Also, Lee Greenwood [ singer of "Proud to be an Ameican--God Bless the USA ], and Miss America 2002

Those of us clamouring to see our favorite Big Brother contestants on the usual round of interview shows have been disappointed: in the wake of the World Trade Center tragedy, many scheduled interviews were canceled or postponed--including, even, the main staple, the CBS Early Show. However, we were fortunate to enjoy an interview with the winner of BB2, Will Kirby "the evil doctor," on Live! with Regis and Kelly. Kelly revealed herself to be quite an avid fan of BB2, indicating from her knowledge of various arcane things that she not only had a group of pals to discuss this with--maybe on the same message boards we've visited!--but had also had the Live Feeds, allowing her to view Big Brother 2 24/7.
First on the show, was the newly-crowned Miss America, Katie Harmon, the very first Miss Oregon to ever win. At Regis' urging, she'd demonstrated the beautiful operatic voice that had won her the crown, in a brief bit of "O Mio Babbino Caro," which she'd performed in Miss America's talent portion!
The 81-year old pageant had nearly been derailed by the WTC tragedy; fears of terrorist attacks had officials and contestants debating whether to continue? They decided that yes, they must, as our institutions--and Miss America is an American institution. Host Tony Danza had said in his opening monologue: "We don't carry on to make less of what happened. We carry on to make more of it, and to add resolve to our nation's voice.'' Danza ended by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, in which the audience spontaneously joined in, before erupting into applause at the conclusion. Miss America, herself, whose platform is to counsel and speak for terminally ill cancer patients, has expanded to include America, itself: "This is an opportunity for Miss America to go and rally the hopes of the American people,'' she said Sunday. ``I want to make sure that this tragedy does not bring down America. I want be that role model that says 'Yes, we are rising.''
She had enjoyed the pageant's new trivia segment, and had scored higher than the others. This had been inspired by Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The organizers of this year's event had decided, months ago, to try some of the elements that had made reality/game shows so much fun: so the 5 finalists had a series of multiple-choice Q and A on various Americana trivia, such as identifying which prologue went with which monument or document--Emma Lazarus' The Statue of Liberty inscription; Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independance; etc. There was also a "Survivor"-like vote-off element, in allowing the 40 other contestants to act as "the 8th judge"--the group's vote helping to decide the winner.
Kelly observed sympathetically on the discomfort of the tiara: "When are they going to make a crown in the shape of a person's head? It's very flat. I noticed that it was teetering on your head."
"It did fall off!; When I won, I was so excited; I'd rushed over to talk to the girls, and it was really teetering, and fell off; Miss Maryland, Kelly Glorioso, gave a dive-leap off the end of the stage, and caught it! And we were amazed, because, Oh, My Goodness..." [ Wonder if a tiara falling into the audience would've created the same free-for-all that a baseball, hit into the stands, does? Kelly Lynn Glorioso IS a hero, then! ]

It was indeed, a very special day on Live!; also on the show was Lee Greenwood, whose 18-year-old Grammy-winning song, "I'm Proud to be an American--God Bless the USA" has again become a current hit. Lee's website had gone from 200 hits one day, to thousands, after the tragedy. Astounded, Lee realized that his song had a healing effect upon the public. Following the tragedy of the World Trade Center and Pentagon, American patriotism is at an all-time high. At New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's behest, Lee Greenwood sang his well-loved song at the "A Prayer for America" Service at Yankee Stadium, on Sunday, September 23, 2001. The WTC's destruction by terrorists had terrified sports fans, fearing a bombing at such a representation of Americana as football and baseball. But Mayor Giuliani had pled with New Yorkers--as President Bush had pled with all Americans--to return to normal life. Many beloved and famous singers had serenaded sports crowds with patriotic songs--but this one has been especially wanted; so much so, that Greenwood had been singing at many events. On that weekend of the Prayer Service, he had been at a precommitted engagement at a NASCAR prerace in Arizona. A special charter plane was arranged by NASCAR to transport him to Whiteplanes, NY, and Highway Patrol brought him thence to Yankee Stadium. "It was harder to get into Yankee stadium, than the plane and car ride!"
"Everywhere I went, from Wyoming to Michigan-- I went to Vegas, where I spent 19 years--you might think it's a frivolous city, but everywhere I went, people were wondering, 'What can I do, what kind of support can I give to New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania?'"
Regis: "And that's how you ended up at this event? You sent a telegram to Mayor Giuliani, saying 'What can I do?'"
Lee: "Exactly, that was my thought, immediately, I wanted to respond, because I knew my performance would probably mean something. [ At the NASCAR event ], we stood there, doing the pledge of allegience, and the Lord's Prayer. It was like, 'Wow, it was powerful.'" And 2 hours later, NASCAR had rushed him on his way to New York.
Describing the Prayer Service: "I've sung at lots of stadiums, before; lots of football/baseball games; but this was an emotion that was unparalleled; There were so many people who were holding up signs of loved ones they'd lost. We had a woman whose husband had been a firefighter, who ran into the building before the Tower collapsed: her name was Kim, my wife's name is Kim; and they have two young sons, we have two young sons; they were married 9 years, my wife and I have been married 9 years--it hit me like a sledgehammer! The loss is just incredible to describe."
Regis: "Well, Lee, Thank God the song came along--it's cheering everybody up."
Greenwood said that due to the FAA's moratorium on flying, he'd been sequestered in LA, unable to go home and see his 6 and 3 year-old year old boys; but that he was looking forward to seeing them soon.

