One of my personal traditions every year is to go through the bios of the new Big Brother contestants and form superficial judgments based on random details, physical appearance, and sometimes nothing at all. Well, CBS revealed the cast for this 15th (!!) iteration earlier this week, which means it’s time for me to get to work. After the jump, check out my flash impressions of the new cast based solely on their photos and bios (and not their videos, which I only watch after I finish the post)…
Here’s what I don’t like about Aaryn right from the get-go: her name. Happily joining the ranks of many, many reality stars before her, Aaryn has one of those ridiculously spelled monikers with excessive vowels and y’s (a phenomenon that reached its height with Real World: Cancun’s Ayiiia). The worst part is that you just know her name is pronounced “Erin,” but her parents decided to be wacky and spell it like a demented seal would. Nevertheless, I have a simple rule: never trust anyone whose name is an anagram for ARYAN (or Hitler, for that matter).
Getting beyond the name — if it’s even possible — we see some other peculiarities in Aaryn’s profile: she loves Zumba, she loves to craft, and she loves meeting people. So in other words: she’s boring. And if that weren’t proof enough, her life’s motto is “What you think about, you bring about,” which I guess means there’ll be a lot of Zumba and crafting manifesting itself in the house this summer.
In other news, Aaryn hopes that Big Brother will put her dreams on fast-track, and since she has yet to actually declare any dreams, we’ll have to assume in this case her aspirations are merely a life full of Zumba and crafting. When not gyrating or gluing, Aaryn thinks about the Big Brother house, in which she fears “my trusting nature could be my downfall.” I suppose Aaryn means she inherently trusts people to a fault, but there’s a part of me that believes her “trusting nature” could simply mean she has way too much faith in trees and bushes and shrubbery and if that’s the case, then yes, that WILL be her downfall.
Oh my gawd. It’s a Jewess from LAWNG ISLAND. As far as we can tell, Amanda looks like a no-nonsense pitbull with big boobs. She seems to have a pretty matter-of-fact attitude, stating that she’ll miss her friends, family, dog, and job, but hey “they will be there when I get back.” Are you sure about that, sister friend? I’m already having images of Amanda returning home in September: her house vacant, embarrassed family members off in hiding, dog already halfway to the next state.
On the plus side, Amanda says that if she were to win Big Brother she would use the fame to further her real estate career and “ride the five minute fame wave.” Good for her for realizing she’s not afforded fifteen whole minutes. But oh, isn’t it adorable that she thinks there’ll even be a wave at all?
Drumroll please: we have our gay of the season! Introducing Andy, a chatty ginger professor from Chicago whose profile length seems to rival the Vietnam War’s Wikipedia page. I automatically brace to hate the token gay, if only because so many of them have been so awful, and at first, I was afraid Andy would be like the rest of them. His profile starts by declaring his love of improv, candy, laughing (groan), playing with puppies (this has to be tongue-in-cheek), and making lists. But then, then he also states that he loves to teach “my family’s cockatiel to call my dad ‘gurl.'” Okay, Andy, I am converted. That is the funniest sh*t I’ve ever seen in all these stupid Big Brother bios.
Furthermore, I really appreciate this under his list of fears: “people who enjoy Tyler Perry movies.” [full disclosure: I saw Temptation and thought it was the best comedy of the year]
To be fair, Andy does veer into the precious: what would he take into the house? His baby blanket and Skittles. Ugh. Just cool it, Andy. Stay away from cute, stick with snarky, and we’ll be A-OK.
What I like about Candice: her name. I can already imagine myself calling her Caaaandissss Stewrt all summer. What I also like: her look. With her denim vest, big hair, and arms on the waist, Candice is like that tomboy neighbor girl in every ’80s sitcom. You know the type: all tough and ready with a sarcastic quip, but deep down inside she just wants to be pretty and get taken to the prom by her male friend, often named Brian or Wesley or Kevin. Poor Candice. She really is some kind of wonderful.
