By now it’s become a summertime ritual: The next installment of CBS’ Big Brother has arrived. Even better, BB3, debuting July 10, boasts the sexiest group of participants since the show’s 2000 debut, says one of its exec producers, Arnold Shapiro. ”I don’t want to insult last year’s [cast], but this group is gonna make bathing-suit time worth watching,” he says. ”And I must say, we have some hot single moms.” And who better to put out the flames than a real-life firefighter? Also in the mix: a comely Southern belle and a smooth-skinned gay man. ”He’s not hairy like Bunky,” says Shapiro, referring to last year’s furry-backed homosexual housemate Bunky Miller. Here’s EW’s exclusive first look at the entire BB3 cast:
— Chiara Berti, 25, a single marketing rep from New York City — Amy Crews, 23, a single real estate appraiser from Memphis — Lisa Donahue, 26, a single bartender from Los Angeles — Josh Feinberg, 28, a single waiter from Long Island — Jason Guy, 24, a single videographer from Mobile, Ala. — Gerry Lancaster, 51, a twice-divorced father of three and teacher from Shadow Hills, Calif. — Roddy Mancuso, 30, a single writer from Morristown, N.J. — Lori Olson, 36, a divorced mother of three and bank representative from Foxboro, Wis. — Eric Ouellette, 26, a single firefighter from Milford, Conn. — Tonya Paoni, 35, a twice-divorced mother of five and retail sales specialist from Las Vegas — Danielle Reyes, 30, a married mother of two and media buyer from Fairfield, Calif. — Marcellas Reynolds, 34, a single, gay stylist from Chicago
While not much has changed from last summer (Julie Chen remains as host, and it’s likely the streaming online video will return for at least $9.95 a month), Shapiro says this group is far more savvy to the ways of Big Brother. ”Some have become students of the show, so they feel they can compete even [better than last year’s crew],” he explains. ”However, we made a few format and rule changes that will make them have to rethink their strategy.” Ooh, we love a mystery!
Fortunately for CBS, reality shows like Fox’s American Idol and NBC’s Dog Eat Dog are having huge success this summer, and Shapiro’s confident that folks will tune into BB3 — if only to get an update on what last year’s winner, Will, is up to. (Hint: Shannon is still in the picture, and he’s peddling a spec script in Hollywood!) ”This cast is every bit as colorful and competitive as last year’s,” promises Shapiro, ”but in some ways more devious or cutthroat.” We’re in.