'Celebrity Big Brother' premiere recap: Houseguests enter the house and Ryan Lochte and Jonathan Bennett face shocking HoH twist
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/22/2019
Celebrity Big Brother's Season 2 houseguests entered the Big Brother house and completed the first Head of Household competition but a winner was not determined thanks to a new surprise twist unveiled during Monday night's premiere episode on CBS.
The Celebrity Big Brother broadcast began with viewers being introduced to the Season 2 celebrity houseguests.
Former Olympic swimming medalist and What Would Ryan Lochte Do? star Ryan Lochte insisted he has transformed from a party boy with a wild lifestyle to a family man with a wife and child. Ryan acknowledged his reputation isn't great but he has changed a lot.
In addition to Ryan, the six other male houseguests competing on this season are actor and TV host Jonathan Bennett, actor and comedian Tom Green, actor and former O.J. Simpson houseguest Kato Kaelin, actor and singer Joey Lawrence, former White House director of communications and financier Anthony Scaramucci, and former superstar NFL running back Ricky Williams.
Anthony explained he got fired from the White House for "using a few curse words," but he "still gets along with" President Donald Trump and talks to him "once or twice a month."
And the ladies starring on Celebrity Big Brother this season are singer and Braxton Family Values star Tamar Braxton, singer and The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss, Olympic track and bobsled star Lolo Jones, Lindsay Lohan's mother Dina Lohan, and former WWE wrestler and Total Divas star Natalie Eva Marie.
Tamar and Natalie proved they are going to pack a punch for this "action-packed, month-long game," according to Big Brother host Julie Chen.
And Dina said of her famous family, "We've been through tabloid-ism, which was horrible -- horrible. The haters are just trying to find a story, but most people in our lives around us love us, because we are real!"
The celebrities will be spending about three weeks living in the Big Brother house, with over 80 HD cameras and over 100 microphones recording their every move 24 hours a day as they compete in competitions and try to avoid getting evicted from the house.
Tamar planned to hide the fact she's a Super Fan from her fellow houseguests, while Lolo feared people would associate her Olympic connection with Ryan -- who has won 12 Olympic medals -- to be a threat. Lolo didn't want to become a target or be viewed as a power couple with Ryan.
The second half of this season's houseguests were then shown moving in.
Jonathan was a little starstruck by Ryan and Lolo, and Kandi admitted she had experience "good times and bad times" with Tamar given their involvement in the music industry.
Tom joked he had something in common with Anthony, that they were both fired by President Trump. (Tom had competed on The Celebrity Apprentice and was fired in the boardroom).
Tamar noted that Joey looked "fine," and the cast all seemed to love Joey from watching him on television years ago.
Julie then announced a Season 2 twist to the group -- that two of them would become Celebrity Big Brother's first-ever "power pair," like Beyonce and Jay-Z.
The houseguests therefore learned they would be competing in the first Head of Household competition of Season 2 in pairs.
Julie explained, however, only five pairs would compete and so two individuals must sit out the competition and have no shot at becoming the first HoH.
Ryan's name was apparently picked in a random draw, so he was afforded the opportunity to pick his partner first. Ryan wanted to pick someone who would be "the brains" to his "brawn," and so he selected Jonathan instead of an athlete.
Tamar then chose Kandi in attempt to "extend an olive branch," so they could be cool in the house together.
Joey picked Ricky, Lolo selected Tom, and then Dina chose to have Anthony on her team.
Kato and Natalie were not chosen to play, however, Julie announced they would both be safe at the season's first live eviction. Kato and Natalie were thrilled, and Natalie said, "Who knew not being wanted was a good thing!"
For the Head of Household competition dubbed "Drinks On Us," each pair dressed up like stars from old movies and were required to transfer champagne from a giant bottle on one side of the yard to a giant champagne glass on the other side of the yard while sitting in swings.
Only one member of the winning pair would become the winner of Celebrity Big Brother's first Head of Household competition.
The houseguests had trouble figuring out how to use the swings at first, but Ryan and Jonathan were the first team to successfully move and work together.
The competition took hours, according to Joey, who got to the point where he was just hoping somebody would win.
"I know I said I didn't want to win, but I can't help myself!" Lolo said in the Diary Room. "I see Lochte over there and I want to destroy him! Crush, destroy, kill! Lochte, I'm about to send you back to the kiddy pool."
In the end, Ryan and Jonathan won the competition, and then Julie revealed the "next big twist of the game."
"[We] need to find out which of you will become Head of Household, and there is more at stake than you could ever imagine. The two of you must now battle against each other," Julie told the guys, who looked at each other in disbelief.
"Please be swimming, please be swimming," Ryan joked.
Julie confirmed the winner would become Head of Household, while the loser would become the first nominee of the season in jeopardy of being the first evicted houseguest from Season 2 of Celebrity Big Brother.
Ryan was shocked but bragged that he's "made for competition" and so this was going to be a tough one for Jonathan.
"What?! This is crazy! I could be on the block. I don't know how I'm going to beat a 12-time Olympic medalist, but I have several participation trophies, so watch out Lochte! Mr. Congeniality is coming for you!" Jonathan said in a confessional.