'Big Brother' Season 23: All the Twists of the Premiere, Explained

Big Brother is back this summer for Season 23—but some format changes could make this edition a different kind of game. Along with the 16 houseguests introduced in the premiere, the CBS show revealed a new set of twists to fit the "Big Risks and Big Rewards" theme of the season.

In the premiere, host Julie Chen Moonves gave one houseguest a chance to win big— and hinted there would be similar chances throughout the season. Read on for a full explanation of the new rules and what they mean for the competition going forward.

What Twists Were Introduced in the 'Big Brother' 23 Premiere?

The first and biggest twist is the prize money. In the press release announcing the season, CBS had said that the prize was set to be $500,000. However, on the night it was announced the money had been raised to $750,000.

That is, it has been raised for now—as the theme is "Big Risks and Big Rewards," that money could go up or down depending on the wagers contestants are willing to take.

Those 16 contestants entered the beach shack-themed house in the July 7 episode, streaming now on CBS and Paramount+. Straight away, they were set with a kick-off task that saw them having to build a plexiglass puzzle.

This task was a way of introducing the next twist introduced in the episode. Rather than playing as individuals, for now the contestants have been split into four groups, with the four houseguests who completed the puzzle in the fastest time now captains of those teams.

Each of the four captains—Frenchie, Whitney, Christian and Claire then all had to pick fellow houseguests to join their teams, after reading fun facts about them from a slot machine. The teams, named after playing card suits as the latest in a long line of gambling references, ended up as follows:

  • Aces: Whitney (captain), Brent, Derek X and Hannah
  • Jokers: Frenchie (captain), Azah, Britini and Derek F
  • Kings: Christian (captain), Alyssa, Sarah Beth and Xavier
  • Queens: Claire (captain), Kyland, Tiffany and Travis
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In another twist, being part of a team can be a very good thing for a houseguest—or it can send them home. Every week, whichever team features the Head of Household is safe from eviction that week. In the premiere, it is the Jokers who are safe after Frenchie becomes HOH after winning the house of cards challenge. The losing team meanwhile are the Kings, who become the Have-Nots for the week.

If that was not enough twists for Big Brother 23, Chen Moonves introduced a new twist that will take place across the competition, the Wild Card competition. For the first of these, Frenchie is offered a "Big Risk or Big Reward" challenge where he has to land a pair of over-sized dice onto a table within 45 seconds. The Big Reward: His team will be safe for two weeks if he manages it. The Big Risk: He loses his HOH status, the team lose their safety and the Queens take over if he loses.

big brother season 23 twists
Julie Chen Moonves introduced some major twists in the 'Big Brother' Season 23 premiere. CBS

For now, Frenchie refuses to take the gamble. However, as the stakes get higher and the game goes on, the Big Reward will seem more and more appealing, and the Wild Card competition is set to become a weekly occurrence on this season.

The show's executive producer Rich Meehan teased during an Entertainment Tonight interview: "There are going to be a lot of moments this summer that are going to force the houseguests to make decisions they have never had to make before... it could make some of their housemates happy, but it could really upset a few as well."

Big Brother Season 23 airs Wednesdays, Thursdays (from July 15) and Sundays on CBS. Episodes of the season so far are streaming now on the CBS website and app and on Paramount+.