Big Brother: The Top 10 Seasons Of All Time, Ranked
With 'Big Brother' Season 23 set to debut in July of 2021, we're counting down the best 'Big Brother' seasons of all time!
It’s hard to believe that there have been 22 seasons of Big Brother since the legendary show debuted in the summer of 2000. Throughout the years, the show has seen so many different gameplay evolutions and has featured wild twists and turns that made for better (or sometimes worse) viewing experiences.
We’re here to rank the top ten Big Brother seasons of all time based on several factors: gameplay, casting, and overall entertainment. Whether you’re a Big Brother superfan looking to rewatch your favorite seasons or someone that has never seen the show before, we’re breaking down the best Big Brother seasons to binge-watch!
10. Big Brother Season 20
You’ll rarely find a season outside of the classic era in any list of the best Big Brother seasons, but we have to give credit for the entertainment that Season 20 delivered.
With so many dynamic castmates in the house, including Tyler Crispin, Bayleigh Dayton, “Swaggy C,” Brett Robinson, “Rockstar,” and more, Season 20 gave us much more than we bargained for. If you enjoy chaos, drama, and outlandish personalities, this is definitely the season for you.
There was some unbelievable gameplay on display from Crispin and Kaycee Clark, and the memes that were birthed from this season were incredible, like Robinson’s veto speech that captured the internet by storm:
Season 20 was full of moments like this, and the cast was absolutely spot on in terms of different personalities, making it a breath of fresh air after a few back-to-back below-average Big Brother seasons.
Season 20 is a true testament that new seasons in the social media era can still be successful both on the live feeds and the show itself. However, the hacker twist was the ultimate downfall of this season. Otherwise, you’d potentially be looking at one of the top three seasons of all time.
9. Big Brother Season 4
It’s not very often that you see the best two players make it all the way to the finals, but that’s exactly what we got in Season 4 with Jun Song and Ashley Irwin. It was truly a treat to watch.
Enemies in the beginning, Song and Irwin quickly realized that they were each other’s best chance to make it to the end. .
This season also featured a fun twist of having former boyfriends and girlfriends featured in the house as players, unbeknownst to the other houseguests. Airing in 2003, this season paved the way for many great Big Brother seasons to come.
8. Big Brother Season 5
Season 5 of Big Brother is such an overlooked season in the grand scheme of things. It was the first season ever to feature family members competing together on the show—featuring a secret set of identical twins and a pair of siblings who didn’t even know that they were related!
Season 5 also birthed the iconic strategy of the “backdoor” vote. The backdoor strategy involves intentionally placing two pawns on the voting block, leaving the actual target for eviction on the sidelines, and not guaranteeing them a secure place in the veto competition. The plan was devised by Nakomis Dedmon and Marvin Latimer, which they coined as the “six finger plan.”
If you’re looking for a great combination of groundbreaking gameplay, a genuine cast, and a bunch of twists and turns, Season 5 has it all.
7. Big Brother Season 17
Big Brother 17 is another rare season during the social media era that staked its claim as one of the best seasons. This cycle featured quite possibly one of the best Big Brother players to ever play in Vanessa Rousso, though she sadly came up just short of the final two. Steve Moses, the winner of Season 17, respected Vanessa’s game tremendously. However, he made the difficult decision to evict her to clear the way for his own $500K victory. Check out the emotional moment:
Moses fully admits to Rousso being the better player, which is quite a powerful statement. You simply have to watch the full season to see her gameplay unfold and understand how good she was. Rousso makes this season.
6. Big Brother Season 14
Season 14 was unique because it brought back former competitors to serve as coaches to the new players. It’s also home to the most savage move in Big Brother history, where the best player of all time (and we say that definitively), Dan Gheesling, hoodwinked the entire house with the most coldblooded eviction the game has ever seen.
The problem with Gheesling’s gameplay in this season was that, as he stated himself, had blood up to his elbows. He created a bitter jury which allowed the winner, Ian Terry, to win in a landslide vote of 6-1.
But that’s neither here nor there. This season not only had an amazing cast, but it also featured next-level gameplay from many of the players. That can be said for everyone this season except for Willie Hantz. Hantz was removed from the game for headbutting another houseguest and creating an unsafe environment. (Hantz is the brother of Russell Hantz, the CBS golden boy of Survivor.)
5. Big Brother Season 3
Big Brother 3 is important and influential for the future of the franchise because it features multiple firsts. It was the first season to fully institutionalize the power of veto, which has become a Big Brother mainstay ever since.
It was also the first season to introduce a twist to the game, which every subsequent season of Big Brother has incorporated in some way. Additionally, Season 3 introduced the sequestered jury, which means that the jury members were isolated together in a different location for the rest of the game after being evicted so that other outside forces couldn’t influence them.
Because of its importance to the franchise, Season 3 is a must-watch. It also had a worthy winner, Lisa Donahue, who defeated Danielle Reyes in the first all-female final two, dominating a 9-1 final vote.
4. Big Brother Season 2
After an extremely boring first season, Big Brother was in desperate need of a good season to keep things running. They definitely got it in Season 2, mostly thanks to the unbelievable gamesmanship from Dr. Will Kirby.
Kirby was the first player in Big Brother history to implement a specific strategy to the game. His charisma and nonchalant attitude towards being voted out were brilliant to watch unfold. Kirby established the blueprint for how to play the right way, which makes Season 2 one of the very best of all time.
What’s even more impressive is that he never won a Head of Household competition and solely relied on his social gameplay to win, which is extremely admirable and makes his win even more impressive. This clip of Kirby pretty much sums up how confident and in control he was throughout the whole season.
3. Big Brother Season 6
It’s hard to put into words how fun Big Brother Season 6 was to watch. This season had everything from a villainous alliance (ironically called “Friendship”) to every houseguest having some connection to another person in the house. The “Friendship” alliance featured the eventual winner, Maggie Ausburn, and while she was a fantastic player and deserved to win, she wasn’t necessarily a fan favorite.
In Season 6, there were secret “couples” in the house that the audience knew about, but the cast didn’t. The couples featured current neighbors, best friends, romantic couples, and roommates. Things got really tense once the cover was blown on their secret couples, making for some really tense reality television.
2. Big Brother Season 7
Ah, yes! Finally, the first all-star season of Big Brother, and it didn’t disappoint at all. Season 2’s Dr. Will Kirby returned along with 13 other houseguests from the first six seasons to make it an all-veteran cast.
Mike “Boogie” Malin was eventually crowned the winner, while Erika Landin became the runner-up. In a season where there wasn’t exactly a weak link, and everyone knew how to play the game, it became quite a spectacle to watch as there were many different strategies at play.
To add some even more spice, a judge recently found “Boogie” guilty of stalking Kirby in 2021, so it’s fun to rewatch this season and see the dynamic between the two of them.
1. Big Brother Season 10
Look no further than Season 10 for Big Brother‘s finest performance. This was Dan Gheesling’s first season, and he won thanks to his excellent gameplay. He always seemed to be a step ahead of the competition. In fact, he was so good that he had the other houseguests thinking he was a CBS plant in the game to shake things up.
Without a doubt, Season 10 has the best cast of new players that the game has had, and it featured wild swings of power and influence each week.
Season 10 really encompasses everything that a good Big Brother season should have: a great cast, optimal gameplay, and considerable amounts of drama all the way up to the final vote.
With Season 23 of Big Brother set to air this summer, we’ll see if it can become an all-time classic as well!