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Julie Chen blogs 'Big Brother': Season 12 premiere

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Julie-Chen

Image Credit: CBSHi everyone! Let the games (and the blogs) begin! We kicked off a new season  Big Brother tonight, welcoming 13 new HOUSEGUESTS  for a summer-long extravaganza of bikinis and backstabbing.  It’s so hard to believe, but ten years ago we started the ultimate voyeuristic reality show (52 cameras and 95 microphones) and here we are a decade later.

BUT FIRST!…

I’m so excited to bring you my weekly download on everything from the cast, twist, HOH, and evictions, and I hope you enjoy my take on what this season will have to offer. For my first blog entry I wanted to lay out my first impressions of the cast and this new season — and I’m interested to hear your take as well so be sure to comment below with your first impressions.

Cast Impressions: I believe this cast of characters might be one of the smartest ones we’ve ever assembled.  We have a college professor, a chemistry graduate student, a podiatrist, and a web designer who is a member of MENSA. We’re already seeing some cliques and alliances starting to form, but I’m eager to see how the speculation on the Saboteur will ultimately impact game play and strategy.  At this point in the game, everyone is still playing it safe, which is typical early on — no one is looking to rock the boat and end up on the nomination block, but I’m sure that will all change soon.

Here are my initial thoughts on the thirteen people crazy enough to potentially spend 75 days in lock down without any contact with the outside world.  P.S. – I think our show is without a doubt the toughest reality show on television from a mental standpoint.  I don’t know how these guys do it!

Andrew: The show’s first ever Orthodox Jew.  He’s an avid student of Big Brother and loves the game. We’ve already seen that he’s a prankster and I think Andrew has the potential to really stir the pot this season.

Kathy: I love Kathy.  She is the oldest Houseguest this season…keep your eye on her…you can’t count out a female Deputy Sheriff who oversees a department full of men!

Kristen: What a surprise…we have a bikini model in the house. So far Kristen is playing the “sit back and watch” game.  However, I get the sense her fellow Houseguests are starting to question why she’s so quiet.

Rachel: Rachel is a dynamic character.  She’s a VIP Cocktail waitress/chemistry graduate student who seems to get along with everyone.  But will her fellow Housemates think she’s too loud and over the top?  We’ll see!

Monet: Monet is a wildcard.  Wildly opinionated, but seems to be getting along with everyone at this point.  Does winning the $10,000 put a target on her back?

Enzo: I was surprised when Enzo first entered the house and didn’t say much, but I have a feeling he’ll start to pipe up very soon.  This guy will not be afraid to make some moves early on to secure his position in the house.

Hayden: Our first HOH.  Hayden is our All American guy. I’m calling it here…first showmance of the season between Hayden and Kristen?

Brendon: Resident hunk for this season!

Lane: The southern gentleman of this cast.

Matt: Matt is a genius – literally – as a member of MENSA.  He has the potential to be a serious gamer.  Matt strikes me as a guy who has coasted through life with his brain, but coasting through the BB house for 75 days is a whole different ballgame.

Ragan: Resident college professor, who will not be afraid to speak his mind and is eager to manipulate his housemates.

Annie: She has a great personality, the kind of girl that you want to hang out with.  She’s bi-sexual but hasn’t revealed that to the house yet.  Curious to see if she does and if so, how that impacts perception among her Housemates.

Britney: A small town southern girl, who talks a big game but not sure she can actually back it up.

HOH Competition: What can I say?  This was a classic Big Brother challenge.  Lucky break for Andrew, who volunteered to be the mascot.  He lost out on the rewards but is safe from elimination for the first week.  And how about Hayden – guess he’s either lucky or unlucky depending on how you look at it.  Lucky to win HOH, but could have put a target on his back by demonstrating his physical prowess.

Saboteur Twist: I’m constantly surprised and impressed with the twists that our producers come up with each season, and this year was no different with the addition of this season’s Saboteur game piece.  One of the better aspects of my job is delivering news like this to the Houseguest — just as they were settling into their new surroundings we spring an added layer of paranoia into the mix.  Loved watching the speculation spread like wildfire throughout the house.  Conspiracy theorists in the house are probably wondering — was Britney really injured during the challenge or was she trying to take her team out of the competition; Kathy consistently falling throughout the challenge seemed a little excessive and Brendon brushing his teeth in the dark seemed a little strange.

Who do you think the Saboteur is? Sound off below and remember, you can give the Saboteur their tasks to wreak havoc on the house. Submit your ideas at cbs.com.

The fourth of July has passed and summer is officially here… BIG BROTHER IS BACK! We are in for a great summer. Just as the temperatures are rising outside, the heat inside the Big Brother house is guaranteed to rise as well.  Remember to come back every week for my thoughts and reactions along the way.

Now check out our Big Brother recap and rewatch Julie Chen revealing the Saboteur twist below.