EXCLUSIVE: Julie Chen Gives Us a Tour of the New 'Big Brother 18' House!
By Philiana Ng
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The theme for the new Big Brother house is all about summer vacation, featuring decorations from the best warm-weather locales, and that’s sure to spice things up as the new cast gears up for a record 99-day stay. ET got an exclusive tour of the house from longtime Big Brother host Julie Chen.
“Each room is a destination, after you have departed from this gate,” Julie tells ET’s Kevin Frazier as they start their impromptu tour in the living room, which features a large “Departures” sign.
The travel theme continues throughout the house, with each room representing a different part of the world -- including Tokyo, London, the African savanna, the Caribbean and Honolulu, Hawaii.
“This is Tokyo!” Julie says as she shows Kevin around one of the more visually-arresting bedrooms. “What’s Tokyo without lots of neon lights and Godzilla?”
Later, the two make it up to the Head of Household’s private bedroom, which is all about the Hawaiian islands. “We are in Hawaii now, because that has to be America’s favorite vacation spot,” Julie says, as Kevin lays down on the massive, king-size bed, and marvels: “Oh, this is so nice!”
If the new houseguests are hoping for privacy in the bathroom, they’ll have to look elsewhere!
“Look at this: even a microphone right here in the shower,” Kevin observes, to which Julie responds, “Hey, we can’t have any spot where any two houseguests can have a private conversation. Nope, nope, nope.”
Eighty-seven cameras and more than 110 microphones strategically placed throughout the house will pick up on each conversation and houseguests’ every move as they compete for the $500,000 grand prize.
“There is no safe zone. You can be heard in every single place in the yard,” executive producer Rich Meehan tells ET.
“You will see mics dropped in the back of the yard, just right down the center. We’ve got them everywhere,” executive producer Allison Grodner adds.
The outdoor backyard, which is U.S. national parks-themed, was redesigned with a new pool and hot tub. There will even be new state-of-the-art gym equipment. “We’re going to put in a CrossFit gym,” Julie reveals.
Even Julie can’t believe Big Brother, considered one of summer’s reality staples, has lasted nearly two decades with no signs of slowing down.
“I’ve been there since the beginning. Who would’ve thunk it? At this rate, I’ll be like [former long-running Price Is Right host] Bob Barker!” Julie says with a laugh.
Big Brother premieres Wednesday, June 22 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.