by pat howard

THE FRIDAY FIVE | Standout BB11 contestants

In The Friday Five on July 3, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Twelve of the thirteen houseguests (that we know of) for the new season of Big Brother were unveiled this week. With six days until the premiere, here are five I’ll be keeping an eye on.

First impressions are often dangerous with reality show contestants, especially since the show hasn’t started yet and all we have to go on is press packets of biographical materials. But since we already know the houseguests are heading back to high school, competing together in cliques in this season’s twist, the casting feels slightly more transparent than usual.

This 30-year-old ad man from Chicago has a ridiculously charming Midwestern accent, and to my knowledge hasn’t appeared nude in any low-budget pay cable series or acquired a distasteful nickname. He appears, at first glace, to be the most normal male houseguest this season by a landslide.

Here we have a 27-year-old married neuroscientist. This is one of those “why would such a seemingly normal person want to participate in this?” situations, like new mother Libra from a few seasons ago. But executive producer Allison “Grody” Grodner (if we’re really going back to high school this summer, I intend to finally make this nickname stick) tripped all over herself pointing out to the Chenbot that Michele is much smarter than the average, bikini-clad female houseguest, and it’ll be fun to see how that goes over in the house.

What is up with the high percentage of married houseguests this season? I don’t recall that being a clique, even at my high school in Alabama. Ronnie is touted as able to recite every evicted houseguest in order for the past ten seasons, and this obsessive knowledge of the game will either prove an asset or a liability among Ronnie’s new roommates.

Lydia is supposed to seem crazy and outlandish because her body is covered in tattoos. Instead, she just seems like a less outrageous, female Crazy James. She comes across as totally normal in her interview footage, but expects to freak everyone else out. She may be disappointed when they find out she’s just like you and me, except with copious body art.

Mystery Houseguest
All signs point to a ghost from Big Brother past returning for another try at the $500,000. This 13th hamster’s identity will be revealed during the season premiere, Thursday, July 9 at 8p/7c on CBS. If it is a returning houseguest, this seems like an unfair advantage. Also, I kind of hope it’s not Sheila.

The eight remaining houseguests are:

  • Braden, the aforementioned pay-cable actor;
  • Casey, whose teacher-by-day/deejay-by-night schtick is already tired;
  • Chima, the feisty journalist
  • Jordan, the party girl who promises not to have sex on TV
  • Kevin, the token gay who keeps threatening the roommates he hasn’t yet met
  • Laura, whose pre-game strategy seems to be “act slutty”
  • Natalie, a poker player and tae kwon do medalist
  • and Russell, whose unfortunate nickname is “The Love Muscle.”

I was tempted to include the Chenbot’s forthcoming spawn, but technically the hosting duties take place just outside the house.

  1. […] weird looking back at my pre-season predictions about the HGs. First impressions are tricky, but for the most part […]

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