HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — "Big Brother" is back!
The popular reality show returns Wednesday night at 8 p.m. for its 18th season. This year, the ultimate winner and runners-up will have spent a record 99 days in the house cut off from friends, family, media.
Two of the 12 announced houseguests hail from the LA area.
Bearded Paul Abrahamian, a 23-year-old from Tarzana who owns the clothing company Dead Scull Apparel, said that "I'm here to have a good time" and to "cause chaos. I'm here to have fun. Whatever happens, I'll take it."
Abrahamian described himself as a big fan of the series. "Big Brother," which premiered in 2000 and airs three times a week, "was always on in the house in the summertime and I would watch it," Abrahamian said.
In this photo, Abrahamian is flanked by pre-school teacher Zakiyah Everette (24, from Charlotte, North Carolina) and high school teacher Tiffany Rousso (32, from West Palm Beach, Florida).
Rousso's sister, Vanessa -- a pro poker player -- was on the show last season. Paul Califiore might also look familiar -- his brother Cody -- the often shirtless model -- was runner-up in season 16.
Jozea (pronounced joe-ZAY) Flores, a 25-year-old makeup artist who lives in Los Angeles, pledged to "pull out all the stops and all the tricks to win."
Flores said he will be helped by "being true to myself and knowing my strategy to the max."
"Big Brother" follows a group of people separated from the outside world, living together in a house on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City outfitted with 87 high-definition cameras -- seven more than last year -- and more than 100 microphones recording their every move 24 hours a day.
One houseguest is voted out each week after being picked by a Head of Household that also changes every week. The last remaining houseguest receives the $500,000 grand prize.
In addition to the CBS broadcasts, live feeds from the house will begin on 10 p.m. Thursday on CBS All Access, where the "Big Brother After Show" can be seen exclusively every Friday beginning July 1, with host Jeff Schroeder, himself a former houseguest.
For fans who can't get enough, a two-hour, late-night after-show "Big Brother After Dark" will air seven nights a week for 13 consecutive weeks on cable's Pop network, beginning at 1 a.m. Thursday. "BBAD"will air at midnight Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11 p.m. Tuesday and 1 a.m. Thursday.
The theme of this season's house is summer vacation. The house feature exotically themed bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas, plus a completely redesigned backyard celebrating U.S. national parks with a new pool, hot tub and gym equipment.
This season's cast (not including four former houseguests whose names were kept from the press and public...maybe Cody? maybe Vanessa?) is made up the typical models, aspiring singers. trainers and actors from year's past.
Translation, hot people.
Last year's houseguests -- an amalgam of nerds, grocery baggers, people who lived in their parent's basements and self-proclaimed geeks -- was well-rated enough, but a lot of fans complained on line that the show lacked some of its usual sizzle.
New twists will be announced Wednesday and Thursday night, according to CBS. The first live eviction is scheduled for June 30.
"Big Brother" is hosted by "The Talk" co-host Julie Chen.
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