'Big Brother' Season 21 -- Get to Know the New Houseguests
By Scott Baumgartner
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'Big Brother' Season 21: Meet the Houseguests!
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The latest lineup of Big Brother cast members has arrived!
The 16 new houseguests who will be competing for $500,000 in season 21 of the hit CBS show were announced on Monday morning, including loads of fresh faces that are guaranteed to keep things interesting.
Among the newcomers are a Broadway performer, a therapist, a petroleum engineer and a wine safari guide. Also, the contenders are from all over the country including Tennessee, New York, Atlanta, Texas and more.
So, without further ado, here's a breakdown of all 16 new houseguests, their backgrounds, and why they plan on ending up on top when season 21 of Big Brother draws to a close.
Holly Allen, 31
Hometown: Lander, Wyoming
Current City: Los Angeles
Occupation: Wine Safari Guide
Three adjectives that describe you: Spontaneous, sarcastic, and relentless.
Favorite Activities: Fostering dogs, hiking with wine, and road-tripping with a camera in hand.
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? I live on my phone. I'm a millennial. That will admittedly be a struggle.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? I haven't watched it enough to have a favorite.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? Oh, I have plenty of strategies already stacked up. Plan A-Z.
My life's motto is… "Make them proud." I've lost a lot of people in my life and I always try to say "yes" to opportunities because I wish they were still here to experience them all too.
What would you take into the house and why? My dog (fat chance). Headphones to listen to music. A book to keep me sane.
Tommy Bracco, 28
Hometown: Staten Island, New York
Current City: Staten Island, New York
Occupation: Broadway Dancer
Three adjectives that describe you: Optimistic, driven, and over-the-top.
Favorite Activities: Eating mom's cooking, going to the movies alone, and playing Catan with the family.
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? Missing summer on the Jersey Shore with my family. We're usually there during the weekends. The house isn't huge but my family is so there's a lot of people in a little house, playing games, drinking, cooking, making stupid videos, getting tan. There's nothing better than the summer with them.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? Da'Vonne from season 17 and 18. Not only was she great TV, but Momma Day is VERY intuitive. Her only issue is that she doesn't always know what to do with the information. When she returned in season 18, she did a much better job at keeping her mouth shut! But in the end, she could only hold it in for so long.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? My strategy is inspired by my mother. She cooks and cleans for the entire family and she's everyone's favorite person. I want to be the Italian mother of the house. I want to take care of everyone and make them feel safe and loved. No one wants to vote out that person.
My life's motto is… "Always go FULL OUT!!!!"
What would you take into the house and why? Benadryl - in case I have an allergic reaction AND to help me sleep. A photo of my family- to remind me there's a life outside the house. Earplugs- to avoid hearing the awkward noises everyone makes when they sleep.
Analyse Talavera, 22
Hometown: Northridge, California
Current City: Simi Valley, California
Occupation: College Soccer Star
Three adjectives that describe you: Funny, outgoing, and confident.
Favorite Activities: I love tanning and going to the beach. If tanning could be an occupation that would no doubt be my calling. Some people call me a lizard which is kind of ironic because I am actually deathly afraid of them. I also love shopping. I love clothes and having a really good style. I really wanted to go to fashion school when I was in high school but I thought playing soccer was cooler. And lastly, I love just relaxing and hanging out with friends and talking and going to lunches or dinners.
