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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Big Brother is Watching 

Posted by James at 12:23 PM ET

By Tyler Harbert
The Daily Kansan

The reality is that a 21-year-old student left the University — as well as her role as a Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader — to enter a contest for a chance at $500,000.

The entertainment value of her situation is that she has to be secluded within a camera-filled house with 12 total strangers who are trying to outfox her for their own stakes at $500,000.

Oh yeah, and one other house mate is her arch-rival, a nemesis dug up from a past conflict in her life.

The student’s name is Carol Journey and her biography on the CBS Web site for the Big Brother 8 reality television program is similar to the other cast members’. She lists her favorite actresses, her favorite alcoholic drink and her favorite sports team: Hers happens to be the Kansas Jayhawks.

Journey, a junior in business at the University, was a Rock Chalk Dancer for three years until she tried out for and made the Kansas City Chiefs cheering squad, where she would have worked this fall had the filming for Big Brother not overlapped with cheer rehearsal times.

Cat Jarzemkoski, spirit squad coordinator at the University, said she knew Journey was involved with something, but Journey couldn’t tell her what. Jarzemkoski wasn’t surprised that Journey was picked for the show or as a Chiefs Cheerleader.

“She’s incredibly talented,” she said. “She’s pretty much a go-getter.”

Carol Big Brother 8

Lisa Wehkamp, the girls’ dance team coach at Campus High School in Haysville, thinks that the conflict between the contestants could stem from a fight between Journey and her freshman-year friend Jessica Hughbanks.

“I don’t know the details,” Wehkamp said. “They typically don’t tell teachers those things.”

Wehkamp had both Journey and Hughbanks on the dance team when the girls were in ninth grade. After the first year, Hughbanks became a cheerleader and Journey stayed with the dance team for her remaining three years of high school.

“I do know that at the beginning of ninth grade they were friends and by the end of ninth grade they weren’t friends,” Wehkamp said.

Despite the controversy, Wehkamp said it was a big deal when a major television network plucked two small-town women out of their lives and plugged them in front of cameras for 24 hours a day. She said the entire town will be watching.

“It’s a major point of gossip at this point,” she said. “It’s national exposure.”

What exactly Journey will be exposed to or exposing during filming has her father Phil feeling apprehensive.

“Absolutely,” said Phil, a Wichita attorney who is also a Kansas Senate republican from District 26. “There’s always that possibility she does something that leads over to my life.”

Phil can’t legally discuss the specifics of Carol’s situation on the show because of a contract with CBS. He couldn’t even talk to people about the show when a network camera crew came to his home several weeks ago, shot a quick profile of Carol and her family and then pulled her away from the Midwest and took her to Los Angeles.

Phil said Hughbanks might not be Carol’s biggest struggle.

“I’m sure she’s going through electronic withdrawal,” he said.

When Carol told her father she was selected for the show, he immediately started researching the program on the Internet. He said he found Web sites that featured “every nitty-gritty detail” about cast members from previous seasons. He said he won’t worry about what people say online about Carol.

Carol Big Brother 8

“I’m kind of a computer guy, so I’m pretty familiar with Internet behavior,” Phil said. “It’s different from how we actually converse.”

How long does he think his daughter will last on the show, where one house member usually gets eliminated from the show once a week?

“She’ll make it at least halfway through,” Phil said, and he hopes he’ll be able to watch the show without having to shield his eyes. “The last thing I told her was, ‘Daddy’ll be watching.’ ”

Though Carol has already been nominated for elimination, she is still in the house as of press time.

Update: Carol was voted out of the BB House on Thursday by a 10-1 vote. Read and watch an interview with her after she left the house here.

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