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The Head of Household (abbreviated HOH) is the position of supreme power and control in the Big Brother House. The Head of Household is determined by a competition each week during the live show. The winner of Head of Household is free from the threat of eviction. They receive perks, such as getting their own private bedroom, but they are also faced with the decision of nominating two houseguests for eviction and putting up a replacement nominee when the Power of Veto is used. The previous Head of Household is not eligible to play in the subsequent Head of Household competition, and thus, can not be Head of Household twice in a row (unless the houseguests are down to the final three).

Head of Household Competition

Each week, all houseguests, except the outgoing Head of Household, compete in the HOH Competition (the final three is the only time that an outgoing Head of Household can win consecutive HOH competitions [Or if a twist happens and nobody is evicted, as in Big Brother 14 with the coaches reset the game. The nominees, Frank Eudy and Joe Arvin, were spared, and Shane Meaney, the outgoing Head of Household, was still eligible to compete].). HOH competitions mainly fall into one of three major categories - listed below - though some competitions include elements of more than one category.

Quiz Competition

Big Brother 14 HouseGuests compete in a quiz HOH competition.

Quiz competitions are fairly short and are usually shown during the live show. Questions range from events in the house to comments from previously evicted houseguests. The houseguests line up, each getting their own booth, and are unable to see each other. The host communicates to the houseguests through the microphone system in the backyard and can see the houseguests through a television screen outside of the house in the studio. She communicates the question to the houseguests, who then answer when she says "Answers, please." Typically, houseguests answer by turning a dial to either "True" or "False", "Yes" or "No", or "Red" or "Blue", although some competitions have used paddles, cubes with houseguests' pictures on them, or some other way to show the answers. There are several ways to how quiz competitions can be played, but usually, they are either elimination-based or point-based. Elimination-based quiz competitions involve one incorrect answer resulting in elimination, with the last person standing becoming the Head of Household. Point-based quiz competitions involve each correct answer giving a houseguest one point, with the person having the most points at the end of questioning becoming the Head of Household. The elimination-based approach is typically used when the number of houseguests is still relatively large, otherwise, the point-based approach is applied. Regardless of the type of quiz, if, after all the possible questions have been exhausted and there is a tie, the competition continues into a tiebreaker round. The tiebreaker answer will always be a number, such as the number of seconds that the houseguests have lived in the house or the weight in pounds of an object used in a competition. The houseguests answer by writing a number on a chalkboard provided for them. The houseguest closest to the number without going over becomes the Head of Household. If all competitors go over, the houseguest closest to the number becomes the Head of Household. If all houseguests write down the same number, the question is nullified and another tiebreaker is asked.


Big Brother 11 HouseGuests compete in a skill HOH competition.

Skill competitions, sometimes referred to as "crap shoots", usually involve bowling or shuffleboard-type games in which houseguests compete while trying to get their marker closest to a certain point without going past it (though sometimes, these competitions differ from that format). Skill competitions are usually completed live, but at times, they are not complete by the end of the live show. If so, viewers can watch the outcome on the live feeds or on the following episode.


Big Brother 12 houseguests in an endurance competition.

Endurance competitions extend well past the time constraints of the one-hour live program. Instead, they can be viewed on the live feeds. Houseguests generally line up on small platforms or revolving cylinders, with the last person standing becoming the Head of Household. Some competitions require houseguests to keep hold of a button. If a houseguest lets go, a light goes out and he or she is eliminated. Harsh weather conditions, such as rain, falling leaves, or foamy "snow" are frequently included to make the competitions as grueling as possible. Other times, prizes are awarded to tempt the houseguests into throwing the competition.

Final Head of Household

Two Big Brother 8 HouseGuests in the Final HOH Competition

The Final Head of Household competition occurs when there are only three remaining houseguests. It is broken up into three sections; each to be played on a different day. The first competition is always an endurance competition and usually requires the houseguests to hold onto their key to the house through some grueling weather condition. The winner of round one automatically advances to round three, while the two remaining houseguests compete in a skill competition. The winner of round two advances to round three, with the loser of both rounds one and two eliminated from the HOH competition The final round is a quiz (usually "Jury Statements"), and, since Big Brother 11, has been played on finale night. The winner selects which of the two remaining houseguests he or she will take to the final two, with the other houseguest being immediately evicted and seated with the jury outside in the studio. Being the most important HOH competition of the game, all houseguests are eligible to compete, even the outgoing Head of Household.

The format for the final HOH competition in Big Brother 2 was different from later seasons. The first two rounds were point based and the two houseguests with the most points would compete in the final round.

During Big Brother: Over The Top, the Final HOH took place during the final four, rather than the final three, as voting for the winner was between the final three instead of the final two, similar to Big Brother 1. The same rules as usual applied, so the outgoing HOH was eligible to compete again. However, there was only one sole skill competition as opposed to three separate sections. The winner would automatically advance to the final three, and he or she would then choose someone else to join them, leaving the two remaining houseguests to participate in a Do or Die Competition for the third spot in the Final 3.

During Celebrity Big Brother 1 and 2, the Final HOH took place during the final four, rather than the final three, as there would be five houseguests going into finale night. The same rules as usual applied, so the outgoing HOH was eligible to compete again. However, there was only one Jury Statements quiz as opposed to three separate sections. Following the first eviction of the night, the winner would automatically advance to the final two, and he or she would then choose someone else to join them, evicting the two remaining houseguests in a Triple Eviction, sending them as the final members of the Jury.

List of Head of Household Competitions

For a complete list of HOH competitions, check it out here.

Perks of Head of Household

The Head of Household suite as seen in Big Brother 12.

The Head of Household receives his or her own private bedroom, equipped with a private bathroom and bathtub, a luxurious suite, and from Big Brother 5 onwards, a "Spy Screen" allowing the Head of Household to watch (but not hear) the other houseguests from the suite. The Head of Household also receives a gift basket with his or her favorite foods, a CD, and a letter from home. The Head of Household does not need to compete in the Have/Have Not Competition because they are guaranteed food for the week, but he or she is guaranteed to compete in the Power of Veto competition.

Responsibilities of Head of Household

The Head of Household hosted the Food Competition (later the Have/Have-Not Competition) by explaining the rules to the other houseguests. He or she also calls house meetings and announces when competitions are being played. Most importantly, the Head of Household selects two houseguests to nominate for eviction.

The Head of Household prepares the Nomination Box.

The procedure of nominations includes the Head of Household retrieving the house keys from the Memory Wall and placing them into the Nomination Box in the Head of Household room. The Head of Household places the keys of all safe houseguests into the box, while the two remaining keys are wrapped in a bag and left in the Head of Household room. The two houseguests without a key are nominated for eviction. Starting with Big Brother 16, the nomination procedure is the opposite, with the keys of the houseguests who are nominated being placed in a smaller box. The faces of the people who are nominated are then shown on the Memory Wall.




  • The shortest endurance Head of Household competition was "Mount HOH", the first part of the final HOH competition in Big Brother: All-Stars. It lasted 24 seconds, after Mike Malin intentionally dropped out 22 seconds in and Janelle Pierzina accidentally let go of her key two seconds later.
  • The shortest quiz competition was "What the Bleep!?" in Big Brother 16, in which Derrick Levasseur won in just 1 question.
  • The longest endurance competition was "Pressure Cooker" in Big Brother 6, which lasted for 14 hours.
  • The longest quiz competition was "Getting Loopy" in Big Brother 16, which lasted over 12 questions and ran through the live show.


Big Brother Competitions
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