Anyway, Candice says the most difficult part of Big Brother will be not knowing what’s going on in the world, which is hilarious because we all know that Big Brother contestants NEVER know what’s going on in the world, even if they had CNN perpetually downloaded into their brain, Matrix style. Candice’s strategy is to be “smart and quick on my feet at all times. It is a game after all.” Is that to say that outside of the game, she’s dumb and very slow? Perhaps.
Every year there’s one guy in the Big Brother house who has tragic hair, and more often than not, it happens to hot guys (ahem, Hayden). Meet David. He’s a professional lifeguard, which means he spends plenty of time in the water, ideally taming that hair helmet in the process. David’s life is all about surfing and lifeguarding. And that seems to be it. If we know anyting about these types, it’s that they’re either stoner goofballs or total, unrepentant assholes. Can’t wait to see how it shakes out!
Oh here we go. Let’s address the hot pink elephant in the room: Elissa is Rachel Reilly’s sister. You all remember Rachel, formerly of Big Brother and The Amazing Race. She WAS Vegas. Well, now here comes her sister, and from the looks of it, she IS… Kannapolis? Coming to us from a random town in North Carolina, Elissa looks as if she’s halfway done getting out of a Carmen Miranda costume. A lot of colors. A lot. She loves yoga, travel, cooking, and learning about the history of other countries. Wait a second… she almost sounds worldly. No surprise here: her sister is a scientist, after all. Smarts runs in the family!
Elissa also serves as our bible-thumper of the season. She not only asserts that ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” but that if she were famous, she would use her clout to minister and help others. Let the fun begin?
GinaMarie — no space between Gina and Marie — could be an interesting one. She’s a hottie, that’s for sure. She’s also a pageant coordinator, which is always hilarious. But at 32, we can safely assume she was once a beauty queen and now is over the hill. Translation: crazy. Translation: YES. And that name — GinaMarie — coupled with her current residence — Staten Island — can only mean one thing: MEATBALL CITY. Didn’t Snooki and Deana call themselves meatballs on Jersey Shore? I dunno. The point is this: it took GinaMarie six years to win something called the Grand Supreme overall pageant title, which shows quite possibly how deranged she is. I didn’t even know they had beauty pageants on Staten Island. No offense, Ms. Verrazano-Narrows 2013.
Quite frankly, I’m shocked it took GinaMarie six years to win a pageant title, what with her eloquent responses to questions such as “What are you afraid of?” (“I would be afraid of aliens, if they ever exist, and if I ever see one I would probably s**t my pants.”) Plus, don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last you hear of GinaMarie. If the show makes her famous, she promises to “use my personality and popularity to be in the spotlight and make me a household name.” Because that has worked out so well for all the other Big Brother alumni. Dare to dream, GinaMarie. Dare to dream.
Pushing the ripe old age of 37, Helen is the senior citizen of the house. She will clearly be pegged as the house “mom,” which is hilarious (did I mention she’s 37?) and along those lines, she’ll probably moan to us about not connecting with the youngins she lives with. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Big Brother is at its best when there are multiple older people — i’m talking people over 45. Have we already forgotten the era of Jerry and Renny? GOLD.
Anyway, Helen is smart and accomplished (political consultant, etc.) and really has no business being on this show. If she were to become famous, she’d use her fame to “bring attention to infectious diseases like MRSA. There is not enough media coverage and public awareness about hospital infections, and we all should be educated and warned.” Lady, WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON BIG BROTHER? YOU ARE WADING INTO THE TELEVISION EQUIVALENT OF A MRSA.
It’s okay — Helen will be voted out first as all the dumb, young, whitefolk accuse her of being distant and old and Asian-y. “It’s like she never really made an effort to get to know us” will be the mantra I’m sure we’ll hear.