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? The most difficult part for sure will be not being able to see my little dog Fergie. I swear she's my emotional support dog and whenever I'm with her I'm just so happy until she gets into the trash or destroys the house. It will also be hard to not know what's going on in the world. Whether that is with my family friends or the media. It will also be difficult living with the same people for so long but I know I can handle it because I have done it through out college. And even though there have been times I have wanted to fight my roommates or scream at them, I somehow still survive.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? My favorite houseguests were Dick Donato, Daniele Donato, and Tyler Crispen. I loved how Dick and Daniele were on the same season at one point. I thought it was the coolest thing. I love how Dick was so evil and basically a dick to people and caused drama. I loved Daniele because she was basically the same age as me when she started Big Brother but I love how she is a California beach girl like me and seems really sweet and innocent but has a sassy bitchy side like me. I also really love Tyler because he played one of the best games in Big Brother history.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? My strategy for winning the game is to play both sides of the house but keep it super low-key. From watching previous seasons, the people who seem to always play both sides of the house tend to go really far. I will not tell anyone I was doing this, even my best friend in the house, because it would blow up in my face. I will try really hard on comps that I know I need to win and not so hard on ones that will either ruin my game or show I'm playing both sides.
My life's motto is… Just like it says in my insta bio… "Be a badass with a good a**!"
What would you take into the house and why? I would want to bring my makeup of course so I'm always looking fresh and good! I would want to bring my skimpy bikinis so I could attract the guys and get them on my side. A picture of my dog Fergie because I'll miss her so much!!!
Ovi Kabir, 22
Hometown: Oakridge, Tennessee
Current City: Knoxville, Tennessee
Occupation: College Student
Three adjectives that describe you: Relatable, motivated, and brown.
Favorite Activities: Rowing, partying (more of a lifestyle than hobby if we are being honest), and watching Tennessee Basketball win games (Yes, it's a hobby if you live around Knoxville).
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? I think the most difficult part of living in the Big Brother house will be being away from my dog. My mom and girlfriend can live without me for a while, but my dog is a little dumb and I worry that something is going to happen to him while I'm gone. But other than that, I'm not worried about much else. I'm no stranger to living with a lot of strangers and I don't mind if we all have differing views on issues. I think that's what makes this experience so cool is that I'll get to challenge myself and get to know a lot of people that I did not know before and learn about their experiences in life. So it really comes down to me missing my dog.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? My favorite all time Big Brother houseguest has definitely got to be Hayden Moss from Big Brother 12. I loved watching his attitude and personality in the house and how he brought an alliance together like the "Brigade." I know I won't be able to win Big Brother on my own and understand that I have my own shortcomings. So by creating a strong alliance and leading them through the game, I feel like I can win the game. I always say that I might not be the smartest person in the room, but I will always have the smartest team. I feel like Hayden did just that and brought together houseguests in his season to help accomplish his goals and ultimately be crowned the winner of Big Brother 12.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? I used to have a rowing coach who when asked what would be the best way to win the race, he would reply, "Just row faster than all the other boats." So my main strategy for winning the game is to not get any votes until finale night in which I hope to sweep the board. However, I understand that I might need to flesh out my overall strategy a little more than just that. My main strategy is to go into the house and get to know all the houseguests on some sort of personal level and not alienate any members. With that being said, I will do my best to create an alliance of strong houseguests that I believe will work as a meat shield for me but will also help me move my plans in motion. Though, I will have a core alliance, I hope to find the houseguests on the outskirts and talk to them about things that are not game related. I want to create a personal bond with those houseguests because they will then trust me and be able to tell me things they might not tell to others as they do not have many allies. Moreover, it will help me with my jury management. My strategy regarding jury management is to keep it real with all the houseguests I am voting out and to get to know them a little more on the week of eviction. So while other houseguests are ostracizing the players on the block, I will do my best to become their friends on a personal level so that they feel good about me. I will also be very straight forward in my goodbye messages to evicted houseguests and do my best to say how good of a player they are and that my vote was strictly a game move. Though, I have all these strategies in mind, I understand Big Brother has many twists and I must "expect the unexpected," as Julie Chen says. So my other strategy of being flexible and being able to flow with the game I think will be instrumental in me winning.
My life's motto is… "Why not me." In all walks of life, someone has to do the job, someone needs to be a leader, someone needs to be cast on Big Brother so "why not me?" I have gone through my life with this motto and I always question that since someone has to do a specific, why can't that person be me. I have full confidence in myself and my abilities to achieve the goals and dreams that I seek and make my imagination a reality. I truly believe that this life motto has kept me on the path of success.
