‘Big Brother’ 18: Why Were Veteran Players Frank, Nicole, James, and Da’Vonne Chosen To Return To The Game, And Whose Team Will Reign Supreme?

With the two-hour premiere of Big Brother 18 airing Wednesday night, it was finally revealed who the four mystery houseguests are. Across social media, it was surmised that a coach season may be in the works and that the four returnees would definitely be veteran players. That presumption was partially right, as former Big Brother cast members entered the house (via a travel trunk no less), but they are not exactly acting as coaches or mentors for the newbies.


Frank Eudy from Big Brother 14 is back to play the game, along with Season 16’s Nicole Franzel, James Huling from Season 17, and Da’Vonne Rogers, also from Big Brother 17.

Having 17 seasons of Big Brother cast members to choose from in order to form this group of returnees, one must ponder why were these four were chosen to play the game once again, giving each another crack at the $500,000 prize. Looking at what these players did to stand out during their seasons of Big Brother offers possible reasons to why they were called to be in the house once again.


In Big Brother 14, Frank, the son of famed wrestler Sid Vicious, was a rookie player mentored by game legend Mike “Boogie” Malin, who returned to the house as a coach. According to Buddy TV, Frank is “one of the most polarizing figures in Big Brother history” due to being a charming competition beast, while expressing some shades of aggressiveness and hypocrisy. His unique slang was unforgettable, and his out of control hair – thoroughly cropped for season 18 – was part of his charm during his first go at the game.

Nevertheless, Buddy TV notes that Frank preached about the ills of bullying but appeared to “taunt and berate” two players during his season when prompted by his coach, Boogie, to do so. Despite this, Frank developed a large fan following and the entertainment he offered was definitely memorable. As Carter Matt puts it, “You either loved Frank or hated him,” but you must give him “credit for how hard he played the game and refused to quit no matter the circumstance…” In addition, one cannot forget that Frank was America’s Favorite Houseguest of Season 14 and won $25,000 as a result.


Nicole was part of Big Brother 16, considered one of the tamer or happier seasons of the show after the fiasco that was Season 15. She was the innocent, sweet, nerdy girl from Michigan who was working toward a nursing degree. Nicole became smitten in the house with fellow cast member Hayden Voss, and the two began a G-rated romance, making sure they did nothing untoward on camera. Nicole is unique, as after she was evicted from the game and sent to jury, she won her way back into the game for a second shot, reports Big Brother Network. Alas, she didn’t last long in that go round and was booted from the Big Brother 16 house a second time. This has made her a very memorable player, as Big Brother 18 is really her third chance at the grand prize.


James Huling, known for pranks and shenanigans during Big Brother 17, was a likeable, unique player in his season, describing himself as a “hillbilly Asian” who was head over heels for Taylor Swift, according to Times Record News. Many fans found James reminiscent of Donny Thompson, the loveable groundskeeper from Season 16, thus, James was a shoo-in to be popular with the public. He developed what appeared to be a serious crush on fellow cast member Meg Maley, which was bittersweet, as she liked James, but not as intensely as he seemed to like her. Just like Frank, James was voted America’s Favorite Player, thus his antics and vulnerability in the house made him a Big Brother player that is not easy to forget.


One of James’ housemates, Da’Vonne, has also returned to the game despite being evicted from Season 17 the second week of the game. Nonetheless, the young mother stands out as a Big Brother player, as her intuition and smarts shined over many of her fellow cast members. When Big Brother tried to pull a fast one by trying to convince the houseguests that twins Liz and Julia Nolan were one player by having them switch places periodically, Da’Vonne was the first houseguest to notice something was off. If the twins were able to avoid eviction and fool the house for five weeks, they would then have the right to each enter the game as two players.

Although Da’Vonne made her concerns known to other cast mates, they were non-responsive, and as a result, the twins made it into Season 17 as two players, and Liz made it to the final two. Da’Vonne also had a memorable tiff with Clay Honeycutt when his showmance partner Shelli Poole was Head of Household (HOH), and thus Shelli nominated Da’Vonne for eviction. In the Big Brother season of the short-lived “Takeover,” Da’Vonne was also the recipient of a “Last Laugh” power allowing her to block the votes of three houseguests, according to Movie Fone. For some reason, she did not choose Clay, but instead picked three other cast members, which was a bit of a head-scratcher and failed to save her from going home.


Each of these returning players was required to form teams by joining with three newbies, thus, Frank is playing with Bridgette, Michelle, and Paulie; Nicole’s team includes Tiffany, Corey, and Glenn; James has Bronte, Victor, and Natalie on his team; and Da’Vonne’s group includes Zakiyah, Jozea, and Paul.

Zap2It has Frank’s team, called “Category 4,” ranked to reign supreme at number one, as they are “cohesive,” won the second part of Wednesday night’s challenge, and “aren’t annoying. Yet.”

James’ group, “Team Unicorn,” is ranked two even though they were the winning team in the first challenge and are safe from the next two evictions because, as Zap2It asserts, “Victor is being a creeping creeper.” This is probably due to the edit Big Brother production has given him in which he seems to be intensely focused on Natalie rather than the game.

“Team Big Sister,” Da’Vonne’s group, is ranked third because of how “insufferable” both Paul and Jozea are, according to Zap2It. In fact, Da’Vonne was so upset with the manner in which Paul was ordering her around during a puzzle challenge, she was crying in the diary room over his treatment of her.

Nicole’s team, “The Freakazoids,” have been ranked fourth by Zap2It, simply because they had a very bad start of it Wednesday night. They lost all of the challenges and will be battling it out head-to-head Thursday night, resulting in the loser being evicted from the Big Brother 18 house. Thus, Nicole, Tiffany, Corey, or Glenn will be the first evictee of the season.

Big Brother 18 continues on Thursday night at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on CBS, followed by the commencement of this season’s Big Brother After Dark and the CBS All Access Live Feeds.

[Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images]