Big Brother 1


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Big Brother 1

Big Brother 1, known at the time as Big Brother 2000 (much like the international versions, which do not use numbers to classify each season, but the year they were broadcast), is the debut season of the American version of the international reality show Big Brother. It was the first series to be broadcast in English, premiering only days before the British version (however in the British version, the housemates had gone into the house 5 days prior to the start of Big Brother in the US). Seventy episodes aired from July 5 to September 29, 2000. Julie Chen, a host of CBS This Morning and The Early Show, was named the host.

Interestingly, although the success of Survivor: Borneo in the summer of 2000 is generally seen as the forerunner to the reality show trend which followed, Big Brother was the only other major network reality show to be airing at that same time.

Although later seasons of the show followed a radically different format, the debut season of Big Brother followed the same format as the other international versions of the show.


Each week the HouseGuests would nominate two fellow HouseGuests for banishment. The two HouseGuests with the most nominations were then put up for a vote by the viewing public who selected which HouseGuest to be banished, via a 900 number. However, problems with the public voting system included the fact that the most controversial contestants were banished (evicted) early in the game, leaving the least colorful contestants in the house. Also, the 900 number allowed for mass voting and in one memorable week contestant George's family and his hometown of Rockford, Illinois organized a mass-voting campaign to flood the phone lines in his favor.

Unlike in later seasons, the HouseGuests did not compete against each other for food or positions of power. Rather they had to undergo various tasks of endurance or problem-solving, such as puzzles, or dancing for a full day without stopping, and if successful it resulted in a reward.

Differences in Season One

This season featured unique rules or events not featured in any later season:

* Unlike later seasons the show aired six times a week; a one hour live studio show, four half-hour daily recap episodes, and a one hour weekly recap episode.

* In this season, the 24-hour live internet feeds were entirely free to the viewing public while later, the feeds would involve a subscriber cost.

* For the first few Live Eviction shows, Julie Chen had a co-host, Ian O'Malley, who would greet the HouseGuests after they were banished, and direct them to the live studio.

* In live eviction episodes, Julie Chen was frequently joined in-studio by TV and radio personality "Dr. Drew" Pinsky, to discuss psychological and interpersonal aspects of ongoing events. Also joining Julie was Regina Lewis as the "AOL Online Adviser", Regina highlighted online forum discussions and shared results from online polls. Neither "Dr. Drew" Pinsky nor Regina Lewis returned in subsequent seasons.

* In this season only, the house's front door exited into the open air and departing HouseGuests were greeted by cheering fans, before being directed to a studio to be interviewed by Julie. For future seasons, the house's front door exited into a closed studio, until it was announced that Big Brother 10 in 2008 would feature a return to a live audience attending eviction episodes.

* As the number of HouseGuests dwindled, the show started losing viewers, and producer Paul Romer hoped to spice up the proceedings on Day 64 by offering to pay one of the HouseGuests $20,000 to leave and be replaced with a new, more interesting HouseGuest. Romer bragged in the media that they would have no problem getting a contestant to leave. On the Wednesday live show, viewers were introduced to Beth, an alternate from the casting process who described herself as being "opinionated" and "a bitch." Despite prodding from Julie Chen to take what began as $20,000, and was increased to $50,000, none of the HouseGuests would take the money and leave the game.

* Although the HouseGuests were cut off from the outside world, the courtyard of the house was completely uncovered. Viewers quickly realized this and began to hire airplanes pulling large banners containing messages meant to communicate with the HouseGuests. This continued on the second season but by the third season the HouseGuests were instructed to not read plane banners, oftentimes they were moved into the house whenever an airplane with a banner flew overhead. (Illustrated in the tenth season when a plane banner meant for someone else flew overhead and houseguests started to conspire what it said) Viewers realized this quickly too, and would fly banners over during Endurance competitions when they couldn't be ordered to come in. (Seen in Big Brother 8 when a banner during an endurance competition made an impact on the game)

* On August 9, a pug named Chiquita was introduced to the house. Shortly after entering the house, Chiquita jumped into the pool, and Josh jumped in to save her; shortly thereafter, the producers built a fence around the pool for protection.  As well, there were chickens in the backyard that the HouseGuests were supposed to take care of. When Chiquita's owners took her home, they even showed a picture of her with the "Banished" stamp over it like every other HouseGuest who had been banished.

