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Big Brother

12 | 06 | 2000
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News Photo Cassandra's Light Fades
Her banishment leaves just five House Guests

--Day 71

Cassandra took her wisdom and her bags down the long walk outside the Big Brother House on day 71.

While in the house, her goal had been to maintain her dignity and offer advice when it was asked for -- and it was asked for a lot.

Although her fellow guests had voted her "most humorless" in the controversial moment-of-truth challenge, Cassandra was not without her light moments. Though practically obsessed with her coiffure, she cheerfully got her hair wet during the water basketball challenge. And Cassandra could be just as silly, and besotted, as the others when it came to Chiquita.

Early in the experience, long before the bonds had been formed and the group had coalesced, Cassandra attempted to befriend William in an effort to redirect his energies into a more positive expression of his views. She tried to be mother, friend and confidant to the only House Guest with whom she shared a cultural background and a well of personal experience.

"You have so much power, and you use it to stir things up. All this confident energy you have goes in the wrong direction," she once told him. Despite her mentoring, William's short but confrontational stay ended when he became the first to be banished.

Cassandra, at times vocalizing her alienation in the Red Room, gamely continued, and she did try to open up to the other House Guests. Her stories, which were few as she maintained her privacy, often left her housemates enraptured.

In an unusual hour-long soliloquy, Cassandra told the group one night of a brutal home invasion she endured while working a post in Bangui. Tales of corrupt police, unavailable medical supplies and criminals openly toting shotguns and machetes had the eyes of her housemates open wide to a world they had only known in books.

Her experience of life was so different and so much more varied than theirs. She truly was like an icon of sage wisdom, and they frequently looked to her for advice. Brittany often leaned on Cassandra in times of need, especially when the triangle with Josh and Jordan developed into an ugly confrontation. Cassandra, for her part, always gave pertinent insight without judgment or scorn.

Her most memorable encounter came during the preparation for the moment-of-truth challenge. She had expressed concern over the direction of the show several times in the Red Room, and when she read the items on the challenge questionnaire, she decided that she had had enough.

She asked for a voluntary exit in a pointed discussion with Big Brother. She was no longer willing to go against her housemates for the sake of entertainment, she said, and her energy was spent.

"There's no dignity in leaving," Big Brother told her. In staying that night, she seemed to willingly embrace the leadership role that Big Brother had expected from her.

Cassandra stayed, and on the day of her banishment, she left the house with her head up, proud of her participation in what she had referred to often as "the experience of a lifetime."

Related Links

> Bye Bye Brittany
> Karen -- The Long Walk
> Jordan's BB Journey Concludes
> Portrait Of William

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