Season 23 of CBS' Big Brother premiered on Wednesday night with a special 90 minutes spent to introduce the houseguests, get some competition started, and throw some curveballs. Julie Chen, the host of the reality series, welcomed four new houseguests at a time, rotating between men and women. We got to see a glimpse of their home lives and receiving the iconic key invitation to the game. Below I'll make sure to give everyone a fun rundown of the guests, including some interesting points you might have missed. Also, be warned this is a recap of the premiere and therefore we're throwing on the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign…
But let's kick things off with a rundown of this season's houseguests, shall we?
"Big Brother" Season 23 Houseguests:
Christian Birkenberger: A 23-year-old from Harwinton, Connecticut, who works as a general contractor's assistant. He made sure to let everyone in on the fact he's single and wouldn't mind a show romance, or "showmance", as he says. He hopes to bring a fun-loving attitude to his method of competition.
Hannah Chaddha: A 21-year-old graduate student hailing from Chicago, Illinois, whose ambition is as big as her educational experiences, from graduating high school at 16 to earning a degree in biological sciences. She hopes to sway people by saying she's a "college student into fashion design". We also got to see her family life, with her mother who is originally from South Africa and her father who is from India.
Kyland Young: Almost 30 years old, this contestant comes from Venice Beach, California, and works as an account executive. He discussed his passion for his charity business Urban Saddles, which works with children as a form of therapy.
Britini D'Angelo: A 24-year-old from Niagara Falls, New York, who works as a kindergarten teacher after graduating from Niagara University. We got to see what she does between teaching, working at a local studio to perfect her black belt in karate. We also got her opinion on being a woman with autism, diagnosed early in life, and what it all means to her by being on the show.
Dereck Xiao: A 24-year-old from New York City, New York, who works as a start-up founder, specifically with influencers who work with food-related videos. His parents didn't want him to go at first, but the competitive nature pushed him forward, and thankfully he's got some of that needed support behind him…although he's got to win to still have it.
Sarah Steagall: A 28-year-old forensic scientist from Ft. Myers, Florida, who works on debating if a found substance in a body is a controlled substance or not. Her smarts, love for cosplaying in her hand-sewn clothing, and more she hopes to utilize.
Travis Long: A 22-year-old from Honolulu, Hawaii, who works as a consultant in sales technology. We got to see his love for his home as well as his surfing and love for the beach. Being on Big Brother, he hopes other players can be swayed to see him as a "dumb surfer guy" instead of knowing how smart he actually is.
Whitney Williams: A 30-year-old makeup artist coming from Portland, Oregon, who's a single mom and often says people become deceived by her looks. She hopes to win the big prize and use it for her kids.
Tiffany Mitchell: A 41-year-old phlebotomist and single mom from Detroit, Michigan, whose work includes a mobile unit from which she does her job. Also, a note of importance is her walking her cat on a leash outside when we see her at her home…it's just adorable.
Brandon "Frenchie" French: A 34-year-old farmer from Clarksville, Tennessee, who loves his family and works on the land. We got to hear about his background, both being former military and a super fan of Big Brother, going as far as to have a notebook always with him when watching an episode.
Azah Awasum: A 30-year-old from Baltimore, Maryland, working as a director of sales operations. She's a first-generation in the United States, with her parents having immigrated from Cameroon. She promises to say no to "showmances" when competing.
Xavier Prather: A 27-year-old from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who works as an attorney. In his past, he explained he had hoped to continue with basketball after college, but after complications with an injury to his ACL, he redirected his goals. He's single, but says he wants to avoid any "showmances" similar to some other contestants…but we'll see.
Alyssa Lopez: A 25-year-old from Sarasota, Florida, working in swimsuit design. Being out and on her own since 17, she talks about her difficulty with wearing her emotion on her face for people to see. She hopes she can work on concealing how she might feel when in the house when around other houseguests.
Brent Champagne: A 28-year-old flight attendant from Cranston, Rhode Island, who attempted to say some "Italian" but listed off mainly types of common pasta when interviewed. He considers himself gifted by charm and hopes that will help in the Big Brother house.
Claire Rehfuss: A 25-year-old from New York City, New York, who works as an A.I. engineer and already has part of a plan for surviving the competition, by having people do some of the work for her on the way. Pride month may have ended, but we got some queer joy from this contestant, as she announced she is openly bisexual. She also openly hopes for an alliance with only women to happen this season.
Dereck Frazier: A 29-year-old from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who works as a safety officer. We see him run up the iconic stairs from Rocky as he proceeds to talk about an icon from the area, his father, Joe Frazier, a professional boxer. Openly gay, he hopes to bring an important note on recognition of identity inclusion on shows like Big Brother.
After each group of four would head into the back yard, they received word from Julie they'd be competing against each other for a chance to go to competition for Big Brother's title of HOH, or Head of Household, that guarantees safety from elimination for a week. Each of the four times the game was played included a puzzle of sorts, an attempt to match parts of posters to the poster across from them. The winners, in order from the first group to the last, included Frenchie, Whitney, Christian, and Claire.
Once all guests had arrived and played in the yard for a run at HOH, Julie dropped the news of teams of four people each was going to be made, and the previous winners were team captains. Frenchie's team, "The Jokers", includes Azah, Britini, and Dereck F. Whitney's team, "The Aces", includes Brent, Dereck X, and Hannah. Christian's team, "The Kings", includes Alyssa, Xavier, and Sarah. Claire's team, "The Queens", includes Kyland, Travis, and Tiffany. Teams were drafted, keeping with the casino theme, by using a slot machine to put one contestant against another for a captain to choose from.
Next came the competition for HOH, which held great importance for a whole team, not just the captain. The final game, entitled "House of Cards", involved balance from teammates and quick card puzzle building from the team captain. Whoever won obviously got the HOH title and safety for them and their team, but whoever got the very last place found themselves facing the title of the "have-nots", which includes a solitary diet of Big Brother "slop", cold showers, and very uncomfortable sleeping conditions. The team that ended up placing first, and very quickly, was Frenchie's team, "The Jokers", while the last team, "The Kings" found themselves in the peasants' shoes as week-long "have-nots".
Frenchie was offered a double-or-nothing objective from Julie, roll a big pair of dice, and if they keep on the platform his team wins an additional week of safety as HOH, but if he were to fail the HOH would go to Claire's team instead. Frenchie made the smart move, or at least what I would do, and stuck with the guaranteed one week they had. Before Julie could let them roam the house, another twist was dropped and it involved the prize money. Raised an additional $250,000, the money for the winner of Big Brother is now at $750,000. A big reward at the end of many risks for the houseguests, but for sure something to focus on for many of them. Frenchie's nominations for elimination will be coming up on Sunday, July 11th at 8 pm EST. So…any favorites yet? If so, let us know in the comments below, and be on the lookout for future episode recaps!
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