'Big Brother: All-Stars' host Julie Chen reveals some houseguests tested positive for COVID-19 and won't compete on Season 22
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/05/2020
Big Brother: All-Stars host Julie Chen has revealed "some" of the returning players who quarantined for two weeks ahead of the show's Season 22 premiere tested positive for coronavirus and will not be able to play the game this year.
Big Brother: All-Stars is inching closer to its two-hour premiere on Wednesday, August 5, at 9PM ET/PT, which will feature -- for the first time ever -- houseguests moving into the Big Brother house live. (The broadcast will air on tape delay for the West Coast).
But Julie admitted she doesn't even know the official cast of Big Brother: All-Stars yet.
"I don't even know all the confirmed 16 houseguests," Julie, 50, told CBSN Los Angeles during a virtual interview on Tuesday, according toUs Weekly.
"I know it's eight women and eight men, All-Stars that we all know from seasons past... [But] I said, 'Don't even tell me, I might slip [up].' 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."
Julie revealed "a bunch of people, more than 16" were flown to Los Angeles, CA, to quarantine last month amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Julie said the potential All-Star houseguests self-isolated in individual rented homes for two weeks and were "constantly" given COVID-19 tests to determine whether it would be safe for them to live with other cast members in the house for Season 22.
"Some people I thought were definitely going in the house, they tested positive for COVID-19 so they couldn't go in," Julie reportedly said.
"And I thought, 'Well, expect the unexpected.'... I'll just find out when I need to find out."
The All-Star cast for Season 22 will include former Big Brother winners, finalists, "legends," memorable personalities and "some of the best to never win the game," according to CBS.
While the final and official cast of Big Brother: All-Stars has yet to be announced, names of potential houseguests leaked out last month as former players arrived on-location in L.A. to begin quarantining to ensure they'd be COVID-19 negative upon entering the Big Brother house.
Big Brother producers anticipated not every veteran player to quarantine would end up playing the game for Season 22, so the group included some alternates, who would only compete if a non-alternate houseguest tested positive for COVID-19 before the move-in premiere.
Given the cast is cut off from the outside world during the game, their risk of contracting coronavirus while inside theBig Brother house will be very low.
"We were the original quarantine," Julie joked of the show's premise, according to Us.
"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. They've played this game before, some of them know each other from theBig Brother world and some of them don't. But I'm sure they've all heard of each other."
Other safety measures will include supplies being disinfected, no live studio audience for Big Brother's eviction episodes, daily screens for COVID-19 symptoms, and regular coronavirus testing.
The production team will also be required to wear personal and protective equipment at all times and work in pods while social distancing.
In addition, a coronavirus compliance officer will also be on staff to monitor and enforce all health and safety protocols.
TMZ reported last month Big Brother's production team will live in RVs parked near the Big Brother "house" -- which is built inside a large Hollywood soundstage building -- and be swapped out monthly during the course of filming.
Sources told the website crew members will work and live on-location for a month, take two weeks off, spend two weeks in quarantine, and then resume work and continue the same pattern again over the course of about three months until filming wraps.
Following Big Brother's premiere on the West Coast, the live feeds will return on CBS All Access.
Big Brother: All-Stars will continue to air three episodes every week this year.
After Episode 1, Big Brother: All-Stars will air a one-hour broadcast at 8PM ET/PT on Sunday and Wednesday nights as well as a one-hour episode on Thursday nights at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.
Big Brother: All-Stars' Thursday night broadcast each week will be a live eviction episode hosted by Julie.
Big Brother typically premieres in June every year and ends in September, however given the late start,Big Brother: All-Stars will run into the fall season this year.
Big Brother follows a group of people living together in a house outfitted with 94 HD cameras and 113 microphones, recording their every move 24 hours a day.
Each week, one houseguest will be voted out of the house, unless it's a double-eviction episode, with the last remaining houseguest receiving a grand prize of $500,000.
Big Brother's 22nd season will mark only the second time in show history an All-Star cast will be featured.
Fans have been voicing their desire for another full All-Stars season for a while now. The only full All-Stars season aired back in 2006 as Season 7, which ended with Mike "Boogie" Malin being crowned champion and Erika Landin finishing as the runner-up.