Big Brother 21

Big Brother 21 Preseason Player Rankings

Matt Liguori ranks the Big Brother 21 players, joined by RHAP podcasters Aman Adwin and Kirsten MacInnis, and Big Brother Canada 7’s Eddie Lin.

Note: If reading on a cell phone, rotate your device horizontally to read the rankings side-by-side.

Big Brother 21 Preseason Player Rankings

It’s that time of year! Some of us have a great time with Big Brother year-round, as Celebrity Big Brother and Big Brother Canada keep us entertained all Winter and Spring; others only come around for this one season a year, Big Brother U.S. (which lasts entirely too long.. 99 days!), but no matter where you fall in that, this is always an exciting time.

As usual, this preseason started with a lot of speculation over what kind of cast we’d be getting. All Stars? Mixed newbies and vets? All newbies? As of now, it looks like we’re getting a normal season of 16 new players and that sounds fantastic. I’m not against returning players like a lot of other people tend to be (BBCAN5 is in my top 5 seasons overall) but the dynamic of 16 new players usually gives way to an entertaining season.

This cast is looking great so far and while I’m sure a twist will come in and ruin any excitement being built up… we can try to enjoy the hype for now! To kick off the new season I’m back here with another set of preseason player rankings. It was a lot of fun having three guests join me for Celebrity Big Brother 2‘s preseason so I made that happen again here with a mix of newbies and returnees (gasp)!

Down below you’ll be seeing rankings from myself as well as guests Kirsten MacInnis, Aman Adwin, and fresh off of Big Brother Canada 7, Eddie Lin! Make sure you’re following all these guys on Twitter (I’m sure you already are) and let us all know what you think!


A look back at my past predictions:

  • Big Brother 19 – Josh was ranked #4 of 16
  • Celebrity Big Brother 1 – Marissa was ranked #5 of 11
  • Big Brother Canada 6 – Paras was ranked #2 of 14
  • Big Brother 20 – Kaycee was ranked #7 of 16
  • Celebrity Big Brother 2 – Tamar was ranked #2 of 12
  • Big Brother Canada 7 – Dane was ranked #9 of 14… but don’t forget about Anthony at #3!

Take a quick glance at our rankings, then scroll down below to read why each of us ranked each player where we did!

MATT

1. Jack

2. Nick

3. Tommy

4. Sam

5. Nicole

6. Analyse

7. Jessica

8. Bella

9. Kemi

10. Christie

11. Ovi

12. Jackson

13. Kathryn

14. David

15. Cliff

16. Holly

EDDIE

1. Jack

2. David

3. Nick

4. Nicole

5. Kemi

6. Tommy

7. Sam

8. Kathryn

9. Analyse

10. Jessica

11. Christie

12. Cliff

13. Jackson

14. Bella

15. Holly

16. Ovi

KIRSTEN

1. Kemi

2. Ovi

3. Tommy

4. Kathryn

5. Sam

6. Analyse

7. Nick

8. Jack

9. Holly

10. Nicole

11. Christie

12. Jackson

13. David

14. Jessica

15. Bella

16. Cliff

AMAN

1. Ovi

2. Tommy

3. Kemi

4. Jack

5. Nick

6. Analyse

7. Bella

8. Kathryn

9. Christie

10. Nicole

11. David

12. Holly

13. Jessica

14. Sam

15. Jackson

16. Cliff

MATT


1. Jack

Jack is going far this season, just like a Fessy or Austin did before him. While those guys didn’t win and one of them is Fessy, I have a lot of confidence in Jack. The tall guy with a manbun always feels like the guy everyone enjoys being around and trying to work with. Looks and height aside, Jack seems super personable. Jack only becomes as big of a threat to the rest of the house as I believe he is once the late-game comps get underway and he’s able to win almost any of them. He’ll be great socially, physically, and mentally… what more could I ask for?


2. Nick

Nick is the biggest gamer on this cast from where I’m sitting, but how often in recent years has that player won? He has great insight on how this game works and how it can be won, but he seems like an emotional/passionate guy and the house will bring out those traits in a big way. Nick is also a mama’s boy, and that’s the trait I saw in Anthony (BBCAN7) which helped me realize his potential. I suppose there’s a world where Nick flames out and makes great TV along the way, but this guy has what it takes to fight for his life all the way to the end if needed. I hope Nick at least makes the jury. His opinions on the BB19 and BB20 juries has me very intrigued to see if he’d influence others to vote for the Paul or Tyler of this season.