What would you take into the house and why? My Power-T Tennessee Pin. I wear that pin with pride and will rep my university everywhere I go, even in the Big Brother House. My orange crocs because it's like walking on clouds everywhere you go and I know I need to take care of my feet in the house. Plus, I'm pretty sure all the ladies will love them. A notebook and a pen I'll hide in my underwear. That way I can take notes of what events we play, all the memories and facts of each houseguest, and use this information for later competitions.
Jessica Milagros, 30-ish
Current City: Oak Park, Illinois
Three adjectives that describe you: Affectionate, charismatic, and creative.
Favorite Activities: Dancing, painting, and photography.
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? I think the most difficult part of living in the Big Brother house would be leaving my family and friends and a potential of feeling very alone.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? I personally liked Dan from Season 10. He was the perfect mix of smart and funny, conniving and yet such a well-liked guy. He played a great game.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? I just believe in being myself and genuinely getting to know the housemates. I'm someone who observes actions and can be fun but laid back. I know from experience that if you ask someone about themselves and show true interest they tend to confide in you.
My life's motto is…"What you think about me is none of my business."
What would you take into the house and why? I'd like to bring a Journal to write my thoughts. My makeup bag cause helloooooo it's makeup.
Jack Matthews, 28
Current City: Tampa, Florida
Occupation: Fitness Trainer
Three adjectives that describe you: Honest, integrity, and character.
Favorite Activities: CrossFit, photography, and hanging with my dog, Layla.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? Be honest, have integrity, and good character.
My life's motto is… "Keep it simple."
What would you take into the house and why? My dog, Layla.
Nicole Anthony, 24
Hometown: Long Island, New York
Current City: Long Island, New York
Occupation: Preschool Aide
Three adjectives that describe you: Hard working (I always give my 100 percent), determined (If I want something, I won't stop until I get it), and hilarious! (I crack myself up constantly.)
Favorite Activities: Reading (novels, the classics, fan fiction, blogs, people's analysis of song lyrics or discussion of a movie, ANYTHING!), listening to music (because it does it all: it makes me Zen, pumps me up, etc.) and drawing (I have some bad ass artistic skills hiding up my sleeve).
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? The most difficult part of living in the Big Brother house, for me, will be making sure that I think before I speak and that I bite my tongue when I really want to tell someone off. But, then again, I have to do that every single day at work, so at least I've had practice.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? The Big Brother houseguest that I liked the most was Paul Abrahamian. He was authentically himself, didn't take BS from anyone, and ran that house while most everyone else mindlessly followed. I admire his ability to stay true to himself and not feel the need to apologize or explain his reasons. He played the game, and played it well.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? Yes, my strategy for winning the game is to play it as authentically and objectively as I can. In other words, I want to stay true to myself and connect with people on real, personal levels while also remembering to play the game non-emotionally for what it is: a game. Yes, the other people are my game pieces, but they are still people.
My life's motto is… "Here comes the sun" because I strongly believe that things, no matter how bad they may be, will always get better.
What would you take into the house and why? A locked journal (so that I can write my experiences, opinions, etc. and compare them to the real events later… also to keep track of important information for competitions, of course! ha-ha). My iPod (because I have all my songs on it: the ones that calm me down, the ones that pump me up, etc.). A book, ANY BOOK (just so my English language arts mind has something to read and analyze).
David Alexander, 29
Current City: Atlanta
Three adjectives that describe you: Positive, charismatic, and high energy.
Favorite Activities: CrossFit training, professional photography, and traveling to new locations.
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? A complete shift in my routine and having to be around people with no escape, but it is also an adventure that I would love to explore.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? Absolutely! I plan to watch two seasons to get a feel for the show and then further look into strategies that have worked and the type of individuals that typically win. My gift of gab and memory could be an advantage if I play my cards right.
