Celebrity Big Brother is about to start tonight at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access with its first season and we’ll watch the 11 new celeb Houseguests head inside those doors and get ready to battle it out over the coming weeks for a $250,000 grand prize. While the fast-paced format and twists aren’t yet known, we can still look at the celebrities and try to figure out which ones might have a shot at winning and which ones absolutely don’t.
The hardest part about making these predictions is that we don’t know how the winner will be chosen. Will the evicted HGs be sequestered in the jury house and return to vote on the finale like a regular season? Will the celebrities go home and get to watch the episodes, then come back and vote for a winner like they did back in Big Brother season 2 and 3. Or will America vote for the winner like on Big Brother: Over the Top. Each of those versions could have a strong influence over who wins.
For this list, I’ve divided the 11 HGs into four categories. There are the people with absolutely no chance of winning the game, the ones who probably won’t win, the dark horses who could surprise everyone and the obvious frontrunners. No matter what twists are coming, I’d be truly surprised if the winner isn’t one of my frontrunner picks because they all seem like obviously superior players.
No Shot at Winning
Omarosa: On paper, she seems to be a fan who wants to win and she has a lot of reality TV experience. But then there’s the Trump factor. For better or worse, she’s tied to President Trump and if his approval numbers are any indication, Omarosa will be met with a hostile reception. Even if she manages to slither her way to the end, whether it’s a jury vote or America’s vote to decide the winner, I can’t imagine how she could win. The anti-Trump sentiment will be too strong, especially among celebrities and Big Brother fans. [LEARN MORE ABOUT OMAROSA]
Metta World Peace: This former NBA player doesn’t know anything about the game and he doesn’t care. Throughout his pre-season interviews, he revealed that he knows absolutely nothing about the game and how it works and he wasn’t interested in learning about it before going in. His plan is simply to be himself and figure it out, which is the same as having no plan. I can’t imagine that his lackadaisical attitude will be a winning strategy. [LEARN MORE ABOUT METTA]
Keshia Knight Pulliam: She doesn’t know the game and seems to value her integrity more than trying to win the game. That’s not a good combination, and the fact that she was the first person eliminated from both The Celebrity Apprentice and Splash is also a bad omen. She doesn’t seem to have the knowledge or drive to win. [LEARN MORE ABOUT KESHIA]
James Maslow: On first glance, the young athletic member of Big Time Rush seems like someone who could win. He’ll probably do very well in the competitions, which could either make him a huge target or the player that everyone wants to align with. My biggest concern is that in all of his interviews, his primary reason for being on the show seems to be as a platform to promote himself and his brand. He’s here for exposure to try and boost his career, not to win. He’ll probably be so consumed with his image that he won’t be able to make aggressive moves or play the kind of cutthroat game you need to play in order to win. [LEARN MORE ABOUT JAMES]
Ariadna Gutierrez: The former Miss Colombia seems very sweet, but that’s not a good thing on this show. She seems very averse to conflict and she doesn’t like liars, so this house is a terrible place for her to be. She may go far as a floater and non-threat like season 16’s Victoria, or she could be so eager to please that she volunteers to be a pawn and then goes home as so many pawns do, like season 16’s Paola. Either way, I don’t think anyone will respect her game enough at the end to vote for her to win, even if she makes it that far. [LEARN MORE ABOUT ARIADNA]
Chuck Liddell: The former UFC fighter could be the embodiment of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Though he seems tough and intimidating, he comes across as soft-spoken and sweet, like a gentle giant. He’s not a huge fan, but like with an MMA fight, he’s doing his homework to prepare for battle and he’s extremely competitive. If he can win some competitions and surprise people with his kindness, he may have an outside shot. [LEARN MORE ABOUT CHUCK]
Brandi Glanville: Brandi doesn’t know much about the game, despite having played Celebrity Big Brother in the U.K. (which has completely different rules). Still, she’s done a lot of reality TV with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Celebrity Apprentice, where she made it to fourth place. Like Chuck, she describes herself in interviews as very competitive and eager to win, which can’t be said for everyone in the cast. She’ll probably get into fights, but if she can do it like Janelle Pierzina or season 13 winner Rachel Reilly, that may get viewers and others on her side. [LEARN MORE ABOUT BRANDI]
Shannon Elizabeth: One of three true superfans, this actress and professional poker player is extremely well-versed in the details of the show’s fandom, even appearing on Evel Dick Donato’s recap shows Dick at Nite to discuss past seasons. She’s in good shape, understands that you need to adapt your strategy to fit the players and twists and, as we saw with Vanessa Rousso, playing pro poker is great training for this game. She has all of the tools you look for in a potential winner. [LEARN MORE ABOUT SHANNON]
Ross Mathews: Another of the superfans, Ross has been a loyal viewer since season 1, when he attended the live finale. He knows he’s not the most physical competitor, but he wants to win and intends to play a strong social game, befriending people and then stabbing them as they leave. His strategy is to be underestimated, which should be easy to pull off. [LEARN MORE ABOUT ROSS]
Marissa Jaret Winokur: The third superfan,she’s just as obsessed with the show as Shannon and Ross, and as we’ve seen in most recent seasons, knowing the game and being a huge fan are huge advantages. She seems to know her flaws and plans on aligning with a strong player to win competitions for her. The only potential drawback is that it seems like she and Ross may be playing the same game, and I’m not sure if the house is big enough for the both of them. [LEARN MORE ABOUT MARISSA]
Mark McGrath: While not as big of a fan as the other three frontrunners, Mark started watching last summer and got hooked (thanks to Jessica’s beauty). He understands the basic rules of the game (which, for this cast, is impressive) and he’s thought about how the strategy for this shortened, three-week season is different from what constitutes good gameplay on a regular, three-month season. He seems very personable, with a self-deprecating sense of humor, and should be able to get along with everyone. [LEARN MORE ABOUT MARK]
My Winner Prediction
My original pre-season pick was Mark McGrath. I thought he was likeable, had enough knowledge of the game and could be a surprise threat. But then CBS decided to give live feed viewers a look inside the house during the first week. So far we’ve seen two, 15-minute sneak peeks of the feeds, and those have heavily influenced my decision.
I’m predicting that Shannon Elizabeth will win. It looks like there’s going to be a strong all-female alliance that might actually work out since none of the celebrities have any interest in a showmance. If the women stay loyal to each other, that keeps Shannon around for a while and she could easily win some competitions to get to the end.
I view Shannon as being similar to Vanessa, and if she had simply won that final HoH in season 17, Vanessa would’ve won the game. And I don’t think there’s a Steve Moses in the mix to cut her at the last minute, though I suppose Marissa may fill that role.
Now! No matter their strategy, the Celebrity Big Brother Houseguests have their eyes on the prize. Who do you think has a competitive edge? Share your predictions in the comment section below.
Stream tonight’s Big Brother premiere online with CBS’s All Access and you’ll also be ready for the Live Feeds when they launch tonight around 9PM PT (12AM ET). Make sure your subscription to All Access (1-week Free Trial then $5.99/mo) is renewed if you cancelled after last season or get your account set up now if you’re new to the fun. Thanks for supporting our site by signing up through our links!
Join us back here for our live coverage of tonight’s premiere at 8/7c and then get ready for the next episode, Thursday at 8/7c, and on Friday for a two-hour live eviction show at 8/7c. The Celebrity Big Brother schedulewon’t be like your regular summer BB routine. There are episodes up to five nights a week so buckle up! Stream the shows live or watch missed episodes on All Access anytime.