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'Celebrity Big Brother' host Julie Chen reveals house changes and celebrity "special treatment"


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/07/2018 

Celebrity Big Brother host Julie Chen admits there were some advantages to entering the Big Brother house as a celebrity versus a regular houseguest.

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When Celebrity Big Brother premieres Wednesday night on CBS at 8PM ET/PT, 11 celebrities will enter the house and play a condensed and highly-concentrated game of competitions and evictions to win $250,000.

While these celebrities will play a very similar format to regular Big Brother -- which has aired 19 seasons on CBS -- Julie told Providence's CBS affiliate, WPRI-TV, that "two major things" were called into question when designing this new season fit for famous faces.

"Part of the charm of regular Big Brother is that if there's 16 to 18 people and there's only nine or 10 beds -- and it's kind of funny because strangers are like, 'Oh, we're the last group in. Do we have to share a bed? Hi, my name is so and so.' But for celebrities, we weren't going to make them do that," Julie revealed.

"Everybody knows celebrities get special treatment, and the Big Brother house was no different. We were like, 'Okay, let's give everyone their own bed.' So there was that."

Another arguably cruel rule to make celebrities potentially follow in the game is eating slop when one is a "Have Not." As Big Brother fans are well aware, slop is a bland-tasting meal that looks like oatmeal, and a houseguest could be forced to eat it for a whole week.

"But believe it or not, some of the Celebrity Big Brother houseguests, they are Super Fans who actually requested that we have slop be part of the rules this year," Julie disclosed to WPRI-TV.

"They don't want special treatment. People who are diehard fans like Shannon Elizabeth, she's like, 'I'm all in. I want to try everything. Don't hold back just for us.'"

One might think a couple of weeks in the Big Brother house would be stressful for these houseguests considering they are recorded 24 hours a day and unable to use cell phones or watch TV, but Julie Chen said many of them viewed the experience like "a vacation."

"I mean, have you ever lost your cell phone only to feel a little bit, kind of, relieved?" Julie pointed out.

Celebrity Big Brother is definitely a test for CBS, but Julie has high expectations and is very excited about this special season.

"This has been a long time in the making. I never thought I would see this day come, because we had explored it. After Season 2, we talked about it, but then it just got too expensive," Julie explained to the TV station.

"And to be quite honest, we were hard-pressed to find American celebrities that were willing to be locked up in a house for up to three months. But because... Celebrity Big Brother is only two-and-a-half weeks, it was much easier to find celebrities who can leave their regular jobs and are willing to leave their homes."

The celebs include former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault, former NBA player Metta World Peace, former The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville, Big Time Rush singer James Maslow, Hairspray Broadway star Marissa Jaret Winokur, and Miss Universe 2015 Ariadna Gutierrez.



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