3. Tommy

Tommy is one of the biggest threats in the game and if the rest of the house lefts him get to jury, they’re making a big mistake. A lot of competitions are built for someone Tommy’s size and he’s definitely smart enough for the mental comps. He’ll be able to connect with every person in the house and at the risk of overhyping him (I see a lot of Tommy love out there) I’m feeling really good about his chances. He’s a family guy, a big entertaining personality, and a huge Big Brother fan, so I can’t wait to see what Tommy can do.


4. Sam

Sam’s goofy personality reminds me of a bizarre version of either Zach Rance or Johnny Mac. Sam seems like the funny guy in his normal life and recognizes he may need to tone that down. It’s good to keep your housemates laughing, but don’t get on their nerves or they’ll want you out fast. Sam could have Josh Martinez upside of being a goofy dude who sticks around by a strong player’s side and ends up beating them in the final 2.


5. Nicole

Nicole’s main selling point is that she may have seen more Big Brother than 85% of the rest of the cast (having watched since BB11). Nicole’s interviews and character seems like a lot to handle but I’m hoping she’ll be a little less shocking once actually put into the game. We’ll see if Nicole can finish the puzzle Kaitlyn started and bring a win back to Long Island. I’d be here for it!


6. Analyse

If not Lauren O’Connell from Survivor, I’m thinking Natalie Negrotti or Haleigh Broucher. Nothing about Analyse says “big threat”. She’ll probably get in a showmance, but showmances tend to do well and she seems focused on the win, planning to model her game after last season’s winner Kaycee. I guess you could say this is my sleeper pick.


7. Jessica

Jessica is too much of an easy early nominee/target for me to have a lot of confidence in her, but if she can survive a few rounds I think Jessica could go deep this season. I worry all the young kids will get together and form a Level-6 type group which excludes the older houseguests, 30-ish Jessica included, but Jessica isn’t a threat. She’s not a typical comp beast. She doesn’t have an intimidating personality. She’s levelheaded and someone you should try to work with if the players in that house are smart. Jessica is someone I can see still living in the house come September, which already puts her ahead of so many others.


8. Bella

Bella is a lot of fun and the Jun Song upside would be super real if Bella was a fan. They have the exact same fun bubbly personality that made Jun so much fun to watch. Bella wants to make bonds with everyone in the house and if she can do that without being obvious about it, why couldn’t she win? She’s another one who’s game could blow up by week 2, but if she’s still there around jury time keep an eye on Bella to get dragged to final 2 by a stronger player who thinks she’s an easy win despite her making people laugh all summer long.


9. Kemi

I love Kemi. She seems to be a fan of the game and probably the most invested in winning out of anybody on this cast. She wants the check and she’s prepared to work for it. Kemi did her research, she’s been watching for a few years, and she’s very intelligent. But is she as focused on getting a man as she is on getting the money?! That’s not great, if so. If Kemi is here for the money and the man, she may only end up with one. It took her idol Rachel Reilly two seasons to get both!


10. Christie

Christie is the trap I usually fall into with preseason favorites. She seems like a super fun person to live with and very solid socially. We talk a lot about the gay men that play Big Brother well but the gay woman’s skillset doesn’t get talked about enough. We saw firsthand last season how Kaycee was able to connect with the women while also being “one of the guys” and Christie should be able to do the same. I really want to see Christie around all season and I think she has potential. But these players I love pre-season tend to go out early, so Christie gets a low rankings with my assumption she’ll join some of my other robbed pre-jury faves.


11. Ovi

Ovi is one of the smartest people on this cast at such a young age. Being the huge fan that he is should be somewhat of an advantage, but looking around at the rest of the players here I’m not sure where he fits in for 99 days of this way-too-long show. I’m hoping Ovi can find a way to get to jury but I’m really not counting on it. I’m worried the BB community is ovi-hyping him!


12. Jackson

I’m here for Jackson’s level of preparedness entering this game. He seems like he’s here for the win. I’m with him on first HoH being a good one to win these days and if he’s able to win that one or anything early on I think he’ll establish himself at a staple of the house and someone worth working with. It’s not impossible for the chiseled-jaw male model type to win (Cody was one bad decision away from it) but Jackson seems like he wants to be the Derrick while looking like the Cody, and that’s too threatening.


13. Kathryn

Between her solid knowledge of Big Brother and possible partnership/pre-gaming, Kathryn going home pre-jury would surprise me. I like that she read HTWFAIP, I don’t often hear that from BB prospects. Kathryn seems like a big character and someone who will stand out from day 1, but if she’s got allies who know they can trust her, perhaps this “possible new Janelle” can find a Howie, James, and Kaysar to run the game for a few weeks. Either way, it’s hard to see her still in the house around September.


