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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
Big Brother: All-Stars 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
Out of the seven seasons that have featured returning players, six of them (Big Brother: All-Stars, 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 Mike "Boogie" Malin and Erika Landin (Big Brother: All Stars - entire cast was made up of returning players), 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). Mike "Boogie," Rachel, and Nicole then went on to win the game, while Erika, 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 2, as Jessie Godderz became the first Jury member.
For the returning players who did not make it to the Final Two in their second (or third) seasons, their success is as follows (starting from Big Brother 13; excluding 19): Four returning players made the Jury phase on Big Brother 13, with one walking from the game Pre-Jury. On Big Brother 14, only one made Jury, while the other two were evicted Pre-Jury. Big Brother 18 had it reversed, with two making Jury and only one leaving Pre-Jury.
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 making Jury, although three out of those four left consecutively as well.
Returning Players By Season
For a list of returning houseguests, check here.
- Multiple houseguests have competed on two different versions of the show. These houseguests are Tim Dormer (BBAU), Jade Goody (BBUK), Nikki Grahame (BBUK), Frankie Grande (BBUS), Brandi Glanville (BBUK), Brigitte Nielsen (BBDK), Daniela Martins (BBFR), Daniel Mkongo (BBFR), Sava Radović (BBD), Nikola Nasteski (Vb), Žarko Stojanović (BBFR), Željko Stojanović (BBF), Kelly Baron (BBBR), Lucy Diakovska (BBBG), Leila Ben Khalifa (GF), Priya Malik (BBAU), Leonel Estevao (BBA), Fanny Rodrigues (BBPL), Tucha Lourenço (BBAO), and Amor Romeira (GHS).
- There have been 29 returning houseguests as of Big Brother 19, with 2 of them returning twice, marking a total of 31 times houseguests have returned to compete in another season.
- Jessie Godderz is the first ever returning player since Big Brother: All-Stars
- 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, 6, or 14 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 13, Big Brother 15, and Big Brother: Over The Top are the only seasons to have had no houseguests return for a subsequent appearance.
- 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: All-Stars, Mike "Boogie" Malin became the winner, while Erika Landin became the runner-up.
- It should be noted that in Big Brother: All-Stars, it was guaranteed that 2 returning players would be in the Final 2, as the entire cast featured returning players.
- 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.
- In Big Brother: All-Stars, Mike "Boogie" Malin became the winner, while Erika Landin became the runner-up.
- Howie Gordon, Janelle Pierzina, James Rhine, Kaysar Ridha, Jessie Godderz, Rachel Reilly, Brendon Villegas, Da'Vonne Rogers, James Huling, and Paul Abrahamian 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: All-Stars.
- 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.
- Big Brother 6 currently has the most returning players out of any season, with 4.
- Dan Gheesling has the best result of any returning houseguest across two seasons, finishing 1st in Big Brother 10 and 2nd in Big Brother 14.
- 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.
- 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 has the largest placement drop of any returning houseguest, going from 2nd in Big Brother 4 to 14th in Big Brother: All-Stars.
- 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 Big Brother: All-Stars, along with Janelle Pierzina, James Rhine, and Kaysar Ridha from Big Brother 6 and Big Brother: All-Stars, and Paul Abrahamian from Big Brother 18 and Big Brother 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, and Paul Abrahamian 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.
- Alison, Jase Wirey, Kaysar Ridha, Evel Dick, Dan, Jason and Paul are the only houseguests to play multiple times and never be on the jury.
- Jase and Kaysar were evicted pre-jury twice.
- 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 and Paul made it to the final 2 twice.
- Mike "Boogie" Malin and Janelle Pierzina are the only houseguests to play 3 times.
- Big Brother 10, Big Brother 12, and Big Brother 17 feature the only sets of returning houseguests who did not all return to the same season.
- From Big Brother 10, Jessie returned to Big Brother 11 while Dan returned to Big Brother 14.
- From Big Brother 12, Brendon and Rachel returned to Big Brother 13 while Britney Haynes returned to Big Brother 14.
- From Big Brother 17, Da'Vonne and James returned to Big Brother 18 while Jason returned to Big Brother: Over The Top
- Coincidentally, Dan, Rachel, and Jason all made it to the Final 2 in their second season, but only Rachel won the game on her 2nd time.
- 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 All-Stars 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.
- Paul Abrahamian has spent the highest number of days in the house with 191 days (Big Brother 18 - 99 days; Big Brother 19 - 92 days).
- The former record holders (who now have the second most) are Janelle Pierzina and James Huling who spent 177 days each. Janelle's time spanned three seasons (Big Brother 6 - 76 days; Big Brother 7 - 67 days; Big Brother 14 - 34 days), and James' time spanned two seasons (Big Brother 17 - 78 days, Big Brother 18 - 99 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).
- Nikki Grahame and Tim Dormer are the first players to come to BBCAN from another country's edition. Nikki originally played on Big Brother 7 (UK) and Ultimate Big Brother while Tim originally played on Big Brother Australia 10, before they both were chosen to play on Big Brother Canada 4 as Wildcard Contestants.
- There have been 8 returning house guests as of Big Brother Canada 5.
- Cassandra Shahinfar and Dallas Cormier both played in back-to-back seasons in Big Brother Canada 4 and Big Brother Canada 5.
- Kevin Martin has the best result of any returning Canadian houseguest across two seasons, finishing 9th in Big Brother Canada 3 and 1st in Big Brother Canada 5.
- Dallas Cormier has the worst result of any returning houseguest across two seasons, finishing 13th in Big Brother Canada 4 and 15th in Big Brother Canada 5.
- Ika Wong has the largest placement jump of any returning Canadian houseguest, going from 12th in Big Brother Canada 2 to 4th in Big Brother Canada 5.
- Gary Levy has the largest placement drop of any returning Canadian houseguest, going from 2nd in Big Brother Canada 1 to 13th in Big Brother Canada 5.
- Big Brother Canada 3 currently has the most returning players out of all Canadian seasons with 3.
- Similarly to Big Brother US, a returning player ended up making the Final Two.