I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hyped about this summer’s BB since … well, since she-who-shall-not-be-named ended up winning Big Brother 6. We’ve been taunted and teased with carefully timed announcements, blunders, and interviews, all leading up to this big announcement of the 20 potential houseguests who are eligible to enter the Big Brother All Stars house. Who will be on the list? Let’s find out!
But first … nah, I’m kidding. The show opens with the now-familiar theme song that actually gave me goosebumps. I’m such a nerd. And I miss the old theme song – that’s one of the reasons I watch House Calls, to hear the old theme music. But I digress. We get a montage of some memorable moments from previous seasons of Big Brother, featuring most of the contestants we’re about to see again.
Julie Chen is standing outside the house, looking dapper in a black off-the-shoulder number paired with summer white pants. (I know you were all waiting with bated breath to hear what Julie was wearing.) She tells us that we’re about to see houseguests that we love, and love to hate. What about those that we simply just hate? No love involved, just pure loathing? I’ll bet there are a few of those too.
Julie will introduce the 20 houseguests that have made the short list (not to be confused with the short bus) to enter the house. America (and Canada, eh?) will vote in three males and three females, and the other six spots will be decided by the producers. On July 6th, all 20 houseguests will assemble to learn who has made it into the house, and who will be sent packing. Ew, Julie’s pants have a flower motif up the sides. Scratch that dapper comment, these things are hideous up close.
With the original Big Brother logo on the screen behind her, Julie says that Big Brother has become an international phenomenon. No kidding – have you seen some of the stuff the Brits get away with on this show? The first American edition was really a bit of an experiment, with different rules and audience voting. Most of the original cast has faded into oblivion (because no one watched the show after all of the interesting people were gone), but apparently there was one who stood out. That person is …
“Chicken” George. Ah yes, George of the rainbow hair. He still looks pretty much the same, although his hair is rather subdued now. He says that he earned his nickname because he took care of all the chickens. George goes on to say that the original cast was basically just a group of people who didn’t know what to expect. Now that the game has become a strategic platform, he wants back in.
We get lots of clips of George, goofing off in the house sporting different hair colors, taking care of the chickens, and breaking down when talking about how he misses his family. Back in the studio, he says that being away from his loved ones for that long is really difficult, but he’s willing to give it another try. He’ll get in the house solely based on the fact that he’s the only representative from season one, but he’s a decent guy and it’ll be good to see if he can do the strategic thing.
Moving on to season two, the rules changed completely when the show was picked up by CBS. As Julie explains, the Head of Household, Veto, nominations, and evictions based on houseguests’ votes were all new rules, and they caused the perfect environment for lying, scheming, alliances, and backstabbing. The nominees from Big Brother 2 are:
Bunky. Bunky? He introduces himself as the “bald guy with the hairy back from the South called Bunky who cried all the time”. Yep, that about sums it up all right. Again, he looks pretty much the same, but somehow less hirsute. And that’s a good thing. We’re shown a series of clips of Bunky crying, which could really have been a lot longer considering how much time he actually spent sobbing in the house.
He says that he played the game the first time by trying to be the nice guy and give everyone what they needed, and he made it to the final five that way. This time though, he’s ready to really play the game. And he’s not going to cry this time. Riiiight.
Will. Well, duh. You can’t have an “All Star” season without the Evil Doctor Will. Love him or hate him, you have to respect the guy. He took a strategy of lying and scheming to incredible new heights, and ended up winning the game. Will appears onscreen and asks us, “Do you think it’s easy looking this good? Well, it is!” Nice to see he hasn’t changed.
Will’s montage features clips of him primping, preening, tweezing, and plucking, followed by promises and handshakes that were all eventually broken. He says that you have to backstab in this game, and that he was very honest to people – he told them he was lying to all of them, and eventually convinced them all that he was the best guy to take to the end. He was nominated many times, but was never evicted. Will wants to return to the house because he has a big ego, and he wants to shake things up. I’m pretty sure that, even if we don’t vote him in, the production crew is falling all over themselves to give this guy a key. He closes by daring us not to vote for him. Hee.
