Big Brother 24 Premiere Episode Recap: Let The “Fest”-ivities Begin!

Expect the…expected? The 24th season of Big Brother has begun with a 90-minute premiere on Wednesday night, as 16 new houseguests took up residence in the Big Brother House, beginning their Summer-long quest to win the game, outlast the others and score the $750,000 grand prize. But while their were some twists and surprises that were discussed and mentioned by host Julie Chen Moonves as coming later this season, the Big Brother 24 Premiere was mostly business as usual.

Perhaps the most “unexpected” twist so far this season came before the game even began. In the hours leading up to the premiere, it was announced that cast member Marvin Achi would be replaced with Joseph Abdin for undisclosed reasons. It was already a bit odd that CBS had waited until only one day before the season began to announce the full BB24 cast (although a later announcement might be more of the norm in the era of COVID), but it was even more strange that one of those announced houseguests – Marvin – was already being replaced.

The Premiere felt…standard? Nearly the first hour of the 90-minute episode was spent introducing us to the 16 new faces, as four-at-a-time were shown getting their house keys and then entering the BB House. It’s always hilarious to watch these obviously fabricated moments of surprise, where each houseguest feigns shock and excitement the apparent moment when they discover they’ve been cast on the show (it must be quite curious that a camera crew just happens to be in your kitchen? Sigh.). They even had one for Joseph, which begs the question: Do they shoot these sequences for the alternatives as well, or was that whole scene shot in the last day? We may never know.

So who seems to be a stand-out this season? Check the bottom of this article for my initial take on each of this season’s contestants. Overall though, it does seem that we have a group of mostly self-proclaimed “super-fans” and dare I say, this could be a strange, strange cast. I found it odd, for example, that the first four allowed into the house – Paloma, Monte, Kyle and Jasmine – did not even introduce themselves to one another once they were let in the house! They were so in awe of being in the BB House that they must have forgotten their own names (later houseguests were shown introducing themselves to one another, but not that first group). Of these four, Kyle was probably the stand-out, but for all the wrong reasons (re: annoying as hell).

Over the next three show segments, we were shown the other houseguests as groups of four briefly got a chance to look around the newly-redesigned BB House, before being told to grab random “tickets” and then head to the backyard. The overriding theme of BB24 was announced as being “BB Fest,” so this first set of challenges were all designed around things you might find at your average music festival. Each ticket that a houseguest had was scanned, which revealed which group and challenge they’d compete in: All of the first four – Paloma, Monte, Kyle and Jasmine – along with 41-year-old private chef, Nicole, were sent to the “port-a-potty” area. Alyssa, Ameerah, Michael, Indy and Daniel were sent to the “merch” counter, leaving Joseph, Terrance, Turner, Brittany and Taylor to compete in the “piercing tent” comp. Left out from the comps was Joe “Pooch” Pucciarelli (do we really have to refer to a grown man as “Pooch” all Summer long?), whose ticket was revealed to give him a new power called the “Backstage Manager.”

So what is the “Backstage Manager” and what does that mean? Joe, er, “Pooch,” did not have to compete in any of the three competitions, and in fact does not compete in anything at all this first week in the game. He also cannot vote at the first Head of Household (HOH) Competition, but has been given safety and cannot be voted out at that first HOH either. After the three competitions were played – with Monte, Daniel and Turner all winning and earning a chance to compete in the first live HOH Comp of the season – it was revealed that Pooch had to choose three other houseguests to become “backstage” members along with him. The three that he would choose would give them the same attributes, EXCEPT that all three of them would still be vulnerable and COULD be voted out at the first HOH…interestingly, these three would be “safe from being nominated” but not safe from eviction…hmmmm. Pooch’s logic was to pick the contestants that finished last in their respective competitions, which were Paloma and Alyssa and then for whatever reason, he also selected the competitive belly-dancer, Brittany.

The underlying optics were quite bad…here we had three men competing for the first HOH, ensuring that the first HOH would be male (Daniel ended up winning the HOH). The other “power player” of the first week will be Pooch as the Backstage Manager. And then he “randomly” selects three females as his backstage guests?

The first real “twist” of the season was that America’s Vote would keep one of these three women safe from eviction during the first week. Will America vote to keep Alyssa, Paloma or Brittany safe? Who will Daniel nominate for eviction? And what other twists will be in store over the first week of the new BB season?

What To Expect This Season: For the uninitiated, CBS will run three episodes of Big Brother each week: Sunday night will typically end with that week’s HOH nominations for eviction. Wednesday night’s episodes will feature the weekly Power of Veto (POV) Competition, where a nominee could win the POV and save themselves (or someone else) from eviction. Then Thursday night will typically be the “live eviction” episode where we learn who is voted out of the Big Brother House. What that means then, is typically you can count on this Recap landing sometime every Friday, as I’ll be putting out a weekly Recap of this season, usually the morning after the live eviction episode airs. I say “typically” because we may also have some additional Recaps from time to time whenever it is warranted by game twists or big in-game news or occurrences.

Then of course, you can check out the BB “Live Feeds” to check in on the houseguests all Summer long, available on Paramount+.

Speaking of the live feeds and this column, I usually will stick to what is shown on the episodic broadcasts of Big Brother and will not spoil much (or any) of what occurs on the Live Feeds in-between episodes. So you can read this Recap worry-free that I’ll be spoiling anything that hasn’t happened already on the show. If there are any exceptions to this, I’ll be sure to post “spoiler warnings” before mentioning anything from the live feeds.

Also of note, the Big Brother 24 Finale is set for September 25th, meaning we have a LONG way to go still and we’re just getting started. I hope you join me this Summer and be sure to leave your thoughts and comments below all season long!

Final Thoughts: Before we go, as promised, here are my first impressions on this season’s cast…Overall, I didn’t feel wowed by them, but the structure of the first episode left very little room for us to get to know any of these players, as it was all about intros, exposition and comps. Surely we’ll have lots of time to get to know this crew. The fact that I was already annoyed by Kyle though has me hoping he has the same affect on the other houseguests as he did on me. There seemed to be a lot of people claiming to be “super-fans” of the show, which makes you wonder if a contestant DIDN’T mention that they are a super-fan, does that mean they are completely clueless? I liked Nicole overall I think…something about her tells me that she will be a strong player, a strong personality and a likable houseguest. Pooch has some early power, but his tight pants, lack of socks and overall look doesn’t exactly exude a vibe of “trustworthy.” And ticking off the women of the house right away probably isn’t a great strategic move. We know very little about what kind of player Daniel is or will be, so this season will really start to take shape once we see the game really begin coming on Sunday’s episode.

BB SCOREBOARD:

Current HOH: Daniel (1)

Backstage Manager (safe for first vote, cannot vote and cannot compete during first week): Pooch

Backstage Passes (cannot vote and cannot compete during the first week, but can face eviction): Alyssa, Brittany, Paloma

America’s Vote: Keep Alyssa, Brittany or Paloma safe from week one eviction

UPCOMING EPISODES:

Sunday, 7/10 – Nominations

Wednesday, 7/13 – POV Comp and Ceremony

Thursday, 7/14 – Next Live Eviction

TELL US – WHAT WAS YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSION OF BIG BROTHER 24? WILL YOU BE WATCHING THIS SEASON? WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE TARGETED FIRST?

[Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved]