‘Big Brother’: Josh Martinez Admits He Caught COVID-19 While in Sequester for ‘BB22’

Big Brother champ Josh Martinez prepared to compete in season 22, the second all-stars season. However, he was dropped from the cast at the last second. After initially refusing to answer why he didn’t compete, the 27-year-old claimed he produced two false-positive COVID-19 tests. However, in a Feb. 2021 interview, he admitted he did contract the virus.

Houseguest Josh Martinez to compete on this season of ‘Big Brother’ | Sonja Flemming

Many fans thought Josh Martinez had COVID-19 following ‘The Challenge 35’

Due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many fans thought Big Brother wouldn’t return as scheduled for summer 2020. However, it worked out, and the series returned for its 20th anniversary with a cast featuring all-returning players for the first time since 2006.

Shortly before the potential houseguests entered sequester for the star-studded season, BB19 champ Josh Martinez and BB20 winner Kaycee Clark filmed themselves partying without masks in Miami, Florida.

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

The two were then spotted in Los Angeles with other returning players, causing many to believe the upcoming houseguests flew into town to begin quarantining.

However, the two didn’t make it into the BB house and returned home, fueling rumors that the two contracted COVID-19. Additionally, four-time competitor Janelle Pierzina claimed they were supposed to be a part of the season but weren’t because they caught the novelty virus.

Martinez claimed he had a false positive COVID test

After they returned home, Martinez posted a tweet, seemingly confirming he planned on competing in the second all-stars season. However, he and Clark failed to answer why they were dismissed directly.

Shortly after BB22 concluded, Martinez claimed producers “pulled” him from the cast at the last minute due to, what he claimed, a false COVID test. He admitted the news upset him at the time but had since moved on because “everything happens for a reason.”

RELATED: Former ‘Big Brother’ Champ Josh Martinez Reveals Why He Didn’t Return for Season 22

The former champ kept up with the season and noted he would have aligned with outliers and fan-favorites Pierzina, Kaysar Ridha, and Da’Vonne Rogers.

Many fans wished Martinez and Clark competed in BB22 because it would have resulted in more diversity and likely a less predictable season.

Josh admits he caught COVID-19 after previously denying it

Even though the season 19 winner previously denied contracting COVID-19 and claimed he produced a false positive, Martinez finally admitted he did come down with the virus.

In a Feb. 2021 interview with ET Canada, the reality star revealed the BB producers contacted him about participating in the season in March 2020. He explained he agreed to compete in the all-stars season over The Challenge 36 and entered sequester for 15 days.

RELATED: ‘The Challenge 36’: Josh Martinez Admits He ‘Feels Bad’ About Blowups With CT Tamburello and Devin Walker

However, the former champ acknowledged getting sick with COVID-19 a month before the show premiered. He described his two-week experience with the virus as “the worse” he’s ever felt. Following three negative tests, Martinez noted he thought he could compete until he produced two positives.

As a result, the producers dropped him from the cast only two days before the premiere date. While the BB winner noted he attempted to maintain positive, he felt “heartbroken” and entered a “depressed state” following the news. However, the reality star decided to go straight into quarantine for The Challenge 36, where he went on to win his first elimination.