Ranking Every Previously Evicted House-Guest Returner in Big Brother US History
In Big Brother US history, there have been evicted 12 players who got to return to the game either via a battle back challenge, a fan/house vote, or acted as a replacement due to a player having to exit the game due to personal reasons. I decided to rank all 12 based on what they did with their return and who was closest to winning.
12th Kaysar Ridha (BB6)
Kaysar was the 4th player evicted on Big Brother 6 and a week later returned to the game via a fan vote after the fifth eviction. In his first HOH comp after returning, Kaysar found himself in the final two of an endurance comp where he cut a deal with Jennifer with her promising not to evict Kaysar and backdoor James Rhine. She nominated Janelle and Rachel, and once Rachel won the POV, she backdoored Kaysar right out of the game.
His gullibility got him taken out of the game a second time and was such a significant moment that it appeared on a WatchMojo list. Even I knew about Kaysar’s decision before I’d even watched an episode of Big Brother.
11th Scottie Salton (BB20)
Got evicted in 9th place, won a jury battle back a week later, lost the HOH competition after returning, got nominated for eviction, lost the POV, and got voted out a second time. Since the remaining Level 6 alliance was solid, the only way he would have survived the week is by winning a comp, and he was unsuccessful in doing that.
Probably the least eventful returning player ever.
10 Brendon Villegas (BB13)
On Big Brother 13, a season with a plethora of twists to help the chances of returning players; they had a pre-jury fan vote where the player who received the most votes would face off against the most recent evicted player in a battle back comp to re-enter the game at Final 9 and make the jury. Brendon had the most votes and defeated Lawon to get back in the game. When Danielle Donato won the HOH right after, she put up two pawns, with the plan being to backdoor Brendon. A pawn (Adam Ponch) won the POV, and Danielle put Brendon up, getting him evicted for a second time. Why is this higher than Scottie and Kaysar? It’s simple. Had Brendon not re-entered the game, it’s likely Jeff or Rachel gets backdoored at Final 9, and then the other is taken out at Final 7 during Kalia’s HOH. So if Brendon doesn’t return to the game and take another bullet for Rachel, she doesn’t win Big Brother 13.
9 Nicole Franzel (BB16)
She gets the #9 spot because when she won a jury battle back competition on BB16, she lasted an additional two whole weeks in the house, rather than only one. It was the same scenario Scottie was in, except she was able to get that extra week.
8 Cody Nickson (BB19)
After being the fourth player out on BB19, Cody got back in the game through a first four players evicted battle back. Cody got a few extra weeks in the game and was the first player voted out during the jury stage. With his jury vote, he got to make sure his nemesis Paul didn’t win the 500k and then won America’s Favorite Player. That’s a pretty sweet return.
7 Amy Crews (BB3)
The first player to ever return to the game after getting evicted. She was one of the first four evicted, won an endurance comp to return to the game, and floated to the final four. Amy was a solid social player who had luck go her way multiple times, whether it be the luxury comps or Marcellas’s infamous veto faux-pau giving her an extra week in the game.
6 James Zinkland (BB9)
A zany player and a massive comp threat. After getting voted out, the houseguest had the choice to vote him back in the house or a mystery player; they chose him. The first moment back in the house, he wins HOH (won 2 total for the season) and proceeds to become the first player in BBUS history to win 3 POV’s in a row. James gets voted AFP as well, which is a great run.
5 Judd Daugherty (BB15)
The guy was getting built-up as a contender to win by the editors, then gets blindsided on Double Eviction night by Aaryn when he is one of the few people who didn’t despise her. He comes back and is part of a four-person alliance of himself, Andy, Spencer, and GinaMarie. They took it to the final five with a McCrae veto win leaving Judd as the odd man out of the alliance as nobody was going to vote out the jury goat GinaMarie. He is a runner-up for AFP, and if Elissa wasn’t Rachel Reilly’s sister, then maybe he wins it.
4 Sharon Obermueller (BB9)
BB9 had the partner twist and after Sharon got evicted first alongside her partner Jacob, an existing player in the game had to exit, and thus, Sharon received a chance to re-enter the game as Joshuah Welch’s partner. Sharon made the most of this opportunity by playing a fantastic social game where she had to navigate being on the block a total of six times, ultimately coming in 4th place. It’s important to note that Sharon had the Final 4 HOH win locked down until some shady business occurred that still has some fans angry to this day. Now, had she won that HOH, it doesn’t mean she wins the season because even though she was well-liked, her game resume was a bit lacking. As one of the season’s underdogs, her run did endear her to fans, at least. She was a bright spot in a dark season.
