Big Brother evicted its fifth housemate on Monday night with Danni Uniek “collateral damage” in a strategic game of Chinese whispers.
Uniek was blindsided by the eviction, having had no actual part in the gossip. But it wasn’t leaving and losing out on a cool $250k that had Danni feeling like she’d been “kicked in the guts” — the cash prize wasn’t the reason she had entered the house at all.
“In the last two years, I was actually diagnosed with a neurological condition and it completely flipped my world upside down,” Uniek told TheLatch— in an interview post her eviction.
The experience for Uniek was supposed to be an “adventure” but instead, she became Kieran’s “insurance policy”.
“Going out on basically Kieran’s “insurance policy”, the lie — and Garth also had a hand in that — it was just a kick in the guts because I went there with a game in mind,” she added.
Leaving the house, Uniek says she has no regrets, however, is adamant that one particular housemate is the one to watch.
“Garth is friends with everybody and he has a connection with every group and I saw him as a huge threat to me,” she said.
Here, the mother-of-two talks to TheLatch— about her condition, who she thinks will win and why we shouldn’t be trusting Saville too much.
Anita Lyons: Hi Danni, thanks so much for taking the time to chat. It was pretty brutal how you were evicted, but before we get to all of that, why did you apply for the show and why did you think you’d make a good housemate?
Danni Uniek: The first reason I applied is that I’ve always watched the show and I’ve been a huge fan. I find the psychological side of it really interesting. I’m big on body language, human nature, just all that kind of stuff, so that was a huge draw card.
In the last two years, I was actually diagnosed with a neurological condition and it completely flipped my world upside down. It affects my arms, legs and it also affects my nerves so I have body tremors and attacks.
It’s crazy to look back now but in those darker moments, you don’t see any light but I would have never gotten the chance or the opportunity to apply for Big Brother had I not gone through what I’ve gone through.
It was a huge push for me and I think when your life is turned upside down like that, you almost want to have some control over it, so, pushing yourself and trying things out of your comfort zone, becomes so much of the forefront of all of your life choices from that point on.
AL: Oh Danni! I’m so sorry to hear that. May I ask what the neurological condition is?
DU: It’s called “Functional Neurological Disorder”. There’s no organic reason for my body to be doing this. With MS [Multiple Sclerosis] there are lesions on the brain. With Motor-Neurons Disease your body attacks the neurons in your brain.
It’s very rare, but I have all the symptoms that an MS person would have and Parkinson’s and Motor-Neuron. It does vary with each person but basically there’s no organic reason. All tests point negative which then is a positive for Functional Neurological Disorder.
I’m really surprised that they didn’t show that, that I was a representation of a disability you can’t see and just going through those dark times and really coming out of it a stronger and different person — a stronger, better one I think.
AL: You left the house as “collateral damage” and lost out on the $250k prize money. How were you intending on ‘playing the game’?
DU: I was going to sit back, really take a look at people’s body language, really analyse that stuff because people don’t realise they give so much of the game away just by their actions and not wanting to listen to what they’re saying.
To go out for no other reason but as a flippant comment that Kieran had made to gain someone else’s trust, that was just a kick in the ass that that was my adventure over. I almost would rather go out on me being a horrible person or a game player, there was no real reason other than collateral damage.
AL: Do you think if Kieran gets backlash over his actions, it will be fair?
DU: I think it depends on what the audience is watching Big Brother for. I think if you’re if you’re a diehard Big Brother Fan and you really love the essence of getting to know characters and backing them, then I think that’s where he’ll get backlash, but I think those who are watching the series and are loving the challenges, his strategy, the alliances — I think he’s game playing and that’s amazing.
Although he came out too hard and too obvious, he’s still a really smart person and he makes really good moves.
AL: Why do you think he used you as bait or a target? That’s what I never really understood.
DU: Well, he didn’t. This is the thing and it makes it even worse. With Kieran — and you would have seen from previous episodes — it was all about him gaining the trust of people. So, for instance, with Talia [Rycroft], he got close to her by telling her a little bit of information. He was trying to make her believe him and trust him.
In my episode, it was him trying to get Garth to trust him by giving him information even though it was a lie. He was still building a relationship of trust. He didn’t actually want me out, because I was on his side.
I don’t think he realised the velocity of that small lie to have such a huge impact in that moment.
“I don’t think he realised the velocity of that small lie to have such a huge impact in that moment.”
AL: Besides Kieran, who do you think is playing the most strategic game?
DU: So my two biggest people that I viewed from my very first day was Kieran and Garth, purely because their strategy was very similar to mine.
Garth is friends with everybody and he has a connection with every group and I saw him as a huge threat to me.
He had built trust with all different groups and they did listen to him. I mean, look, he turned the whole Allan and Kieran nomination around and he’s only been there a few days, so for someone to have that much power, they’re really dangerous.
AL: You have two children, what did they think of you applying?
DU: My son was just mortally embarrassed as every 16-year-old would be if their mum is doing things like this. My daughter [six], I don’t think she understood the full ferocity of it, but the first episode she was counting down every five minutes towards 7.30 pm. She just got wrapped up in the excitement that was Big Brother.
I don’t think she understands the magnitude of what happens when you go on TV and that whole big world outside. I don’t think she’s old enough to really grasp that and she really didn’t enjoy the bubble episode one bit. She lost it. She was bawling her eyes out.
AL: Yes! The bubbles! Talk to me about this fear that you have. Where did it come from?
DU: I have no idea. It’s not actually about blowing bubbles, it the foam, like a bubble bath. It’s everything about it. It’s the crackling noise that just eeks me, the feel of it on your skin. It just freaks me out. I just don’t like it.
I honestly didn’t know I was so afraid of it until I was literally in a full house of it. When you’re in a full house, the magnitude is just so different to, you know, washing the dishes.
AL: That is crazy! Do you have any regrets at all?
DU: None. I think from start to finish, I always said I was going to bring the “real” to reality TV. I’m a straight shooter, I tell it like it is. There is no bullshit with me.
I definitely wasn’t going to go in there and step on people and be rude or mean to people or anything like that. I don’t think you win anything by doing that. So, I feel like I stayed myself the whole way through. If anything, I muted my personality because you don’t want to go into the house and be all “look at me, look at me” because you’re only going to bring yourself trouble. I muted my personality in the house to blend in, but no, no regrets.
AL: Based on what you saw in the house, who do you think will be the next person evicted?
DU: With my episode, I tried to drop as many bombs as I could before I left. I wanted to bring the real back to that eviction because I just felt there was so much fake leading up to that.
I’m hoping that by bringing that real and reeling it back in and bringing it back into black and white, hopefully, it will shine a light on Garth who I think was so under the radar at the time — I couldn’t in my head fathom how no one could see this and see how he uses strategy and I’m just dumbfounded that I was the only one to see it.
I just think Garth was my biggest threat.
“Hopefully, it will shine a light on Garth who I think was so under the radar at the time — I couldn’t in my head fathom how no one could see this and see how he uses strategy and I’m just dumbfounded that I was the only one to see it.”
AL: In saying that, who do you think will win?
DU: This is a hard one again because if they’re going to vote at the end for strategic play, or they’re going to vote at the end because they love the person. I think if Kieran can get all the way, I reckon he will be backed for his strategicness — going from everybody hating him and getting through multiple evictions and then getting to the end, I think Australia would back him.
For loveable, I think maybe Sarah. I think people underestimate her.
Big Brother continues Sunday at 7.00 pm and Monday and Tuesday at 7.30 pm, only on Channel 7.