Big Brother

How ‘Big Brother Reindeer Games’ Is Different From ‘Big Brother’

Big Brother Reindeer Games premiered on Monday, December 11. Although it features past players, it’s very different from a typical Big Brother season.

The brand-new Big Brother spin-off show, Big Brother Reindeer Games, premiered on Dec. 11 on CBS. Nine Big Brother legends made up the cast of the holiday rendition of the reality show. While these players know the Big Brother game like the back of their hand, they are competing in an entirely different game than the one they once played.

After season 25, longtime Big Brother host Julie Chen Moonves revealed that the hit reality show would be returning to fans’ television screens sooner than usual. Before the premiere of the milestone season, a promo video aired featuring past Big Brother players, Brittney Haynes, Frankie Grande, and Danielle Reyes. The three were seen sneaking into the famous house, where they unleashed the Big Brother multi-verse, setting the tone for the entire season. Then, following Jag Bains’ big win, Julie shared a video featuring these past Big Brother players once again sneaking into the famous house. This time, they unleashed the Big Brother Holiday-verse. This was when it was finally announced that a brand-new Big Brother spin-off show would be airing during the holiday season.

During the big reveal, Julie teased the new show, explaining that it would feature a cast full of Big Brother legends. She also noted that one of the nine players would actually be from season 25. For weeks, rumors swirled regarding which past players would be returning to the game. On Dec. 7, CBS began releasing the cast on their social media pages. To no surprise, the three alums featured in the promo videos – Brittney, Frankie, and Danielle – are all competing on the new show. Of the nine returning players, five of them are past winners. These players include season 18 winner Nicole Franzel, season 19’s Josh Martinez, All-Stars winner Cody Calafiore, season 23’s Xavier Prather, and season 24’s winner Taylor Hale. Lastly, the most recent player to win America’s Favorite Houseguest, Cameron Hardin, will also compete on the new show.

The ‘Big Brother’ Legends Are Playing a Brand New Game

Although these nine players have all competed on Big Brother before, most of whom successfully ran the game, they will soon be introduced to a new version. Big Brother Reindeer Games is a brand-new version of the famous game. The biggest difference between the holiday rendition of the show and a regular season is that Big Brother Reindeer Games is only two weeks long. It is made up of six episodes, including the two-hour premiere, as well as the finale. The entire season has been pre-recorded. Therefore, not only has a winner already been named, but there will be no live feeds for the shortened version of the show. This means viewers will only see a limited amount of game talk done between the players in between competitions.

In addition to the lack of live feeds, there will also be no host for Big Brother Reindeer Games. Julie Chen Moonves will not be a part of this spin-off show. Instead, three additional former players will be featured on the show as guides for the competitions. To match the holiday theme, these players are referred to as “Santa’s Elves” rather than hosts. The former Big Brother players that will also be returning to the house to assist the legends in playing the new game are season 11 winner Jordan Lloyd and season 23’s Derek Xiao and Tiffany Mitchell. These past players will individually return to host each competition. Jordan was the first of Santa’s elves to surprise the competing houseguests.


Another major difference is the fact that the players are not actually living inside the famous house. While the Big Brother house is decorated head to toe in Christmas decor, there are no bedrooms. Instead, there are different lounge areas for the players to relax in between competitions. Because the season is pre-recorded and there are no live feeds, the players did not need to be inside the house 24/7. Instead, they were sequestered in a nearby hotel during filming. Since they did not live in the house, there was also no move-in. The players magically appear upstairs before making their first appearance to the other houseguests downstairs.

While in a typical season of Big Brother, players are competing for power, Big Brother Reindeer Games will be a little different. There will be no Head of Household or Power of Veto competition. Each episode will feature three different competitions. After the episode, the houseguests will compete in a “Santa Showdown” competition which will ultimately determine which player will be evicted from the game. One player will be sent home at the end of each episode. Then, during the finale, the final four players will battle it out for the $100k grand prize. This is much different than the typical layout of the show. The former houseguests will compete solely to advance in the competition, but they won’t always compete alone. Some competitions will be done in duos or groups, while others will be individual competitions.

While there is no Head of Household or Power of Veto competition, there are still opportunities to win powers and advantages in the game. For example, Brittney won herself a spot on the nice list while simultaneously earning the power to put another player on the naughty list. This gave herself an advantage in the second competition and a disadvantage to the player she put on the naughty list. Then, after Frankie won the second competition, he was rewarded with safety and the power to determine which players were forced to compete in the Santa Showdown. This power is equivalent to that of a Head of Household in an ordinary season. Additionally, the former Head of Household room has turned into “Santa’s Office,” where all the most important game-play discussions can take place.

There are still five more episodes of Big Brother Reindeer Games yet to air. The spin-off show is set to air every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for the next two weeks, totaling six overall episodes. Just like a typical season of Big Brother, the air times vary for each episode. The finale will air on Thursday, December 21, 2023, at 8pm EST on CBS. Past episodes of Big Brother can be streamed on Paramount+.


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