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The Spelling Search is a recurring Power of Veto and Head of Household competition.


In this competition, houseguests look through an area for letters. One at a time, they must bring them back to their board. Once brought back to their board, they must spell a word out and try to achieve the longest, correctly spelled word, which will be revealed one at a time. Since Big Brother 17, each letter was assigned a point value, so instead of the longest word, the contestants need to come up with a word with the highest point value.

If there is a tie, the houseguest who did it the quickest will win.


United States[]

The competition first appeared on Big Brother 11, during Week 1. Russell Kairouz won the competition, winning the first PoV of the season.

The competition reappeared on Big Brother 12, during Week 1 once again. Brendon Villegas won the competition, winning the first PoV of the season.

The following season, Big Brother 13, was the competition's next appearance. Brendon Villegas once again won the competition, winning his first PoV of that season. He used the exact same word as he used in the previous season.

On Big Brother 15, the houseguests competed in this competition, during the first week. McCrae Olson won the competition, winning his first ever PoV, alongside his first HoH win.

On Big Brother 16, the houseguests competed in this competition, during the first week. Donny Thompson won the competition, winning his first ever PoV.

The competition reappeared on Big Brother 17, during Week 1. Steve Moses, eventual winner, won the competition, securing his first PoV win of the summer.

In its next appearance, Big Brother 18, Paulie Calafiore won the competition, winning his first PoV of the summer.

After skipping the next summer edition, it reappeared on the special celebrity season, where Shannon Elizabeth won her first PoV.


First appearing on Big Brother Canada 2, Kenny Brain won this competition, winning his second PoV of the season.

List of Spelling Competitions[]

United States[]


Season Week Name Variant Winner
11 1 Pop Goes the Veto!
Russell Kairouz
12 1 "Cinco de Mayo"
Brendon Villegas
13 3 "Hot Legs"
Brendon Villegas
15 1 "The American Baking Competition"
McCrae Olson
16 1 "Miami Lice"
Donny Thompson
17 1 "Nose-a-scotia"
Steve Moses
18 2 "Toe-Zarks"
Paulie Calafiore


Season Day Name Variant Winner
1 6 "The Four Sneezins Spiritual Spa"
Shannon Elizabeth



Season Week Name Variant Winner
2 6 "Yukan Gold"
Kenny Brain
5 4 "Highway to Spell"
Neda Kalantar

Celebrity (Quebec)[]

Season Week Competition Variant Name Variant Winner
2 Final Head of Household Part 2 "Swear Words"
Stéphanie Harvey


  • Brendon Villegas is the only person to win this competition twice.
  • This competition is most commonly used during the first week.
    • Seasons 13 and 18 are the only American seasons to not have this competition in the first week.
  • Shannon Elizabeth holds the record for the longest spelled word to win this challenge: Responsibilities.

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