Here's our early take on the 13 castmembers of CBS' twist-errific ''Big Brother 5,'' from a cowboy to a mortician to a yoga instructor

By Kathleen Perricone
Updated July 10, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Big Brohter 5: Tony Esparza

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Meet the cast of ”Big Brother 5”

The fifth installment of CBS’ ”Big Brother” (Tuesdays and Saturdays at 9 p.m., Thursdays at 8) is as twisty as a strand of DNA — appropriate, considering this season’s shocks.

As part of what the show dubbing is Project Do Not Assume (yes, that’s DNA for short), housemates Jennifer and Michael discover they have the same father (uh, don’t worry: there’s no hook-ups between the half sibs, as far as we know). Plus, host Julie Chen is teasing a future subplot involving a contestant and his or her identical twin.

Here’s our assessment of the latest batch of housemates, who’ll while away the days eating sickening amounts of PB&J, lazing around the pool — and, oh yeah, scheming to win the $500,000 grand prize.

Image credit: Adria Okins: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Adria

AGE 30

FROM Birmingham, Ala.

OCCUPATION Web designer

WHAT SHE SAYS Married Southern belle Adria thinks her Scarlett O’Hara charm and culinary skills will take her far in the game.

WHAT WE SAY What good was cooking during the first week, when the housemates were restricted to just peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches? Plus, Adria’s perky persona and constant chatter about her dogs is sure to annoy cranky castmates.

Image credit: Diane Henry: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Diane

AGE 22

FROM Burlington, Ky.

OCCUPATION Cocktail waitress

WHAT SHE SAYS A clean freak with a fear of ”snotty girls,” Diane claims her motto is ”Treat people as they treat you” — but she also admits to telling lies. Funny — we missed that part of the Golden Rule.

WHAT WE SAY No one seems too eager to form an alliance with Diane, and she lacks diplomacy in confrontations (”If you step on my toes, I’m going to step right back on your toes,” she says). That kind of juvenile attitude wore out its welcome years ago on the playground — and it probably won’t fly in the ”BB” house either.

Image credit: Drew Daniel: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Drew

AGE 22

FROM Urbana, Ohio

OCCUPATION Recent college grad

WHAT HE SAYS Frat boy Drew claims women — as well as his own reflection — are his biggest distractions: ”If we have one bathroom and one mirror, I’ve been told that I take a while to get ready.”

WHAT WE SAY You’d expect charmer Drew to pony up to the ladies in the hopes of scoring lasting alliances. Instead he’s formed an alpha-male coalition with Jase, Scott, and Michael — they call themselves ”the Four Horsemen.” Don’t bet on this stallion, though: Drew could be thrown once the alliance inevitably falls apart. (Remember how ”Big Brother 4”’s Jun and Alison easily dissolved a similar all-male teaming?)

Image credit: Holly King: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Holly

Evicted July 29, 2004

AGE 20s

FROM Los Angeles


WHAT SHE SAYS Holly lists one of her hobbies as dressing her mannequin. She also names toenail painting as her favorite sport and says she’s appearing on ”Big Brother” for the good of ”blondekind.”

WHAT WE SAY This resident ditz is worth a laugh. Here’s hoping she’s around long enough for her roots to grow out.

Image credit: Jase Wirey: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Jase

Evicted Aug. 12, 2004


AGE 28

FROM Decatur, Ill.

OCCUPATION Volunteer firefighter

WHAT HE SAYS Jase calls himself ”crazy, crazy, crazy,” which is, you know, far more zany that just plain ol’ ”crazy.” He says he’s going to miss his puppy the most while in the house, which might explain the way he describes his own strategy: ”A controlled mess — like falling on the ground, yet missing the dog turd.”

WHAT WE SAY Sure, Jase is crazy — crazy like a fox. So far, he’s off to a good start: He’s already in an alliance, and he ruled the first week as the immunity-winning Head of Household. But we advise him to curb the gloating — cocky comments such as ”It’s like a sultan’s lair” and ”Fear me” won’t easily be forgotten when another houseguest takes the HoH reins.

