Janelle Marie DeSanto (née Pierzina) was a houseguest on Big Brother 6 (US), Big Brother 7 (US), Big Brother 14 (US) and Big Brother 22 (US).

In Big Brother 6 (US), she was best remembered for being a part of the Sovereign Six Alliance and her conflicts with The Friendship, mainly with Jennifer Vasquez and Beau Beasley. She ultimately finished in 3rd place and became the seventh and final member of the jury after Ivette Corredero cast the sole vote to evict her.

In Big Brother 7 (US), Janelle was known for setting the record for most individual competitions won in a single season, with 9 competition wins (4 HoH's & 5 PoV's) and for her showmance with Will Kirby. Once again she came in 3rd place and became the seventh and final member of the jury after Mike "Boogie" Malin cast the sole vote to evict her. She ended up winning America's Favorite Houseguest award.

In Big Brother 14 (US), she came back as a Coach. In week 4, Mike and Dan Gheesling convinced HoH Danielle Murphree to backdoor her. She was successfully backdoored that same week in an 8-1 vote, making her the first coach to get evicted, finishing in 12th place, and thus marking the first time Janelle did not reach the final 3 or jury stage.

In Big Brother 22 (US), she came back for a fourth time, becoming the first houseguest to do so and reunited with her friend BB6 and BB7 castmate Kaysar. However, Janelle's reputation as one of the greatest players put her on the outs of the house along with Kaysar, having the majority of the house dead set on targeting her immediately. Despite being saved in the first two weeks when Kaysar won the first Safety Suite Competition and her fellow old schooler Memphis winning HoH, Janelle and Kaysar were finally nominated in week 3 by Tyler. After failing to win the PoV to save herself, Janelle was ultimately evicted in a 9-2 vote, finishing in 14th place. She kept her strong friendship with Kaysar and also developed friendships with Keesha, Bayleigh and Memphis, but had a short-lived dislike towards Nicole F due to her sneakiness, and making her become a have-not.

Because of her competition prowess, many regard her as the most excellent female houseguest and one of the greatest players in the history of the show. She is the first player to win America's Favorite Houseguest award.


Janelle Pierzina Biography

Retrieved from CBS.com Fan favorite Janelle Pierzina returns to BIG BROTHER for the third summer. She first competed on BIG BROTHER in Season 6, when she finished in third place, but she took home “America’s Favorite Player.” She also finished in third place in season 7, BIG BROTHER: ALL-STARS. This very physical and competitive player sees returning as a mentor as a positive. According to Janelle, she’s “good at keeping people together and getting people on my side… the coaching dynamic is perfect for my gameplay.” While this 32-year-old is returning as a mentor to play her own game, she hopes to make it past third place this time. Her strategy to do so: “try and keep my team together as much as possible and possibly pick up some other alliance members along the way.” You can be sure that her husband and baby girl home in Minnesota will be rooting for her this summer.[1]

Retrieved from CBS
Age: 40
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Current city: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Occupation: Real estate agent
Previous seasons: Big Brother 6, Big Brother 7, and Big Brother 14. Janelle finished third two seasons in a row and won the first America's Favorite Houseguest vote in Season 6.
Three adjectives that describe you: Ambitious, loyal, and persistent.
Favorite activities: Working out with my girlfriends at Pure Barre, drinking wine, spending time with my family, and interior decorating.
Why do you want to play Big Brother again?
It is the greatest and most challenging game that I have ever played. I have a lot I have to prove myself.
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house?
Being away from my family and business.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most and why?
Britney Haynes. She's my Big Brother bestie and makes me laugh until my stomach hurts!
What is your strategy for winning the game?
Win the first HOH, pick my allies Week 1, stay loyal to my alliance, start playing more cut throat once Houseguests start going to jury and separate game level from personal.
How does this strategy differ from the last time you played?
I have never played a cut throat game. This time around, I will.
Have you changed/evolved since the last time you were on the show?
I am completely a different woman.
My life's motto is…
"There is no elevator to success —you have to take the stairs."
What would you take into the house and why?
-Pictures of loved ones.
-Beauty products.
-A bible.
Fun facts about yourself:
-My last meal on Earth would be sushi.
-My proudest accomplishment is my children.
-I have a house rabbit that lives in our home (he is house littered).
-My celebrity crush is Chris Hemsworth.
-My most prized possession is my designer shoe and bag collection.[2]

Player History - Big Brother 6 (US)

