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Returning Players (or Veteran Houseguests) is a recurring twist in Big Brother. This twist gives players who have previously won the opportunity to come back and win again, as well as giving previously evicted players the chance to win for the first time. 

The majority of the viewing audience does not like this twist, citing how the returning players often have unfair advantages and Newbies are often 'starstruck.'  

Returning Player Seasons

United States

Big Brother 7 (US)

Big Brother 7, the first All-Stars season, featured 20 potential candidates, comprised of houseguests from all of the first six seasons of Big Brother. The houseguests were only eligible to enter the house based on fan votes, which would trim the cast down to 14, leaving 6 people ineligible to return (although the producers chose 6 of 20 candidates on their own, meaning only 8 candidates entered based on the public vote).

Big Brother 11 (US)

Big Brother 11 featured 4 previous houseguests returning for a chance for only one to enter the game. Each returning player represented one of the four cliques in the game (The Athletes, The Brains, The Off-Beats, and The Populars). To re-enter the game, the returning player had to have a member of his or her respective clique be the last one left in an Endurance Challenge. The returning player would also become the first Head of Household

Big Brother 13 (US)

Big Brother 13 featured 6 returning players against 8 new players. The 6 returnees were paired up in a duo with another houseguest their previous season (Each duo of returning players was male/female). 

Big Brother 14 (US)

Big Brother 14 featured 4 returning players who would become "coaches" and mentor 12 new players (3 on each team). Each week, the Coaches would compete in a Coaches Competition in order to give a member of their team Immunity from being nominated or trade one of their members for one from another team. During the third week, the Coaches were offered the opportunity to enter the game as individual players, which all but one coach accepted.

Big Brother 18 (US)

Big Brother 18 featured 4 returning players along with 12 new players. The 4 returnees were split up into 4 separate teams where they played alongside 3 new players.

Big Brother: Over The Top

Big Brother: Over The Top featured 2 well known pre-jurors from the previous two seasons who were up for a vote to decide who would be the final houseguest of the season.

Big Brother 19 (US)

Big Brother 19 gave 1 former fan favorite the chance to come back into the game, depending if a new housegest ends up anonymously taking a temptation in the form of $25,000. The returning player only joins the game if the money gets taken.

Big Brother 22 (US)

Big Brother 22, the second All-Stars season, featured 16 returning players, with the cast consisting of winners, finalists, legends, memorable personalities and some of the best to never win the game, with everyone having something to prove.

Canada

Big Brother Canada 5

Big Brother Canada 5 featured 8 returning houseguests facing 8 new players. The game would still be individual, however, with the eight returnees competing alongside the eight newbies.

UK

Ultimate Big Brother

Ultimate Big Brother was the final season of Big Brother to air on Channel 4 and featured 14 returning housemates from both normal and Celebrity Big Brother.

Celebrity Big Brother 19 (UK)

The nineteenth season of Celebrity Big Brother UK, featured 8 returning celebrity housemates competing alongside 8 new celebrity housemates as a part of that season's All-Stars and New-Stars twist.

In-Game Success

United States

Out of the six seasons that have featured returning players playing alongside new players, five of them (Big Brother 13, Big Brother 14, Big Brother 18, Big Brother: Over The Top, and Big Brother 19) saw returning players reach the Final Two. These players include Rachel Reilly (Big Brother 13), Dan Gheesling (Big Brother 14), Nicole Franzel (Big Brother 18), Jason Roy (Big Brother: Over The Top), and Paul Abrahamian (Big Brother 19). Rachel and Nicole then went on to win the game, while Dan, Jason, and Paul were the runners-up in their second seasons. Big Brother 11 was the only season to feature a returning player who did not make the Final Two, as Jessie Godderz became the first Jury member.

In the two All-Star seasons, Big Brother 7 and Big Brother 22, the entire casts were comprised of returning players, so they were guaranteed to have a full returnee Final Two. The finalists of Big Brother 7 were Mike Malin and Erika Landin, with Mike winning by a 6-1 vote. The finalists of Big Brother 22 were Cody Calafiore and Enzo Palumbo, with Cody winning by a 9-0 vote.

For the remaining returning players who did not make it to the Final Two in their subsequent seasons against new players, their success is as follows: Four returning players were on the Jury on Big Brother 13, with one walking from the game Pre-Jury due to medical reasons. On Big Brother 14, only one was on the Jury, while the other two were evicted Pre-Jury. Big Brother 18 had it reversed, with two of them being on the Jury and only one leaving Pre-Jury.

Returning Winners

Four seasons featured former winners coming back for a chance to win the game a second time, and in all of those seasons at, one former winner made it to at least the Final Four: Will Kirby on Big Brother 7, Dick Donato and Jordan Lloyd on Big Brother 13, Mike Malin and Dan Gheesling on Big Brother 14 and Ian Terry and Nicole Franzel on Big Brother 22. Dick and Mike were the only two to place Pre-Jury, with Dick having to walk from the game on Big Brother 13, becoming the first one eliminated at 14th place, while Mike was the last Pre-Juror on Big Brother 14, placing 10th. However, Will and Jordan both managed to place 4th on their respective seasons, each serving as the sixth Juror. Ian and Nicole bookended the Jury on Big Brother 22, with Ian placing 11th as the first Juror, while Nicole placed 3rd as the ninth and final Juror. Dan is currently the only one to make it to the Final Two for an unprecedented second time, where he ultimately lost to Ian in a 6-1 vote on Big Brother 14.