And now our token black man of the year. I’m hoping he’s not the stereotypical Angry Black Man, but his photo isn’t helping in that department. Howard works as a youth counselor, which sounds lovely until you remember that every Big Brother contestant who works with children tends to be a heinous human being (cough, Adam from season nine, cough). Nevertheless, Howard loves to mime; so that’s fun. And a little scary. I imagine that’s how he counsels his kids: “Hey children, do something with your life otherwise you’ll wind up like me, A MIME.” Naturally, this is followed by various trips down invisible escalators, staircases, and elevators (with a potential canoe trip thrown in for good measure).
It seems as though Howard and Elissa might be able to bond over Jesus as he claims the only thing he’ll miss from the outside world will be going to church on Sundays. He also wants to bring his bible into the house and live a life that’s worth of “Christ” (he put it in quotes, not me — was he being sarcastic? Like YEAH, he wants to be REAL Christ-like, PSSSSHHHH).
Overall though, Howard does seem like he has good intentions. If he were to become famous from the show, he’d use the fame to help his family and end their struggles: “We would get some businesses started.” Here’s an idea: Mimes ‘R’ Us. Just putting it out there. Meanwhile he could beat me up with one pinky. Sorrrrrry Howard!!!
Meet Jeremy. He’s a boat shop associate, which is as puzzling to me as it is intriguing. I assume it means he simply works at a boat shop and wants to sound more official than “cashier” or “keel specialist,” but then there’s a part of me that thinks he professionally associates with boat shops. Anyway, Jeremy describes himself as “charismatic,” which as we all know is one word that charismatic people do not use to describe themselves as. But then again, that boat shop associate career… it IS highly charismatic.
Just how charismatic is Jeremy? Well, if he could, he’d bring a hacky sack into the house; so that’s pretty cool. And paint supplies too. And what would he do if he became famous? “I’m not sure… I guess work hard to stay famous.” OOZING CHARISMA.
Like omg, it’s Jessie Kowalski! This bubbly, unemployed lady wins the award for most likely to talk at length about her dog. When asked what the most difficult part of living in the Big Brother house will be, Jessie replies, “Being away from my Ari. He is my whole world and we have a great mom-pup bond.” Barf. I mean, arf.
In terms of fears, Jessie has a pretty reasonable one in “flying,” but then curiously also lists “overpasses” too. Score one for infrastructurephobia! No word if Jessie Kowalski is related to Linda Kowalski of Crocodile Dundee, but if she seems suddenly enthused by the idea of a middle-aged Aussie man in a ratty vest walking in the front door, we’ll have our answer.
And here’s our hillbilly. The stereotypically named Judd is a property appraiser by day, frog hunter by night. Or maybe day too. All I know is that he loves to “frog gig,” which is indeed Tennessee for “frog hunt.” Yes, we’ve come a long way from Cousin Matthew and Robert Crawley stalking proud bucks on Downton Abbey.
Judd’s strategy is to stay away from people he doesn’t like (have fun in that corner by yourself!) and lists his greatest accomplishment in life as getting over debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. And what better way to unravel all the good self-improvement than by inserting yourself into a cesspool of paranoia and self-doubt. Good luck with that, Judd. And if you start seeing baby frogs on the ceiling, it’s time to ask Big Brother for a Xanax.
Finally: our first bartender! I’m shocked it’s taken this long to find one in the cast (who am I kidding? They’re all bartenders — except Helen. She’s already in a rocking chair knitting socks and listening to a victrola). Anyway, Kaitlin looks like she might be the sexpot of the cast, and I say that not based on her photo but based on her bio, which is completely devoid of any personality. Classic sexpot bartender.
Kaitlin says that if she could bring something into the house, it would be a book to help her sleep at night. It’s so cute when these reality stars pretend like they read. Clearly, she only uses books to beat herself over the head until she’s unconscious. Hey, I’m not above it. And I also don’t read anymore. My life is sad. I could be reading right now. Instead I’m blogging about people based on their photos. My parents are so proud.
