COVID-19 took a lot from our summer, but Big Brother luckily was not one of those things.
CBS has even made things better for us by giving us the All-Stars season we have been asking for for years.
In Big Brother Season 22 Episode 1, we got 16 returning houseguests, some All-Stars and some questionable.
The houseguests entered in groups of four. Our first cohort:
- Nicole Franzel – BB16 and BB18 (winner)
- Dani Briones (née Donato) – BB8 (runner-up) and BB13
- Da’Vonne Rogers - BB17 and BB18
- Christmas Abbott – BB19 (Final 3)
Nicole and Dani are absolutely All-Stars. Seeing them return makes total sense. Dani and her dad, Evel Dick, made it all the way to final two in season eight. They were an unstoppable team, no matter how much ED terrorized the house.
I really don’t think I get enough credit for my win on Big Brother 18.Nicole
Nicole is also a deserving All-Star, if for no other reason than her win. Some fans say she wasted her time in the house (both times) in showmances. As she said herself, many people discredit her win, but those people should probably instead question why Paul could only manage to be a runner-up twice.
Da'Vonne I am SO excited to see return. She's most likely back in the house out of popularity rather than game play. As she said herself, she talked too much, but hopefully she has learned her lesson and will make it much farther this season.
My Big Brother legacy is definitely how intuitive I am. But my problem is… I talk too much.Da'Vonne
Christmas, on the other hand, is a questionable "All-Star." She is one of the BB19 houseguests who willfully followed whatever Paul commanded that season.
She broke her foot the first week in the house, had surgery, got to vote in an eviction from the hospital (!!!), and still somehow managed to make it to final three. Her HOH win was literally given to her by the house. Her being in All-Stars seems like an opportunity to just give her another chance without injury.
The second group to enter the house:
- Tyler Crispen – BB20 (runner-up and AFP)
- Kevin “KC” Campbell – BB11 (Final 3)
- Ian Terry – BB14 (winner)
- Enzo Palumbo – BB12 (final 3)
Of course Tyler is back. He basically ran the house in in BB20, but he offended and lied to so much of the jury he lost in final two against Kaycee. In addition to being runner-up, he also won America's Favorite Player, so he is absolutely someone to watch this season.
Both Kevin and Enzo made it to the final three in seasons 11 and 12, respectively. Both are determined to make it further this season. Enzo is the founding member of one of the most iconic alliances in big brother history, The Brigade. Could he succeed at starting another such alliance amongst the All-Stars?
Ian Terry came from Big Brother 14, in which four returning houseguests (Dan, Janelle, Mike Boogie, and Britney) initially played as coaches before entering the game themselves.
Ian was mentored by Dan, and then beat Dan in the final two 6-1. You can't accuse Ian of being carried, either, as he won four HOHs and two vetos his season. Ian seems to think he can play dumb this time around, but everyone knows him, so good luck with that.
Group 3 of All-Stars:
- Janelle Pierzina – BB6 (AFP, Final 3) , BB7 (Final 3, All-stars), BB14
- Bayleigh Dayton – BB20
- Nicole Anthony – BB21 (AFP, Final 3)
- Keesha Smith – BB10 (AFP)
Outside of the winners, Janelle Pierzina is arguably the biggest competition for the rest of the houseguests this season.
I am one of the best players that has ever played that has never won.Janelle
Julie reminded us Janelle has spent 177 days total in the Big Brother house, spanning her three seasons.
She made it to the final three two season in a row, was America's Favorite player season six, and played in the last All-Stars. She has the most HOH wins (6) and is only second to Paul in combined HOH and POV wins (13) of all time. The Queen is back.
Bayleigh had a controversial season in BB20. She bumped heads with Tyler in a controversial fight that we soon learned happened right after she found out she was pregnant. Not to mention the fact she tragically had a miscarriage in the jury house.
In the end though, she found the love of her life and got engaged to her now-husband, Christopher "Swaggy C," on finale night.
Hopefully this season she can have happier memories and focus more on her game. She said herself she'll be more focused without a showmance and we look forward to her gameplay!
Even though I finished in 11th place, I got the love of my life…. I plan to be backstabbing Bay.Bayleigh
Keesha and Nicole both won America's Favorite Player in seasons 10 and 21, respectively. Nicole was one of the few likeable people of that season, so no surprise there.
When people think of Keesha, the first thing they probably remember is that infamous birthday party of hers. Will we get another one of those?
The final group of All-Stars to enter the house:
- Kaysar Ridha – BB6 and BB7 (All-stars)
- Cody Calafiore – BB16 (runner-up)
- Memphis Garrett – BB10 (runner-up)
- David Alexander – BB21 (first evicted)
Kaysar seemed to think he was always two steps ahead of everyone, yet he never made it to the jury house. Interesting how that happens.
Both Cody and Memphis were apart of some of the best final two alliances in history, The Hitmen and Renegade squad.
I’m pretty sure that I was playing checkers, while Dan Gheesling was playing chess.Memphis
Some people think Cody played a terrible game. If he just evicted Derrick in final three, he would've easily won the game, but the guy was loyal and stands by his decision to this day; who could blame him?
Both men were the weaker links in their alliances, so maybe this is their second chance (like Mike Boogie of Chill Town in the first All Stars).
I was the first one evicted, but never voted out.David
David being in an All-Stars season is a joke. His return seems like production just felt bad for getting him out first in a twist, without ever having been evicted by his peers. He seemed like he was intuitive and had potential, so maybe we'll find out for sure this time.
Each cohort that entered the house played a competition to advance to the HOH competition. Only Christmas, Ian, Kevin, Nicole A., Memphis, and Cody made it to the competition.
Cody blew everyone out of the water.
Cody went second and finished in 22 seconds, and no one had a chance. Cody told Julie he won on purpose because he wasn't familiar with the other houseguests and didn't feel like trying to get to know everyone the first week.
It seems someone is worried about his social game now that he can't flirt like he did last time (sorry ladies, he's no longer single).
Julie: In season 16, you and Derrick were in perfect sync. What do you think it will be like to play without him?
Cody: Very, very difficult.
While Christmas won a $5,000 cash prize, the other HOH losers were doomed to be have-nots this week. Christmas has a target on her back already, perhaps.
Cody could take the easy way out and target Christmas in his nominations. He could also make a big move.
Of this year's houseguests, Janelle, Dani, and Nicole have the most combined HOH and POV wins (13, 9, and 7, respectively). Granted, they have each been on at least two seasons before this.
I’ve won four HOHs and five Vetos.Dani
Alternatively, another easy way out for Cody would be to target previous winners. There are four runner-ups, four America's Favorite Players, and only two winners in the house.
Cody and the rest of the house would be smart to get out Nicole and Ian first. Ian already showed his gameplay by winning the first competition the quickest.
Strategically, the runner-ups and competition beasts should go next. Dani, Tyler, Cody, Memphis, and Janelle will be high on people's radars. Will this work in favor of other houseguests like Day, Bayleigh, David, and Keesha?
A girls alliance of Janelle, Dani, Bayleigh, Da'Vonne, Nicole, and Christmas could very well dominate. This might be premature, but my money's on the women this season.
Over to you, Fanatics!
Who is the All-Star to watch in your opinion? Who do you want to see in an alliance?
Who do you think Cody will nominate?
After you watch Big Brother online, sound off in the comments your thoughts on the premiere!
Berea Orange is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.