The Big Brother Season 18 houseguests have not yet been announced, but they know who they are! Now, it’s time for the castmates to talk strategy, and who better to ask than past winners of the CBS summertime reality show? With $500,000 at stake, it pays to expect the expected and follow the advice of those who have played—and won—the game.
In a new post on Big Brother Network, Big Brother Season 17 winner Steve Moses says players need to remember where they came from, and he emphasized his biggest piece of advice.
Moses went on to say that the best moves in the Big Brother game are not always the most obvious, and they need to be tailored based on each player’s personal skills.
“Based on your skill set, the best move in theory may not always be the best move in reality,” he wrote. “Think about what you do in your life and what skills it would translate to in the game. When you’re deciding on an approach, you should have a clear understanding of 1) why it will keep you safe, and 2) why it works with your skill set.”
While he reminded Big Brother contestants that they need to stay on good terms with their employer or university (“You’ll need them again in a few months,” he said), Moses said players should keep their personal feelings out of the Big Brother game.
“Never make a game decision based on your personal feelings. It doesn’t matter who you like more. It doesn’t matter who annoys you. It doesn’t matter how you feel about stabbing your friends in the back. Every single game decision you make should be based solely on which option you think gives you the best odds of going furthest,” he wrote.
One other thing Moses told the future Big Brother players to do is to get a copy of Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People and read it while they can.
Big Brother 16 winner Derrick Levasseur had his own advice to give the show’s future houseguests, and his first tip is to watch old episodes of the show.
“Start by watching as many seasons as you can,” he wrote. “I would recommend watching some of the more recent seasons because you’ll probably see similar competitions during your time in the house.”
Next, the Big Brother alum said players need to develop an approach—not a strategy—for winning the game.
“With the constant changes in format and the unpredictable twists, it is better to have an approach to how you will conduct yourself,” Levasseur revealed. “This entails developing your backstory, improving your interpersonal skills, and, last but not least, fine-tuning your appearance.”
Levasseur also said contestants need to be willing to adapt as the twists and turns come in the game. But his biggest takeaway was to just live in the moment.
“Try to enjoy every moment. Enjoy the competitions even when they’re long and difficult,” Levasseur advised. “Go into that house, play YOUR game, live in the moment, and savor every second that you’re in there.”
Past Big Brother winners have also given solid advice to future contestants. Dan Gheesling, who won Big Brother Season 10 and was the runner-up on Season 14, took to his website to rattle off his top tips for winning the Big Brother game. Gheesling told potential houseguests to play the game hard and remember the goal is that $500,000 prize. He also said to play up big moves for TV and to respect the Big Brother game. But the vocal Big Brother champ’s biggest piece of advice is to remember that the other players “are not your friends.”
“No one in the game is your friend. They’re your opponents,” he wrote. “They’re not your friends, most of them are roadblocks to you winning $500,000 and bringing the money home to your REAL friends and family.”
Still, Gheesling did admit that all players must put their faith in at least one of their opponents in order to win the game.
“You’ve got to trust one person, and whomever you place your trust in ultimately decides your success in the game,” he wrote.
And Big Brother Season 13 winner Rachel Reilly told the Toronto Sun that she repeatedly sees players who make the same mistakes season after season and that players who have an athletic mind frame make it the farthest in the Big Brother game.
“I think the biggest mistake that the majority of people make is, they assume they’re just going to be in the house for a long time,” Reilly said. “You have to play that game every single day, right from the beginning, right to the end. So physically and mentally, it’s sort of like being a pro athlete… You can’t take any games off, because not only is someone trying to beat you, there also is someone on your own team trying to take your job.”
Take a look at the video below for more on past Big Brother players.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]