Image credit: Jennifer Dedmon: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Jennifer

AGE 21

FROM San Antonio, Tex.

OCCUPATION Restaurant hostess

WHAT SHE SAYS Purple-haired, tattooed Jennifer not only has asked her housemates to call her ”Nakomis” (which, according to her, means ”daughter of the moon”), she’s also admitted she sings ”weird little songs all the time in little high-pitched voices, so that might get on people’s nerves.” Ya think?

WHAT WE SAY Jennifer — oops, Nakomis — is so wacky she doesn’t stand a chance. It was no surprise when Jase nominated her for the very first eviction.

Image credit: Karen O’Neil-Ganci: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Karen

AGE 30

FROM Saddle Brook, N.J.

OCCUPATION Portrait artist

WHAT SHE SAYS Gems like ”Don’t piss in my ear and tell me it’s raining” and ”Peanut butter constipates the hell out of me” are mere tastes of the sound bites viewers will be privy to from straight-shooter Karen this season.

WHAT WE SAY We love her spunk — but it could grate on housemates’ nerves after several weeks.

Image credit: Lori Valenti: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Lori

Evicted July 22, 2004

AGE 26

FROM Boston

OCCUPATION Yoga instructor

WHAT SHE SAYS Good girl Lori plans on winning the contest by ”forming trusting relationships and being honest.”

WHAT WE SAY Uh, does she know ANYTHING about reality TV? Still, maybe the naïveté is all part of her strategy. After all, Lori also says, ”I’m just a flirtatious person, and if that gets me further, that’s fine.”

Image credit: Marvin Latimer: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Marvin

AGE 36

FROM Conway, S.C.


WHAT HE SAYS ”I say what I want… I’m real… I’m TOO real for some people.”

WHAT WE SAY And that might be why Marvin deals with dead people on a daily basis. How’s he going to handle real live human beings?

Image credit: Michael Ellis: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Michael

AGE 23

FROM Durant, Okla.

OCCUPATION Security officer

WHAT HE SAYS Michael’s hobbies include riding bulls, roping, hunting, and listening to country music (we know, you can’t really tell from his picture). He also cites his emotions as his biggest weakness — a problem, considering he ”started tripping out hard-core” after discovering in episode 1 that housemate Jennifer is his half sister.

WHAT WE SAY This engaged daddy wanted the cash so much he almost kept the bombshell about Jennifer to himself for fear it’d hurt his game. That kind of greed may get him far.

Image credit: Mike Lubinski: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Mike

Evicted July 15, 2004

AGE 41

FROM Eastpointe, Mich.

OCCUPATION Commercial painter

WHAT HE SAYS Uh, nothing much. ”I’m not exciting,” Mike, the eldest houseguest, admits. ”I feel threatened that nobody is talking to me.”

WHAT WE SAY Well, we’re bored just writing about him. He tends to fade into the background — and his attempt to join an alliance was too little, too late (he’s already been put up for eviction).

Image credit: Scott Long: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Scott

Evicted Aug. 5, 2004

AGE 26

FROM Pittsburgh

OCCUPATION Sales representative

WHAT HE SAYS ”I come off real bad,” says Scott, who wants ”to be an American icon” and views himself ”as a threat based on my looks.”

WHAT WE SAY For his arrogance alone, we’re hoping for just one more twist: that the audience can vote him off the show if the houseguests don’t.

Image credit: Will Wikle: Tony Esparza


Meet ”Big Brother 5”’s Will

AGE 26

FROM Tupelo, Miss.

OCCUPATION Registered nurse

WHAT HE SAYS He’ll do anything for the Benjamins: ”Make me walk naked through a pit of snakes while eating a raccoon’s testicles.”

Episode Recaps

WHAT WE SAY Oprah-worshipping Will is playing it smart by forming an alliance with gal pals Lori and Karen instead of that frat-pack of Horsemen. He’s also stealthy and secretive: Although openly gay, he has only come out to housemate Lori so far because he doesn’t ”want to play the Gay Card too early.”

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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