Competition History

Week 1 Food Win
HOH Loss
POV Not Chosen
Week 2 HOH Loss
Food Win
POV Loss
Week 3 HOH Loss
Food Loss
POV Loss
Week 4 HOH Loss
Food Win
POV Loss
Luxury Unable to Play
Week 5 HOH Loss
Food Loss
POV Not Chosen
Week 6 HOH Loss
POV Loss
Week 7 HOH Win
HOH Previous HOH
POV Loss
Week 8 HOH Loss
POV Loss
Week 9 HOH Loss
POV Loss
HOH Loss
Week 10 HOH Win
POV Loss
Week 11 HOH Part 1 Loss
HOH Part 2 Win
HOH Part 3 Loss

Voting History

Week Position Voted For With Majority?
1 Kaysar Ridha No
2 Nominated
3 Eric Littmann Yes
4 Post-POV Nominee
5 Sarah Hrejsa Yes
6 Nominated
Rachel Plencner Yes
8 Vetoed James Rhine Yes
9 Beau Beasley Yes
Used POV on Self April Lewis No
10 HOH
11 Nominated
Finale Jury Member Ivette Corredero No

HOH History

Original Nominees Post-Veto Nominees Intended Target
Week 7
Jennifer Vasquez
Week 10
April Lewis

Player History - Big Brother 7 (US)

Competition History

Week 1 Co-HOH Win
Week 2 HOH Previous Co-HOH
Food Loss
POV Not Picked
Week 3 HOH Loss
Food Win
POV Not Picked
Week 4 HOH Win
Food Sat Out as HOH
POV Loss
Luxury Win
Week 5 HOH Previous HOH
Week 6 HOH Loss
HOH Redo Win
Food Win
POV Unable to Play
Coup d'Etat Loss
Week 7 HOH Previous HOH
POV Not Picked
HOH Loss
Week 8 HOH Loss
Food Loss
POV Loss
Week 9 HOH Previous HOH
Week 10 HOH Part 1 Loss
HOH Part 2 Loss
HOH Part 3 Unable to Play

Voting History

Week Position Voted For With Majority?
2 Diane Henry No
3 Jase Wirey Yes
5 Used POV on Self James Rhine No
7 Erika Landin No
Used POV on Self James Rhine Yes
8 Used POV on Self Danielle Reyes Yes
9 Used POV on Self Will Kirby Sole Vote
10 Nominated
Finale Jury Member Mike Malin Yes

HOH History

Original Nominees Post-Veto Nominees Intended Target
Week 1 (Co-HoH with Jase)
Danielle Reyes
Alison Irwin
Danielle Reyes
Week 4
Diane Henry
Week 6
Marcellas Reynolds
Week 8
George Allen Boswell

Player History - Big Brother 14 (US)

Competition History

Week 1 HOH/HTR Coach
Coaches Competition Loss
POV Coach
Week 2 HOH Coach
Coaches Competition Win
POV Coach
Week 3 HOH Coach
Coaches Competition Win
POV Coach
Week 4 HOH Loss
POV Not Picked

Have/Have-Not History

Week 1 Coach Phase
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4 Have

Voting History

Week Position Voted for With Majority?
1 Coach Ineligible
3 Reset Yes
4 Post-POV Nominee

Player History - Big Brother 22 (US)

Competition History

Week 1 HOH Part 1 Loss
HOH Part 2 Ineligible
Safety Suite Loss
POV Not Picked
Week 2 HOH Loss
Safety Suite Ineligible
POV Not Picked
Week 3 HOH Loss
Safety Suite Ineligible
POV Loss

Have/Have-Not History

Week 1 Have
Week 2 Have
Week 3 Have-Not

Voting History

Week Position Voted for With Majority?
1 Safety Suite +1 Keesha Smith Yes
2 Nicole Anthony Yes
3 Nominated

Post Big Brother

Janelle on her wedding day

  • Janelle appeared on Big Brother 10 to compete in the Week 4 Food competition. Janelle received $1,000 as Jerry MacDonald answered his question incorrectly.
  • Janelle appeared alongside fellow BB7 houseguests Danielle Reyes and Mike Malin as well as Dick Donato to discuss Big Brother 11.
  • On June 11, 2009, Janelle announced her engagement to Jess DeSanto. The two married in 2010.
  • Janelle gave birth to a baby girl on December 14th, 2011 and named her Violet Anne DeSanto.[3]
  • On August 10th, 2013, Janelle gave birth to a baby boy named Lincoln William DeSanto,[4] who shares the same birthday with one of Janelle's former alliance members of the Sovereign Six, Kaysar Ridha.
  • Her third child, Stella Rose DeSanto, was born on September 26th, 2014.[5]

