Entering its 20th season, the immediate observation about CBS’ “Big Brother” – and “Survivor” before it – is the durability. Each summer this immediate addiction — and guilty pleasure — will keep you glued to the tube, both on CBS and on Pop for “Big Brother After Dark.” Then, of course, is the ability to view the live feeds 24-7 on CBS All Access.
In honor of this new season of “Big Brother,” let’s take a walk down memory lane with the 10 best moments (ranked No. 10 to No. 1) of the first 19 editions.
10. Monica Bailey Learns Her Cousin is Missing in “Big Brother 2”
On the Sept. 18, 2001 episode of Big Brother, Monica Bailey, one of the final three houseguests in this second season, learns that her cousin Tamitha Freeman is missing after the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center in New York City one week earlier. The producers broke the news-blackout rule, alerting the houseguests, but Monica never asks to leave the house and she nixes an offer to speak with her sister.
Monica was later one the potential candidates hoping to be voted back into Big Brother All Stars, but she was not selected.
9. Nakomis Dedmon Executes the First “Backdoor” Maneuver in “Big Brother 5”
In the fifth season in 2004, Nakomis Dedmon plots with fellow contestant Marvin Latimer in the creation a new technique called the “backdoor” (aka the “Six Finger Plan”). More specifically, the Head of Household does not nominate the intended target to be evicted, choosing instead what are known as the two “pawns” (Marvin and Diane Henry in this case) in order to prevent the target from participating in the Power of Veto competition. If the target (Jase Wirey in this case) does not ultimately compete, he or she can be put on the block and ultimately evicted.
The “backdoor” plan worked and Jase was sent packing, and this technique became an ongoing staple on Big Brother.
8. Sheryl Crow Makes a Surprise Appearance in “Big Brother 3”
A self-described fan of the reality/competition, singer Sheryl Crow stopped by to sing three songs in season three. In this luxury reward for the HouseGuests, Crow performed “Soak Up the Sun” and “Steve McQueen” from her then current album “C’mon, C’mon,” and her 1994 breakout hit “All I Wanna Do.” Sometimes you just want to have fun in the Big Brother house!
7. Chima is Sent Packing in “Big Brother 11”
Irritated over the departure of bodybuilder housemate Jessie Godderz, angry diva Chima Simone was also booted for angrily tossing her microphone in the whirlpool spa and refusing to go to the diary room. “Because of multiple rule violations, she needed to be expelled,” explained ‘Big Brother’ Executive Producer Allison Grodner.
Chima joins Justin Sebik (season 2), Scott Weintraub (season 4) and Willie Hantz (season 14) as the four “Big Brother” contestants, to-date, who have been asked to leave the house.
6. Evel Dick Wakes Up the “Big Brother 8” House
In an effort to reconcile with his daughter Daniele, also a houseguest, “Evel” Dick Donato does whatever he can to piss off the remaining housemates. But it does not work…he wins the season! Dick returned for season 13 of “Big Brother,” this time as a team with Daniele, but he departed the show just one week in after a positive HIV diagnosis.
5. Dan Gheesling Devises His Own Funeral on “Big Brother 14”
Desperate and on the chopping block, former season 10 winner Dan Gheesling traded campaigning in the house to devising his own tearful funeral in the hope of not getting voted out of the house. “The game talk ends for me right now,” he schemed. “This was the death for Dan the player. I want the rest of the experience to be fun for everyone.” While the sympathy plan did ultimately work, it was not enough for Dan to win his second season. That honor went to the ultimate nerd, Ian Terry.
4. Aaryn Gries Evicted from “Big Brother 15”
Mired in controversy over a number of racists and homophobic comments by two season 15 contestants – Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman, in particular – host Julie Chen’s sit-down with Aaryn after her eviction showcased why any “Big Brother” contestant needs to be more aware of their comments. After the season, both Aaryn and GinaMarie, plus Spencer Clawson and winner Andy Herren, all lost their jobs.
Never forgot that the cameras are always rolling on Big Brother!
3. Rachel Reilly “Big Brother 12” Classic – “Floaters Grab a Life Vest”
Rachel Reilly epitomized the concept of the “floater” – a contestant who is not a target and escapes eviction by following in someone else’s footsteps – by comically shouting “floaters grab a life vest” to fellow contestant Kristen Bitting in her first season of Big Brother in 2010. One season later, Reilly returned and won the $500,000. And, she ultimately married Brendon Villegas (the other half of “Brenchel”).
2. Marcellas Pays the Price for Not Using the POV in “Big Brother 3”
A fan favorite in season three, Marcellas Reynolds is remembered for making one of the biggest blunders in Big Brother history. After winning the Golden Power of Veto, he chooses not to use it to protect his friend – and fellow nominee – Amy Crews. Ultimately, Head of Household Jason Guy evicted him a tiebreaker. Embarrassed Marcellas then returns for a second chance in “Big Brother All Stars,” but he was the sixth person evicted.
As a rule, you always need to protect your own back in the “Big Brother” house.
1. “Chilltown” Makes its Debut in “Big Brother 2”
Alliances, of course, can get you to the end on any Big Brother season. And the first – and the most memorable — of any “Big Brother” union was “Mike “Boogie” Malin, Shannon Dragoo and season two winner Will Kirby in “Chilltown.” “Chilltown” reunited in season seven, care of the returns of Will Kirby and “Boogie,” who won the season. And it briefly returned for a third time in season 14 when “Boogie” was now a coach and housemate Frank Eudy took Will’s place.