her Week 5 PoV competition pledge that had resulted in Kail Harbick being nominated and later evicted in Jen's place), the producers conducted a "house meeting" that ended with the decision to assign Jen the alternate "penalty vote" punishment.

After they returned to the Big Brother house, the rest of the houseguests informed Amber and Danielle about what happened while they were gone (a clip of the discussion, which aired via the show's Internet live feeds, is currently available via YouTube). 

However, as Big Brother host Julie Chen mentioned in last night's CBS broadcast, the producers didn't allow Amber and Danielle to return the favor -- as part of their trip, the pair were required to not disclose any details of their excursion to the rest of the houseguests. (CBS will show the houseguests' reactions to the belated news of Amber and Danielle's Power of 10 appearance during the Big Brother episode that will air directly after the network's Tuesday night broadcast of the Power of 10 episode the pair appeared on.)

Although Big Brother 8's Thursday night broadcast didn't contain any mention of the producers' original "penalty nomination" punishment or the events that led to the decision to change their original punishment, Big Brother executive producer Allison Grodner addressed the decision to change Jen's punishment during an Entertainment Weekly interview published Thursday.

"We always reserve the right to give penalty nominations when rules are broken that are not safety violations or something so extreme that you should be ejected. But this was unprecedented [someone who was already nominated breaking a rule]," Grodner told EW.  "At this point, our feeling is that the offender should be penalized within the week the offense took place. So this is a new way of dealing with rule violations by the nominees themselves."

After Jen's eviction was revealed, the rest of the houseguests -- excluding Danielle, who as the outgoing HoH was ineligible, and Jameka, who as part of the same Week 5 PoV competition that Jen had eventually won, had also agreed to be ineligible for Big Brother 8's next five HoH competitions -- competed in the show's eighth HoH competition.

Dubbed "Tanks For The Memories," the multiple-choice HoH challenge required the houseguests to guess how Big Brother 8's previously eliminated contestants had answered some questions the show's producers had asked them.  If they guessed the wrong answer, the houseguests would be dropped into a 350-gallon dunk tanks.  The last houseguest left would become the show's new Head of Household.

Jessica Hughbanks, a 21-year-old college student from Haysville, KS, won the competition and joined Danielle as the second Big Brother 8 houseguest to become HoH for a second time. 

Jessica's victory marks the fourth consecutive week that either Jessica or Danielle -- who recently formed a four-person alliance that also includes Dick and Eric Stein, a 27-year-old New York talent management assistant that is secretly serving as the season's "America's Player" twist -- have served as the house's Head of Household.

(Photo credit CBS)


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