Big Brother Recap/Review: Season 15 Premiere

Kristina Carroll ’16/ Emertainment Monthly Editor
Summer is my absolute favorite time for TV.  Why? Because it’s the time of one of the most entertaining, insane, and addicting reality shows on the planet: Big Brother.  This year, Big Brother begins its 15th season, and in my opinion, it’s going to be a good one.
For those of you who have never seen the show, let me give you a quick explanation of what goes down.  16 houseguests move into the Big Brother House, a gigantic camera-filled place with no connections to the outside world whatsoever.  The host, Julie Chen, serves as a moderator and relays information to the houseguests several times a week.  Each week, the houseguests participate in a competition, and the winner becomes the Head of Household, or HOH for short.  They’re awarded their own luxury room for the week, as well as immunity.  However, their most important power is their ability to nominate two houseguests for eviction.
After two houseguests are nominated, another competition takes place.  This time, the houseguests are competing for the Power of Veto.  This power also guarantees immunity.  If one of the nominees wins this, they can take themselves off the block.  If the HOH or another houseguest wins, they can keep the nominations the same OR they can take somebody off and cause another houseguest to be put up in their place.  After the Veto ceremony, the nominations are set in stone.  The following episode is a live show, and the houseguests vote to evict one of the two houseguests.
But this year’s Big Brother isn’t like a normal season.  As Julie reminds the new houseguests, the shows motto is “Expect the unexpected.”  So, what is the unexpected, you ask?  Well, this year Big Brother is super-sized.  The season started two weeks earlier than most, the house is bigger, and instead of two houseguests being nominated for eviction each week, there will be three.  The HOH will nominate two people as usual, and the third will come from a new character in the BB house, the MVP.  Each week America will vote for the houseguest they feel is most deserving of this title.  The MVP is a completely anonymous role, and they make their nominations in secret (in the Diary Room).  I don’t know about you, but I thought this was a pretty awesome addition to the show.  It gives America the opportunity to play a role in the show–something that I feel most BB fans will be ecstatic about.
So that’s how the show works.  Now it’s time to talk about the houseguests. They are…

  • Aaryn: The youngest houseguest (22), a college student from Texas, describes herself as “a girly girl who likes to get her hands dirty”.  I think that she’ll be underestimated at first, but I can definitely see her surprising the other houseguests in both the physical and mental challenges.
  • Andy: One of my two favorites, Andy is definitely going to provide a lot of humor for the show.  A college professor from Chicago, Andy enjoys wearing flamboyant outfits (he wears a shirt with cat faces on it for the premiere) and being a total diva.  And he’s a ginger.  What more could you ask for?
  • Amanda: A luxury realtor from Long Island, Amanda makes it clear in the premiere that she always gets what she wants.  I can see her possibly starting a showmance or two with one of the guys in the house.
  • Candice: She found out she was adopted when she was 26, and now has “a black family and a white family”.  She claims that this allows her to have dual personalities, which will get her farther in the competition.  Also, she’s a pediatric speech therapist, so her communication skills may also serve as an advantage during the show.
  • David: The stereotypical surfer dude from California, and he even has the voice to go with it.  Dubbed by many houseguests as being “the dumbest in the house”, it seems like David is going to be relying on his strength to get him through the competition.  He also seems to be easily distracted by the women in the house, so I’m not sure if this will be an advantage to him, or if it will cause him trouble.
  • Elissa: Elissa is probably the most talked about houseguest of the season.  Why? Because she’s Rachel Reilly’s sister (one of the most renowned Big Brother contestants in BB history).  She seems to take after her a lot, and she even has the same annoying high pitched laugh.  So it’s safe to say that she’ll keep the summer interesting.
  • GinaMarie: A blonde pageant coordinator with the most ridiculous Staten Island accent I’ve ever heard.  Within minutes of entering the house, she was already gaining the attention of several men.  Another showmance?  I’d say so.
  • Helen: The oldest contestant in the house, she’s a mom and a political consultant.  Based on past years, I have a feeling that she’s going to have difficulty befriending some of the younger women in the house.
  • Howard: Howard is interesting to me, because on the outside he looks like a super tough guy that could rip you to pieces.  But it turns out that he’s also super religious, and a youth counselor.  I think that he’ll be an interesting one to watch.
  • Jeremy: According to one houseguest, he is a Taylor Lautner look alike.  He also lives on a boat and enjoys embracing his inner Cherokee.  I don’t really know what else to say about him…
  • Jessie: Definitely one of the most annoying houseguests, Jessie is absolutely in love with herself and even admits to being the best looking woman in the house.  She loves being a leader, and played multiple sports in high school.  I can definitely see her causing drama in the house.
  • Judd:  An adorable countryman from Tennessee, I think he will play a great social game and make a lot of connections during the competition, something that is definitely necessary in order to win it all.
  • Kaitlin: A flirty girl from Minneapolis, she admits that she doesn’t get along with other girls.  You know what that means…MORE DRAMA.
  • McCrae: Definitely the “weirdo” of the season.  This long-haired, socially awkward pizza delivery boy definitely will have problems making friends, but I think he has what it takes to win some important competitions.
  • Nick: My other favorite of the season.  And yes, it’s mostly because he’s absolutely beautiful.  But aside from that, I think he definitely has some important qualities.  Being an entrepreneur, I think he’ll do great with the mental challenges.  And he also seems like he’ll get along with virtually everyone in the house.  Physically, though, he’s a lot smaller than most of the other guys, so this may be his downfall.
  • Spencer:  According to him, he’s a country bumpkin from Arizona who lets people cry on their shoulders one day, and kicks them out of the house on the next.  Sounds like a good manipulator, if you ask me.

And there you have it, the Big Brother cast of 2013.  The majority of the premiere was spent introducing the houseguests, and watching their initial judgments/perceptions.  The two main things to keep in mind about this are: 1) Everyone thinks McCrae is lying about being a pizza boy and is actually some kind of super genius, and 2) Elissa appears strangely familiar to some, but nobody can figure out who she is.
The last major thing that happens during the premiere is the first HOH competition, called “Popsicle Factory”.  Each houseguest climbs onto a gigantic fake popsicle and is lifted into the air.  The person who hangs on for the longest is the winner.  Of course, there are a handful of houseguests who throw the competition (Judd and Howard), in order to prevent a target from being placed on their backs so early in the game.  There is also an offer made to the last four houseguests hanging on: the next two people to jump off get to choose between two lunchboxes; one is empty, and the other contains a “Never Not Pass”.  This pass gives them immunity from being a Have-Not all summer, which means that at no point throughout the competition will they have to endure cold showers, a slop diet, and an extremely uncomfortable bed to sleep on (and trust me, this happens weekly).
Jeremy ends up winning the Never Not pass, leaving Nick and McCrae hanging.  McCrae immediately offers Nick a bargain, promising him safety for the week if he jumps down.  Nick accepts, thus crowning McCrae as the first HOH of the season.  In my opinion, this was an extremely smart move made my Nick.  He’s safe for the week, and he’s not a huge target….yet!  And who would’ve thought that McCrae would come through and win HOH?
It’s only been the first episode, and alliances are already forming.  In fact, Jeremy is in two of them!  And trust me, there will be many, many more as the summer goes on.  I’m excited to see what other surprises Big Brother has in store for us…they’re sure to be big!  But for now, we just have to sit tight and wait to see who McCrae nominates for eviction, who wins the power of veto, and who America decides as this week’s MVP.  I’ve already become hooked, and you should too!
Tune in to Big Brother on CBS on Wednesdays at 8/7c, Sundays at 8/7c, and Tuesdays at 9/8c.

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