Season 8 had the most successful and heart wrenching twist in BB history. Not only did it reunite bitter exe’s and high school rivals, it also brought together estranged Father/Daughter Dick and Daniele Donato. ‘Evel’ Dick and his 20 year old daughter had a surprise reunion in the Big Brother house thanks to Big Brother’s ‘Unfinished Business’ twist, which brought their 2 year split to an end. Once in the house, they shifted quickly from the ‘Duelling Donatos’ to the ‘Dynamic Donato Duo’.
Not only were they struggling to work out their relationship in the confines of the house, they were also under constant pressure from the other houseguests. Frequently on the block, together they won 11 competitions. Daniele won two HOH`s and a whopping five Vetos, while Dick won three HOH`s and a veto that he used to take Daniele off the block, rather than himself. She returned the favor and saved him from the block weeks later, which assured them spots in the Final three. Dick summed it up rather well (with only a little bias) during the finale saying that they made up `the best team that`s ever played this game`.
While Daniele described her father’s presence as a `downer` in the house in the first episode, she changed her tune by the finale saying that there was ‘nobody that I’d rather sit next to’ in the final two. Dick took the chance that BB offered to start to begin to mend his relationship with Dani. One moment that touched my heart was when Daniele won her first HOH and Dick saw a picture of his mother with his young daughter. Breaking down in the diary room he spoke of how he knew his mother would think his reconciliation with Daniele was a `miracle`.
Their turbulent relationship struck home with me since I was only a year younger than Daniele when the season aired, and have always watched Big Brother with my own father. As a daughter who has an amazing relationship with her father (so much that he`s jokingly threatened to register as `Jayde`s Dad` on BB Chatter) it really hurt to see two people who are family and should be close struggle to communicate in the most basic of ways. I tell my parents every day that I love them, but it took many long weeks in the BB house for Daniele to open up enough with her father to tell him that she loved him too.
In the years since, their relationship seems to have broken down again, when they were teamed up this year they clearly weren’t on the best of terms. Their second Big Brother reunion was unexpectedly cut short less than a week into the game when an emergency pulled Evel Dick out of the Big Brother house, leaving Dani alone and holding the first golden key. What this season could have been if Dick was still in the game will forever be left to the imagination. Regardless, Daniele has kept up the Donato tradition of making power moves in the game.
Unable to compete since the first week, Daniele had no choice but to concentrate on her social game. She developed a close friendship with Domenic while doing her best to get on everyone’s good side. However that wasn’t enough to save Domenic from eviction when the other veterans wanted him out.
She had been in with the veteran alliance with her father, but as a single player she knew she was the odd person out and decided that she needed to make a move. Attempting to turn the couples against each other, in hopes of evening out the playing field, she did her best to turn Rachel and Jordan against each other during their HOH weeks. It was too fast, too soon and she was caught red-handed.
The first HOH competition that Daniele ever won was an endurance in Season 8, and she repeated that performance in the first live endurance event of Season 13. After seeing her best friend in the house sent home and knowing that staying in the game depended on winning, she smoked all the other competitors. For almost two hours Veterans and Noobs alike dropped like flies, leaving only Kalia and Daniele balancing on a swinging ledge. When Shelly (the last hope for the Veterans alliance) dropped, Daniele’s and Kalia’s moods lightened and they joked for a minute or two before Kalia jumped off to give Dani the win.
Her relationship with the couples as a team obviously over, she nominated Brendan and Rachel for eviction. Targeting Brendan, Daniele made a deal with Jeff and Jordan so they could stay together on the jury for the summer. Dani’s job as HOH is make as many deals and cement as many relationships as she can. Not able to play in the next HOH competition she needs all of the support she can get. Kalia and Lawon are in her corner. Adam and Shelly are with Jeff and Jordan, and will drag Rachel along for a few weeks. Porsche mostly smiles.
From now until one of them goes home, Rachel is all about getting even with Dani, the woman who came between “Me and My Man”. Expect another week of heavy drama on Big Brother 13.