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Jessica Hughbanks and Eric Stein both evicted from 'Big Brother 8'


By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 09/07/2007 

Never trust the Donatos.  Jessica Hughbanks and Eric Stein learned that lesson firsthand, as they became the ninth and tenth houseguests evicted from Big Brother's eighth season during last night's live broadcast of the long-running CBS reality show.

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Hughbanks, a 21-year-old college student from Haysville, KS, and Stein, a 27-year-old talent management assistant from New York, NY, were both sent packing on Day 69 during Big Brother 8's live double eviction broadcast.

Jessica had served her second stint as Big Brother 8's Head of Household last week, and thought it might be the "biggest mistake" of the game when she didn't use it as an opportunity to oust either Dick "Evil Dick" Donato or his daughter Danielle Donato.  Eric -- had been serving as Big Brother 8's America's Player and developed a romantic relationship with Jessica -- instead convinced her to stick with his plan and evict Amber Siyavus, which they did.

However, just as Jessica predicted, the move came back to bite her and Eric as Zach Swerdzewski, a 30-year-old graphic designer from Burbank, CA, became the next HoH and quickly aligned himself with Dick and Danielle, who Eric and Jessica also believed they had a pact with.  After reaching his deal with the Donatos, Zach nominated Jessica and Jameka Cameron for eviction.

Jameka said she was "good friends" with Jessica and declined to do any campaigning to stay in the house.  Jessica also trusted Eric's instinct that Dick and Danielle would stay true to their alliance and instead vote out Jameka. 

However that wasn't the case, as Dick told his daughter that Jessica "has to go" and even concocted a plan that had him telling Jameka she was going home before he would swoop in just prior to last night's live eviction and make a deal with her to stay.  Jameka cried in the Diary Room when Dick told her she was going to be evicted.

Jessica was surprised when Jameka told her what Dick had said, abut added she's "not going to believe it until it happens."  However Eric said he was "confident" Jameka would be evicted instead of Jessica.

"Dick and Danielle are going to come through with their word," said Eric to Jessica, who added her Big Brother boyfriend's "reassurance" made her feel better.

Eric saw it as a "big relief" that viewers instructed him as America's Player to vote to evict Jameka.  He then decided to confront Danielle -- who had won Power of Veto but decided against using it -- about her and Dick's voting plans for the upcoming eviction.

"Is [Jessica] going to stay, or is she going to go?" Eric asked Danielle.  "If she is leaving, just please tell me..."  Danielle answered, "No, you're good."  Eric said he would "understand" if Jessica was evicted, he just wanted to know.  "No worries..." replied Danielle.

At the beginning of last night's live double eviction broadcast, Big Brother host Julie Chen finally informed the houseguests of the twist that viewers had already been told about last week -- that the houseguests would be competing in a "Big Brother fast forward" which would have them participating in a week's worth of events over the course of the hour.  However before that could start, Eric, Dick and Danielle had to cast their eviction votes for either Jessica or Jameka. 

Eric voted for Jameka, however both Dick and Danielle decided they couldn't strategically pass up the chance to boot Jessica, and she became the ninth houseguest evicted from Big Brother 8.  Before leaving, she gave Eric a kiss and a hug.

"I'm not surprised... I understand," Eric told the Donatos once Jessica had left.  "The only thing is, Danielle when I asked, you should have just told me.  There was nothing we could have done to change it."  Dick assured Eric he and Danielle's decision was "last minute." 

"Honestly," continued Eric, "that's the only complaint I have.  I just asked for two days with her if I knew she was going to go... There was nothing we could have done to campaign or change the votes anyway -- the votes were there either way -- I would have liked to have had the time and known."

Once outside the house, Julie asked Jessica why she decided against campaigning while on the chopping block.

"Campaigning wouldn't do anything.  I know I can't trust the Donatos... I thought I could," answered Jessica.  "Maybe it was last second when they realized it was going to be a double eviction that they decided to get me out because I am such a strong competitor."

Despite being fed what ended up being false security by Eric, Jessica also revealed she apparently harbors no hard feelings.

"I love Eric," she told Julie.  "He has been so good to me in the house, and maybe something outside the house, who knows?  My feelings for him were real.  We strategically were close and that grew into personally close."

"I don't think you know how much I need you here and how much I want you here," said an emotional Eric in his goodbye message to Jessica.  "I am going to be a maniac for as long as I stay, fighting for your honor.  Jessica I love you."

"Jessica thank you," said Julie.  "You are off to the jury house."

