Big Brother is back for what host Julie Chen (repeatedly) says will be the "most twisted summer ever." And the first twist of the season has already let us down.
Sure, there will be two Heads of Household this season, one of which may or may not be safe each week. Plus: America will get to select a secret three-person alliance to control throughout the summer. And even though it was only hinted at during Wednesday's premiere, eventually the two HOHs will compete in a new competition called "Battle of the Block" (which will play out for the first time ever in HD!) All of that falls somewhere on a spectrum from mildly amusing to pretty cool, but one decision about this season just doesn't sit right with us: It's premiere night and we only get to meet half the houseguests!
Big Brother 16: Meet the houseguests! Plus: See the new twists!
Donny: Imagine Gomer Pyle on Duck Dynasty and you'd have a pretty good idea who Donny is. (His closest brush with fame is Kellie Pickler, but only because he was the janitor at her school when she was younger!) This good ol' boy from North Carolina is the season's oldest houseguest at 41, but perhaps that wisdom will pay off. He's already hiding that he's studied every season of the show, choosing instead to let the players buy into his hayseed persona. (He packed his church clothes as his "fancy britches.") But he lost us with this nugget: "I am smarter than they think I am, but I'm not as smart as I think I am." Doggone it, Donny!
Amber: Besides crushing on Devin, Amber lived up to her intro package, which showed her as a rock-climbing, dirt bike-riding, country girl athlete. Though she seemed a little to eager to grab a gun (!), she proved her skills in the HOH competition, when she outlasted her competitors before ultimately throwing the game out of fear about the HOH's non-safety twist. However, she could use some acting skills — she didn't eventry to make it look like she fell accidentally. (Personal aside: As a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Amber's hometown, I loved hearing her scream "Go Vols!")
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Joey: Although she seems nice enough, this Seattle makeup artist claims to be a super liberal democrat. Given that she's saying that as the first thing in her intro package, I would assume she's highly opinionated and may be willing to get into heated debates. Thus far, however, she seems to be making friends and has certainly caught Devin's eye. (He says she's a 10.) One note: Her eager cheering for Amber after the other girls were eliminated from the HOH competition doesn't suggest she's good at keeping alliances secret. (Though El Tres sounds even worse than El Quatro.)
Frankie: So, he's the older brother of Ariana Grande. He doesn't want everyone to know that (he's particularly worried that Paola will figure it out since they're both from New York and she's a DJ who's surely spun some of Ariana's records) so he plays up his Broadway chorus dance background instead. His outsize personality doesn't seem to rub anybody the wrong way, least of all his "soulmate" Joey. (He's the pink My Little Pony, while she's the blue one.) And even more impressive, Frankie won the first HOH. However, his panic about all twists make us wonder if he'll be able to keep his cool throughout the season. We'll see!
What do you think of this first batch of houseguests? Do you think they will create as much controversy as last season's cast? Who is your early favorite? Share all your thoughts in the comments below.
Big Brother's two-night premiere continues Thursday at 9/8c on CBS. Find out why Big Brother is today's editors' pick.
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