Twelve new celebrities — depending on your definition of “celebrity,” that is — entered the Big Brother house on Monday, hoping to take the CBS reality crown from Marissa Jaret Winokur.
As if you expected anything less from a house containing Anthony Scaramucci, a Real Housewife and Lindsay Lohan’s mom (among others), the return of Celebrity Big Brother brought plenty of early drama as an athlete and an actor both came into power.
But first! (Sorry, I had to.) Before the first competition of Season 2 could take place on Monday, the celebs had to move in and get acquainted with one another.
The highlights: Kandi Burruss (of The Real Housewives of Atlanta) and Tamar Braxton (of Braxton Family Values) are frenemies who can’t quite decide if they want to form an alliance with each other; track star Lolo Jones is worried that her housemates will automatically assume she’s aligned with fellow Olympian Ryan Lochte; and Lochte, meanwhile, is just trying to figure out which TV show Joey Lawrence used to star on. (“Was Joey in Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor?” he asks in the Diary Room, inventing an alternate title for Home Improvement.)
It isn’t long, of course, before Julie Chen warns the houseguests to expect the unexpected, which segues into Big Brother‘s first-ever “Celebrity Power Pair” competition. In short, the celebrities are asked to pair off and try to win the competition as a duo, with one member of the two-person team ultimately becoming the season’s first Head of Household. (Kato Kaelin and Natalie Eva Marie are the only unfortunate souls not picked for a team — but as a consolation prize, they’re guaranteed safety from eviction for the entire first week.)
After a physically grueling (and pretty freakin’ embarrassing) competition, which involves rocking back and forth on giant swings in order to fill champagne glasses, Ryan Lochte and Mean Girls alum Jonathan Bennett emerge victorious as the season’s inaugural Power Pair. But there’s a twist! Now that they’ve won this competition as a team, they’ll have to face off against one another to determine which of them will become Head of Household — and the loser of the match-up will automatically become the first nominee (and potential evictee) of Season 2.
Part 2 of Ryan and Jonathan’s competition won’t take place until Tuesday at 8/7c — but in the meantime, what did you think of Monday’s premiere? Any early favorites (or least favorites)? Drop all of your reactions in a comment below!