Danielle Murphree was the last female in the Big Brother house and save for a few minor adjustments in her heart and her trust barometer, she easily could have been the winner of Big Brother 14. Jokerís Updates had an opportunity to speak to Danielle after the chaos of Finale night but the bedlam seemed to carry over onto the phone call because the connection was bad; many of us had trouble hearing her when she first came on.

The phone line settled down and didnít act up again until, at the very end of the interview, I asked Danielle if she was in love with Shane. I think we all know the answer to that one and truly, it is none of our business now. During the conference call, Danielle proved herself to be a remarkable young woman, handling some very difficult questions with honesty and clarity.
This is Jokerís Updates time with Danielle.

BestBBever: Danielle, this BestBBever from Jokerís Updates, how are you?

Danielle: Iím good, how are you? [very polite & cheerful]

BestBBever: Listen, you sound really good & I am glad to hear that because I was actually worried about you last night...

Danielle: Yeah, I wasnít doing too hot last night... I wasnít doing too hot this morning, either.

BestBBever: I am going to tell you right up front that you are going to see a lot of *excrement* out there [on the internet] and I hope you ignore most of it and know that you have your fans. You have people that really support you, so just ignore the rest, go on and have a great life!
But, before that, I have a few questions for you.

Danielle: Ok, absolutely!

BestBBever: Shane didnít seem to return your affection a whole lot until that very last week when you won the HOH and the POV. Knowing what you know now and knowing that you probably spent some time with him last night, do you think that his feelings and actions were to secure his safety or do you think they were genuine?

Danielle: I think Shaneís feelings are genuine and were genuine: I think he was just so afraid of having a Showmance because of exactly what happened.

[It didnít occur to me until I was transcribing this that I donít know what Danielle was referring to when she said "exactly what happened." Exactly what happened, when? Him developing feelings for her? The feelings interfering with his gameplay? What? Him losing? What was she referring to? Danielle, please if you are reading this, please let me know what that meant, ok?]

BestBBever: Everything that Dan did, every lie that he told you, even his funeral speech when he said you were Ďdead to himí all seemed like gameplay except in the moments between Shane being blindsided and his exit from the house. Dan quickly then whispered to him that you, Dani, had been playing him all along. Have you discussed that with Dan and how did you feel about that final lie from him?

Danielle: When I found that out I was livid, Iím still mad about it, why would Dan even do that to me, itís beyond me.

BestBBever: He didnít need to, it was definitely overkill.

Danielle: I talked to Shane and told him it was 100% not true, I was never playing him, Dan was just trying to run me under the bus for whatever reason. Dan and I have not talked about it. Dan and I are not on speaking terms.

BestBBever: Oh. Ok. Do you think that will change in the future?

Danielle: I donít know. I found out a lot of stuff last night after the finale and this morning that I am just really not happy with at all so, um, right now I really canít answer that question because I am too mad.

BestBBever: Well, I think that is a good place to be but I know you have a big heart and you are very forgiving so... One thing that a lot of your naysayers commented on or wanted to know about was the fact that when you were talking about yourself to the other Houseguests (for instance when you were discussing your breasts and being Miss Alabama,) it seemed like you embellished your life resume a lot. Is there anything you would like to set straight?

Danielle: [she interrupted me to say this:] I donít think I ever said I was Miss Alabama! There was a joke in the house [about that]. My best friend Mattie is Miss Alabama.

BestBBever: Ok, that is what a lot of Jokerís readers wanted to know about. I wasnít privy to a lot of the conversations that have the live feeders so riled up; many times when I watched the feeds and you were telling one of your tall Alabama tales, I thought you were yanking their chain. Is that what you were doing?

Danielle: When they [the other HGís] would say the Miss Alabama thing, it was a joke because they said, theyíd make fun of my memory wall picture because they said it looked like Miss Alabama -- like a pageant photo. You know I was never Miss Alabama, that was a joke.

BestBBever: Ok.