My life's motto is… JUST LIVE as much as you can before you can't anymore.
What would you take into the house and why? My camera because I love photographing in a documentary style. To capture pure moments of joy, happiness, and sadness. A device with a music playlist. I heard music calms the savage beast, so this would help those tough moments in the house. I would love to bring a habit-building book to jump start better discipline before returning to regular civilian life.
Christie Murphy, 28
Hometown: Staten Island, New York
Current City: Keyport, New Jersey
Occupation: Boutique Owner
Three adjectives that describe you: Outgoing, overachiever, and edgy.
Favorite Activities: I love to go to the park with my dog, I like to do basically ANYTHING in nature, specifically waterfall hikes and I also like to try new food & restaurants with friends.
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? I think for me, the most difficult part would be not being able to talk to whoever is running my store. Obviously, I'll hate not speaking to my friends and family as well, but by nature I'm a controlling person, so not knowing what's going on at Mystic will be challenging! Also, no music. I'm such a musical person! I'm the "whistling girl." I'm always either singing or whistling… so I'm definitely going to miss music!
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? I really loved Jeff and Jordan, and I really love the dynamic they had and the game that they played together. Gameplay wise, I think Paul is incredible. I think he was a master at manipulating, and also a competition beast. Do I think he should have toned it down a little bit with the lying and playing everyone in the house? Yes. But I think he was savvy & strong! I also love Dan, but who doesn't?
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? Yes! I do! I plan on using my sexuality as a major social advantage. I'm going into the house as the openly feminine lesbian. I will use my femininity and charm to easily persuade and subtly manipulate the men, while also being the emotional shoulder, and best friend to all the girls. I also won't pose as a threat to the women, because I won't be after any of the men. At the same time, I won't be a physical or athletic threat to the boys. Little do the guys know though, I am super competitive, and an extreme overachiever and I plan on winning a lot of the competitions! I have a photographic memory and I'm also killer at puzzles!
My life's motto is… "If you want it, picture it, write it down, and envision yourself getting it, manifest the sh*t out of it… and it's yours. Simple." The power of INTENTION, man!
What would you take into the house and why? My dog Beans first & foremost. My iPod with all my favorite music. My journal. I journal every day, so that's tough to part with.
Sam Smith, 31
Hometown: West Nanticoke, Pennsylvania
Current City: Mountain Top, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Truck Driver
Three adjectives that describe you: Outgoing, bold, and comical.
Favorite Activities: Riding my R1, playing basketball, and having friends over for pool parties.
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? Missing my family.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? Derrick Levasseur, his game play was amazing.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? Be true and be a little bit of a rat for my alliance.
My life's motto is… "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."
What would you take into the house and why? Twisted Tea - needs no explanation. A picture of my family- for love and my wife would want me to. My Yeti- To keep my things cold.
Kathryn Dunn, 29
Hometown: Irving, Texas
Current City: Dallas, Texas
Occupation: Digital Marketing Executive
Three adjectives that describe you: Reliable, hardworking, and fun!
Favorite Activities: Since I work/live/breathe marketing, most of my hobbies are related to social media and Instagram. I love creating content and producing photo shoots for my friends and me! I also love shopping and being outdoors on a pretty day.
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? If I don't have my phone on me at all times I start salivating at the mouth and experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? I'm not gonna lie, since I don't watch TV I'm not very seasoned on Big Brother history so instead of BSing you and listing some fake reasons of why some random houseguest is my favorite, I'll list some reasons that a future applicant would pick me as their favorite: I'm funny and reference memes a lot, I'm loyal to those who are loyal to me, I'm nice but low-key savage, I'm smart and calculating so I'll always have reasons to back up my decisions.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? So looking back on when I was in training camp for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, I realize that my approach was all wrong. I was looking at me/in your face, because I wanted to stand out, but because of that ,I was the first one gone. I think in a competitive setting like this, it's important to stay under the radar for as long as you can, and only arise when it counts. I'll be friendly and pleasant to everybody so nobody will have a reason not to like me, and I'll work/strategize behind the scenes so they don't even see me as a threat. Stay woke, my friends.
