Recap: ‘Big Brother’ Season 18 premiere episode on CBS

The CBS network's "Big Brother" reality series returns to TV's summer season with new twists to the basic premise.

Big Brother show logo, courtesy CBS.

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2016 — The hit CBS summer reality series “Big Brother” is back with a vengeance, and its 18th season promises to be full of twists and turns. As its many fans know, the show is based on a diverse group of people called “house guests” (aka contestants) who live in a large house isolated and cut off from the outside world. The contestants are constantly monitored by live cameras and personal microphones.

Similar to the premise of “Survivor,” throughout the contest, the contestants face weekly evictions. After three months of cutthroat competition, the last remaining houseguest wins a $500,000 prize.

The Season 18 premiere introduced  major twists. First, the contestants were introduced to four mystery “stowaways:” Nicole Franzel, James Huling, Da’Vonne Rogers and Frank Eudy. All four have been previous contestants on “Big Brother.” The next twist was an announcement that the regular houseguests will be playing in teams of four with each team selected by one of the stowaway vets.

Team names and participants:

  • Team Category 4: Frank, Michelle, Paulie, Bridgette
  • Team Big Sister: Da’Vonne, Paul, Zakiyah, Jozea
  • Team Unicorn: James, Natalie, Victor, Bronte
  • Team Freakazoids: Nicole, Corey, Tiffany, Glenn

The first competition challenged contestants to stay on a rock that rotated. All the while, contestants faced surprises that added to the tough challenge of simply remaining on that spinning rock. Surprises included spraying the contestants with a mixture of water and paint that strongly resembled what you’d get from an aerial bombardment by angry birds.

At stake were cash, punishments and safety. The rules were simple: when all four members fall, they’re out. The first team out was to be designated as “Have-Nots.” The second team to go would earn a mystery punishment. The third team down would get $10,000, while the last team out would win immunity for everyone on the team for the next two evictions.

As the spinning rock spun, Nicole was the first to fall off. But when everything was over, Team Category 4 won this competition and all its members are safe from eviction. For now.

For round 2 it was Team Big Sister vs. Team Freakazoids. The challenge this time was to solve a puzzle as a group. But just to increase the tension, in addition to the actual puzzle pieces, there were also some decoy pieces that wouldn’t fit. Glenn tried to tell his teammates that something was wrong with this picture, but his team didn’t respect his call.

Meanwhile, as expected, Da’Vonne and Paul fought for dominance of Team Big Sister. The Freakazoids finished first, but they were wrong, and needed to fix the base of the puzzle, which is exactly what Glenn was saying from the beginning.

Big Sister finished next, but they were wrong too. The cream and speckled windows in the puzzle needed to to line up. Paul flipped the offending piece in one move leading to a surprise finish putting Big Sister in the win column and keeping Da’Vonne, Paul, Zakiyah and Jozea safe from eviction.

After Monday night’s set up episode, we’re now left wondering who will be the first to actually get evicted from the competition. Will Glenn, the odd man out and the oldest by far, be sent packing next week? Will Nicole blow her second shot on this series and get eliminated? Will Vanessa Rousso’s sister somehow be eliminated? Or will Corey do or say anything interesting at all?

Stay tuned.

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