Danielle: I said I did pageants back in high school and about my boobs, I do have a capsule on my right breast, like a scar tissue mass and I do have to have it removed. Itís nothing serious or whatever but it does need to be changed.

BestBBever: You arenít going to have to have chemotherapy for it?

Danielle: no, I said I was never going to, I said it was never like that!

BestBBever: Ok.

Danielle: OH MY GOSH [sounding exasperated and confused and frustrated]

BestBBever: Danielle, all of this stuff is out there and this is a good time to set the record straight.

Danielle: no, I said I never, see... oh, this is oh...

Another reporter took that opportunity to ask Danielle some questions. Danielle thinks she is underestimated because people perceive her as too sweet and naive. She doesnít know how long it will take her to get over the hurt from the things Dan has said. She was shocked that Dan was saying in interviews that his plan was always to take Ian to the Final Two.

BestBBever: Danielle, that was Danís plan all along but it obviously was a bad plan and he lost the 500k doing it, so that is on him.

Danielle: Thatís right, thatís right!

Danielle thought Dan was getting paranoid and she really regrets the decision she and Shane made to take Dan off the block and put Shane up, terminating with Shane's eviction. Danielle was also convinced that it was ultimately her fault for continuing to believe in Dan when he repeatedly hurt or betrayed her; she doesnít know why she continued to trust him.

When she sat down with the jury, she said that she leaned over and asked Jenn what was going on because there was a very Ďawkward vibeí coming from the jury. She didnít purposely lie to the other houseguests but she admitted to exaggerating most of her stories for gameplay and to test the waters with Dan. She thought Janelle was very sweet to her and apologized for embellishing so much. She really believed Dan was a good guy from the way he played Season 10 and admitted to being completely ďmist-tifiedĒ.

Danielle definitely felt that she could have outlasted Dan on the 1st part of the HOH but she wanted him to trust her and she definitely regrets falling off and throwing it like he asked her to.

BestBBever: During the final part of the HOH, when you were sitting off to the side, you could hear the questions they were being asked, did you get the answers right?

Danielle: I missed one of them, I missed the one about... trying to remember] I missed one of them so...

BestBBever: And did anyone straighten out for you that JoJo was the one who made the comment about you being fat? That Janelle was simply relaying the smack talk to you so that you knew what was being said, she had your back...

Danielle: NO!

BestBBever: Janelle was just trying to give you information, she wanted to have an alliance with you.

Danielle: Ok, if thatís the truth, I feel extremely bad because everyone said they could never see JoJo saying that and Janelle did come to me and tell me the same thing in the HOH room!
[It was pointed out here that Janelle also wanted to start a fight with that information because she was bored; but she thought the fight would be between JoJo and Danielle, not with Danielle. I seem to remember some warning about the messenger always getting shot but I could be wrong...]
I wasnít in a fighting position - it was way too early in the game and I did not even want that confrontation with JoJo because that girlís feisty, she scared me!

Danielle said that her encounter with Janelle and JoJo was very awkward, that Janelle said something about all of her ďliesĒ and JoJo said ďdonít even get near me.Ē Danielle has nothing against any of them as people and thinks Janelle is beautiful, a great person, an amazing Big Brother player and she would like to be friends with both of them when all of this is over. She wants nothing but the best for them.

BestBBever: Without the rancor that you feel towards Dan, if the Final 3 had been you, Dan and Shane, and you had the choice, who were you going to take to the Final 2?

Danielle: Who do you think?

BestBBever: I think you would have taken Shane. That was Danís fear and is why he did all of that and felt he had to get Shane out of the house!

Danielle: [laughing and then housekeeping interrupted her at the hotel] I would have gone with my heart and I couldnít have wronged Shane, he had never wronged me, I would have taken Shane.

BestBBever: WOW, that is big deal because in the end, Dan did all those machinations because he didnít trust that you would take him...