14. David

David is a smooth talker and super charming. His natural charisma and strange ability to cry on command should be helpful in keeping him close with an alliance who needs a strong player/number… until that alliance doesn’t need him anymore or he ends up talking way more than he should’ve and pisses off the wrong person in power. He strikes me as somebody who will struggle to care about how he’s treating the outsiders of the house and end up being an easy person to put on the block because of his lack of real connections.


15. Cliff

The older houseguest is just not winning. I’m sorry, there’s no chance. I hope he sticks around for a while because he’s a big fan of the show and probably ecstatic to be there, but Big Brother is not made for the older houseguest to win. Cliff seems more fun and friendly than your average older contestant, but Big Brother is about who you want to spend your summer with and generally the young kids don’t want to spend the summer hanging out with and talking to a parental-figure. However, him being such a fan and having seen so much Big Brother gives him a leg up over players like…


16. Holly

Holly may be good TV, but she’s not winning. She’s got no strategy. She’s got no plans. She probably didn’t even finish BB20 in sequester. Being a tour guide might mean she has a good personality, but that’s almost like acting, right? She’s putting on a performance every day. Being in the house brings out your true personality and I wonder if Holly is as fun and personable when the pressure gets turned on. Holly seems like this season’s Angela and if she wants to go anywhere near as far she better find herself a Tyler.

EDDIE


1. Jack

Jack is a self-proclaimed “good guy” with honesty and integrity, but he is also not afraid to be hated and win. He obviously can’t hide his buff physique, but he also doesn’t appear to be a very in your face kinda guy. I think people will align with him because of his likability and physical strength, to a point that it will be too late to get rid of him. He will likely earn respect from both sides of the jury members who prioritize game play and those who prioritize integrity.


2. David

David is a recruit who admits to playing a boring and safe game. But I can see him surprising us and learning things quickly on the fly, while not being perceived as a threat due to his non-superfan status. His ability to cry on the fly is a very valuable skill, as long as he’s not overdoing it to a point he appears fake. I can see him going very far, but also losing to a more active player.


3. Nick

I can see Nick using his therapist skills to be the figure everyone wants to talk to. He knows the importance of joining a strong early alliance, but I can’t see him sticking out in that alliance. He says he will call people out and cause problems (please do! I’m living for drama, king!), but since he’s adamant about how he prioritizes his reputation over everything else, I can’t see him making any controversial moves… meaning he’ll have many friends in the jury. This makes him a top contender of being cut before final 2.


4. Nicole

I can totally see Nicole as a perpetual pawn, until F3 where everyone suddenly catches up to her self-proclaimed intelligence and realizes that everyone sitting next to her goes home. I really don’t want to say this overused phrase that I want to puke every time whenever I hear a houseguest says in the DR, but “pawns do go home”.


5. Kemi

Kemi wants to play the game authentically, and by authentically she means she wouldn’t be a sweetheart or pretend to be nice. Yes, that might rub people the wrong way, but with a lot of houseguests in this cast saying they value authenticity in people, she may earn some respect. Her big personality may used as a shield for other players until very late in the game.


6. Tommy

Tommy’s loud personality is not everyone’s cup of tea but I can see people looking past that because he is a Broadway gay™ (no shade, I adore him). He wants to declare a public enemy to hide his real enemies. This is a valid strategy, but also highly dependent on luck since his public enemy could eventually come to power. His confession that he is easily manipulated doesn’t help his game either.


7. Sam

He gives me the vibe that although he is trying to hard to be hip, he won’t get along too well, though not too badly either, with other houseguests. He will be dragged along late in the game because he’s not offensive, but I don’t see him being too close with people, in a way ironically similar to Sam from BB20. Playing a rat game and running around with his mouth is also likely to get him into trouble since he’s already an odd man out.


8. Kathryn

This aspiring social media influencer acknowledges she could be the first one gone. Well nobody knows her better than she does. She appears to be strategic, but not being able to control herself will be the downfall of her game. Her being paranoid will cost her trust within her own alliance too.


9. Analyse

She wants to replicate Kaycee’s strategy, and being a college soccer star she is able to pull off competitions like Kaycee. But Kaycee literally just won the last season, recency bias means that people are going to catch up to how similar she and Kaycee are, and you better bet they won’t allow history to repeat itself! Also, her being 99% likely to be in a showmance will put an additional target on her back!


10. Jessica

Jessica is playing a floater game. She doesn’t want to make early alliances, and prefers to keep her mouth closed. This excludes her from a lot of strong bonds that usually form in the beginning of the game. When jury is coming up, if no one knows where her head’s at, she’ll be in a very vulnerable position!


