Where Does ‘Big Brother’ Find Its Cast?

Have you ever watched an episode of Big Brother and asked yourself, "Where does Big Brother even find these cast members?" If so, first of all — you’re not alone. I ask myself that pretty much every time I sit down to start a new season of Big Brother. Second of all, the casting the process is a pretty intricate one, and deeply secretive — but, surprisingly, it's actually not that tough a question to answer.

There are two major ways that Big Brother finds contestants for their show: online applications and open calls. These two application processes are pretty different, though they lead to the same outcome. When applying online, potential applicants fill out an extensive application and then upload an audition video. Alternatively, at open calls, it seems things work a little different: As one applicant who attended an open call in 2012 noted, potential contestants show up and are put into group situations in order to see how they interact with people and how they stand out.

It’s not clear which is the better way to apply to get on Big Brother — but however you do it, the process beyond auditions is super secretive.

As for the Season 17 cast, many of the cast members submitted the old fashion way: by applying online and sending in an audition video. Like James here, who made this super genuine audition video and then posted it on YouTube. Isn’t he the sweetest?

A number of the other houseguests this season do not have audition videos online, which means they may have been cast through open calls or other methods.

However they found the Season 17 cast, I’m glad the casting directors found the group that they did. They really are my favorite season so far, hands down.

Things change so quickly in the Big Brother house, it can be hard to keep up. To keep track of everything going on in the Big Brother house, check out Bustle’s very own Big Brother podcast, The Diary Room. Listen to the latest episode below, and be sure to check out future episodes on Bustle’s SoundCloud page and iTunes.

Image: CBS (2)