Janelle & Britney's cast photo for The Amazing Race 31


  • Janelle was the first person to lose his/her partner in Big Brother 6, as Ashlea Evans her ex-roommate and secret partner was evicted first.
  • Janelle was the first houseguest ever to Veto one of his/her nominations.
  • Janelle won every America's Choice during her stay on Big Brother 6.
  • Janelle is the only female member of the Sovereign Six alliance to return for another season.
  • Janelle, Howie Gordon, James Rhine, and Kaysar Ridha are the first houseguests to compete on back-to-back seasons.
  • Janelle became the first female to win more than two PoVs in a single season.
  • Janelle was the last female to be nominated in All-Stars, being first put on the block in Week 5.
  • Janelle is the only female to win HoH multiple times in All-Stars in which she won 4 times.
  • Janelle is tied with Daniele Donato, Paul Abrahamian and Kaycee Clark for the most Power of Veto wins in one season (All-Stars), with 5.
  • Janelle has used the Power of Veto more than any other HouseGuest (6 out of 7 wins).
  • Janelle in Big Brother All-Stars, along with Jason Guy, Danielle Reyes in Big Brother 3, Kevin Campbell, Dan Gheesling in Big Brother 14, Derrick Levasseur and Paul Abrahamian in Big Brother 19 never faced eviction until Final 3.
  • Janelle became the first houseguest to ever win the Fan Favorite Award during her stay on Big Brother 7.
  • Janelle holds the record for the most individual competitions won in a single season with 9, by winning 4 Head of Households and 5 Power of Vetoes. Janelle also holds the record for most individual competitions won in multiple seasons with 6 HOH's (tied with Rachel Reilly), 7 POV's, and 2 Coaches Competitions– making a total of 15 competitions.
    • Counting only HoH's and PoV's, Janelle has won 13 competitions. Her record has been broken by Paul who has won 14 competitions.
  • She is currently one of six people to be evicted three times along with Kaysar Ridha, Brendon Villegas, Victor Arroyo, Da'Vonne Rogers and Nicole Franzel.
    • Janelle and Kaysar are the only players to be evicted four times.
  • Janelle was the only houseguest to win challenges on Team Janelle in Big Brother 14.
  • Janelle is one of four people (Kaysar Ridha, James Rhine, and Paul Abrahamian) to receive the same placement two seasons in a row (3rd place).
  • Janelle has the second most days spent in the Big Brother U.S. house out of returning contestants with an exact 200 total days (76 in Big Brother 6, 67 in Big Brother 7, 34 in Big Brother 14 and 23 in Big Brother 22).
    • Janelle is the first player to reach 200 days in the BBUS house. She ended up getting evicted on her 200th day during Big Brother 22.
  • Janelle has also been a favorite houseguest of many future houseguests most notably Rachel Reilly and Britney Haynes who Janelle would later compete against on Big Brother 14 and The Amazing Race 31.
  • Janelle and Jase Wirey are the first 2 houseguests to become co-HOH's.
  • Whenever Janelle won the Power of Veto in a week where she wasn't HOH, she used it on herself.
  • Janelle is the only contestant to have their eviction vote nullified after it had already been cast. In future seasons, contestants who had lost their ability to vote for the week never got to cast one.
  • Janelle is one of 17 to compete in another CBS reality show aside from Big Brother. The others are Alison Irwin, Jeff Schroeder, Jordan Lloyd, Brendon Villegas, Rachel Reilly, Hayden Moss, Caleb Reynolds, Jeff Weldon, Jackie Ibarra, Cody Nickson, Jessica Graf, Britney Haynes, Elissa Slater, Nicole Franzel, Victor Arroyo, and Winston Hines
  • Years before ever appearing on Big Brother, Janelle was charged with stealing merchandise from a Macy's store in December 2001. She responded to her arrest warrant only days before entering the Big Brother 6 house.[11]
  • Janelle is the first, and currently only, four-time player in BBUS history.
  • Big Brother 22 is the only season where Janelle never won a competition.
  • Janelle has played three of her four seasons with Kaysar and two of her four seasons with Mike Malin.
    • Janelle and Kaysar are the only houseguests to play on both All-Star seasons, Big Brother 7 and 22.
    • Janelle outlasted Kaysar their first two times, while Mike has outlasted her in both of the two seasons they competed in together, but only two spots higher each time. Despite this, Janelle still has a higher placing average than Mike.
  • Janelle Pierzina, Dan Gheesling, Paul Abrahamian, Enzo Palumbo, Cody Calafiore and Nicole Franzel are the only people to make it to the Final Three twice.
    • Janelle is the only one to not make it to finale night twice, due to the format being different when she accomplished this feat.


Preceded by
Title Established
America's Favorite Houseguest
Season 7 - All-Stars
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Janelle Pierzina
Succeeded by
Season 8
Replaced by America's Player
Season 9
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James Zinkand
Big Brother 6 (US) Houseguests
Big Brother 7 (US) Houseguests
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Big Brother 14 (US) Houseguests
Big Brother 22 (US) Houseguests
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