After spying on average Joes and Janes for the last 20 seasons, Big Brother found a way to become even more dramatic: Get celebrities involved.
The CBS reality series launched its first-ever celebrity edition on Wednesday, kicking off a three-night premiere event that will end with a two-hour live eviction show on Friday, Feb. 9.
In case your memory needs refreshing, the star/”star”-studded roster includes Apprentice alumna/former Trump administration aide Omarosa; Real Housewife Brandi Glanville; former Cosby kid Keshia Knight Pulliam; Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur; MMA star Chuck Liddell; Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath; former NBA All-Star Metta World Peace; Miss Universe contestant-turned-model Ariadna Gutiérrez; actress Shannon Elizabeth; E! host Ross Mathews; and Big Time Rush band member James Maslow.
But even though these 11 houseguests are (slightly) more famous than your average Big Brother crew, Wednesday’s premiere played out pretty much how you’d expect. Among the highlights:
* Shannon Elizabeth and Marissa Jaret Winokur revealed they’re actually close friends in real life, a relationship they planned to keep quiet… until three minutes later, when Shannon spilled the beans to Omarosa and tried to bring an all-girls alliance to fruition. (Marissa, blissfully unaware that Shannon was already divulging secrets to the houseguests, was immediately game to work with the girls: “I mean, time’s up! Isn’t this the year of the woman right now?”)
* Brandi wasted no time finding the house’s bar and uncorking some wine — and even though she promised to “check her temper at the door,” she got catty with James after downing a few glasses, rudely dismissing his remarks about what it’s like to be a professional singer.
* Speaking of James, the singer/actor had this awkward follow-up question for Omarosa, after she revealed that The Apprentice was her claim to fame: “Who was the person you were apprenticing for?” Oof.
* Shannon triumphed in the first Head of Household competition, a test of endurance in which the celebs had to cling to giant HOH trophies. Omarosa, meanwhile, scored the Sexiest Celebrity Not Appearing On the Block This Week Award — a title that I’m sure could have been shortened — which ensures she’s safe from eviction for the week.
* But first… before any of the houseguests could get too comfortable, host Julie Chen instructed them all to take a gold gift bag from a table in the living room. Some of the bags contained powers that could drastically alter the game — and the Recast HOH option would allow one houseguest to overthrow the current Head of Household and usurp the throne for the rest of the week. But, of course, we won’t find out what’s inside each celebrity’s gift bag until Thursday’s episode.
In the meantime, what did you think of the Big Brother: Celebrity Edition premiere? Are you rooting for anyone just yet? Or do you kind of want them all to lose? Drop a comment below!