Mike “Boogie”. We all knew he was on the list ’cause he started campaigning for votes early, but still, I was kinda hoping he’d be disqualified or something. Mercifully, the powers that be only give us a brief montage of Mike rapping and dancing. He says that the Chilltown alliance was in charge of the game, and that they were smarter, better looking, and more popular. He feels that he was outsmarted by people who were less intelligent than himself. Um, thanks for the chance to mock you on a silver platter there Mike, but it’s too easy. I’m not in full snark mode yet, but this is helping a little.
Mike explains that he fell in love with Krista in the house, saying that, for once, he listened when a woman was talking to him. Charming. After a brief engagement though, they haven’t spoken in years. He feels that being in a relationship clouded his judgment and now he wants to try again. Mike adds that he’s hoping to beat Will at his own game. Nope, still not voting for ya buddy.
Monica. Monica is introduced with a montage of “It’s on!” clips. She’s aged a bit, but she looks damn good. She wants back in the house to keep on keeping it real. Monica admits that she blew up in the house when she couldn’t take it any more, and doesn’t promise to tone things down if she gets back in. This is a wise woman. She’s honest and played a good game, and was surprised when she made it to the final three without a strategy.
Now we’re up to season three, and Julie is coming to us from inside the new house. The living room, where the live evictions will take place, is covered in neon flames on the walls. I haven’t decided yet if I like it or not – it all seems rather dark. Anyway, our season three nominees are:
Marcellas. No surprise there. I’m going to go out on a limb here and admit that I like Marcellas. Yeah, I know, he made a bone-headed move when he didn’t use the veto to save himself, but he’s got a good heart and I think he’d be very entertaining in the house. The montage of clips shows Marcellas looking in the mirror and lamenting how good-looking he is. He says that he and Amy were outcasts who were used to being the centre of attention, which brought them very close together.
After the clip of veto-gate, we get to see Julie slap Marcellas upside the head with her cue cards, not once, but twice. Heehee. Classic. He says that he made a mistake in trusting his alliance with Jason, and now he wants to go back into the house to correct an error. I think it’s a given that he’ll get that chance.
Lisa. Lisa calls herself the “party girl in the bathing suit”, but thinks she is best known for the peanut butter bikini. Meh. She talks a bit about her relationship with Eric the firefighter (not to be confused with Eric the Midget Firefighter from season 6, ’cause he’s married and icky), and how she knew that he would be the one to be evicted when they were on the block together.
Lisa says that everyone tells her that she rode on coattails to get to the end and eventually win, and she says that she did indeed. She sat back and watched as everyone else hated on each other, and says that she was “grateful for those coattails”. This time, however, she wants to go in and really play the game. I don’t know – I kinda liked her at the time, but she’s not exactly the most exciting person to watch.
Danielle. People either love to hate her or hate to love her. She regrets that she was so real and raw in the diary room (cue clips of diary room footage), and says that the “countdown” each week wasn’t out of arrogance, it was just a way to keep herself focused on her goal.
Danielle made it through to the final two because of her secret alliance with Jason. She says that no one could have known about it, or the two of them wouldn’t have made it to the final three without being nominated. They each worked a different side of the house, and then compared notes. Danielle wants back in the house for one reason: redemption.
Julie Chen is now on the set of The Brady Bunch. What? Oh wait, it’s the new BB house kitchen. Sorry, my bad. She says that over the past seasons, many houseguests complained about the peanut butter and jelly diet (like Monica, perhaps?), but this time they are in for a “treat” that will have them begging for PB&J. Squee! What could it possibly be?
Big Brother 4 introduced the “X-Factor” twist. Which we can all agree was a horrible idea that should never have seen the light of day. Regardless, there are apparently some folks who want to come back and do it all over again. They are:
Erika. Why?? I’ll tell you something – if Erika and Lisa both get into the house, we had better damn well hope that the entire rest of the cast are crap-disturbers, ’cause these two will snooze their way to the end otherwise, and we’ll all be bored out of our minds. She says that she will never forget the moment when her ex, Robert (the nose-picker), walked into the house. She’s glad they reconciled though, which brings us the clip of her apologizing and Robert asking if she wants to get back together. Funny, they don’t show the clip of her racist rant against Jee.