11. Christie

She is a metaphysical practitioner (Hi Kaitlyn), already crying in the diary room, wants to lead men on despite claiming she’s a lesbian, wants to play a game with integrity but also can’t keep secrets… OMG she’s clearly going to be a mess. She is also one of the very few people this year who don’t mention anything about laying low, making her an easy house consensus boot.


12. Cliff

Cliff is very aware that his older age makes him an automatic target, so he will pimp himself as a soldier to a stronger player early in the game. Valid strategy, but since he obviously stands out in the younger crowd, his every strategic move will be more noticeable by others, making him appear extra sketchy. His alliance that he joined may buy him a couple of weeks, but he would likely be the bottom of the totem pole and be the first sacrifice.


13. Jackson

I really feel that this season an alpha male is going to be booted early. I can see everyone wanting to be in an alliance with him because of his looks, but that will soon backfire on him as people slowly come to the realization they may look like Paul’s minions to the audience! Also, in a house where everyone is waiting to win competitions in the second half of the game, Jackson is the clear obstacle to that success path.


14. Bella

I don’t want to put this into the universe because I stan her. But almost every person in this cast explicitly say they are going to lay low and play safe in the first half of the game, almost everyone that is except for Bella and Christie. Ugh another boring house, another robbed queen.


15. Holly

Holly just appears to me as someone who is clueless about the game, and her confession that she does not get along with the girls make me wonder if she will sell out the girls to the guys, ending up in a situation where no side likes her.


16. Ovi

He wants to play like Hayden and replicate the Brigade alliance. The problem is no other male this season expresses similar interest in forming an all-male alliance. I can totally see Ovi trying to form an all-male alliance Day 1, only for that alliance to be exposed and put a target on himself, like Joey in BB16.

KIRSTEN


1. Kemi

Kemi is my official winner pick this season. She watched a LOT of Big Brother in a short period and she’s thirsty for the win. She’s motivated and honestly, I just like her the best.


2. Ovi

Ovi’s a sweet superfan who says all the right things… but I don’t know if I believe him. He seems like he can pull the lost puppy strategy and get someone else to take him under their wing.


3. Tommy

Tommy is SO bubbly and bright, I can’t imagine people not falling in love with him. My concern is if they will still love him once he’s stabbed them in the back, but I do have faith in him to mitigate that.


4. Kathryn

Again, she says all the right things, but I’m being cautious about believing her. Knowing Holly going in is a huge advantage, and I think she has the killer instinct to make it work more for herself than Holly.


5. Sam

I think Sam will probably get into arguments over cleaning, but otherwise he just seems like a regular guy, which is not what I personally watch for. He’ll go far and we’ll be bored.


6. Analyse

I think she is going to be a sleeper in this game. Houseguests might forget about her like I did in my rankings originally. I’m not ready to say “Yass Queen” but I will if I have to.


7. Nick

I know people are stanning, but honestly Nick bores me. If he keeps that energy he’ll probably go far but I don’t think it’s going to be exciting. I hope he ends up surprising me and going down in a blaze of glory.


8. Jack

Jack is going to get in a showmance. It’s happening whether we want it or not (I don’t!) and we just need to deal with it. He’s… fine and he’ll probably go far but I don’t think he’ll be bringing the entertainment.


9. Holly

Holly also comes in with the benefit of already knowing someone and (allegedly) pregaming. I think that will be her only saving grace. She seems like someone who is definitely going to expose a girl’s alliance and earn my ire for life, but may be too worried about her public image to do what she needs to strategically. I think we’ll see Holly in some kind of dramatics most of the time she is in the house, which will at least be exciting.


10. Nicole

She LOCKED HER PARENTS IN THE BASEMENT. She’s wild. She’s going to be an extremely high variance player, and I hope she’s around for the long haul for our enjoyment.


11. Christie

I hope I’m wrong about her, but I don’t think we’ll see Christie for long this summer. She’ll be fun while she lasts.


12. Jackson

At least this year’s Winston didn’t present as super charming… I just find him so uninteresting and assume everyone else will too.


13. David

He has no idea what planet he’s on, and I assume we’ll get a Jozea-esque “I guess the live feeds are done” moment from him. Maybe he can use those cry on command skills to adapt but I doubt it.


14. Jessica

She is shot out of a cannon, and I think it’s going to irritate people. I do think she might be able to maneuver, but my hopes are not high.


15. Bella

Bella cannot fake it… at all.

I think she’ll say the wrong thing and get herself in hot water.


