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 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.
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.
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
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 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 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 first ever Head of Household winner in Big Brother history was Mike Malin.
- Demetres Giannistsos of Big Brother Canada 5 set the record for the most HOH reigns in a season with 5. Dane Rupert tied this record on Big Brother Canada 7.
- Frankie Grande of Big Brother 16 is considered to co-hold the record for the most HOH wins at 5 wins. However, because of the Battle of the Block twist, where one Head of Household may be dethroned if his or her nominees won the BOTB competition, Frankie was dethroned twice in Weeks 1 and 4. Officially, Frankie has 3 total Head of Household reigns. It was stated on Buddy.tv that dethroned Head of Household reigns do not count at all.
- There are twelve HouseGuests who tie for the second-most Head of Household reigns in a season with 4 wins each. Out of the twelve, seven of them went on to win their respective seasons. The twelve are:
- Drew Daniel - Winner, Big Brother 5
- Janelle Pierzina - 3rd Place, Big Brother 7
- Hayden Moss - Winner, Big Brother 12
- Rachel Reilly - Winner, Big Brother 13
- Ian Terry - Winner, Big Brother 14
- Aaryn Gries - 8th Place, Big Brother 15
- Caleb Reynolds - 4th Place, Big Brother 16
- Vanessa Rousso - 3rd Place, Big Brother 17
- Steve Moses - Winner, Big Brother 17
- Jackson Michie - Winner, Big Brother 21
- Cody Calafiore - Winner, Big Brother 22
- Jillian MacLaughlin - Winner, Big Brother Canada 1
- No houseguest who won HOH Week 5 has gone on to win the game.
- Up until Dane Rupert in Big Brother Canada 7, no Houseguests who won the Week 2 HOH won the game.
- Daniele Donato, Paul Abrahamian, and Holly Allen are the only HouseGuests to win the Week 5 HOH and make it to the final two (Big Brother 8, Big Brother 19 and Big Brother 21, respectively).
- Paul was the first houseguest to win the week 2 HOH and make the final two (Big Brother 19).
- No HOH who won POV and used it on one of their own nominations has gone on to win the game.
- Big Brother 2, Big Brother 5, Big Brother 12, and Big Brother 14 are all tied for fewest unique Heads of Household, with only 6 different players holding the Head of Household title in each season.
- Big Brother Canada 5 and Big Brother Canada 7 hold the record for the fewest unique Heads of Household in a Canadian season, with only 7 different players holding the title in each season.
- Big Brother 6, Big Brother 9, Big Brother 16, and Big Brother 20 are all tied for most unique Heads of Household with 10 different houseguests holding the Head of Household title in each season.
- Big Brother 9 and Big Brother 16 both had twists that resulted in there being more than one Head of Household each week; thus, Big Brother 6 and Big Brother 20 are the only seasons to achieve this record with there being only one HOH each week. Big Brother 6 accomplished this with a smaller cast of fourteen people, compared to 20's sixteen.
- Big Brother Canada 2, Big Brother Canada 3, and Big Brother Canada 4 hold the record for the most unique Heads of Household in a Canadian season, with 9 different players holding the title in each season.
- Cody Calafiore is the only houseguest to win the Final Head of Household competition twice. He is also the only person to ever win all three parts (He won Parts 1 and 3 on Big Brother 16 and Parts 2 and 3 on Big Brother 22).
- Dan Gheesling, Paul Abrahamian and Nicole Franzel are the only other houseguest to win at least one part of the Final HOH across two seasons.
- Dan and Paul won Parts 1 and 3 on their first seasons (Big Brother 10 and 18), and won Part 1 on their second (Big Brother 14 and 19).
- Nicole won Part 2 on Big Brother 18 and Part 1 on Big Brother 22.
- Dan Gheesling, Paul Abrahamian and Nicole Franzel are the only other houseguest to win at least one part of the Final HOH across two seasons.
- 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.
- Will Kirby is the only winner in the show's history never to become Head of Household (not including Eddie McGee, who played in Big Brother 1, which did not feature a Head of Household).
- The shortest Head of Household reign, not including Fast Forward Evictions or Double Evictions, was Michele Noonan's reign in Big Brother 11, which lasted for 2 days.
- Big Brother 3 is the first season to have Jury Statements as the third part of the final HOH competition. Since then, most of the seasons have had this for the third part of the final HOH competition. The only season that did not have it as part three was Big Brother 4.
- Will Kirby, Monica Bailey, Danielle Reyes, Robert Roman, Michael Ellis, Memphis Garrett, Natalie Martinez, Enzo Palumbo, Adam Poch, Victoria Rafaeli, Sabrina Abbate, Godfrey Mangwiza, Morgan Willett, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Paras Atashnak, JC Mounduix, Dina Lohan, Ricky Williams, and Anthony Douglas are the only houseguests to compete in every HOH competition within a single season.
- Will Kirby, Jun Song, Maggie Ausburn, Adam Jasinski, Derrick Levasseur, Nicole Franzel, Jillian MacLaughlin, Sarah Hanlon, and Nick & Phil Paquette all went on to win the game despite not winning the final Head of Household.
- Out of them, Maggie Ausburn, Jillian MacLaughlin, and Sarah Hanlon were the only winners who were not eligible to play in the third part of the final HOH.
- The week 10 HOH competition on Big Brother 19 was the first HOH competition to be delayed due to rain.
- Janelle Pierzina, Dan Gheesling, Paul Abrahamian, Cody Calafiore, Enzo Palumbo and Nicole Franzel are the only houseguest to participate in the final HOH competition twice.
- Janelle is the only person to win a part on one season and win no parts on the other.
- Enzo is the only person to never win any part of the competition either time.
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