All of the classic ingredients for another season of summer’s guilty pleasure “Big Brother” are in place.
First, the basics: Sixteen strangers from across the United States, competing for $500,000 are locked inside of a house for three months with no internet, TV, cellphones or access to the outside world. Backstabbing and forming alliances is the name of the game. No season is complete without outsized egos and oddball personalities.
“This season promises to be the most summer ever,” Julie Chen said as she introduced the first eight houseguests.
The first housemates:
Paola, a DJ from Astoria, Queens promises that she doesn’t take crap from anyone. “I hope that there are hot guys” because she plans on playing all of them.
Donny from Albuquerque, New Mexico is a groundskeeper for a school who eats a pop tart to start his day and says he’s smarter than other people think, but not as smart as he thinks he is.
Cody from Howell, New Jersey was a professional soccer play who has six-pack abs. He is “definitely” up for meeting single women.
Frankie from New York, New York is a Broadway performer who teaches dance and is the brother of Ariana Grande, the pop singer. “I’m kind of the queen of YouTube,” he said. He has 1.2 million followers.
Amber from Knoxville, Tennessee is an athlete who loves rocking climbing and shooting guns. “You don’t have to worry about my dad with a gun you have to worry about me,” she said.
Nicole from Ubly, Michigan, drives a tractor, has an accent straight out of “Fargo” and is “obsessed with “Big Brother.”
Devin, from San Antonio, Texas, used to be a minor league baseball player and is now a single father. “Everywhere I go people comment on how I look like the Rock but I think I look better than the Rock,” he said.
Blue-haired Joey from Seattle, Washington is a make-up artist. “I’d love to see if there are any hot liberal men in the house and see if we click,” she said.
The eight have an hour to pack once they are told that they are going to be on the show.
Frankie packs his Rhine-stone heels and Paola brings a three month supply of eyelashes.
Meanwhile, Devin talks about the rules of the game.
“You won’t see me jump in the sack right away but it’s gonna happen,” he said.
Nicole thinks forward to her arrival at the house. She says that she’s “super scared of ghosts” and will need a cuddle partner, “even just butt to butt.”
Right before they enter the house, Julie Chen warns them that this won’t be an ordinary season of the show.
“You will endure the most grueling and outrageous social experiment that exists,” she said.
The eight make an alliance once they are inside the house, saying that they have to stick together no matter what is to come. They promise to band together against the eight members who haven’t arrived. Secret alliances are also made. The four girls form “El Cuatro” and Devin and Donny also make a pact.
Julie Chen calls them out to tell them they are going to play a game to decide who the head of the household is. The rules of the game have changed though, she tells the housemates. “Being the head of household doesn’t mean you are safe anymore,” she said.
There are shocks and gasps from the eight housemates.
“The only point of being HOH is having power,” Frankie said.
Crushes and counter-crushes are formed as Paola lusts after Cody, Devin warms up to Joey and Amber sets her eyes on Devin.
For the first event of the season, the housemates have to put on swimsuits and head to the backyard. The competition involves them flying a kite while balancing on a rotating beam. The last house guest standing will become the first head of household for the summer.
Pelted with slippery sunscreen, the housemates fall from the beam until only Frankie and Amber remain and then Amber intentionally throws the game, making a strategic decision that it might not be wise to be the head of household.
Once Frankie has won, Julie Chen tells them that there will also be a head of household from the other group of eight people that is to be introduced. At the end of the week, either Frankie or the new head of household will be going home.
The episode ends with the eight contestants waiting for the new arrivals.