CBS rolled out the new “12 person cast” of this year’s Big Brother, entering its eighteenth season June 22nd. Fans took to Twitter with glowing responses to the entirely nubile cast and quickly speculated (as they have been for weeks) as to whether or not any former contestants would be involved in this year’s installment.
If you’re a hardcore Big Brother fan, or even a casual viewer, then you already know that something is up since there have only been 12 names released (2 of which include siblings of former contestants, Season 16’s Cody Calafiore and and Season 17’s Vanessa Rousso).
What most fans probably do not realize is that Victor, Glenn, Bridgette, and Zakiyah were late additions, cast less than a week before sequester began. That’s because executive producer Alison Grodner and CBS scrapped their original idea — a rookies versus veterans season featuring players from past editions of the venerable series — in favor of more new blood for unknown reasons.
The returnees currently set to make their return when the season premiere airs are Frank Eudy (BB14), Nicole Franzel (BB16), James Huling (BB17), and Da’Vonne Rogers (BB17). Returning players that had been considered and cut included: Kaysar Ridha (BB6, BB7), Daniele Donato (BB8, BB13), Ian Terry (BB14), Howard Overby (BB15), Audrey Middleton (BB17), and Shelli Poole (BB17).
In addition to that, Grodner and series casting director Robyn Kass had been courting the likes of Big Brother 2 winner Will Kirby’s younger brother Ian Kirby and Season 17 fan favorite Johnny Mac’s 20 year old sibling Jordan McGuire. Kirby declined and McGuire was passed over in favor of Paulie Calafiore.
Big Brother 18 begins June 22nd on CBS.
Jenn Camp is a writer and graphic designer from Queens, New York.