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#1 10-25-2007 12:26:54 AM

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From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
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CBS Confirms: Eric Was Not Allowed To Use the Veto

So Big Brother 8 has been over for more than a month now and this really shouldn't matter, but somehow it kinda does.

If you remember week 8, Jessica Hughbanks was Head of Household and had nominated Amber Siyavus and Zach Swerdzewski for eviction. Eric Stein, Jessica's partner in the game, won the Power of Veto, giving him the alleged ability to veto one of the nominations. Dick and Daniele Donato (eventual winner and runner-up) had been in an alliance with Eric and Jessica, but were starting to plot their end game.  Daniele, in particular, was itching to turn against Eric and Jessica.

Jessica was starting to mistrust the alliance.  She wanted Eric to use the power of veto, saving one of the nominated house guests, in order for her to put a Donato up for eviction in their place. Eric declined, stating he still had confidence in their alliance.  Jessica didn't push the issue (although she believed it was "the biggest mistake in the game").  Amber was evicted, Zach won the next head of household, and the Donatos did turn against Eric and Jessica, who wound up the next two evicted house guests. CBS got their dream ending, as the estranged father and daughter were the final two on finale night.

As it turns out, Eric didn't decline to use the veto after all. He was prevented by the producers from doing so.  Not that CBS informed the viewers of this.  In fact, the show was edited in a way that it appeared it was entirely Eric's decision.

[D]uring a recent podcast interview with, Hughbanks said that once Big Brother 8  ended and Stein was allowed to reveal the season's "America's Player" twist to the rest of the houseguests, he told her the real reason why he didn't use the PoV.

"Eric explained he wasn't allowed to use the veto that week. The producers said that America wasn't given enough time to decide who he should use it on if he was going to, so they just flat out told him he is not allowed to use the veto at all -- nominations had to stay the same -- which is why Eric didn't use the veto," said Hughbanks during the interview.  "I think that's because [the producers] knew if he used the veto I was going to put up one of the Donatos, Dick or Danielle, and so they just said, 'You know you can't do it.'"

Big Brother's producers confirmed Hughbanks' claims that they didn't allow Stein the option to use the PoV in a CBS statement issued to Reality TV World on Tuesday.

"The rule was that Eric had to make every effort to do what America wanted.  [Viewers] asked for someone to be nominated and that person was on the chopping block. Since there was no time to vote on whether or not [Stein] should use the veto, he needed to make sure that the person America wanted gone stayed on the chopping block and then make every effort to make sure that person was evicted. Keeping the nominations the same was the best way to accomplish America's wishes."


CBS did not immediately reply to Reality TV World's Wednesday requests for further clarification on the producers' statement, including why Big Brother host Julie Chen never informed the show's viewers of a rule restriction that would have prevented Stein from exercising any PoV that he won and why the show's broadcasts were edited to imply Stein was making his own PoV usage decision.

After reading all summer on various message boards that the producers were rigging the game in Eric's favor, it's good to know that, in the end, the entire competition was in fact rigged in the Donatos favor.

Maybe that's too strong, but the whole thing seems a little shifty to me.



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