Erika talks a bit about her alliance with Jack, and how he was a father figure to her and they’re still very close. Ho hum. She wants to get back in the house to redeem herself. Redeem herself? For what?
Dana. Here’s another “I fell for a hot guy and that screwed up my game” story. Dana talks about how the original eight had made an alliance before the exes arrived, and how she was the one to break that alliance when she fell for Justin. She was “blinded by his hotness”, but paid for that move by being evicted the following week.
Dana calls herself a “spicy personality” and wants to play the game again on her own terms. She’s not intimidated by anybody now. I’m not a huge Dana fan, but I’d rather see her back in the house than …
Alison. She made it to the final two and she went on The Amazing Race. Haven’t we seen enough of her already? Please CBS, don’t put Ali back in the house. I’m begging you. She says that she got to the final two by manipulating the men. She gave them what they wanted and used them, and then everyone ended up hating her. She set her sights on Nathan because he was so obviously gullible.
Ali only got one vote (from Nathan) at the end, and says that this runner-up stuff is crap. She wants to go back and win the whole thing this time, but I’m thinking she’ll be out of her league if she gets in. Wow, talk about slim pickin’s from season four.
Julie is now in the dining room of the updated Big Brother house, where she talks about the twin twist and the Nakomis/Cowboy having the same father but not knowing about it thing from season five, “Project DNA”. Our eligible hamsters from season five are:
Jase. No! This guy is such an idiot, I swear. I don’t love to hate him, I just hate him. There are very few people who make me want to throw something sharp and heavy at my television set, but this guy is one of them. Time for the Four Horsemen clips, which Jase explains away as “four guys walking around without shirts, who figured they should hook up”. I’d make fun of the strategy angle, but two of them went to the end, so meh.
Jase talks about how he went off on Adria (or was it Natalie?) when Scott was evicted, and then, out of no where, the other twin comes in. He says, “That was not from Jesus.” Ha! I’ll give him credit for that one. He says that he’ll be back, and he’ll be wearing headgear. Resisting the helmet joke here … he asks, “will it be a mandanna?” We’ll have to wait and see. Oh there’s a great catch; let’s vote Jase back in so we can see his new headgear.
Cowboy. Okay, I was all set to rip into Cowboy, ’cause he’s truly comedy gold. But dang it, the guy is so incredibly sincere and honest, it’s like making fun of the handicapped. I can’t do it. At least not yet. Give it time; I’ll be recapping the live feeds, so I’m sure it’s coming. He says that he’s the only Cowboy so far to be on Big Brother, and talks about how shocking it was to find his sister in the house and learn about his real father.
Cowboy says that he came so close last time to winning the $500,000, and now that he’s had a taste of it, he wants to come back and give it a good fight. His face is so earnest, it’s hard not to root for the guy. I won’t be voting for you Cowboy, but good luck.
Nakomis. Wow. I saw the “leaked” list that appeared briefly on the CBS site (more about that here), but I still didn’t believe that Nak would try again. But here she is, with teal hair and white roots, explaining that her relationship with Cowboy is sort of “on again, off again” since they have so little in common.
She thinks that people didn’t take her seriously the first time around, but she tried to play the “snake in the grass”. She studied the other people’s strategies to try and find holes. She’s ready to bring her game this time and try to win it all.
Diane. Diane still looks exactly the same, but I guess it hasn’t been that long since she was on the show. She says that being a ruthless bitch is a good way to play the game, and she’s no “pansy-ass”. Diane is yet another one who let her judgment be clouded by “love” when she fell for Drew, who ultimately booted her from the house. (This is, of course, accompanied by clips of Diane and Drew making out, and then Drew’s decision to take Cowboy to the end instead of Diane.)
Diane regrets hooking up with Drew, since it cost her the game. She says that we all know she would have won if it hadn’t been for Drew. Hmm, let’s think this through – if she hadn’t been all snuggly with Drew, she likely would have been gone much earlier. Anyway, she wants to try again, and will be playing for nobody but herself.
15 down and 5 to go. Julie, who is now upstairs in the house, says that the Head of Household room will have new perks this season. Interesting. She tells us that season six, the “Summer of Secrets”, was the most volatile season yet with the house divided into two clear sides. The “Friendship” alliance, according to the CBS polls, was the most hated group of people in BB history. No kidding. Keeping that in mind, here are our nominees from season six.