My life's motto is… "Happiness is the same price as red bottoms."
What would you take into the house and why? My phone and a hotspot. That's all I need.
Cliff Hogg III, 53
Current City: Houston
Occupation: Petroleum Engineer
Three adjectives that describe you: Funny, stubborn, and caring.
Favorite Activities: Watersports (fishing, jet skiing, swimming, scuba), gardening (I grow satsumas, musca dine grapes, avocados, and will also be growing Loofahs this year), and politics (I love to discuss and debate political topics and concepts in the right environment).
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? The lack of communication with the outside world. Sitting in that house and not knowing what is going on with family, the country, my sports teams, etc. will be frustrating. The lack of privacy will be tough at first, but I think I'll get used to that rather quickly.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? I like the logical, strategic play from people such as Derrick, Vanessa, or Dan. But Vanessa whined too much when she thought the chips were against her. My favorite of all time has to be Derrick.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? Present myself as the loyal soldier to one or more strong players while creating enough chaos or paranoia to have people pointing fingers and targeting each other. People WILL assume that I am a loyal kind of guy because that is how I live my life in the real world. I will use that to my advantage and betray as necessary in the end game to get me to the finale!
My life's motto is… Two mottos: "Never let others tell you what you can or can't do" and "Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in!"
What would you take into the house and why? My cowboy hat and boots - They represent so much about where I am from and who I am. Plenty of Aggie clothing - People from Texas are proud…. but Aggies take it up another notch and I love to brag! My wedding ring and Aggie ring - The two items that symbolize some of my most proud involvements.
Kemi Faknule, 25
Hometown: Elkridge, Maryland
Current City: Brooklyn, New York
Occupation: Marketing Strategist
Three adjectives that describe you: I'm very positive. I like to see the silver lining in situations because what's happened has happened, so deal with it in a way that benefits you. I'm also very goal-oriented. Though my goals do change from time to time, I'm definitely a "by any means necessary" sort of woman. I'm a bitch. This is a (not so) sad truth. When I feel provoked I can be extremely vicious. It took me 24 years to actually learn the difference between "feeling provoked" and actually "being provoked." Growth.
Favorite Activities: Contributing to the economy (shopping), discovering new restaurants (recent foodie), and traveling with my friends (hoping to make is to Vegas soon so any potential face palms can be filed under "oh, I was young.")
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? I think not being on my phone would be pretty hard for me. My phone is definitely my safe haven. Even when I'm doing basically nothing like walking down the street, it's comforting to scroll through my phone or act like I'm doing that to avoid potential, unwanted communication.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? I absolutely loveeeeeee Rachel "I am Vegas" Reilly. I love how unapologetic and authentic she was. Not a care in the world if you didn't like her because she was here for the money and her man. That's 100% me! Jessica Graf is also up there for the exact same reason but wow I love Rachel so much!
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? My strategy in the house would be to make as many connections but fewer alliances as possible, similar to Kaycee from BB20. I'd hope to be well-liked so I could use that to my advantage and always be in the know in case I need to do some back-stabbing. But if I'm not well-liked then I guess I just have to bust everyone's ass in HOH and Veto competitions. I'd love to have a final two with someone to tag team competitions with (another reason I loved Rachel). One of us wins either the HOH or Veto every week to carry us to the end. Preferably in the form of a showmance.
My life's motto is…"You get more with honey, even if the honey is artificial."
What would you take into the house and why? My puppy. I've never been away from him for more than one week! My phone, but mostly to play music. The Coldest Winter (best book, ever).
Nick Maccarone, 27
Hometown: Sewell, New Jersey
Current City: Sewell, New Jersey
Three adjectives that describe you: Outgoing, caring, and talkative.