Lisa Donahue was almost a houseguest on Big Brother 7 alongside Will, but was not voted in by the fans nor chosen to be cast by production, leaving Will as the sole returning winner competing on the first ever All-Stars season.

Dan almost competed on Big Brother 13 alongside Jordan but pulled himself last minute due to conflicts with his wedding; he was replaced by Dick and returned on the following season. Josh Martinez was set to compete on Big Brother 22 alongside Ian and Nicole, but was pulled from the cast at the last minute due to a false positive COVID-19 test; Kaycee Clark was heavily rumored to also have been cast by contestants of that same season, but was pulled last minute for an unknown reason, speculated to also be involving COVID-19, while Hayden Moss was cast as an alternate who ultimately went unused.

Canada

During Big Brother Canada 5, Kevin Martin reached the Final Two and went on to win with a Perfect Game.

Despite half of the cast being made up of returning players, three of them still ended up consecutively leaving Pre-Jury, with the remaining four all being on the Jury, although three out of those four left consecutively as well.

Returning Players By Season

For a detailed list of all returning houseguests worldwide and their placements, check here.

For a visual list of returning BBUS houseguests and their original seasons, check here

For a visual list of returning BBCAN houseguests and their original seasons, check here

Trivia

United States

  • There have been 40 returning houseguests as of Big Brother 22, with five of them returning twice and one of them returning thrice, marking a total of 47 times houseguests have returned to compete in another season.
  • Will Kirby is the first ever returning winner, and the only solo returning winner.
  • Jessie Godderz is the first ever returning player after Big Brother 7, and the first solo returning player.
  • Big Brother 11, Big Brother: Over The Top, and Big Brother 19 feature the fewest returning players with only one each (Jessie Godderz, Jason Roy, and Paul Abrahamian respectively).
    • Due to Jessie, Jason, and Paul being the sole returning players in their seasons, the odds of them making finale were drastically lower, as other seasons have had at least 4 returners playing.
    • However, unlike Jessie, who ended up as the first Juror during his second season, Jason and Paul managed to beat the odds and both made it all the way to the Final 2. However, neither of them won the game.
  • Big Brother 9, Big Brother 15, and Big Brother: Over The Top are the only seasons to have had no houseguests return for a subsequent appearance as of Big Brother 22.
    • No houseguest who debuted on Big Brother 13 has returned for a subsequent appearance either.
      • Ironically, Big Brother 13 was the first non All-Stars season to bring back more than one returning player at a time.
  • For every season to feature returning players, with the exception of Big Brother 11, a returning player has reached the Final 2.
    • In Big Brother 13, Rachel Reilly became the winner. 
    • In Big Brother 14, Dan Gheesling became the runner-up.
    • In Big Brother 18, Nicole Franzel became the winner.
    • In Big Brother: Over The Top, Jason Roy became the runner-up.
    • In Big Brother 19, Paul Abrahamian became the runner-up.
    • It should be noted that in Big Brother 7 and 22, it was guaranteed that 2 returning players would be in the Final 2, as the entire cast featured returning players.
  • Howie Gordon, Janelle Pierzina, James Rhine, Kaysar Ridha, Jessie Godderz, Rachel Reilly, Brendon VillegasDa'Vonne Rogers, James Huling, Paul Abrahamian, David Alexander and Nicole Anthony all played on back-to-back seasons.
    • Howie Gordon, Janelle Pierzina, James Rhine, and Kaysar Ridha all played on Big Brother 6 and Big Brother 7.
    • Jessie Godderz played on Big Brother 10 and Big Brother 11.
    • Rachel Reilly and Brendon Villegas played on Big Brother 12 and Big Brother 13.
    • Da'Vonne Rogers and James Huling played on Big Brother 17 and Big Brother 18.
    • Paul Abrahamian played on Big Brother 18 and Big Brother 19.
    • David Alexander and Nicole Anthony played on Big Brother 21 and Big Brother 22
  • Big Brother 6, Big Brother 10 and Big Brother 12 currently have the most returning players out of any season, with 4 each. 
  • Dan Gheesling and Cody Calafiore have the best results of any returning houseguest across two seasons, with Dan finishing 1st in Big Brother 10 and 2nd in Big Brother 14, while Cody finished 2nd in Big Brother 16 and 1st in Big Brother 22.
    • Paul Abrahamian has the second best result, as he finished 2nd in both Big Brother 18 and Big Brother 19.
  • Da'Vonne Rogers has the worst result of any returning American houseguest across two seasons, finishing 16th in Big Brother 17 and 11th in Big Brother 18. 
    • Da'Vonne and David Alexander are the lowest placing houseguests to return, both placing 16th on their first season before returning for their second.
  • Nicole Franzel has the best result across three seasons, placing 7th on Big Brother 16, 1st on Big Brother 18 and 3rd on Big Brother 22.
