10 Best Big Brother Players Of All Time

Source: bigbrothernetwork.com

While most of the people who have been on Big Brother over the past 17 seasons have faded from our memory faster than last night’s dinner, there are a handful of players who played the game so well they stood out in their respective seasons and continue to today. Here are our picks for the 10 Best Big Brother Players of All Time.

10. Alison Irwin (Season 4 and 7)

Former beauty pageant queen, Alison, was on the “Ex-Factor” season of Big Brother, in which five of the original eight houseguests were shocked to find out that an ex would be playing the game with them. The bubbly, blonde retail sales manager from Pennsylvania was originally annoyed to learn that she would be spending the next three months with her ex-boyfriend Justin, but it actually ended up being somewhat of a blessing in disguise for Alison, who would use her powers of flirtation to propel herself to the final two. While her main showmance of the season was with equally blond personal trainer, Nathan, Alison wasn’t above getting back into bed with her ex, or essentially flirting with anything that had a pulse. She also wasn’t above lying, backstabbing or spying on others—and her hard-playing, no-holds-barred approach to the game ended up getting her into hot water with the jury, who took issue with the way she manipulated people and robbed her of the $500,000 prize (only Nathan voted for her). Still, Alison worked harder for that money than anyone else on that season of Big Brother and deserves to be recognized as one of the most competitive, smartest, most conniving players of all time. When she returned for Big Brother All-Stars (Season 7), her reputation unfortunately preceded her, and Alison was immediately targeted, making her the first person evicted from the house.

Source: CBS

9. Daniele Donato (Season 8 and 13)

While her dad, Evel Dick Donato, won the first season they were both on, Daniele was the far-more deserving player, in our opinion, and should have won season eight. Whereas Dick played a dirty mean game, Daniele managed to keep her integrity relatively intact and won more HOH and veto competitions combined than Dick. She basically carried him to the final two, but as villains often do, Dick somehow managed to sway the jury to vote for him over his own daughter. Daniele played smart, played hard and she did it all in spite of having her deranged, estranged father in the house, pouring drinks over fellow houseguests heads, burning them with cigarettes and generally causing all kinds of trouble. It is a wonder either one of them made it to the end with all the people Dick ticked off, but it’s a testament to their game play that they did.

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8. Ian Terry (Season 14)

Tulane University chemistry student, Ian, was about as nerdy as they come, and few people would have bet on him to win the game during season 14, which included former Big Brother heavyweights, Janelle, Dan and Mike “Boogie.” But the Little Engine Who Could pulled some big moves, including masterminding Mike’s eviction, which earned him some serious credibility in the house. The fact that he beat out the legendary Dan Gheesling in an almost unanimous vote to win the $500,000 spoke to his ability to sway the jury with his combination of class and brains. Perhaps most notably, Ian paved the way for other nerdy houseguests to be cast on Big Brother and make it far (McCrae on Season 15 and Steve on Season 17). Future Big Brother houseguests should take note—never underestimate the power of the geek!

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7. Rachel Reilly (Season 12 and 13)

Rachel Reilly holds the unique distinction of being one of the most annoying players to ever have played the game, as well as one of the best. She was pretty much universally HATED on her first season (except by her Big Brother showmance, Brendon, whom she ended up marrying), and was evicted early in the game, but by some combination of competition wins and sheer will power, she managed to get herself all the way to the end of her second season…and win the jury’s votes! Truly, there has never been a Big Brother winner with more odds against her—or him. But in spite of her valley girl vibe and her obnoxious laugh, Rachel proved herself to be one smart cookie, and she absolutely deserves to be named one of the best players of all time.

Source: CBS

6. Vanessa Rousso (Season 17)

Poker player and former law school student, Vanessa Rousso, has a lot of haters because of the somewhat annoying way she played the game. Like Rachel Reilly before her, Vanessa cried—a lot—and took everything very personally, while always expecting that the people she was sending out the door wouldn’t take it personally or hold it against her. Her paranoia made her almost unbearable to watch at times, but you can’t deny that this master strategist played the game and played the game hard. She manipulated everyone around her into doing what was best for her game and was the main force behind just about every eviction in the house. And in a house full of players who didn’t even seem to be playing the game until three-quarters of the way through the season, you have to give the girl credit for always being on. Being a constant ball of stress may not make Vanessa one of the most likeable players ever to have played Big Brother, but hey, it got her far. The girl is whip smart, she was a strong competitor, and, no matter what the haters say, she seemed to genuinely care about people, even though she played to win. In our books, that makes her one of our top ten players of all time.

