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CBS reveals 'Big Brother 8' cast identities, twist and interactive details


By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 06/28/2007 

CBS has revealed the identities of the 14 houseguests who will be competing in Big Brother 8 and announced a new interactive twist that will give viewers the chance to control the actions of one of the long-running reality show's eighth-season houseguests.

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During Big Brother 8's premiere broadcast on Thursday, July 5 at 8PM ET/PT, some of the initial houseguests will be surprised to learn that -- similar to Big Brother 4's "X Factor" twist -- a "rival, enemy, or someone with whom they have unfinished business" will also be entering the Big Brother house the eighth-season contestants will call home all summer.  And if the added pressure of being reintroduced to someone CBS says they "hoped never to see again or someone with whom there is an extreme amount of tension" isn't enough for the houseguests, they'll also have to deal with a new interactive element that will allow Big Brother's home viewing audience to dish out orders like they're the game's Head of Household.

According to CBS, one of the 14 houseguests has been chosen as "America's Player," and beginning with the show's second broadcast on Sunday, July 8 broadcast at 8PM ET/PT, each Big Brother 8 episode will end with the home viewing audience being asked to vote via text messaging or the Internet on an assignment that the as-of-yet still-unidentified "America's Player" houseguest will have to complete.  The task could range from flirting with or voting out one of the other houseguests, but regardless, the "America's Player" houseguest must work in secret and at least make an attempt at completing the task asked of them.  If the houseguest can successfully complete the task, they'll be monetarily rewarded.

In addition to its usual thrice-weekly broadcasting schedule (the show will also air on Tuesdays at 9PM ET/PT beginning July 10) this season's Big Brother 8 will also feature a new previously announced live feed that will air nightly on CBS' Showtime Too cable network.  Titled Big Brother: After Dark, the spinoff will air nightly from 12AM to 3AM ET and feature footage from the same live camera feeds that are made available to subscribers of the show's 24/7 live Internet feeds.

Big Brother's eighth-season cast consists of seven men and seven women ranging in age from 20- to 44-years-old, with eight of them 26-years-old or younger.  In addition, four of the eighth-season houseguests call California home; six hail from the West Coast; and only one of the 14 is married.

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Big Brother 8's inclusion of a 20-year-old houseguest marks only the second time in eight seasons that, given alcohol is frequently made available to the show's houseguests, an American Big Brother edition has included a contestant younger than the country's legal drinking age. 

Although CBS isn't revealing exactly which houseguests are involved in the Big Brother 8's "unfinished business" twist, the fact that the casting of then 19-year-old Big Brother 4 houseguest Michelle Maradie ended up being related to the 2003 season's "X Factor" twist concept (Maradie was the ex-girlfriend of fellow fourth-season contestant David Lane) would seem to indicate that the eighth season's underage houseguest is likely similarly involved in the new season's "unfinished business" twist.  And unless Kansas has suddenly turned into a reality TV casting hotbed, a pair of 21-year-old female Kansas college students would also appear to form the basis of another fairly obvious "unfinished business" pairing.

In addition to the season's twist, CBS has also revealed that Big Brother's two-story house -- which was first introduced two seasons ago and replaced the single-story building that had served as the home of the show's first five seasons -- has been redecorated to reflect a strange Alice in Wonderland-like "fractured fairy tale" theme. (Take a photo tour of the Big Brother 8 house)

"We've got a bedroom where you feel very big and a bedroom where you feel very small!" Big Brother executive producer Allison Grodner told TV Guide. "There is a room that has five beds, but essentially you are living in a dollhouse because all of the beds are only 5 feet long and all the chairs are child-size and low to the ground. So our 6-foot-plus contestants -- and we have quite a few of them -- are going to be quite uncomfortable. Then in the room that is oversized, to get to the top drawer of the dresser, you have to climb up steps. It is fun and a fantasy thing that brings you back to your childhood, but imagine living there for 80 days."

Watch <a class=Big Brother 8 24/7 on SuperPass" src="http://www.qksrv.net/image-2069708-10484433" width=300 border=0>
"Big Brother slop" -- the oatmeal-like staple that replaced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as the show's punishment food during last year's Big Brother: All-Stars -- will also return for the show's eighth season.  "After the success of slop last year, we've decided we're doing it again," Grodner told TV Guide.  "PB&J was like lobster compared to slop. They were living life easy."

Big Brother 8 is being executive produced by Grodner and Rich Meehan, in association with Endemol USA.  It will once again be hosted by Julie Chen, the CBS news anchor who has hosted all eight seasons of the show.

The 14 contestants who will be competing for Big Brother 8's $500,000 grand prize are:

- Amber, a separated 27-year-old cocktail waitress from Las Vegas, NV

- Carol, a single 21-year-old student from Lawrence, KS

- Danielle, a single 20-year-old waitress from Huntington Beach, CA 
 
- Dick, a single 44-year-old bar manager from Los Angeles, CA 

- Dustin, a single 22-year-old shoe salesman from Chicago, IL

- Eric, a single 27-year-old talent management assistant from New York, NY

- Jameka, a single 28-year-old school counselor from Waldorf, MD

- Jen, a single 23-year-old nanny from Beverly Hills, CA

- Jessica, a single 21-year-old college student from Haysville, KS

- Joe, a single 23-year-old receptionist from Chicago, IL

- Kail, a married 37-year-old business owner from McKenzie Bridge, OR

- Mike, a single 26-year-old painting contractor from Three Lakes, WI

- Nick, a single 25-year-old former professional football player from Kimball, MN

- Zach, a single 30-year-old graphic designer from Burbank, CA

(Photos credit Cliff Lipson/CBS)

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