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Justin Dizon and Russu Laurente were the first evicted housemates of Pinoy Big Brother Connect. The house and the new season opened on December 6, 2020.
Justin, tagged the "Courageous Cabalen of Pampanga" was the first to go on December 27. Russu, known as the “Bunsong Boksingero” of General Santos City left the house on January 3.
Despite their short stints inside the house, the two certainly made a huge impact – thanks mostly to the controversies that hounded them even before the doors burst open. Justin's comment on housemate Jie-Ann Armero's hygiene was criticized by many as being condescending, while Russu's admission that he was initially for the shutdown of ABS-CBN upset a lot of viewers, who felt that he did not deserve to be part of the show.
But who are Justin and Russu?
Before he went inside the Big Brother House, Justin had a huge clout on social media. He was known for speaking out on a number of issues, including criticism of President Duterte's policies and decisions. Several of his hot takes had also stirred controversy on social media.
"Even before PBB madami an akong bashers (I had many bashers), a lot," he said in an interview with TV Patrol.
"My motto was this, it's not original but I just heard it somewhere: To make patol is human but to make deadma is divine." (To give attention to things is human but to ignore them is divine)
On Day 18 inside the house, Justin, 22, was asked by Big Brother why he taught himself to be outspoken and assertive. Justin explained it was because people made fun of him.
During the conversation, he also shared that even before auditioning, he already told his close friends that he was gay. He also said that he didn't formally come out to his family.
"Kailan man hindi ko sinabi na (I never told them that) I'm gay, na bakla po ako... I never said it because I just assumed that they knew," he said.
He said he regretted not opening up to his family, realizing belatedly that it might seem as if he doubted their love. But he also believed they'd understand why he didn't open up to them.
'If there is one thing that I am afraid of after leaving your house is what's waiting for me outside. Like, will my family still accept me for who I am or will they look at me differently the moment that I step out and come home?"
Big Brother said he feels Justin has long been accepted by his family because they love him for who he is.
In an interview on It’s Showtime Online on December 30, Justin said that he was excited over what’s in store for him after leaving Kuya’s house.
“A lot of people are surprised na parang for someone who got evicted, na pinakaunang evicted, hindi ako gaanong nalulungkot,” he said.
(A lot of people are surprised that for someone who was the first to be evicted, I was not sad at all.)
Although he only stayed for 21 days inside the house, Justin said that he has learned a lot from the housemates and from Big Brother himself.
In a slam book video posted on November 30, Justin listed 3 of his favorite films – The Devil Wears Prada, Avengers: Endgame, and Four Sisters and a Wedding.
"I just love the storyline and Meryl Streep is the best," Justin said of The Devil Wears Prada. "I love Avengers Endgame because it was very emotional and of course, it was the culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe at that time. Four Sisters and a Wedding is just the best because it's a good combination of drama, comedy, and life lessons."
Prior to auditioning and becoming part of PBB, Russu, in a series of tweets said that he was for the network's closing. In one tweet, he used the hashtag #YestoABSCBNShutDown and even mocked the network.
When he was nominated as a candidate for eviction, his tweets again went viral. This drew mixed reactions, even from show hosts Bianca Gonzalez-Intal and Robi Domingo. Russu spoke about his tweets – and his sentiments then – in a PBB episode that aired January 2.
"Alam ko po Kuya na nasaktan po kayo na minsan po isa rin ako sa mga sumang-ayon sa pagpapasara ng iyong tahanan nong mga panahong hindi ko pa alam 'yung mga nangyayari, 'yung mga totoong nangyayari po sa mga nakikita ko po Kuya. I'm sorry po Kuya kung nasaktan ko po kayo at 'yung pamilya po ng ABS-CBN," he said.
(I knew I hurt you because, at one point, I was for the shut down of your home. During those times, I was not aware of what's happening. I'm sorry Kuya if I hurt you and the people in ABS-CBN.)
In his slam book video, Russu listed the following as his favorite books – Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Think and Grow, and Law of Attraction. He said that the two books, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Think and Grow is a big help for those thinking of doing a business while Law of Attraction helps in motivating oneself.
In his PBB intro, Russu, who has competed in a boxing competition before, shared that he started training at 7.
Because of boxing, Russu qualified to be a scholar in a private school.
During a chat with hosts Enchong Dee and Melai Cantiveros on Kumu Monday, January 4, Russu said that he'll miss 4 people inside the house that he grew close to. He named Chico Alicaya, Kolbie Brown, Andrea Abaya, and Liofer Pinatacan.
"Yung apat po yung laging kasama ko sa saya at pag minsan malungkot ako, sila ang nandiyan. So sila yung apat na mamimiss ko talaga."
(Those 4 are always the ones I am with in good times and sometimes when I'm sad. I'll miss them the most.) – Alexa Villano/Rappler.com