Danielle: Yeah, but I wouldnít let myself get into that final position to have to decide. I did not want to decide. I would have tried to just let the guys duke it out!

BestBBever: Ok.

Danielle said that she thought her vote was the only one for Dan to win, because the jury was still too angry about the way they had all been treated.

BestBBever: But that is the game of Big Brother. Were they really hurt or just jealous that someone might win 500k twice when they themselves had never won it once or just mad and petulant because they got GOT?

Danielle: Thatís a good point, it is part of the game, I was sitting in the jury live so I have no idea.

BestBBever: You didnít hear anything last night?

Danielle: I only hung out with like, Wil and Kara.

BestBBever: Oh, non-jury members were probably in better moods.

Danielle: Yeah, I said two words to Dan.

Danielle continued and talked about the possibility of coming back to play in "All Stars." She said right now there was no way but she might feel differently as time passed. The one thing she was sure of was that she would never play again if Dan was playing too. She also said that she was not planning on attending the Vegas bash.

BestBBever: What is in the future for Danielle? What do you plan on doing with your career? Will you continue nursing and stay in Alabama or will you move to Hollywood like so many other Big Brother contestants?

Danielle: No, I am not moving to Hollywood; I will definitely stay in Alabama. I will go back to nursing as soon as some of this stuff dies down and hopefully I will be making some trips to Vermont.

BestBBever: Thank you so much Danielle, you really helped make our favorite summer show the best this year!

Danielle: I appreciate it, I know I kinda got upset with some of these questions, Iím sorry.

BestBBever: No, please, Danielle you are lovely. You have no reason to apologize. Jokerís Updates would love to have you visit. You are a great part of the Big Brother family and we would love to have you drop by!

Danielle: I thought Jokerís hated me!

BestBBever: Oh please, Jokerís hates everybody once in awhile! They hate me sometimes and I work for them! Donít let it bother you. It all depends on what time of day it is; you are always going to have the haters, just ignore them, send them love, go on and have a wonderful life.

Danielle: Thanks, I will!

Danielle said her favorite moments in the Big Brother house were when Wil was doing his impersonations and that she was not going to let distance stand in the way of a relationship with Shane. I asked her three times if she thought she was in love with him and each time the bad connection problems surfaced. It was actually funny because it was obvious that Danielle thought she had replied to the question but I have no idea what her response was. In the end, I donít think it matters. They are both out of the Big Brother house and their feelings for each other now are private.

Danielle admitted to not liking all of the negativity on the internet, and said that it does get to her.
I suggested she contact Shelly Moore and get her help to navigate the rabid hatorade waters. Danielle sounded hopeful about the idea. I hope she reaches out to Shelly. I know Shelly would welcome her with open arms, the way she has welcomed everyone in the Big Brother family.

I donít think anyone has ever been put through the fire the way Shelly and her family were. If anyone is in a position to teach Danielle how to handle the treacherous terrain with dignity and kindness, Shelly is the one. Shelly has proven to be one of the most resilient Big Brother players ever and has become an asset to all of the Big Brother alumni. [Ed: Danielle did contact Shelly and learned she was a valuable friend as well as mentor.]

And I hope the mention of Shelly is a reminder to everyone that ultimately these people are people. I am as guilty as any of snarking and debating and nitpicking the most insignificant of personality traits but it started feeling a lot like high school bullying when the hatorade poured freely this year. I couldnít keep up and in many ways it started ruining the game for me. I donít care how many times someone looks in the mirror or twirls their hair, all I know is that every year the women are badgered worse than the men and usually by other women.

And we all run to the feeding frenzy and put in our two cents but is that who we really are? Do any of us start out the summer thinking we want to end up being chum? But too often that is what we become. 'Chum:' cut up, leftover fish guts used for shark bait. Instead of 'chums.' Danielle deserves better. Our mothers, sisters and daughters all deserve better.

Yes, I got on my soapbox, I hope you do too and I hope we change this part of Big Brother for the better!


@BestBBever for Jokerís Updates