Ah, the stoner/nerd/geek/fanboy dude. McCrae loves comic books and video games and supports his habits by working as a pizza delivery boy. A lot of ambition happening here. Additionally, McCrae sports some fierce Gilda Radner hair and boasts a fear of mice and ventriloquist dummies. No word on where mimes fall on the fear spectrum, but I suspect McCrae and Howard might clash in that department.
As far as personal accomplishments, McCrae says “Right now I am working on this cartoon that I created and wrote. I am so proud of it.” I actually find this pretty endearing. And I’m glad his greatest accomplishment was not talking down a customer from the ledge after accidentally delivering a Pizza Supreme instead of a mere Hawaiian.
Quirky and creative with wild hair — I like this guy.
Serving as the city slicker of the cast, Nick hails from New York City where he works as an entrepreneur. He has a generally affable face that may or may not hide a devious jerk lurking underneath. I can’t say my initial impressions of Nick are all that glowing, thanks to the way he answers the question “What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the ‘Big Brother’ house?”
“I can still rock, it will basically be like wrestling season or studying for the MCAT operates.”
In one sentence, he manages to portray annoying bravado, brag about his athletic accomplishments, and boast about his education. Gross.
What is Nick afraid of? “Actually nothing…my body is afraid of heights because there is potential damage… but my mind knows how to deal with it. My body will react to things like grinding a 20 foot drop rail and 540’ing off to the flat pavement with nervousness… but my mind is stronger, which is why I am a great roller-blader… overcoming your physical fears with your mind!” Seriously, this guy needs to rollerblade into a volcano and go away forever. And who rollerblades?
Hmmm… rollerblading… wrestling team… sounds like Andy might just have a potential mate in the house.
Oh, speaking of rollerblading, Nick is happy to inform us that he “placed 7th place in the North American World Championship, Aggressive Skating Association (stunt rollerblading),” which is fantastic if a) people cared about stunt rollerblading, and b) people cared about 7th place. And don’t think he doesn’t mention his GPA at Yale because he does (3.92). Yale sucks.
Of course, if I may play Devil’s Advocate with… myself… one could argue that hey, these are accomplishments that Nick is proud of, and who are we to begrudge him for that? You’re right, me. We shouldn’t begrudge him for triumphant seventh place wins in obscure athletic competitions. But we can, however, begrudge Nick for stating that he wishes he could bring organic peanut butter and jam with cracked wheat bread into the house.
I. Can’t. Deal.
And don’t forget the Tony Robbins CDs. He loves those too. Almost as much as he loves ORGANIC MOTHERF**KING PEANUT BUTTER AND JAM WITH CRACKED WHEAT BREAD.
And you know this asshole is going to last all summer long. The worst ones always do.
Honestly, Spencer could say he was a three time convicted murder, rapist, and animal abuser, and he’d still come off as awesome after talking about Nick. Luckily, he’s none of those things, but he is mouthy. How do I know? He describes himself as MOUTHY. And thank God. We need some mouthy hot heads (and ginger alert: he’s a ginger! Hence the ginger alert. I hope Andy can deal — red is sort of his thing.) Like every other person in this cast, Spencer says he’s going to miss his dog (people, get over it already) and warns us that he’s polarizing. The polarizing people tend to be awful on this show, especially if they say they’re polarizing but merely just scream “Rock ‘n’ Roll!!!!” and gush about bacon (hat tip to Adam from season whenver it was), but I’m hoping Spencer will bring the good stuff. After all, his life’s motto is “A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor,” which is a whole lot more thoughtful than “Wherever you go, there you are” or “What you think about, you bring about” or any of the other half-baked, feel-good mantras these idiots spew all over the CBS.com website.
Spencer also says he’d want to bring some Twix into the house (a man with good taste), and if the show were to make him famous, what would he do? “I’d think it was awesome.”
What do you think of the cast? Check them all out here.