Big Brother may always be watching, but CBS is taking great pains to ensure Big Brother: All-Stars will always be watched.
"Chicken" George Boswell, Will "Dr. Evil" Kirby and his "Chill Town" ally Mike "Boogie" Malin are among the finalists who will compete for the house-arrested reality show's seventh season bragging rights and a $500,000 grand prize.
Julie "RoboChen" Chen made the announcement at the start of Thursday night's premiere, and in doing so revealed the first twist of the summer season--an even more cluttered homestead. There would be 14 contenders this season, instead of the dozen contestants originally supposed to make the cut from a pool of 20 former house mates chosen by show producers. (Alas, not all of them have catchy nicknames.)
Two weeks ago, CBS announced the list for viewers to whittle down. (Unfortunately, about two-and-a-half weeks ago, CBS.com inadvertently spilled the names in an online poll, thereby making the official announcement both anticlimactic and unnecessary.)
After 15.7 million votes were cast, the top eight recipients automatically got a key to the house. The remaining six housemates were chosen by producers to ratchet up the drama.
And once again, a technical gaffe left little surprise in the announcement to some viewers.
Like the list of contestant hopefuls before it, the names of the 14 finalists were accidentally made public prior to the airing of the West Coast premiere. After the housemates were revealed on the East Coast, the contestants immediately checked into the Big Brother house in Studio City, where a live camera feed was set up and made available online to subscribers.
For a little over an hour, fans were not only able to learn strategies and conversations of the housemates but also their names.
In any case, the Thursday premiere managed to win its time slot, with 7.7 million viewers, per CBS.
The first eviction takes place Sunday night.
Here's a complete list of contenders for Big Brother All-Stars:
"Chicken" George Boswell, 47, BB1 Will Kirby, 33, BB2 Mike "Boogie" Malin, 35, BB2 Marcellas Reynolds, 33, BB3 Danielle Reyes, 34, BB3 Alison Irwin, 25, BB4 Erika Landin, 36, BB4 Jennifer "Nakomis" Dedmon, 23, BB5 Diane Henry, 24, BB5 Jase Wirey, 30, BB5 Howie Gordon, 35, BB6 Janelle Pierzina, 26, BB6 James Rhine, 30, BB6 Kaysar Ridha, 25, BB6