Following these touching patriotic interviews, it was time for what so many BB2 fans had been eagerly awaiting: the arrival of Will Kirby, the "evil doctor" of Big Brother2!
Anna, an intern at Live! had reported "that Will was VERY upset over the WTC thing, because they had no idea how big it was.... he was really hurting." She had greeted Will and Shannon as they emerged from the Lincoln Continental limo. There was a multitude of Big Brother 2 fans outside the studio to see the BB2 winner. The studio audience had consisted of mixed opinions about him: some were fans, some were NOT. Will's "evil doctor" act had been entertaining to some, but irritating others.
Regis: "He is known as the Evil Doctor who walked away with a half million dollars This is a very controversial guy. Some people in the audience love him. Some people didn't like him at all. But nevertheless he is here and he is coming out here, The Winner of Big Brother--he was the last man standing; he won a half-million dollars: Here's Will Kirby!" [ he enters from camera left, stage right ]

Kelly: "Congratulations!" [ Will shakes hands with Reege and Kelly, sits ]

Will: "I'm kind of nervous! It's the first time I've been on TV--"

Kelly: "That you've been aware of!"[ yes--we assume that he meant that he hadn't done an interview, live onstage, before--except for BB2, with Julie Chen. His other interviews previous to this were likely phone-into radio and TV shows. ]

Regis: "As I understand it, Will is a doctor? You were about to start your residency, when you started the show?"

Will: "Correct!"

Regis: "So you were in there for how long--?"

Will: "82 days."

Regis: "You never leave the house! [ well, just once--for the helicopter ride ] Cameras, everywhere, all over the place!"

Will: "Well, you can't really see them..."

Kelly: "Even in the bathroom!"

Will: "And the shower!"

Regis: "How do you feel about that?"

Will: "I have no problem with that. I have nothing to hide! I have NO problem with nudity. No big deal with it."

Kelly: "No, you do NOT!"

Regis: "Did you SEE Will--[ naked ]?"

Kelly: "I most certainly DID! I never missed a shower!" [ groaning slightly suggestively. So Kelly had the Live Feeds! ]

Will: "I didn't know it was THIS kind of show! I wouldn't have worn clothes!" [ smiling ]

Regis: "So, why did you want to be on this show?"

Will: "To be honest, I was working as a physician, I was working a little too hard, I always wanted a career in entertainment; I don't want to mislead you, I wanted some fame, I wanted a job like yours [ Kelly's ]. You guys have a great life. I wanted to use this to leapfrog to Hollywood."

Kelly: "Well, good for you!"

Regis: "You weren't a favorite to win, were you?"

Will: "Not too many people liked me."

Kelly: "I liked you!"

Will: "Well, thank you. Thank you!"

Regis: "But did you feel that in the house, that they were against you?"

Will: "I really did; but I'm surprised that I'm getting such postive feedback--"

Regis: "But did you do that deliberately? To make them hate you?"

Will: "I really did, I wanted to be hated, so that people would want to be against me in the finals-- so that they could win easily. So I wanted to be disliked, and I was."

Regis: "Your strategy was to be disliked, so that you could get into the finals--because they thought they could vote you out?"

Will: "Exactly."

Regis: "So what happened, why DIDN'T they vote you out, if they hated you so much???"

Will: "Well, because I ended up to be not that bad! [ addresses the audience ] Am I right? I wasn't that bad!"

Kelly: "No, he was very good. But tell, me, when it came down to you [ vs. ] Nicole, did you know you had it in the bag?"

Will: "No, not at all. I was hoping to have a shot, but I didn't think I had it wrapped up. My perception was that I wasn't well-liked by anyone."

Regis: "You were cut off from the world for the entire 82 days--that's almost 3 months?"

Will: "Exactly. No information, whatsoever; very little information. We got some about the New York --incident."

Regis: "Wow. And you just go about your life, in these rooms? How many people were there?"

Will: "12 people, initially."

Kelly: "It was like being in a den of pit-vipers" (sic) [ Kelly malaproped "den of wolves" with "pit of vipers" :-) ]

Will: "It was like being a dolphin in a tank at Seaworld."

Regis: "82 days, day and night, with the same 12 people, until one by one, they were voted off..."

Kelly:"You and Nicole fought a lot, the whole time!"

Will: "We butted heads. We didn't get along!"

Kelly: "You were really like arch-enemies!"

Will: "We just have differing personalities: one's not right; one's not wrong; we just have different schools of thought in life."

Kelly: "One night she kept him awake all night; She kept leaving the room--they were fighting: she walked into the room, wake him up, fight with him, walk outside, smoke a pack of cigarettes, walk back in, wake him up, she'd fight, go back outside, and smoke a pack of cigarettes!"

