Zach Swerdzewski the twelfth houseguest evicted from 'Big Brother 8'
By Christopher Rocchio, 09/14/2007
Zach Swerdzewski, a 30-year-old graphic designer from Burbank, CA, became the twelfth houseguest evicted from Big Brother's eighth season during last night's live broadcast of the long-running CBS reality show.
The first part of the three-part final HoH competition that determined Big Brother 8's final HoH began during Tuesday night's live Big Brother 8 broadcast that featured Jameka Cameron's eviction. Dubbed "The Bunny Hop," each of the Final 3 houseguests had to stand on a platform and jump over a rotating beam when it swung in their direction, while at the same time never letting go of a key hanging above their head.
Danielle said during last night's broadcast that prior to "The Bunny Hop's" start, she told Dick that she would be "absolutely doomed" if the challenge involved cold water. Unfortunately for her it did, and not only was it cold water, but according to Danielle it was "the coldest water I've ever felt in my life."
"It felt like melted snow falling on me," she commented.
As she shivered on her platform, Danielle implored her father to "distract" Zach with the hopes that it would break his concentration. Dick happily obliged and launched into a lengthy verbal-abuse rant against Zack, however he was obviously also not enjoying the endurance challenge and his disruptive banter was less than what his supporters have come to expect from "Evil Dick." Approximately three hours into the challenge, Danielle fell off her platform, immediately wrapped herself in a few towels, and went inside the house moaning and crying.
After being only one of several houseguests to take verbal abuse from Dick over the course of 74 days, Zach decided to get some payback and began to mock Dick. Danielle eventually reemerged from inside the house to cheer on her dad, and reminded him that her brother -- his son -- would be watching at home.
"I'm sure he's extremely proud of you," encouraged Danielle.
Five hours eventually became seven hours, and while both Zach and Dick looked to be fading fast, it was Dick who seemed to be hurting the most for a warm towel, a place to rest his legs, and of course, a cigarette.
"I don't want to quit," he told Danielle through a series of shivers. She tried to assure her dad that Zach was in just as much pain as her father, only without the support of a family member being present. With Dick wavering seven hours and 32 minutes into the challenge, Danielle abstained him from feeling bad about stepping down.
"If you can't do it, it's okay," she told Dick, at which point he stepped down, handing Zach a victory in the first part of the final HoH challenge.
"He stood up there for eight hours, this 44-year-old fart is what I call him," said Danielle through tears when it was over. "Of course it would have been nice just to squeeze Zach out of the competition, but I'm still extremely proud of [Dick] and what he did. It's okay."
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"I don't know if I would have gone on as long as I did if it wasn't for Danielle," said an emotional Dick. "I didn't just let myself down, I let my daughter down too."
Despite being in the dumps, Dick and Danielle still discussed strategy for the second part of the final HoH competition, which Zach wouldn't compete in. Dick knew the third part of the challenge would be a quiz on the former houseguests -- telling Danielle, "Round 3 is all the s**t I know" -- meaning he felt confident in wanting to win the second part of the challenge.
Dick and Danielle apparently eventually decided that neither would have that big of an advantage over the other in the final round of the competition, so they both gave the second part their all. The second round of the final HoH challenge saw Dick and Danielle having to retrieve puzzle pieces on the bottom of one water tank, carry them to another water tank, and then put the puzzle together while underwater.
The one who completed it the fastest would face-off in the third round against Zach to determine who would be the final Big Brother 8 HoH -- guaranteeing them a spot in the Final 2 and also giving them the opportunity to decide who will join them there. Danielle went first and completed the challenge in 24 minutes and nine seconds while Dick did it in almost half the time -- 12 minutes and 48 seconds.
"For me it doesn't really matter who I go against as long as I win," said Zach. "I've already taken him down once in the physical, it would be amazing if I could take him down in the mental."
Danielle doubted her father's ability to beat Zach in the final round of the competition, called it "embarrassing" that she lost to her dad and added, "I'm ready to get out of here."
"I can do this," Dick reassured Danielle. "Let me do this for you. We're going to have the fairy tail ending, I'm telling you."
Julie then told Dick and Zach it was time for the third round of the final HoH competition, which would be a quiz of how well they got to know their former housemates over the course of the summer. Six questions would be asked, and who ever answered the most correctly would be crowned HoH. Dick answered the first question correctly -- the only time he and Zach differed on an answer -- and Dick won the competition by a 3-2 margin.
"Yes! We did it!" yelled Dick as he jumped up and down and celebrated with Danielle. "We did it baby! Nobody could do it, we did it! We won!"
While everyone knew Dick would be taking Danielle to the Final 2, Julie reminded them they "still had to go through the formal steps," and Zach and Danielle both had a chance to defend themselves.
"Dick I don't expect you to use this [on me]," started Zach. "I played against the best of the best, I lost against the best of the best. Hopefully when you guys are winning all that crazy cash in the long run, you'll think about my inventions. Good job."
"What a summer," said Danielle. "Night and day... who would have thought [Dick and I] would have worked so well together. I know I wouldn't have. I honestly don't believe I would be here without you, I honestly don't know if you believe you'd be here without me. But an amazing team and I would be absolutely honored to be sitting next to you in the Final 2."
"There is no decision, Zach you're out!" said an ecstatic Dick. "Me and you Danielle, we won this whole thing! It's done!"
Once he was outside the Big Brother 8 house, Julie asked Zach about his "big game moves."
"When Nick left the house, I knew that Danielle and I could get closer and in doing that I could ride on Dick and Danielle's coattails -- so to speak -- and lay low. After laying low for a period of time, I knew I could get back in the game. That's when I started to make moves and interact socially with more people. In doing so, I thought I could establish better relations with other players in the house. At the time, it didn't happen. That's when I knew I had to rely on myself and started winning."
Zach also refuted the claim that he ever had an "official" alliance with Dick and Danielle, but still acknowledged how well they played the game.
"I went up against the best players in the game," said Zach, referring to the Donatos. "Danielle won seven things [5 Power of Veto and 2 HoH], I won three [2 HoH, 1 PoV]. Dick's tactics were horrible, awful, [he] totally humiliated many players in this game... [but they] worked against Amber, Eric, Jameka."
On Sunday, September 16 at 8PM ET/PT, CBS will air a special Best of Big Brother 8, which includes clips and highlights from throughout the season as well as Dick and Danielle's thoughts on being in the Final 2 together.
Big Brother 8's finale will then air live on Tuesday, September 18 at 9PM ET on CBS, with Zach, Jameka, Eric, Jessica, Amber, Jen and Dustin casting their votes for either Dick or Danielle to take home the $500,000 prize. In addition, Big Brother 8's houseguests will learn about Eric's role as America's Player.
Regardless of which Donato wins, Dick apparently feels like he's already been victorious.
"We did it. The best teams to have ever played this game," said Dick to Danielle at the conclusion of last night's episode. "[FormerBig Brother 6 and All-Stars houseguest Janelle Pierzina] couldn't even do it with her secret partner [Ashlea Evans]. [Big Brother 2 and All-Stars houseguest Will Kirby] couldn't do it with [fellow second-season and All-Stars houseguest and Mike "Boogie" Malin]. We did something no one can do. [Big Brother 3 and All-Stars houseguest Danielle Reyes] and [fellow third-season houseguest Jason Guy] couldn't do this. Nobody has done this... [We're] the best team to have ever played this game."