16. Cliff

I like Cliff. He comes across as a charming guy. But he’s just so much older than everyone else, and will stick out like a sore thumb. His best bet is to come in like a father-figure and if he does that… people might not respect his game.

AMAN


1. Ovi

Bold move putting one of the youngest people in the top spot but anyone that studied Big Brother in a sociology class is getting major points from me. Plus he was class president in college so he can clearly politic around the house. He’s also just genial and warm. I think he can win Big Brother by being little brother.


2. Tommy

BROADWAY BABY! I was most intrigued with the strategical insight we got in both his interviews. He’s also the one that seemed the most self-aware about his own abilities and how he can leverage them in the house. I know sometimes the gay men get boxed into the ‘over the top’ ‘extra’ stereotype but I’m confident Tommy can turn it on and off when he needs to.


3. Kemi

When she said that she loved Rachel I truly hope she meant BB13 Rachel. She’s self aware of how much more logical she is than emotional.  She’s here to get that money! I mean she binged 10 seasons in a row. She STUDIED. I loved that Ika asked the “angry Black girl” question, and honestly I’m not mad about her answer. I think she knows what she’s here to do and how to do it. 


4. Jack

I know he was cast as the eye candy and the showmance magnet but I’ve got a good feeling about him! He’s charming and will undoubtedly win a few comps. I think he can go the Mark route but in a more proactive way. As long as he isn’t bogged down by a showmance, I see him being everyone’s best friend.


5. Nick

He seems the most ready to play! But I worry about the usual going too hard too fast narrative. He claims to be confrontational if someone is being mistreated and I believe him being that he’s a therapist for kids. He’ll be die hard ally and a horrible enemy. Nick being more privy to the game than most of the other houseguests should work in his favor.


6. Analyse

She’s a pretty girl so all the guys will want to keep looking at her. She screams comp beast which will also keep her around. She’s low key which maybe will come across as someone who’s easy to manipulate, and if she uses that to her advantage she’ll stick around for a while.


7. Bella

The confident darling, the confidence! Bella seems like a lot of fun and she’s calculated. She wants to always be in the know of the goings on of the house and she seems very straight forward. I think she’ll probably piss a few people off along the way, but her lack of ambivalence is going to make her easy to trust.


8. Kathryn

 I’ll say this. I wasn’t high on Kathryn at first because she talks too much and seems like she’s going to annoy the hell out of the house BUT.. if this tea we’ve heard recently has any shred of truth that means that this girl has started PLAYING far before her fellow houseguests. I see a dark horse with blonde hair.


9. Christie

I loved what she said about using her sexuality against the men. I love that she cried in the diary room out of sheer excitement.  I love that she’s a super fan. I love that she likes both Derrick and Jordan’s gameplay. But I hate that she’d rather come second and be loved. That worries me.


10. Nicole

I believe Nicole will do a lot better than most people give her credit for but she seems to be the only geeky one in the house. Usually there are some geek-adjacent folks as well so her best move is to meet common ground with as many people as possible. Get in good with the majority alliance and rock it Christine! I mean Nicole.


11. David

He cried on command for Ika. He is going to tell lies, lies, lies, and more lies. Lies on top of lies. He will have all of the deception of Tyler Crispen and none of the finesse of Anthony Douglas. I think his low-key personality will keep him around for awhile though. I see him being a sounding board for the distressed houseguest of the week. 


12. Holly

As soon as she told Jeff that she could make 500 thousand big ones “somewhere else” most of her potential went out the window for me. Some tea has leaked that she’s got a friend in the house, but in a game where you have to be all in and cut-throat, that won’t matter.


13. Jessica

Jessica comes across as a fade-into-the-background-till-jury-and-let-everyone-else-implode-but-not-actually-make-any-strategic-moves-herself-and-get-dragged-to-the-finals-but-have-no-winner’s-equity kinda player. Or she’s gone by day 30ish.


14. Sam

I like Sam. He seems like a really nice guy. I’m just not sure how well he can integrate into the house. He told Ika that he and his wife are neat freaks. Being a neat freak myself, that’s not something you can turn off. Him also being little older could also work against him. Not everyone can pull off the cool Dad schtick like Derrick.


15. Jackson

Intensity intensifies. An alliance will be forcibly formed by this guy and probably named ‘The Jackson 5’. Based off his interviews, Jackson seems very interested in being a stand-up guy which usually comes across like a try-hard in this house. Unless he lightens up I see him leaving early.


16. Cliff

Let’s face it: BB is such an ageist game.  As much as I’d love to see this guy win the money and start his Texas winery, I have a hard time believing he won’t be a likely first boot. He could go the Kevin route, but Kevin didn’t win either.

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