The cast includes former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville, Miss Universe 2015 runner-up Ariadna Gutierrez, The Cosby Show alum Keisha Knight Pulliam, Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur, TV personality Ross Matthews, former NBA legend Metta World Peace, Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath, Big Time Rush singer James Maslow, UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell, and American Pie star Shannon Elizabeth.
However, the castmember whose involvement had the other houseguests the most worried -- and fans most excited -- is Apprentice winner and recently-fired White House political aide Omarosa Manigault.
From her larger-than-life pre-taped introduction, which saw her lounging in a voluminous evening gown on top of a large writing desk in front of giant shelves of antique books, to her lavish ball gown that she wore to meet the other houseguests, the 44-year-old reality star seemed to be trying to assert her dominance from the first moments of the show -- and the other contestants could feel it.
"When people asked me, 'Who don't you want to see in the house?' My answer was Omarosa," Ross said in a solo interview as the contestants first entered the home. "I can't do toxicity and negativity."
Omarosa immediately defied expectations, however, by being one of the nicest there. Introducing herself to everyone, smiling broadly, and generally being one of the most pleasant people on the whole show, she seemed to disarm a lot of the detractors among her fellow houseguests.
Celebrity Big Brother premieres tonight! But first, sneak a peek at the moment the #BBCeleb Houseguests meet. 👀
While reaching out to the other celebs, she eventually came to James, whose work on Big Time Rush (and subsequent run on Season 18 of Dancing With the Stars) she was unfamiliar with.
The exchange actually led to the night's most hilariously embarrassing moments for the former Nickelodeon star, when Omarosa introduced herself by saying she'd been a contestant on The Apprentice, to which James smiled, nodded and said, "Oh, cool. Who was the person you were apprenticing for?"
That's right -- James has apparently never heard of or seen The Apprentice, but Omarosa didn't mock him. She simply told him the boss was now-president Donald Trump.
While showing her cordial side might be part of her long-term plan, the savvy politician and businesswoman surprised everyone who was expecting her to be some sort of tantrum-throwing, backstabbing lunatic.
If anything, it was the Big Time Rush star who emerged as the real villain of the night -- or at least the houseguest with the biggest mouth.
To determine who would be named Head of Household for the first week, the 11 castmembers had to climb up on giant silver statues (modeled after Oscars), and hang on as they were lifted off the ground. After trying to break their focus, spraying them with paint and spinning them in the air to send the houseguests falling to the floor, the only two left were James and Shannon.
Despite talking trash about the other contestants who fell before him -- and arrogantly trying to make a deal with Shannon so she would just give up -- it was James who ended up slipping first, leaving the Scary Movie actress as the Head of Household, with the power to nominate two of her fellow houseguests for elimination.
However, the twists and turns that will hopefully make this season special were just about to begin. After the competition, the cast were all instructed to pick up one of 11 gift bags, and they were later told that one of the bags contained a brand new Big Brother "power" -- the power to recast Head of Household at their will.
As the first night of the three-night premiere wrapped up, fans were left with some lingering questions: Who picked up the special, powerful new gift bag, and do they get to use that power at any point during the season? If Shannon isn't dethroned as HOH, will she stick with her alliance and nominate two of the guys? Why is Chuck Liddell here? He clearly hasn't ever seen this show and doesn't want to be stuck with these people. What is he getting out of this?