Big Brother season 19 is off and running this summer on CBS. This season, temptation is the name of the game as Houseguests will be challenged like never before through all new challenges and incentives, but every temptation comes with a consequence.
Ahead of tonight’s first live eviction special, CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke with Big Brother host Julie Chen on the show’s new theme and what to expect from this season’s crop of Houseguests.
MW: Hi Julie, how are you?
JC: I’m good! And yourself?
MW: Doing great! So, this season of Big Brother is being called “The Summer of Temptation.” How will the theme of temptation come into effect this year?
JC: Well, every year the game of Big Brother is about these Houseguests making tough choices, and now they have more tough choices to make. Every week, we let America vote on which house guest they want to provide a temptation to, walk into this room that we call the ‘Den of Temptation.’ Just to give you an example, the first week America chose Paul, who was a fan-favorite last season and the only Houseguest this season who’s played the game before, he’s a larger than life guy, people liked him – he was the first runner up. So, he walked into this room and he gets presented with a choice: America wants to give you a necklace called the ‘Pendant of Protection.’ With this pendant, you are safe for the next three weeks, you cannot get evicted for the next three weeks. As you know if you watch Big Brother, one person gets voted out every week so this is a huge leg up in the game.
But, if you choose this temptation, if you accept the necklace, you are going to unleash some sort of consequence upon the house. You don’t know who it’s going to affect, but it’s going to hurt someone else’s game. As luck would have it, for Ramsey, his number got picked and he got the curse, he got the consequence. The consequence is that sometime within the next three weeks, Ramsey needs to nominate himself for eviction [makes womp-womp noise, laughs]. Every chance we get, we are presenting the Houseguests with choices that they have to make – sometimes in secret, sometimes in front of others.
The last head of household competition, we broke up the Houseguests into teams of four and we said, ‘When we start this game, if you see a golden apple and you pick it up for yourself, you guarantee yourself safety for the week but, you will also automatically cancel your three teammates from competing for Head Of Household this week.’ What did Josh do, that big burly guy from Miami? He has been so paranoid since the minute he walked in, he didn’t have a target on his back, but he felt like he did. He took that golden apple and automatically exposed himself to the rest of the house as a guy who is a little bit selfish, not a team player. It won him safety this week, but I don’t think it won him any friends. So, it’s all about choices in the Big Brother house. This year, because of the theme and twists, there are more difficult choices to make every time you turn your head.
MW: You mentioned the ‘Den of Temptation,’ which seems absolutely perfect given the theme. Is that your favorite thing about the house this year? What’s really caught your eye about the new house?
JC: Well, I definitely love how we outfitted the house to look like the modern-day interpretation of the Garden of Eden. You know, apple trees, bite the apple, unleash some horrible ripple effect on the Houseguests. But, I really love the Houseguests, the game of Big Brother is really all about casting.
You need big, bold people who are not wallflowers, who are competitors, and who kind of take things to the edge, if you will. As we saw with Cody this week, he was the first head of household. Every summer, no matter what personality you are in the house, if you win head of household you always get a little drunk with power. You have everybody kissing your butt, campaigning to not get nominated. You’re king or queen for the week and you start getting a little drunk with power. We saw it happen with Cody, he’s no different – he’s human!
He [Cody] didn’t know that this Pendant of Protection existed and that his arch enemy, the person that for whatever reason he wants out with a vengeance had it – he wants Paul out. I think it’s all because Paul didn’t give him a friendship bracelet that first night.
MW: Wow, temptations already leading to major consequences right out of the box. Thank you so much for the time today Julie and good luck with the rest of the new season!
JC: Thank you Matt, good to be with you.
Tune into Big Brother tonight at 9 PM ET (delayed PT) for the first live eviction ceremony of the season, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.