‘Big Brother 18’ Rumors: What’s The Deal With ‘Mock Houseguests’?

It’s less than a month before the debut of Big Brother 18, and some rumors have begun to circulate about this year’s game. This time, it’s gone beyond just the regular talk about whether familiar faces will again take up residence in the house, either as part of an All-Stars season or a mixed group of new and returning players. Wednesday, the blog Big Brother Network revealed it had acquired a flyer to recruit “mock houseguests,” which appeared to be from Big Brother production.

The flyer, posted by BBN, said the show was looking for people familiar with the Big Brother show. Individuals had to be available for six days in June from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The blog noted that the six-day stretch ends just two days before the new cast is set to be revealed on the Big Brother live feeds. Speculating completely on what that could mean, writers at the blog said it could be a ploy to throw off media about who the “real” houseguests are or the “mock houseguests” are intended to give new houseguests some practice before entering the house with returning players. In seasons when old houseguests have played with new, the senior players seemed to have an advantage.

Interestingly, in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, two former houseguests hinted that the new season would begin with more than two dozen houseguests who would compete for a chance to play the game. That could fit with the idea of “mock houseguests,” since there are just more people playing — or pretending to play — the game. Of course, both Derrick Levasseur and Rachel Reilly said they don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. But Levasseur expressed his approval at the idea of competing for a key to get into the Big Brother house.

“There was talk about having 20 or 30 houseguests the first night on the show and they’re going to compete and 15 or 16 will get in. That’s awesome. It’ll separate everybody right away.”

Reilly said she had also heard rumors there might be returning houseguests. Every season on Big Brother, there is talk that it may be an “All-Stars” season, or that the cast list may have a combination of old and new houseguests.

Reilly, who was part of a “duos” twist in Season 13 when old and new houseguests played the game, said something completely different was on the horizon. But she, too, had heard about the possibility of big numbers starting off the season.

“It’s going to be some sort of returning players versus new players, not as a coach and not what we did in season 13 where we were duos. There might be 30 people that compete to get in so it might be a season where you have to really want it to be able to stay in the game. I think they’re going to have a twist where you have to give stuff up or do a competition and they’re going to make you really want it.

Levasseur confirmed to THR that he would not be coming back on the show this year. But all members of the THR panel — Jason Roy, Levasseur, Reilly, and Danielle (Donato) Reyes — revealed who they thought might be asked back or who they might want to see play again. Among the many names dropped by each, Reilly mentioned last year’s Vanessa Rousso; Reyes mentioned Dr. Will; Roy mentioned Da’Vonne Rogers; and Levasseur mentioned Zach Rance.

Big Brother 18 debuts June 22 on CBS.

[Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images]