Big Brother 25 unleashes a multiverse of chaos onto the House, leading to a premiere unlike any other as four Houseguests are nominated before there’s even a Head of Household, one goes missing, and reality television legend joins the competition.
On a night of huge twists that promises a more tumultuous season of Big Brother than perhaps ever before, Julie Chen Moonves saved the most shocking twist for the very end — and it could change everything!
Perhaps inspired by both the Marvel and DC film franchises, Big Brother 25 launched the new season by shattering the multiverse and laying out the longest season ever at 100 days. By the end of the night, a surprise 17th Houseguest joined the show and there were already four nominees – and no Head of Household.
Before allowing any of the original 16 Houseguests into the Big Brother House, Julie played a classically corny clip of past “BB” HGs Danielle Reyes, Britney Haynes, and Frankie Grande attempting to alter time. Instead, they broke the multiverse and the season.
We told you it was corny, but it’s Big Brother, so just go with it.
As ridiculous as it was, the changes to the season already are pretty significant. After all, how can there be nominees with no Head of Household? How does a vote work with four of them? And what will the HOH do if their nominees are already chosen?
Each episode, we’ll break down the night’s action, the competitions, the alliances, the backstabbing and the lies. Then we’ll grade each contestant to see how they’re doing in the game so far and how far we think they’re going to go.
4 Multiverse Nomination Comps
Rather than compete for Head of Household, the 16 Houseguests found themselves unexpectedly competing to avoid the Nomination Block. Julie had them enter the House in groups of four, with each picking one of four different stations.
Each station corresponds with one of four universes that have partially merged due to the meddling of Danielle, Britney, and Frankie. Those universes presumably will wreak havoc throughout the season, so let’s break them down.
- Scramble-verse appears to be all about things being wrong
- Humili-verse is inspired by humilitards and, well, humilation
- Comic-verse is “BB Comics” brought to life, so think superheroics
- Scary-verse is based on all the spooky competitions this show loves
Each group of four competed in a distinct competition inspired by it’s particular ‘verse, with the loser of each becoming one of the night’s four nominees. There was an additional twist in the Scary-verse we’ll get to in a moment.
Scramble-verse Comp “Puzzling Headlines”: In the spirit of silliness and nonsense, HGs were tasked with taking apart a completed puzzle and putting it back into its box, where it fit perfectly – so basically, it’s still a puzzle. Jared became the first nominee after coming in last.
Humili-verse Comp “Kicking Butt”: Boy did this one lean into the humiliation as the four competitors had to rock a machine to literally kick themselves in the butt with a giant show. The last one to do so 100 times became the second nominee, and it wasn’t even close. Kirsten quickly fell out of content and was nearly 25 kicks behind when it was all over.
Comic-verse Comp “Goo-pocalypse”: These fortune HGs got to get slimed on the first night of the show, assuming they were one of the first three done. This was about attaching different length wires to a detonator the fastest. In this case, Felicia stayed clean, but that was bad news as it made her the third nominee.
Scary-verse Comp “Hold on Fright”: Visually, this competition was a complete fail as we could not see the pull or pressure the contestants were enduring, so it just looked like they were lying there. On a mat, they each had a giant hand pulling them back toward the “nether region” (which sounds kinda dirty). Cory was the first to let go – and disappeared!
In an unexpected twist, Julie revealed that this eliminated Scary-verse HG would be the fourth nominee, but they would also be absent for an undetermined amount of time. Considering this is Night 1, this is a huge detriment as they are losing out on crucial social time. Already on the Block, they’ve no chance to forge relationships that could save them.
This also raises the question of what this means for the first Head of Household of the season. Their biggest job has always been about nominee management, but now they’re set to inherit four of them. Will they be able to make changes?
How will the first Power of Veto change the nominations? How many people will it be possible to save? What other wild changes will this season have in store?
We have to give credit where it’s due, because this premiere perfectly encapsulated the motto “Expect the Unexpected.” Already, Big Brother is moving in whole new ways which make it feel fresh and more unpredictable than ever.
Julie also dropped the bombshell early that just because 16 Houseguests entered the House at the start of the night didn’t mean more might not join them. We already got our first in the biggest shocker of the night, but are we stopping at 17 Houseguests? 100 days is a long time, so there could be room for even more!
17th Houseguest a Reality Legend
That’s right, Big Brother may not have given fans an all-star season for its anniversary celebration, but it didn’t stop with the nefarious trio that unleashed the multiverse. Instead, they tapped another CBS franchise to bring in a bona fide reality television legend.
