Tampa's Annie Whittington speaks on her brief time as Big Brother 12 saboteur
As more proof that CBS' Big Brother is basically a remedial version of a reality TV competition, producers revealed to the remaining contestants Sunday that Tampa bartender Annie Whittington was the saboteur tasked with secretly causing problems to make the show exciting.
But Whittington became the first contestant voted off the show Thursday night, bringing a premature end to a twist which could have affected the game for weeks. Still, instead of letting the contestants think that the saboteur might still be among them -- the houseguests didn't learn she was the saboteur when the at-home audience did -- producers had Whittington reveal her identity at the end of Sunday's episode.
Seems that taking some time to make that reveal would have allowed producers to wring a little more paranoia out of the houseguests, who had little reason to guess Whittington was the culprit.
I had a sense something like that was coming when CBS declined to make Whittington available after her ejection. Last year, when St. Petersburg elementary school teacher Casey Turner was ejected, he was available to speak with the press the next day.
The network did agree to forward some questions to her for answer via email; check out her answers below.
Why did you tell housemates you were from Chicago?
“Because I identify myself as being from Chicago. It was a huge part of my life. I grew up there and became who I am while growing up in Chicago.”
When did you realize you would be saboteur?
(CBS publicist Mitch Graham: Eric, we don’t really discuss the casting process on reality shows -- however, I can tell you that Annie did obviously know she was the Saboteur before entering the house).
Why did you make yourself such a target by playing so hard?
“I think my personality is overwhelming to some people…you either love me or hate me. People may have been scared because I am so social and would have made a lot of friendships inside the house.”
Some critics are saying the show's big twist has been neutralized because you got ejected so soon. What do you think?
“It’s Big Brother. There’s never a dull moment”
How long have you lived in Tampa? Are the folks at the bar where you worked pulling for you?
“I have lived in Tampa for 2 years (in Novemeber)…and I’m sure everyone is pulling for me…everyone there is extremely supportive. “
If you had anything to do over again, how would you play differently?
“I would never trust anyone ever in the game. I would have toned down my personality…and I wouldn’t have shown the real Annie so early. I would have let the game play come to me. I think people realized that I really knew the game of Big Brother (I’ve been such a huge fan for many years) and that scared people. I would have been open about my relationship because ultimately I upset myself emotionally by keeping it bottled up.”