‘Big Brother 22’: How Will COVID-19 Make This Season Different Than Others?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, couldn’t keep Big Brother down. The show is back for season 22 with a set of 16 all-stars. But just because the show is back on television screens does not mean that everything will be business as usual. Production had to make some changes to the format of the show to make it safe for everyone.

Julie Chen
Julie Chen | ohnny Vy/CBS via Getty Images

Before the season

In order to have 16 people staying in a house in such close quarters together, precautions had to be taken before the series could begin. In fact, COVID-19 kind of dictated who could be a part of the cast.

“We flew in a bunch of people, more than 16,” host Julie Chen Moonves told CBSN Los Angeles. “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.”

The 16 who did make it through had to quarantine before entering the Big Brother house.

“As we speak right now, they’re quarantining by themselves in homes that we’ve rented for them,” Chen Moonves told Entertainment Tonight before the season started. “They’re getting tested every few days. They will go in once they’ve been clean and clear for at least 14 days and then even once they get in the house, they’re still going to be tested. They have no contact with anyone.”

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No interaction with Julie Chen

Chen Moonves’ relationship with the contestants has become a staple on the show. Her post-eviction chats typically end up being some of the spiciest moments of some seasons. But Chen Moonves is keeping her distance from the contestants this year.

“I’m doing testing,” she said.” I’m doing testing again and then I’m going to do more testing. I’ll be farther than ever from the houseguests as they get evicted. No hugs, not even a Chenbot handshake.”

No live audience or crew interaction

In addition to the houseguests not interacting directly with Chen Moonves, there will also be no live audience this year. The live audience has served as one of the best tools to rev up the drama during evictions, so it will be interesting to see how CBS makes the evictions juicy and fills the awkward silences.

The houseguests will not interact with the crew at all. And even the crew will only be working in small groups.

The houseguests will have their groceries disinfected and then delivered to them as well.

RELATED: ‘Big Brother 22’: Julie Chen Moonves Didn’t Want to Know the Names of the Final All-Star Cast

The ‘Big Brother’ house is safe

Since COVID-19 is contracted through contact with others, quarantining at home is one of the best ways to avoid getting it. In that respect, the Big Brother house was basically built to fight the coronavirus. The cast has always been secluded from the outside world.

“If you ask me, once you’re in the Big Brother house, it might be one of the safest places to be,” Chen Moonves told the outlet.

This probably means that fans won’t get to see any evicted cast members coming back into the house like they have in past seasons. That is, unless Big Brother decides to put them in a second, secluded location after eviction.

Big Brother All-Stars airs Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET,