Big Brother is back!
The reality show is set to premiere on Wednesday (August 5) with all-star contestants from previous seasons. Not only are fans of the long-running show in the dark about who, exactly, those contestants are, host Julie Chen revealed she doesn't even know who's set to return to the house. While chatting with CBSN Los Angeles earlier this week, Chen also shared some behind-the-scenes protocols the show is taking to ensure everybody remains safe and healthy while filming during a global pandemic.
“I don’t even know all the confirmed 16 houseguests,” Chen began. “I know it’s eight women and eight men, all-stars that we all know from seasons past. I said, ‘Don’t even tell me, I might slip.’ I mean, I know some of the names that are most likely going in, but I don’t want to know all the names until I’m done talking to you.”
While 16 will be the final number of contestants participating on the show, Chen shared that they actually flew in more people just in case anybody tested positive for COVID-19. This ended up being the right decision because multiple potential contestants did end up testing positive. “We flew in a bunch of people, more than 16,” she explained. “And some people I thought were definitely going in the house, they tested positive for COVID-19 so they couldn’t go in. And I thought, ‘Well, expect the unexpected.’ ’ll just find out when I need to find out.”
Each contestant had to quarantine for two weeks before moving in to the house. They were each set up in their own rented home to stay in for the duration of the quarantine. During that time, Chen said they were "constantly" given COVID-19 tests to ensure they had not contracted the virus before filming began.
Chen joked about the show's premise, as well, calling Big Brother "the original quarantine” because it keeps the contestants sequestered away from the rest of the world. “We did this 20 years ago and it’s like, we were ahead of our time. And now we’re all living in quarantine. It’s going to be interesting," she said. "They’ve played this game before, some of them know each other from the Big Brother world and some of them don’t. But I’m sure they’ve all heard of each other.”
Big Brother: All-Stars will air on CBS Wednesday, August 5, at 9 p.m. ET. Will you be tuning in?