With Jessica's eviction in the books, it was time for Dick, Danielle, Eric, Jameka and Zach to quickly low through the "fast forward' events that would lead to the hour's second elimination -- a HoH competition, eviction nomination ceremony, PoV competition, PoV ceremony, and another live eviction vote. 

The houseguests -- excluding Zach, who as the outgoing HoH was ineligible, and Jameka, who as part of Week 5's PoV competition, had agreed to be ineligible for Big Brother 8's next five HoH competitions -- competed in the tenth HoH competition, "Before or After."  Dick won the competition and became the HoH, receiving a big hug from his daughter afterwards. 

Eric also received a secret message from Julie that viewers were still voting for who he should target for eviction nomination as America's Player, with viewers instructing him to lobby Dick to nominate his daughter.  Eric made a weak attempt realizing there was no chance Dick would ever nominate Danielle.  Instead, Dick nominated Jameka and Eric.

"Sorry, it's all game," explained Dick.

The five remaining houseguests then competed in "Niagara Balls," a PoV competition that saw them sorting through thousands of rubber balls that fell from above.  Zach used his brut strength to box-out the other houseguests and collect the correctly colored balls, capturing the PoV.  At the PoV ceremony, Zach decided to keep Dick's nominations the same before revealing he was in-fact aligned with the Donatos.

"I made an oath to my group..." he said.

Prior to the second eviction ceremony of the night, Eric took one last shot at trying to stay in the game.

"Obviously I'm disappointed and surprised to be in this position right now," said Eric.  "All I can say to [Zach, Danielle and Dick] is the power is in your hands.  If you actually run through your collective minds right now, you will see that I've been good to the three of you in this game.  Any word I've given you, I have stuck to.  I had the opportunity to eliminate all three of you in this game and I chose not to because I did believe in what you were saying to me.  Obviously to some degree that trust was breached earlier this evening, but I've been good to you, be good to me."

Eric didn't stand a chance, as both Zach and Danielle voted to evict Eric.

"Honestly good luck to all of you, I'm not leaving with sour grapes," said Eric as he exited. 

"Send Jen our regards," said Danielle, referring to the seventh evicted houseguest, Jen Johnson.  "Will do," replied Eric.  "Hopefully she's dead by shark attack."

"I'm really at peace with it Julie," said Eric when Big Brother's host asked how he felt once outside the house.  "I feel like I played the best game I could possibly play under the circumstances.  I had obstacles that nobody else had to deal with in this house.  I'm not surprised at what happened, and the people who did it to me would have been long gone if the decisions were in my hand."

Eric told Julie it was "very difficult" to balance his "personal goals" in the game with "America's goals."

"I embraced what America was doing.  It was a great honor to be selected as America's Player," said Eric.  "At the same time, things would have unfolded very differently in this house if I had my complete say in the matter... Dustin [Erikstrup] and Amber would still be here, Dick and Danielle and Zach would be long gone.  It's the way it is.  It was my job to honor America's wishes.  Unfortunately for myself, I did a great job in doing it, and [viewers] were pulling for the people that sent me out of this house."

Eric also corrected Julie for calling his relationship with Jessica a "showmance."

"It wasn't a showmance at all Julie," he said.  "It was genuine, honest feelings.  It was in no way part of my game whatsoever.  It was a greatly pleasant surprise and something wonderful that I found in this house that I never expected... She was a perfect partner... I'm just sad that my role as America's Player may have compromised her position in this house."

As America's Player, Eric received $10,000 for every five tasks he successfully completed.  He left the Big Brother house with $40,000.

"For now, you are off to the jury house," Julie told Eric.  "And Jessica's there..."

After last night's live broadcast ended,  Danielle, Jameka and Zach -- as outgoing HoH, Dick was ineligible to participate -- competed in Big Brother 8's eleventh Head of Household competition. 

While the results of the challenge are already known to the show's 24/7 live Internet feed viewers, CBS will reveal the winner of the HoH challenge during Sunday night's Big Brother 8 broadcast. (If you don't want to wait until then to find out what happened, highlight the area below.)

Zach won the challenge and began his second stint as Big Brother 8's HoH.

On Tuesday, CBS will air a special live Big Brother 8 episode featuring a PoV competition and eviction ceremony, revealing the final three houseguests.  Another live episode will air next Thursday, with the final HoH being crowned and single-handedly evicting someone, choosing who will sit next to him or her in the final two.

Big Brother 8's finale is scheduled to air Tuesday, September 18.

(Photo credit CBS)


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