  • Kaysar Ridha has the worst result across three seasons, placing 10th on Big Brother 6 and 7 and 13th on Big Brother 22.
  • Jason Roy has the largest placement jump of any returning houseguest, going from 13th in Big Brother 17 to 2nd in Big Brother: Over The Top.
  • Alison Irwin, Keesha Smith and Nicole A. have the largest placement drop of any returning houseguest. Alison went from 2nd in Big Brother 4 to 14th in Big Brother 7, Keesha went from 4th in Big Brother 10 to 16th in Big Brother 22, and Nicole went from 3rd in Big Brother 21 to 15th in Big Brother 22.
    • Technically, Dick Donato has a larger drop, placing 1st in Big Brother 8 and 14th in Big Brother 13, but he chose to walk during Week 1 of Big Brother 13. Thus, Alison has the record for the largest placement drop of any houseguest to be evicted.
  • George Boswell from Big Brother 1 and 7, along with Janelle Pierzina, James Rhine, and Kaysar Ridha from Big Brother 6 and 7, and Paul Abrahamian from Big Brother 18 and 19 all currently have the smallest placement jumps, receiving 5th place, 3rd place, 7th place, 10th place, and 2nd place respectively in both of their seasons.
    • This makes the three from Big Brother 6, along with Paul, the only returning players to receive the same placement in back-to-back seasons.
  • Evel Dick, Dan Gheesling, Paul Abrahamian and Cody Calafiore are the only houseguests to have never been voted out in two seasons.
    • Dick won Big Brother 8 and walked during Week 1 of Big Brother 13, never actually being evicted. 
    • Dan won Big Brother 10 and was the runner-up of Big Brother 14.
    • Paul was the runner-up of both Big Brother 18 and Big Brother 19.
    • Cody was the runner-up of Big Brother 16 and won Big Brother 22.
    • Dan and Cody have never received eviction votes across any of their seasons.
  • Alison, Jase Wirey, Kaysar Ridha, Evel Dick, Dan, Jason, Paul and Cody are the only houseguests to play multiple times and never be on the jury.
    • Jase was evicted pre-jury twice, while Kaysar was evicted pre-jury thrice.
    • Alison and Jason were evicted pre-jury once and made it to the final 2 once.
    • Dick made it to the final 2 once and walked pre-jury once.
    • Dan, Paul and Cody made it to the final 2 twice.
  • Mike Malin and Janelle Pierzina are the first houseguests to play three times, while Janelle is also the first houseguest to play four times.
  • Bunky Miller, Monica Bailey, Lisa Donahue, Dana Varela, Michael "Cowboy" Ellis, Ivette Corredero, Jessica Hughbanks, Brian Hart, and Jozea Flores are the only houseguests who were candidates to play again, but did not make it in. Counting international seasons, Jase Wirey is also on this list.
    • Bunky, Monica, Lisa, Dana, Cowboy, and Ivette were all potential Big Brother 7 candidates, but were not voted in by America or chosen by production.
    • Cowboy, Jessica, and Brian were all potential Big Brother 11 candidates, but their respective cliques did not win the first Head of Household competition.
      • Cowboy is the only houseguest to have had 2 separate chances to play the game again after his first season and not return for either of them.
    • Jase was eligible to return on Big Brother Canada 4, but was not voted in by Canada. This would have made him the third three-time player who originated from BBUS.
      • Jase is the second houseguest to get 2 chances to play the game again after his first season, but unlike the first houseguest to do so, Jase was voted in the first time but not the second.
    • Jozea was a potential Big Brother: Over The Top candidate, but was not voted in by America.
    • Ironically, the two houseguests who were given 2 chances to play the game again after their first season but did not make it into all of them originated from Big Brother 5.
  • Nicole Franzel has spent the highest number of days in the house with 255 days (Big Brother 16 - 71 days (days 1-56 and 63-77), Big Brother 18 - all 99 days; Big Brother 22 - all 85 days). She is also the first houseguest to surpass 200 days.
    • Will Kirby and Danielle Reyes are the first houseguests to reach and surpass 100 days.
    • Janelle Pierzina is the first houseguest to reach 200 days.
  • Brandi Glanville is the first player to come to BBUS from another country's edition. She originally played on Celebrity Big Brother 20 (UK) and less than a year later she played on Celebrity Big Brother 1 (US).
  • Janelle and Kaysar are the only houseguests to play on both All-Star seasons, Big Brother 7 and 22.
  • Big Brother 16 has produced the most winners with three - Derrick Levasseur on Big Brother 16, Nicole Franzel on Big Brother 18 and Cody Calafiore on Big Brother 22.
    • Big Brother 16 is also tied with Big Brother 12 for the most overall finalists, with four each - Hayden Moss and Lane Elenburg on Big Brother 12, Rachel Reilly on Big Brother 13 and Enzo Palumbo on Big Brother 22; Derrick Levasseaur and Cody Calafiore on Big Brother 16, Nicole Franzel on Big Brother 18 and Cody again on Big Brother 22.

Canada

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