"Big Brother" favorite and Minnesotan Janelle Pierzina is returning to the CBS show for its 22nd season.
Pierzina, 40, is from Grand Rapids and now lives in Minneapolis, working as a real estate agent, the network says. This is her fourth season on "Big Brother," which premiered Wednesday on CBS.
She first competed in 2005 in season six, when she was voted America's Favorite Houseguest by viewers, and finished third, the network says. The next year, she competed in season seven – the first-ever all-star season – where she also finished third. Her third time on the show was in 2012 for season 14.
The cast for this season – the series' second-ever all-star season – was revealed during the live premiere, marking a first for the long-running program that features a group of people living together being recorded 24 hours a day. Each week, a houseguest is voted out of the house live on air. The last person there wins $500,000.
Houseguests this year include past winners, finalists, "memorable personalities," and the best to never have one (Pierzina falls into that category, CBS said).
The premise of the show – isolating with a group of people in a house without the ability to leave or have contact with the outside world – is pretty perfect for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Plus, the show took precautions to keep people safe, requiring houseguests to quarantine in Los Angeles for two weeks and be tested multiple times for the coronavirus before entering the house together, host Julie Chen Moonves explained to CBS Los Angeles. (TMZ said at least one contestant was booted from the season due to a positive COVID-19 test.)
Meanwhile, crew members are being tested weekly, are required to wear masks while on the set, and can only go to areas of the set that correspond with their color group, Buzzfeed reports. There are no camera operators inside the house because the show is filmed on preinstalled cameras.
The show airs on CBS Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. (The Thursday episodes are the live eviction shows.)