Will: "Yeah, I'm addicted to second-hand smoke, now!" [ jokingly referring to all the smoking he'd endured, from most of the other House Guests ]

Regis: "While you were there, you met and fell in love with one of your fellow contestants?"

Will: "That's what they tell me! That's what they tell me!"

Regis: "Did THEY tell you?"

Will: "No, it's true. Her name is Shannon."

Regis: "How did Shannon enter into the picture? You just began noticing her? Talking to her?"

Will: "Yeah, they sort of portrayed her in the house as not-a-very-nice-person; but she's a wonderful girl. She's just a magnificent woman."

Regis: "Did everyone sense that you were falling in love?"

Will: "The House Guests knew it; they wanted to separate us, 'cause that's sort of an alliance."

Kelly: "But how do you mean 'they portrayed her' as not-nice? The other House Guests?"

Will: "The other House Guests weren't actually all that nice, so they wanted to project that onto her; [ the audience murmurs at this--they do not agree ] and the way the show was edited in certain ways. It's very, very realistic, but nonetheless, there were some storylines which were emphasized."

Regis: "What do you mean, 'story lines'? The story lines, as they developed, or story lines as they were created?"

Will: "The storylines as they developed: like, our relationship was emphasized. It was very exciting to me, but I didn't think it was going to be on TV; I didn't think anybody else would be interested."

Regis: "Tell me about Shannon: what is her last name?"

Will: "Her last name is Dragoo."

Regis: "Dragoo???!!!"

Will: "Yeah, that's kind of unfortunate--it's not my last name."

Regis: "Dragoo? Shannon Kirby would sound a lot better, than Shannon Dragoo!"

Will: "Yeah, somewhat, thanks." [ smiling at the notion of her taking his last name--and hand in marriage, no doubt! ]

Regis: "How serious is this?"

Will: "It's pretty serious."

Regis: "Really?Well, tell me about her. Where is she from?"

Will: "She's from Texas."see Shannon's Texas Calendar pix

Regis: "Well, let's bring Shannon out." [ Shannon enters. She's wearing a white shirt and pants. Greetings all round. ]

Shannon: "Good Morning! Nice to meet you!" [ Will gives her his chair, standing beside her ]

Kelly: "Nice to meet you, too. You and Nicole fought a lot, too, didn't you, over the smoking?"

Shannon: "Not a lot, actually, Nicole and I got along really well, actually, compared to everybody else. I trained her; helped her to work out, and take care of herself."

Kelly: "I saw a big fight, with you, and everybody smoking in the corner; they had a problem with you; you were going to get voted out, because you were physically fit, and they were all seems there were a LOT of smokers in that house!"

Will: "It's like I say: I've got an addiction to second-hand smoke--need a patch!" [ jokingly ]

Reege: "You are the BIG Dragoo!" [ remarking on how tall she is. ]

Shannon: "Thank you--I think."

Regis: "Did you have a boyfriend when you went into the house?"

Shannon: "Well, yes --and no; but how could I resist Will?"

Kelly: "Wait-wait-wait-wait-! So you guys were having an affair in the house, with your boyfriend home watching, because you couldn't call him, and tell him you were breaking it off! [ aside to Reege ] You see what I mean, this house is no good! [ jokingly ]

Regis: "She's got a good point there--how did you handle [ breaking the news to ] the other guy?"

Shannon: "Took care of it when I left the house--but our relationship was pretty much defined before I went into the house. But like I said--they did a great job of putting us together."

Regis: "Wow. So it looks as if you two really have fallen in love? Isn't that nice? A happy ending!" [ final commercial break--then the show signs off, with Will and Shannon still onstage. ]

Big Brother fans on the East coast had agonized--for the last part of the show had been pre-empted by President Bush's speech. There's hope that it might be rerun, someday. In the meantime, there's a link to seeing the show online:
Transcript and text by Susan Brown copyright 2001

Regis seemed surprised at Shannon's surname, Dragoo: "Dragoo?" Will: "Yeah, that's unfortunate." [ how RUDE! ] Regis addressed that directly: "Shannon Dragoo? Shannon Kirby sounds better!" When he saw how tall she was, Reege remarked: "You're the BIG Dragoo!" [ Like Laverne and Shirley's Eddie "Big Ragoo." Not sure if HE was the original with that nickname. Actually, I think "Dragoo" is quite a beautiful, striking, dramatic name, and had wondered if she'd chosen it--NO, it is her birth name. Interesting definition: "Dragoon": noun: 1. a heavily armed trooper in some European countries, in the 17th-18th century; 2. a domestic fancy pigeon. verb: 1. to persecute with the use of troops; 2. to coerce; to harrass; from French, "Dragon," carbine, firebreather, from Old French "Dragon." ] She had her hair up,-- in almost the same 'do she had when cleaning the toilet with Hardy's toothbrush-- and her outfit was less dressy than you'd expect her to choose for TV, --a white t-shirt, or casual type shirt, I think, and pants--so I think it was Will's last-minute idea for her to appear with him.


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