Big Brother Sister
Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

CBS was one of the pioneers of the “All-Stars” reality-TV concept, bringing beloved/hated contestants back to Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Big Brother for a second or third attempt at the big prize. (See: Russell Hantz on Survivor, circa 2009-2011.) They also pioneered a similar, but decidedly more problematic, concept: Casting the relative of an All-Star on a reality show, in the hopes that “being good at reality TV” is a genetic trait. (See: Aaron and Willie Hantz, circa 2011-2013.) This is known as the Coy and Vance Principle.

The network just announced the cast of this summer’s supersized season of Big Brother, and sure enough, one castmate looks a little bit familiar, if you squint a little bit — or if you just close your eyes and let your ears bleed. Elissa Slater is a fitness specialist, a nutrition specialist, a yoga instructor, and several other synonyms for “actress” probably. She is also the sister of Rachel Reilly, the half-crazy Big Brother powermonger who was one of the show’s greatest villains in Big Brother 12 before she became a cinderella-story hero who won Big Brother 13. In a video interview, Elissa does a pretty good Rachel impression and assures viewers that she has her “eye on the prize.” Alas, Elissa is married, which probably means she won’t conduct a kookball affair with a fellow houseguest like her sister. (Probably.) (Weirder things have happened.)

The season begins next Wednesday and runs for a show-record 100 days, which either means you’ll be hearing a lot about Elissa for the next three months or you’ll completely forget about her when she’s kicked out by Week 2.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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Episode Recaps

Big Brother
Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

  • TV Show
  • 23
  • TV-14
  • CBS
stream service