There’s a new competition coming to “Big Brother” in 2021. It will debut during the Sunday, July 11 episode. Here’s what we know so far.
The New Competition Is Called the ‘Wildcard Competition’
In a recent interview with US Weekly, host Julie Chen Moonves revealed that there is going to be a new competition unveiled in the second episode of season 23.
“[W]e’re also introducing a new competition that will unveil itself on the first Sunday night show. So Sunday nights are going to be exciting for a second reason. You’re not just going to find out the two people that the Head of Household has nominated for eviction, you’re also going to have this other competition with a whole other layer to it,” said Chen Moonves.
In a separate interview with Parade, executive producers Rich Meehan and Allison Grodner elaborated on the competition, revealing that it is called the “Wildcard Competition.” Here’s how it works: each of the three teams that don’t have immunity via having the Head of Household on their team will nominate one person for the Wildcard competition. Those three houseguests will compete and one of them will win immunity. But not for their team, just individual immunity.
However, the choice to take immunity will come with a punishment that may affect only them, their entire team, or the entire house.
“For whoever wins, safety is up for grabs,” said Meehan. “But that safety will always come with a major risk/reward dilemma. So I may win safety, but how I attained that safety might make some people happy and might make some people very upset with me.”
Grodner added that the punishment will fit the crime, i.e. it won’t just be slop — “Slop would be the easy way out.”
This Feeds Into the ‘Gambler’s Summer’ Theme
Chen Moonves said that this new competition is in keeping with the premiere night offer for the new Head of Household that all feeds into the idea of this being a “gambler’s summer.”
“[At the end of the premiere], I’m going to present that Head of Household with an offer that he or she really is not going to be able to refuse. And this whole summer it’s no risk, no reward. And I’m going to present them with a double or nothing challenge. And they’re going to have just a minute to decide on their own. They can’t be influenced or huddle up and talk to their teammates about it,” said Chen Moonves, adding, “[Offers will be made] throughout the season. That’s the whole theme … it’s definitely a gambler’s summer.”
The Team Twist, Explained
In the US Weekly interview, Chen Moonves also gave more details about the teams, which is a twist not seen since season 18. Here’s how it will work:
We always like to move groups of four in at a time. So each group that moves in, they’re going to have to head right away to the backyard and compete to become the team captain. And after each group moves in, you have four captains, and what they’re going to find out then live [is] that each captain has to form a team of four. They have to pick the other members of their team. And it has to be two men, two women. And they’re doing this based off of first impressions.
They’re going to be presented with a little snippet of a houseguest describing himself or herself. And then what’s really going to heat things up is after the teams are formed, the four captains are going to compete for one of them to become Head of Household.
She also revealed that the Head of Household’s team “has safety for a week.” So presumably that means that the HOH’s team cannot be nominated or used as a re-nom if the Power of Veto is used. Now, you may ask why would an HOH want to put up one of his or her teammates, but that could actually be an interesting strategy, so we are curious to find out if the team is automatically exempt from being nominated or evicted or if Chen Moonves is just assuming that the HOH would want to keep his or her teammates safe?
Either way, the teams will be a part of the game for the first four weeks, the EPs told Parade. Since the new competition is based on the team twist, presumably it will go away after the first four weeks as well.
“Big Brother” season 23 premieres Wednesday, July 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.