* A narrator would briefly introduce the topic of discussion each time a new scene or scenario was being shown. Also, the show would often feature the voices of Big Brother producers, both in diary room interviews and over the house loudspeakers. In future seasons, there is no voiceover narration during the show (except at the beginning to recap the last episode), and what the producers say in the Diary Room is normally not shown (with a few exceptions).

* The theme song for Season One was called "Live," and was performed by Jonathan Clarke. Bits and pieces of the song were played during the closing credits of each episode, but was never played in its entirety. The song is available on a hard-to-find soundtrack CD produced by the Dutch show producers, along with the first-season theme songs of shows in Argentina, Spain, and Germany. An instrumental version of the theme, heavy on acoustic guitar and/or saxophones, were used for the opening credits and interstitials.

* The first season of Big Brother has generally been ignored by CBS after it has aired. While all others seasons had a "Where are they now?" segments on the following season, this did not occur for the Season 1 contestants on Big Brother 2. The official website for Big Brother 1 has been removed, although this is because the site was maintained by AOL, not, and was deleted prior to the premiere of Big Brother 2. Will Kirby, the eventual winner of the following season, admitted on the live feeds during Big Brother 7: All-Stars that during Big Brother 2, the producers had told the HouseGuests not to mention Big Brother 1. Clips from Big Brother 1 were shown on Big Brother All-Stars: America's Vote, as George Boswell was the only potential candidate from Big Brother 1. A never-used version of the present Big Brother logo, Big Brother 1, replaced the logo originally used for that season. Big Brother 1 was not mentioned by the contestants of subsequent seasons until season 7.

Redesign of show after Season One

Having spent millions to secure the American TV rights and construct a house for the show, CBS engineered a major overhaul for the second season. Paul Romer was removed from the production, and the role of Endemol was greatly scaled back. Producers Arnold Shapiro and Allison Grodner were brought in and completely reworked the program.

While most international versions of the show, including Big Brother UK and Big Brother Australia, still follow this original "fly on the wall" format, only the US version moved to a more strategy and competition-based show to better fit the format of American reality television. For example, in most international versions of the show, HouseGuests are actually forbidden from discussing nominations or voting plans, while in the US version it is highly encouraged.

In addition to the new rules and fewer recap shows per week, the ratings were boosted by casting stronger personalities and younger, attractive people making up the majority of the HouseGuests.



Brittany Petros from Robbinsdale, Minnesota, most known for her spunk and wildly varying hair color. Currently, Brittany is an actress and has done casting work for several reality shows. She was the fourth person to be sent home.  


Cassandra Waldon is a communications director at the United Nations from Havre de Grace, Maryland. She was the fifth person sent home.  


Curtis Kin is a lawyer from New York City currently employed with the Domestic Security and Immigration Crimes Section of the U.S. attorney’s office. Curtis was the second runner-up of Big Brother 1, winning $50,000. 


Eddie McGee was the winner of Big Brother 1 and $500,000. Eddie was from Commack, New York and became an amputee when he lost his leg to cancer prior to going on the show. Recently, Eddie has appeared in music videos for the band Fozzy.  


George Boswell, nicknamed Chicken George, was a roofer from Rockford, Illinois. After his time on the show, George quit the roofing business and began doing promotion jobs for the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. At one point in the show, he tried to encourage his fellow housemates to walk-out in protest the show's rules. In 2006, George moved into the Big Brother: All Stars house, but was evicted in the eighth week. 


Jamie Kern (born July 16, 1977) is a beauty queen from Seattle, Washington. Kern graduated from Washington State University, and became Miss Washington USA in late 1999. She was marked for banishment in week 12, and was banished on Day 85. After Big Brother, Jamie appeared in an episode of Baywatch and has since become a reporter for a local television station. Kern graduated with an MBA from Columbia Business School in 2004, worked as an anchor for KNDU until 2006 and then moved Portland, Oregon where she worked for local Fox affiliate KPTV. She also hosted the Miss Washington USA 2006 pageant. 


