Big Brother's All-Star season is going to look a little different than even Julie Chen expected. Ahead of Wednesday's 2-hour move-in special kicking off the much-anticipated CBS summer show, the longtime host revealed some of the contestants flown out to quarantine in preparation for the season tested positive for COVID-19, putting them out of the houseguest running.
Chen explained that the potential players were flown out to Los Angeles, then given their own houses for two weeks, where they were tested "constantly" for coronavirus in an interview with CBSN Los Angeles. "We flew in a bunch of people, more than 16," she said. "And some people I thought were definitely going in the house, they tested positive for COVID-19 so they couldn't go in. And I thought, 'Well, expect the unexpected.' … I'll just find out when I need to find out."
Chen also joked that Big Brother was the "original quarantine" long before the pandemic hit. "We did this 20 years ago and it's like, we were ahead of our time. And now we're all living in quarantine," she joked. Some of the best houseguests to ever play the game will be returning this season, the former The Talk host teased. "Big Brother: All-Stars, it's going to be interesting," she said. "They've played this game before, some of them know each other from the Big Brother world and some of them don’t. But I'm sure they've all heard of each other."
TMZ reported last month that some of the players being brought out to Los Angeles were Josh Martinez, the Season 19 winner, Nicole Franzel, the Season 18 winner, Season 8 runner-up Daniele Donato, Season 18 alum Paulie Calafiore, Season 20 runner-up Tyler Crispen, three-time contestant Janelle Pierzina, Season 14 winner Ian Terry, Season 12 winner Hayden Moss and Season 20 alum Bayleigh Dayton.
Tuesday, Martinez took to Twitter to reveal he would not be competing this season but claimed his health was "great" amid rumors that he had tested positive for COVID-19. "There's been a lot of speculation about me being on this season of big brother Allstars (sic)," he tweeted. "I can say that I will not be on this season. Many rumors have been said in the past few days about me that I couldn’t address but to be clear my health is great."
Don’t believe everything you read online most of the rumors about me have been false. To be honest I’m bummed that I’m not on but couldn’t be more grateful with everyone over at CBS for always being so great, supportive, & being part of completely changing my life for the better.— JOSH MARTINEZ (@JOSHMBB19) August 4, 2020
As a super fan I’m excited for this season and can’t wait to root for some of my good friends. Congrats to all the alum this szn and wishing all of them the best. I’m so hyped to enjoy the show as a fan & watch with all of you. Sending all of you good vibes. 🙏🏽🖤 #bb22— JOSH MARTINEZ (@JOSHMBB19) August 4, 2020
Big Brother's 22nd season, its second all-stars edition, will kick off with a live movie-in show on Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 9 p.m. ET, followed by three episodes a week on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, all airing at 8 p.m. ET. There will be no live audience during Thursday's eviction show to comply with coronavirus safety guidelines.