Howie. Oh boy Howie! Here’s another one that I like for reasons that have nothing to do with strategy. For some reason though, nothing is said about Howie’s boneheaded decision to nominate James and Sarah during his tenure as HoH. He calls himself the “best looking houseguest in the history of Big Brother”, and we get clips of him admiring his muscles and the bodies of the female hamsters.
Hurricane Howie talks about busting out on “Busto”, and his Jedi skills. He says that his skills have doubled since the last time we saw him, and that the All Star house without Howie would be like a day without sunshine. Heh, you go beefcake Howie. He asks us to bring him back, and he’ll find another Busto.
Kaysar. Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Me neither. The segment kicks off with a couple of “What up, Kaysar!” clips. Kaysar was the first Muslim houseguest, and his goal was to raise awareness and take down the stereotypes. When the Friendship started treating him like someone they could take advantage of, he took out Cappy and the game was on.
After being evicted and brought back into the house, Kaysar admits that he made a gross error in judgment in trusting Jennifer to keep her word, and he was unceremoniously evicted a second time. He says that he was evicted way too early and wants another chance. I like Kaysar, but I think he’s going to really need to kick up the strategy thing if he wants to last more than a couple of weeks in this house.
Ivette. Here’s another one that surprised me initially. Ivette says that maybe she should have toned things down a little in the house, but she is who she is and she can’t control it. Cue the clips of Ivette threatening to “go Cuban on your ass”. She’s quick to point out that the Friendship is no longer, and that her only regret is that she stuck with those people when her gut told her they were bad. Her father started telling her how awful they were the minute she walked out of the house.
Ivette says that coming that close to the money still hurts, and now she wants another shot at it. She asks us not to lump her in with the Nerd Herd and let her play as an individual. Hmm. That’s something to think about, although she did latch on to Cappy like he was the second coming. I’m taking away a few brownie points for that alone.
James. James says that he was the most feared and hated person in the house. I guess that’s true if you’re only polling the houseguests, but the audience likely felt differently. His strategy was to play both sides, and he lied through his teeth the entire time. We get clips of him swearing on the bible, and then saying that he didn’t – here, he admits that he did.
James had to win four vetoes to keep himself in the game, but when the entire house came together to evict him it wasn’t enough and he was outta there. He wants to go back in with the same strategy, but this time he plans to win.
Janelle. “Buxom plus brains is a deadly combination.” Janelle is the same old Janie that we saw last season. She talks about Michael, and how she hooked up with him. “He kissed me upside down. How embarrassing!” She says that she really liked him, but once she got out of the house she realized that she didn’t really like him at all. Ouch.
Janelle says that all the hatred in the house started after Jennifer broke her word to Kaysar (actually, I think it was before that, but whatever). Everyone hated Janie, so she just told them what she thought of them. Now we get clips of some of my favourite moments in the house. “Rachel, you’re so beautiful. Maggie, you’re such a bitch.” Giggle. And Janie drinking wine and yelling “Whore! Whore!” at a quickly retreating Beau. Ah, the memories. She says that she tried her hardest to win everything she could to keep herself in the house. She wants to go back in and try again.
And thus ends the list. Julie explains that you can go to CBS.com to enter your vote, and the polls will be open for one week. On July 6th, we’ll all be tuning in to find out who is entering the house. The houseguests themselves will be finding out then too, so it should be pretty tense!
Each potential houseguest gets a couple of final seconds to make a plea. Jase asks who we will hate if he doesn’t get in the house, and Erika promises to bring her bikinis. For the next week, the 20 hamsters will be appearing on The Early Show and “all across the country”, campaigning for votes.
Ah, it feels good to be covering Big Brother again, and already knowing the personalities of these folks makes it all the more entertaining. It should be an interesting mix of people entering the house next month, and I can’t wait to get this thing going!
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So, who will you be voting for? And what do you think of the list? I’d love to hear from you, so hit me up at email@example.com and we’ll dish! Or, head over to the forums and share your thoughts.
Don’t forget to check back next week, when we’ll unveil our Big Brother pool.