Source: CBS

5. Danielle Reyes (Season 3 and 7)

Undeniably one of the smartest players ever to have played the game, 30-year-old mom Danielle Reyes formed an unlikely early two-person alliance with virginal Christian hottie, Jason Guy, which took the two of them to the final three, when both of them failed to win HOH. Danielle’s biggest downfall, however, was the fact that at the time of her first season, the sequestered jury house didn’t yet exist, so once a player was evicted from the game, they got to go back home and watch the rest of the show play out before they returned to the finale to cast their vote for the winner. Although Danielle was generally liked and respected by most of her fellow houseguests while in the house, those jury members who got to see her behind-the-scenes manipulations and cocky diary room confessionals were deeply offended and voted to give the $500,000 to annoying bartender Lisa, over the far-more deserving Danielle (she only got Jason’s vote). When Big Brother returned for a fourth season, jury members were sent to a jury house to be sequestered until the finale, so their votes could only be based on their experiences in the Big Brother house.

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4. Janelle Pierzina (Season 6, 7 and 14)

Although Janelle never made the final two in any of her seasons, there is a reason she has played three times—people love her!—and she did come in third twice. Forget Beast Mode Cowboy, Janelle was the original competition beast, setting the record for most individual competition wins in her first season. And although she was a member of what may be the most hated alliance in Big Brother history (season six’s “The Friendship”), she still managed to gain fans in and out of the house with her combination of brains, wit and charm, not to mention that competitive edge. She was brought back for Big Brother All-Stars, where a kinder, gentler, yet still uber-competitive Janelle teamed up with BB2 legend, Will Kirby, and made it to the final four with him, and then on to the final three. On BB14, she was chosen by producers as one of four “coaches” tasked with mentoring three new players. Although she went out early that season (honestly, her heart might not have been in it—Janelle was a new mom at the time), Janelle’s star continues to shine.

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3. Will Kirby (Season 2 and 7)

Many people consider “Dr. Will” to be the best player of all time, and while he definitely comes close, his win came at a time when Big Brother was still in its infancy and people were still figuring things out. The general atmosphere in the house wasn’t as competitive and cut-throat as it is now, and the dermatologist with the model looks was actually one of the very first houseguests to use outright manipulation to get ahead. Pretty much regarded as a jerk in the house (because, let’s face it, he was), he convinced everyone in the house that if they took him to the end, they would win. Unrepentant, funny and endlessly charming, Will returned to play on Big Brother All-Stars where fans enjoyed watching his flirtmance with Big Brother favorite, Janelle, and many hoped he would take home the money again. Unfortunately, Will was just a little too big of a threat in his own right and got ousted by his fellow alliance members.

Source: bigbrothernetwork.com

2. Dan Gheesling (Season 10 and 14)

Dan Gheesling tops most BB fans’ Best Players lists, and rightfully so: this Catholic high school teacher and football coach from Dearborn, Michigan, played two seasons of Big Brother without ever being evicted. If that doesn’t make someone the best player ever, then what does? (See Number One.) In his first season, Dan played as perfect of a game as anyone had ever seen—playing the nice guy, initially throwing competitions to make himself look weak, constantly strategizing and playing the odds, while always letting someone else do his dirty work. He effectively managed to make it to the end by staying under the radar in the house while making expertly planned-out strategic moves that benefitted himself. After winning BB10 with a unanimous vote, he returned as a “coach” on BB14 and had to start the game with a giant target on his back—everyone knew he was dangerous and was just waiting for an opportunity to get him out. But incredibly, Dan made it all the way to the final two by employing a completely new strategy: No More Mr. Nice Guy. In Dan’s second stab at the Big Brother crown, he was downright ruthless—cunning and manipulative—and more entertaining than ever. He even staged a funeral for himself four days before his probable eviction, in which he praised everyone and then, in the cruellest way possible, threw his main ally, Danielle, under the bus. Although it was all part of his strategy, his funeral speech changed the way many people thought of him—and while he managed to get himself taken off the nomination chair that week, the funeral speech may just be what caused him to lose to Ian in the end (that, along with an overall cockiness that turned off a lot people). Dan’s brilliance is undisputed, but he was definitely more likeable the first time around.

Source: CBS

1. Derrick Levasseur (Season 16)

While Dan may have come this close to winning Big Brother twice (a feat that is undeniably impressive), he never controlled the house’s votes, at least in his first season, and in his second season, he abandoned all his morals to get as far in the game as he could. Will, for all his genius, was hated by all his fellow houseguests and got as far as he did by convincing them they couldn’t possibly lose against him in the final two. But Derrick Levasseur, the unassuming dad and undercover cop who passed himself off as a Parks and Rec manager, played a disarmingly perfect game—never ticking anyone off and flying under the radar, while strategically controlling every single nomination and eviction over the course of the game without making it look as if he did. And when the evicted houseguests eventually realized Derrick had sealed their fate? Well, they just gave him kudos. How did this Rhode Island police sergeant pull off sending so many people home and not turning anyone onto, or against, him? Who knows—the guy was freakishly good. To top it off, Derrick survived 55 combined nominations and renominations without being forced to sit in the chair of doom once. He was a mastermind, a puppeteer and a kingpin—but he was also a really nice dude, and he played the game with class and integrity, a rarity in Big Brother. By far the best social player of anyone who has ever won the game and right up there strategy-wise with Dan Gheesling, Derrick gets our vote for the best Big Brother player ever.

Source: bigbrothernetwork.com

Lara H