Jean Jordan, who went by her last name, Jordan, was an exotic dancer from Roanoke, Virginia. She was banished for making waves with the other contestants. Notably, Jordan was the only Big Brother contestant to receive major media coverage upon leaving the house. Unlike the Survivor contestants, Jordan was the only houseguest to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman and later went on to mock Big Brother in the media, noting what a bad show it was, and saying that she should have held out for Survivor: The Australian Outback. In one of the series' most memorable moments, Jordan went so far as to ridicule the theme song on the final episode, telling host Julie Chen "... You know, I'm just living like I'm living today, I'm feeling the thrill of life, and I'm not afraid, Julie."' 


Josh Souza was the runner-up of Big Brother 1. Souza appeared on an episode of the show Blind Date and co-produced the film The Scorned, written and co-produced by fellow reality star Rob Cesternino (Survivor: The Amazon, Survivor: All Stars) with an all-reality-star cast. 


Karen Fowler, divorcee, was a contestant on Big Brother 1. She was most remembered for asking to divorce her husband on national television. She had also asked the television audience to vote for her to leave the Big Brother house since she missed her kids. Karen was marked for banishment in Week 6, and was banished on Day 43. Brittany revealed that Karen had moved to Los Angeles and settled there with her family. 

William (Will-Mega) 

William Collins is a politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who stood unsuccessfully for Philadelphia City Council. William was the 1st person banished in the history of Big Brother USA. He was known for being banished after he called out fellow houseguest Brittany Petros on her supposedly racist ways. In the season finale, he was also critical of the show saying that without him, Big Brother was "Big Boring". The episode where he got banished it was revealed that he was a Black Panther.

Weekly Summary

Week 1 Entrances
  • Brittany, Cassandra, Curtis, Eddie, George, Jaime, Jordan, Josh, Karen, and William entered the House on Day 1.
  • The first weekly task was for HouseGuests to build a clock powered by potatoes or go without knowing time in the house.
  • Their food task was to solve a word puzzle and dig 1-foot left of lemon tree for $100 worth of food.
Week 2 Tasks
  • In Week 2, the HouseGuests study names for a week and decide if they are dead or alive. They are allowed 3 misses. The HouseGuests fail the challenge.

William was banished on Day 16.

Week 3 Tasks
  • The third weekly task was for HouseGuests to imitate another HouseGuest.
  • Their second task was to sit and paint someone on the bicycle to capture the week long food challenge on canvas
  • The food task had the HouseGuests ride stationery bicycle for a combined total of 1000 miles.
Week 4 Tasks
  • In Week 4, the HouseGuests had to put the issue of flag burning on trial (each HouseGuest is assigned a different role of the court).
  • The second weekly task had the HouseGuests divide in three teams: blue (Eddie, George, Cassandra), white (Karen, Jordan, Brittany) and yellow (Curtis, Josh, Jamie). HouseGuests had to toss water balloons across the pool to each other. The blue team won.
  • The weekly food task had the HouseGuests set up 12,100 dominoes to fall when BB gives signal making a picture of the Big Brother logo.

Jordan was banished on Day 29.

Week 5 Tasks
  • In Week 5, the HouseGuests host a roast for Curtis and Jordan who are up for banishment.
  • The food task had six HouseGuests jump rope together 10 times. The rope turners have to recite a poem written by the HouseGuests while they jump.
Week 6 Tasks
  • In Week 6, the HouseGuests had to create a daytime talk show Jerry Springer style.
  • For the live challenge the HouseGuests had to pick who would receive a 60 second phone call. George was selected to make the call.
  • HouseGuests have to bake 8 blueberry pies and 8 raspberry pies to get ready. The Blueberries (Eddie, George, Cassandra, Brittany) vs. Raspberries (Curtis, Josh, Jamie, Karen) had to eat 8 pies. Raspberries win and get to choose how the food allowance gets spent.

Karen was banished on Day 43.