After the Houseguests finished their competitions, and poor Cory was pulled into “nether region,” they returned to the House to see four-time Survivor legend Cirie Fields waiting for them, making her the first Survivor contestant to ever compete on Big Brother.
The greatest player to never win Survivor, Cirie proved herself recently by winning the first season of breakout reality hit The Traitors. Her arrival here adds so much complexity, too, as not only is she a legend but she’s the mother of one of the nominees, Jared, who clearly didn’t know his mom was going to be playing with him.
It’s a shame were barely got a glimpse of the HGs interacting with Cirie when they came back in, as it wasn’t even clear if she was a special guest. Perhaps that last comp went a bit long as it was up to Julie to clue us in that Cirie is here to play and try to win.
We would argue that Cirie would arguably be the easiest person to evict as soon as possible, which could be why she was allowed to skip this first competition. But she was just as dangerous on The Traitors, and still everyone trusted her and handed her victory. She is one of the best reality television social, strategic players ever. If her own legacy doesn’t get her, she is built for this game.
But if her being a reality TV legend wasn’t a big enough target, if word gets out that Jared is her son, they might both be done for. It’s going to be an extra challenge for mother and son to play their own games, though we imagine a secret alliance is all but assumed at this point.
Houseguests First Impressions
As it’s just the first night – and what a crazy one it was – it’s a little too soon to be grading anyone’s performances just yet. Instead, we’ll give our first impressions and thoughts about each of the Houseguests.
America Lopez (27, medical receptionist) is a feisty first-generation American from a Mexican family. She is sneaky brilliant in that she has her degree from Brown University in biology, but expects the other HGs will be distracted by her looks and underestimate her. A superfan, she impressed by coming in first in her Scramble-verse comp, proving a quick mind and physical prowess. She was immediately friendly upon entering the House, so she seems to have a good array of tools to do well.
Blue Kim (25, brand strategist) has a fierceness in her presentation and a never-give-up attitude. In her Humilii-verse comp, she showed a lot of gumption, powering through and fighting for third. She is of South Korean heritage and sees herself as multi-faceted, which is something she’ll need. She came into the House with a lot of personality and social likability, which should help establish early bonds.
Bowie Jane Ball (45, barrister/DJ) is wisely going to lie about her age, saying she’s 34, and not reveal she’s a barrister. There is a tradition of older women, in particular, suffering on this show. It’s also a statement as to how deeply she’s strategizing already at the start of this game. She did well in her Scramble-verse comp and we suspect her outspoken Aussie personality will endear her to many Houseguests early on.
Cameron Hardin (34, stay-at-home dad) appears to be a bit of a space cadet – or “space cowboy” as he dubs himself. A superfan of the show, he’s definitely a goofball, but we wonder how well he’ll do on the social side. He did not greet any of those in his Group when they entered, instead being focused solely on the game. That kind of laser focus can be a double-edged sword in a game with such a social element.
Cirie Fields (53, nurse) is a master manipulator while also being a genuine sweetheart who forges real connections with people (and then uses them to her advantage). She is so smart and so dangerous, the HGs should absolutely get her out of the House right away. But we also suspect she can find a way to weasel her way out of trouble at least for a while. She faces the double challenges of her own legacy and her son being in the House with her, but if anyone can overcome them in a game built on her exact skillset, it’s Cirie.
Cory Wurtenberger (21, college student) is off to a rough start, echoing the first-voted-out legacy of his big brother Zach Wurtenburger on Survivor 42. Cory not only lost the Scary-verse comp, he’s not been removed from the game for an indeterminate time at the most crucial relationship-forging time in the game. He’s already playing catch-up and the game just started. Is he on his way to echoing his brother’s legacy by going out first?
Felicia Cannon (63, real estate agent) is the oldest contestant in the House, but definitely has a fiercely competitive drive. She’s ready to shake things up and really prove herself with all these younger players. While she might seem like an unassuming grandmother, Felicia is former Air Force and has never let her age define her, getting her Master’s at 55 years old. Felicia has underestimated written all over her. Plus, with Cirie in the House now as the second oldest player, she has someone she might be able to forge an early connection with when alliances are often built on commonality.
Hisam Goueli (45, geriatric physician) has thus far come off as very intense, and almost a little intimidating. We’ve not see much of a friendliness from him yet, though there has admittedly been very little to go on. He was every bit as competitive as Matt, coming in just behidn him in the Humili-verse Comp, so his physical prowess is definitely impressive. There are layers to him, though, as we suspect his cabarat/burlesque night life and his doctor day life suggests a man who knows how to present very differently. We also appreciate him hiding his real job as it would make him an easy target, suggesting deeper thinking about the game.