3 Victor Arroyo (BB18)
Does Victor re-entering the game twice an indicator of bad gameplay, or does it elevate him on this list as he was strong enough to win as many battle backs as he did? I think it’s a little of both. Victor was the third player evicted originally and re-entered the game at Final 12 after winning a Battle Back gauntlet against Jozea, Bronte, and Tiffany each individually. Luckily, his best ally Paul was in a much better game position, and Frank Eudy had a game falling apart by the seams when he came back. Vic pulled 2 HOH wins in his first run back, ultimately getting put up next to his best ally Paul, to which he got voted out as the more significant comp threat. He then won a juror battle back against Zakiyah, Da’Vonne, Bridgette, and Paulie, which was also an HOH competition (which he won for his 3rd season). The next week he got voted out again as he was a massive threat, putting him in fifth place overall for the season. Following a similar trend, America got behind him, and he won AFP.
2 Cliff Hogg (BB21)
Did Cliff make some bonehead moves throughout the game, most notably getting tricked/convinced by Michie that he would take him to the end, leading to the end of his and Nicole’s games? Yes. Geez, honestly, I’m rethinking putting him at #2 after typing that out to myself. However, compared to almost every other player on this list, the way Cliff turned around his situation between his eviction to the end of the game (where he came in 4th) is ridiculously impressive. The guy was clearly on the outside of the game. You have to remember that being the older person in the Big Brother house puts a target on you. Cliff was part of the initial purge competition that David ultimately lost, and he was then on the block for the first eviction before getting taken off the block in favor of an Ovi backdoor. He then gets evicted just two weeks later.
Cliff wins the Camp Comeback Battle Back right after getting evicted, comes back into the game, wins HOH, and nominates Jack and Michie. Even though putting up Bella as a backdoor was a bit of a weak move, his initial nominations got enough animosity and tension in the house that it allowed him to finally navigate the game socially. He and Nicole had a fantastic relationship where it was the two underdogs against the world. They were adjacently friends with Kat and Jessica (he is not the father), and eventually, they link up with Holly and Michie. Week after week, they snuffed out the majority that controlled the early portion of the game. He achieved something you don’t see much in modern Big Brother in terms of reversal of fortunes. The problem was, he got greedy and was too confident in himself. Taking Michie to the end sank his game, sank how people see him as a player, displaying how much the last impression affects how we view people. It’s a bit too harsh, in my opinion. Nicole Anthony’s poor play on Big Brother 22 boosts Cliff’s status a bit, as he was the more proactive one, whereas she never took agency in her game. Ironically, she never seems to get the blame for Cliff convincing her to keep Michie/Holly.
1 Johnny Mac
Out of all the players on this list, Johnny Mac is, to me, the person who was closest to winning Big Brother. He also benefited from a juror battle back versus a pre-jury battle back where he had already been in the Top 8 when getting initially evicted. Similar to Cliff, James, and Victor, he re-entered the game the same day he got evicted. First, let’s address the negatives: he was a boring live-feed player who slept through a lot of the season, him throwing comps/constantly being a pawn is never a good look, and he never won an HOH.
Now, let’s look at the positives. The guy was a competition beast, he won 4 POV’s, 1 BOTB, set the record for most second-place HOH finishes, and then you have to account for all the comps he purposefully, or the Final 6 HOH where he let Steve win to keep himself eligible for the Final 5 HOH. Despite being a pawn for most of the game, he had a super high level of self-awareness, where he understood the position he was in and had to roll with it because if not, his game would have ended much sooner. He was also one of the only players to see Vanessa for what she was, told her point-blank, and it was hilarious because Vanessa couldn’t comprehend this goofy dude having her pegged dead to right.
It’s that same self-awareness where before/after he got evicted, he made a deal to work with Vanessa should he return to the game. Johnny Mac does so because even though he knew she was the biggest threat, the loyalty of the AusTwins was unbreakable, whereas Vanessa’s brilliant instability could lead to anything. He and Steve make a run to the final four where in that last HOH, it comes down to a tiebreaker between them where Steve writes down the wrong number (forgetting to add a zero), and because of it, he accidentally wins the HOH, Vanessa wins the POV, and then evicts Johnny Mac with the sole vote to evict. Had Steve put the correct number, then Johnny Mac essentially has the same path to victory that Steve had, where you win the Final 3 HOH, go up against Liz in front of a jury where a majority of it is your best friends & allies, and you win by a vote of either 7–2 or 6–3.
Hell, even if Johnny Mac goes up against Vanessa in a Final 2, it’s not a non-zero chance he doesn’t win either. When you compare their games, Vanessa should win the vote 9–0; however, considering how good of a social game Johnny Mac played and the fact that people were bitter towards Vanessa, we could have had a massive Robbed Queen controversy on our hands. James and Meg seem like the type of players to vote for their friends, Becky and John were each other’s #1 allies when she was in the house, and then a bitter shoeless Austin would never vote Vanessa’s way. At that point, all you need is 1 of Jackie, Liz, or Julia to flip their vote, and then you have another different scenario where he pulls out the win. The guy made the most of his second-life and was a few dice rolls away from 500k dollars. I was disappointed that the Rockstar Dentist didn’t end up on All-Stars 2, then the season happened, and I became grateful.