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Jun Song wins $500,000, but no one's respect, in CBS's 'Big Brother 4' finale


By Wade Paulsen, 09/25/2003 

In a battle between perhaps the two most reviled finalists ever in the short history of reality-competition shows, Jun Song, a 27-year-old investment manager from New York City, defeated Alison Irwin, a 22-year-old retail manager from Meadville, Pennsylvania, by a 6-1 vote to win $500,000 in the finale of CBS's U.S. Big Brother 4 on Sept. 24.

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The only one of the booted contestants to vote for Alison was Nathan Marlow, although she had betrayed him during the show. All of the other ex-houseguests eligible to vote -- Dana Varela, Justin Giovinco, Jack Owens, Jee Choe, Erika Landin and Robert Roman -- voted for Jun, although it was clear none of the jurors seemed happy with the two finalists from which they had to choose. The first three booted, Amanda Craig, Michelle Maradie and David Lane, were present but not able to vote. Only original houseguest Scott Weintraub, who was kicked off the show for bad behavior and for having a sexually-transmitted disease, was missing from the finale.

To prevent a repeat of the finale of the finale of Big Brother 3, in which popular but devious houseguest Danielle Reyes was crushed in the final vote after the booted contestants saw her Diary Room confessions about her strategy, each ex-houseguest was kept sequestered after leaving the Big Brother house. Only after they had cast their votes were they permitted to see the Diary Room confessions of others, including the self-proclamations of Jun and Alison that they were "evil bitches."

Although the racial slurs uttered by Jun and Alison were never shown on TV, the producers included an anti-Korean Diary Room slur from final-four member Erika directed at Jee, apparently in an effort to show that "everyone was doing it," so the finalists' slurs were no big deal. Anyone watching Jee's reaction to her comments, however, would disagree.

We congratulate Big Brother 4 executive producer Arnie Shapiro, host Julie Chen, and her boyfriend, CBS head honcho Les Moonves, on their success in dragging Big Brother into the gutter to achieve higher ratings. From kicking off an originally-announced houseguest because he was in a committed relationship, to pairing ex-couples, the show was designed to accent sex and sleaze, so it comes as no surprise that the finalists described themselves so derogatorily -- and were described by the others, who seemed eager to get away from them, as bed-hopping liars. At a time when other versions of Big Brother are uniting continents, promoting cultural tolerance and creating national heroes, we're proud that the U.S. version isn't afraid to pander to the lowest common denominator.











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