Week 7 Tasks
  • In Week 7's task, the HouseGuests play water basketball.
  • For the second task, the HouseGuests roast nominees Cassandra, Josh, and Karen.
  • For the third task, The HouseGuests have 3 minutes to decide to watch the nominations or not. If they watch, they get a prize. HouseGuests decide not to watch, and never find out what the prize is.
  • For the fourth task, HouseGuests stand in front of seated HouseGuest and be brutally honest about what they don't like about them. This is followed about what they like about them.
  • For the fifth task, HouseGuests memorize all major highways. They have to tell which interstates to take to get from one city to another.
Week 8 Tasks
  • In Week 8, the HouseGuests paint each other like animals.
  • In the second task had the HouseGuests compete in a sumo wrestling match for a prize.
  • In the third task, HouseGuests have to match quotes with HouseGuests. Last one standing wins a special prize on the live show. Jaime wins the challenge.
  • In the fourth task, HouseGuests had to build their own set of "babies" and then take turns crawling through the mud with the baby. They couldn't let the baby touch the mud.
  • For the food task, from Sunday to Friday, two HouseGuests must be dancing non stop with part of the body touching. When cued (no matter what time of day or night) ALL HouseGuests have 30 seconds to get up and dance.

Brittany was banished on Day 57.

Week 9 Tasks
  • HouseGuests compete for the title of Mr. Big Brother 2000 (won by Eddie) and Miss Big Brother 2000 (tied by Cassandra and Brittany). They get a fancy dinner with meals of their choice.
  • HouseGuests have to fill out a questionnaire revealing opinions of each other (most loyal, funniest, most two faced, etc.). They divide into two teams with Brittany as host and the game ends in a tie.
  • For the live challenge, Jamie gets a chance to cohost with Julie and does 3 tasks: Interview the HouseGuest who Jamie chooses as having the hardest time being nominated (George), introduce a video segment, and announce the banished HouseGuest.
  • In the food challenge, the HouseGuests build a puzzle with 4928 pieces by Friday. The result wasn't shown on following shows.
Week 10 Tasks
  • Discuss whether they would be willing to split the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize money.
  • In part one of the live challenge, the HouseGuests are offered $20,000 to leave (only one can accept) and don't know a new HouseGuest named Beth will enter the house. They turn it down. They are then offered an additional $30,000 (total $50,000) to leave and turn it down again. Beth doesn't get to enter the house. She was told that she would only win $140,000 if she were to enter the house and win.
  • In part two, Brittany visits and HouseGuests must decide which HouseGuest gets to talk to her.
  • In the third task, HouseGuests name price of item another HouseGuest wants and must come within $1 for that HouseGuest to get it.
  • For the food task, the HouseGuests train Chiquita to go through an obstacle course. They complete the challenge

Cassandra was banished on Day 71.

Week 11 Tasks
  • In a luxury competition, HouseGuests told to search the house and find a ticket to go to the Emmy Awards. Curtis finds the ticket hanging on the wall in the Red Room.
  • In the live challenge, the HouseGuests write a message to be sent over to the banner flyer guy, made, and flown over the house by the end of the show.
  • Each HouseGuest has a chance to call home from the red room with following rules: 5 minutes total time and the clock doesn't stop.
  • In the food competition, the HouseGuests had to juggle non-stop.

George was banished on Day 78.

Week 12 Tasks
  • In Week 12, the HouseGuests write lyrics to the Big Brother theme song.
  • The second task had the HouseGuests looking for Chiquita inside the house. The one who finds her gets to announce the weather on the local TVchannel.
  • During the live challenge, HouseGuests had to decide which banished HouseGuest they want to come back into the house. After watching clips from each, they pick Cassandra.
  • The third task was to play the Big Brother Board Game.
  • For the food task, HouseGuests had to guess if statements were in the news or not.

Jaime was banished on Day 85 and Curtis, Eddie, and Josh became the final three.

Week 12

(Days 85-88)
  • HouseGuests draw cards and Josh becomes the saboteur to "manipulate some aspect of life in the house".
  • In the last task, the final 3 HouseGuests have 30 seconds to go to the red room and tell who they think should win and why.
  • On Day 88, Eddie McGee was announced as the winner of Big Brother 2000.
  • Josh left the house on Day 88 as the first runner-up, while Curtis left the house as the second runner-up.



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