Big Brother 19 is back and the two-hour premiere featured plenty of new twists that resulted on a former player returning to the house and one of the 16 newbies being evicted after just 12 hours. That’s basically the same amount of time it would take to watch the extended version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Thanks to a temptation of $25,000 that was inevitably accepted (Kevin won it, but multiple people pressed their buttons), Paul from last season entered the game, taking the place of one of the original HGs. After eight Friendship bracelets, an endurance competition and a vote, Cameron Heard, the 24-year-ol microbiologist and Big Brother superfan was evicted.

BB19 Premiere Recap: Temptations, a Returning HG and an Eviction>>>

This was the third time that the show has decided to evict someone in the premiere, but it may have been the cruelest. Cameron had one of the shortest stays in the house and he seemed to be one of the obvious pre-season frontrunners, fitting the mold of past winners like Ian Terry and Steve Moses.

The History of Jodi and Glenn

In season 14, four returning players arrived as coaches and picked their teams. Jodi Rollins was the last player chosen and landed on Dan Gheesling’s team. The four teams played in one competition and, for the last-place team, the coach had to evict someone from their own team. Dan’s team lost and, after one competition and six hours in the house, Jodi was evicted.

In season 18, there were also four returning players who got to pick their teams and Glenn was the last one chosen. His team got to participate in three different competitions, losing all of them. The next day he competed on the coconut islands against his three teammates and lost, being evicted. But he did get the chance to return via the Battle Back and he got to spend a night in the house.

Why Cameron’s Eviction Was So Cruel

Like Jodi, Cameron really only got to participate in one actual competition and didn’t even get to spend a night in the house. The other avenues for Cameron to potentially save himself came from Paul’s Friendship bracelets and then the vote. As for the vote, he did try and choose to play in an eviction competition instead, but got outvoted by Christmas and Jillian. Even though we didn’t see everything, I have to assume that, at this point, they all probably had a good read that Cameron would lose if there was a vote.

As for the Friendship bracelets, there was almost no time to pander to Paul and it’s hard to play any kind of good social game in such a short period of time.

Some people may claim that Cameron’s social game led to his eviction, but in just 12 hours, it has nothing to do with a social game and everything to do with first impressions. It’s safe to assume that most of those 12 hours were spent moving in, doing introductions, getting twist information from Julie, going to the backyard for the first temptation, meeting Paul, dealing with the Friendship bracelets and playing in the endurance competition.

Usually when people face a vote they have a few days to try and campaign, but Cameron probably had minutes, maybe an hour or two. And if the past has taught us anything, it’s that forming a Day 1 alliance is a terrible idea (see Da’Vonne, Audrey and Shelli from season 17 or Paola’s El Cuatro from season 16). This year, however, it turned out to be beneficial. The fact that Jillian got roped into what seems like a Day 1 alliance with Ramses, Megan and Alex probably helped her stay and turned the vote against Cameron.

Fans have observed over the years that it’s best to play a low-key game at the start, but for Cameron, that meant he didn’t have any time to actually play. The people who played poorly, the people who made Day 1 alliances, the people who clearly have no idea what’s going on, were the ones who benefitted from this set up. Kevin won $25,000 and got a Friendship bracelet, but he doesn’t even know who Paul is.

Perhaps what makes Cameron’s first-night eviction hurt the most is that he seems like the kind of guy who could actually succeed at this game and do well once he gets his feet wet. Some people take time to come out of their shells and Cameron wasn’t afforded that luxury.

If we’re being honest, Jodi and Glenn never really had a shot to win their seasons. They were both the oldest cast members of their respective seasons and, even if they survived that first eviction, their best-case scenarios would’ve been to float to the end until they got evicted.

Cameron, on the other hand, was a lot of people’s pre-season pick to win the game. He has the knowledge, the intelligence and the athleticism to do well.

In general, evicting anyone on the first night is simply unfair and cruel. There’s no good way to do it and the show’s producers show a complete lack of interest in what the fans want if they keep this up. But when we end up with an actual superfan going home on the first night, someone who has been watching for years and for whom this opportunity means a lot, it’s not only unfair, but mean.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.