Favorite Activities: Playing/watching sports, going to the city to drink/meet women, and working (I love helping kids).
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? Breaking the seal of being the first one to poop. I know you are going to have some really beautiful girls in there and it's going to make me have to hold it in until 2 a.m. until I finally get comfortable with them. I also will miss my mom a lot and that sucks.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? So, I have only watched since BB17, and that was fate, because we had a tornado in my town and it knocked the power out for a week, and it just so happened that my aunt got power back and she was watching the premiere of BB17, which I ended up getting hooked on. Tyler is my favorite. He was extremely intelligent, respectful, but he was humble at the same time. He was a competition machine. He should have probably won, but Kaycee was a good choice as well so I was not upset.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? 100 percent. Since I started watching on 17, the winner of the first HOH has done extremely well. James won in 17, and won America's favorite. Nicole won in 18, and won the whole show. 19 was the Paul season, and I know for a fact that Josh took the safety for the first week, who ended up winning. And Tyler won first HOH in 20 and won second and America's Favorite. When you think about it, you aren't getting too much blood, you just have to pretend that you do not want it and then nominate who everyone tells you too. Also, when people are scared, they will try to make deals and alliances, so I can just sit back and form the best alliance possible.
My life's motto is… "You have to live your life like you only die once." I got a sport bike because I am not going to wait for the chance of me falling and becoming paralyzed and never being able to ride. I am going to LIVE, take chances, and if something happens when I'm going 160 down the Expressway, then so be it.
What would you take into the house and why? A football/baseball that I could throw around with another houseguest because I love sports. A TV only to watch sports. And probably a phone that only allowed me to FaceTime my mom because I'll definitely miss her.
Isabella Wang, 22
Hometown: Mount Olive, New Jersey
Current City: Los Angeles
Occupation: Public Health Analyst
Three adjectives that describe you: Spontaneous, reckless, and generous.
Favorite Activities: Spending other people's money.
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? Nothing. I low-key feel like I was born for this.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? I liked when Isabella Wang won season 21.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? Bribery
My life's motto is… "It ain't that serious."
What would you take into the house and why? I need someone to fill my lash extensions every 2-3 weeks or I will look like a thumb and not a pretty houseguest.
Jackson Michie, 24
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Current City: Los Angeles
Three adjectives that describe you: Driven, assertive and confident.
Favorite Activities: Exercising, social events, and hunting.
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house? Honestly, nothing seems too difficult that I couldn't endure it. However, remembering that I'm under 24/7 video surveillance will be my only hiccup. I feel like after a week or two I'll become comfortable and forget that I can't sleep naked, drop my towel, etc. Also, the food. I'm not a picky eater at all, but I eat a good amount of food. Not being able to grocery shop and get my daily watermelons or protein bars would be tough, but manageable.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most? Paul: Simply, he told it like it was. I respect honesty and boldness. Brett: "Guy's Guy" to a tee. He was socially talented, physical, and would probably be someone I would hang out with outside of the house.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game? Absolutely. Be physical - which I'm very good at - but not too physical. I will win competitions but I've got to pick them wisely as to not become too large of a threat. Furthermore, be willing to do anything and everything I have to in order to win the houseguests over on a social level. I was pre-law and have been involved in real estate/sales my entire life. If there's one thing I'm good at, it is connecting with people, reading them, and selling them on whatever it is I'm trying to get them to buy into. Whether it's a property, a judge and jury, a bottle of wine, or medical supplies, I can sell it. Sales is all about being the person your customer wants you to be and selling them without them knowing they've even been sold. I can, and will, sell myself to the houseguest and get them to buy into me.
My life's motto is… "Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing, moderation is for cowards."
What would you take into the house and why? My Weight Belt/Versa Gripps so I can lift as heavy as I do outside of the house. Some form of music so I can work out, relax, or regroup. An iPad or tablet that streams my mass every Sunday morning so I can stay in touch with my religious side.