Izzy Gleicher (32, professional flutist) is very in-your-face and looks like she’s ready to go hard and play hard. We can see her getting together with some of the other aggressively athletic players because she has that type of personality. What we didn’t see was much of a softer side, so we’ll be curious to see when she sheds her Day 1 excitement and maybe lets her guard down a bit to start connecting. If she can’t do that, she might find it hard to forge important relationships.
Jag Bains (25, truck company owner) is a very extroverted and excited brainiac (three majors in college) who is excited to represent as the first-ever Sikh player. He seems to be very comfortable in his skin and like someone the other Houseguests will immediately gravitate toward – and if we’re completely honest, probably be intrigued by. He noted that the fact he wears a turban has been a point of mocking in his younger years, but here we suspect it will be a jumping off point for poignant and meaningful conversations.
Jared Fields (25, exterminator) was already in a bad spot when he became one of the first four nominees, and how his mom is in the house?! He’d already decided to tell no one about Cirie being his mother, because of the power of her legacy, but now here she is. We’d imagine they’ll plan to tell no one of their relationship, but will they really be able to hide it? Is he as good as his mother at lying and manipulating, or could he accidentally out both of their games. Jared’s game may be the most precarious right now.
Kirsten Elwin (25, molecular biologist) is an outgoing, socially adept beauty who is prepared to use all of that so that she’s underestimated. A brilliant mind, she was thinking about a women’s alliance before coming into the House, which has hurt players in the past. We’ve yet to see one work really well as it can’t be forced. If it happens, it has to happen organically. Also, she was terrible in the Humili-verse competition, marking her as unlikely to be much of a competition threat. On the Block already, Kirsten is going to have to use all of her charm to elevate her station in the game.
Luke Valentine (30, illustrator) didn’t give us much to work with in this premiere. He is passionate about his fitness and yoga, but also describes himself as a “nerd.” He held in there during the Scary-verse competition, but other than that, we basically have no idea what to e3xpect from him. He was friendly enough entering the House, but this is one HG where it really is just too soon to tell much of anything.
Matthew Klotz (27, deaflympics gold medalist) is already a champion in the swimming pool, and has overcome growing up deaf. He can also read lips, which is a helluva talent for this show! Maybe he’ll suss out the Fields’ secret relationship! Matt is charismatic, physically impressive and already proving himself competitively by coming in first in the Humili-verse Comp. We can see him as someone others might gravitate toward as a leader. He’s off to a solid start at this point.
Mecole Hayes (30, political consultant) is driven and ambitious and clearly quite brilliant, having graduated with a Bachelor’s at 20 years old and drafting legislation on Capitol Hill at only 22 years old. Our concern for her is nothing to do with her prowess or ability, but rather how she’ll fare with her newlywed husband on the outside for so long. She came in third on the Scramble-verse Comp and was part of the final group that didn’t socialize as much, so we’ve very little to go on With that incredible head on her shoulders, though, we believe she can probably think her way out of a lot of sticky situations.
Red Utley (37, sales) is a good old boy, but he’s also so much more. HGs tend to love these men with Southern accents, but they also tend to underestimate them. With his long beard and quirky sayings, no one would know he’s former military. That means he’s got a discipline and drive the others might not expect. He’d do well to keep that secret and let them just love him, as they already seem to be starting to do.
Reilly Smedley (24, bartender) is a gregarious and flirtatious bartender who definitely knows how to use her beauty to her advantage. She’s open for a showmance, per her intro package, but we didn’t get the chance to see much out of her. She was rock solid in that Scary-verse competition, suggesting an inner drive that could serve her well. We’d expect her to excel socially, considering her profession, and she’s off to a strong start physically, so it will come down to if she can complement all that with solid strategizing.
- “Big Brother always says to expect the unexpected. Y’all don’t even know what you’re gonna get with Felicia. I’m gonna be the unexpected!” –Felicia
- “I’m definitely gonna win this game. I mean, just look at me. 5’7″, 140 lbs. of pure power. Face 9, body 6, but we’re working towards a 7. I’ve got everything I need.” –Cory
“Big Brother” returns this Sunday to crown its first Head of Household at 8 p.m. ET and then settles into its regular routine of new episodes every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Thursday (eviction) at 9 p.m. ET, and Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.