Big Brother kicked off a new season on Wednesday, and host Julie Chen Moonves has some unexpected twists in store for the 16 new contestants. From a new grand prize to a surprising offer for one contestant, season 23 is looking to really throw some curveballs.
The show began by introducing the new houseguests, four at a time, to this season’s poker-themed BB House and then having them compete in a competition in which they had to recreate a poster by assembling different elements together as quickly as possible.
After one winner from each group was determined — Julie revealed that this season would be played by dividing the house guests into teams of four and each of the winners of the show’s first challenge would be team captains.
After drafting teams via an elaborate slot machine-themed ceremony, the casino vibe of the season continued with the first Head of Household Competition. Each of the teams — The Jokers, The Kings, The Aces and The Queens — had to build a house of cards using oversized cards balanced on a platform held by the team members.
Brandon “Frenchie” French — the captain of The Jokers — led his team to victory, making him this week’s HOH and securing safety for his team when it comes to the first elimination.
Then, the first big surprise of the night was revealed — after years of the show’s grand prize being $500,000, this season they are upping it to a whopping $750,000! This lead to some significant rejoicing from the show’s highly enthusiastic new cast.
However, the show has been hinting at a “game changing offer” that would be made to one contestant at the end of the premiere. Leaning into the gambling motif, Julie surprised Frenchie with an offer that was legitimately enticing.
If he gambled his title as HOH — and the safety of his team this week — he would have the change to win two full weeks of safety and immunity from elimination for everyone on his team. All he would have to do is throw two large foam dice onto a craps table from about 20 feet away, and both dice would have to be resting on the platform at the end of 45 seconds.
However, if he failed, he would lose his HOH title, and he and his teammates would not be safe from the chopping block later this week.
While two weeks sounded enticing, Frenchie told Julie, “Some things are more important than a game, and I miss my family. I’m keeping the HOH.” However, just because he declined, Julie said everyone was interested in seeing whether or not Frenchie could have pulled it off.
As it turns out, Frenchie managed to pull it off with only a second left. But who knows if he could have performed with his safety and HOH title on the line?
Big Brother Season 23 returns Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS!
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