Season 26 of 'Big Brother' Shakes up the Competition With Several New Major Twists

Season 26 of 'Big Brother' shakes up the competition with several new twists and powers.

Chrissy Bobic - Author
By

Jul. 22 2024, Updated 12:26 p.m. ET

Julie Chen Moonves wears a black high-neck gown and smiles on stage with the 'Big Brother 26' logo behind her.
Source: Sonja Flemming/CBS

No season of Big Brother goes by without a significant twist to throw players and viewers off and make the competition heat up in a major way. Even before the July 2024 premiere of Big Brother 26, there were rumors about what the season's twist is, and how wild things could get. And it's all thanks to a cryptic teaser trailer that CBS shared online.

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In the teaser, you can hear the voices of past Big Brother players at monumental times throughout their individual seasons. This is all while a camera shows moving shots of different Big Brother rooms throughout the years. There's also text on the screen that mentions "if these walls could talk." As the Big Brother fandom does, many dedicated fans took these small clues and ran with them to figure out what the Big Brother Season 26 twist could be.

The cast of 'Big Brother 26' puts their hand together in celebration.
Source: CBS
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What is the 'Big Brother' Season 26 twist?

If you haven't noticed yet, Season 26 of Big Brother revolves around artificial intelligence (AI) and is named "BBAI." A blue AI entity called Ainsley has been programmed to control the game this summer.

On the first day, houseguests believed they were voting on a 17th houseguest. However, Ainsley soon reveals that their votes determine the type of competition they will play.

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Cedric and Chelsie as 'Big Brother' mascots.
Source: CBS

Cedric and Chelsie as 'Big Brother' mascots.

Those who voted "Yes" compete for an advantage, while "No" voters compete to avoid a disadvantage. Split into two groups of eight, Makensy Manbeck and Quinn Martin win advantages in their respective "Upgrade" competitions, while Cedric Hodges and Chelsie Baham earn disadvantages in the "Downgrade" competitions.

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The losers of the Downgrade competition are swiftly demoted to mascots, meaning they can't compete in HoH or POV competitions, nor can they cast eviction votes. They remain eligible to be nominated and evicted, though!

Quinn learns of his "Deep Fake HoH" power from Ainsley in 'Big Brother 26.'
Source: CBS

Quinn learns of his "Deep Fake HoH" power from Ainsley in 'Big Brother 26.'

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Quinn, one of two Upgrade winners, receives the Deep Fake HoH power. This allows him to strip the HoH of their power and control the nominations using a deepfake avatar created by Ainsley, resembling the HoH but under Quinn's secret control. This power can be used once in the next four weeks, keeping Quinn and the actual HoH safe.

For her part, Makensy earns America's Veto! At the end of a veto ceremony, she can use America's Veto just like a normal veto. America, not the HoH, will name the replacement nominee. The player that America chooses to nominate will find out their fate live on eviction night. Makensy has four weeks to use the power.

There will also be an AI arena competition every week.

In another twist, the Head of Household (HoH) will have to nominate three houseguests for eviction instead of the usual two. Before the live eviction, these three nominees will battle it out in the AI Arena Competition. The winner secures safety for the week, while the two losers face the eviction vote.

Catch new episodes of Big Brother 26 on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST. Stream the next day on Paramount Plus.

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