10:46am PT by Brian Porreca
'Big Brother 17': Meet the Transgender Houseguest and the Rest of This Season's Contestants
Big Brother 17 features a former pro wrestler, a professional poker player and, for the first time in the show’s history, a transgender contestant.
Audrey Middleton, 25, describes herself as a superfan of the show. “I’ll try to be as graceful and nice as possible, but you have to make enemies in this game," the Georgia native tells The Hollywood Reporter. As for her past favorite players, she cites Janelle Pierzina and Rachel Reilly. “I love strong women," says Middleton.
Read more: 'Big Brother 17' Houseguests Revealed
This season's 14 contestants are competing for half a million dollars, but for many, the more important prize is finding fame and celebrity. “Once America sees me, it might open some doors to some acting stuff. I’ve always wanted to do some acting of some kind, and I figured reality TV would be a good stepping stone to get my foot in the door,” says South Carolina native James Huling, 31.
Adds Liz Nolan, 23, a marketing coordinator from Miami: “I’m not impartial to becoming a reality star. That would be cool. I will be on Dancing With the Stars. I’ll race on Amazing Race. I’ll do whatever. I want to achieve winning Big Brother, but if that comes second I will take it with open hands.”
However, not everyone shares that same philosophy. “I’m playing for the respect of the game. I’m not playing to gain the fame or gain the money, it’s about the game,” says Venice Beach resident Jace Agolli, 23. The game can be played in many ways, and all houseguests have different ways of approaching it.
Other players discuss their strategy:
Jason Roy, 25, Fall River, Mass., Supermarket Cashier
"I plan on winning that first [Head of Household competition.]"
Becky Burgess, 26, Denver, Retail Manager
“I want to do well in the first HoH. I want to show that I can compete, but I don’t want to win it and show I’m a huge threat.”
Vanessa Rousso, 32, Las Vegas, Professional Poker Player
“Sometimes even the personalities you clash most with are the ones you don’t want to evict because they make appealing targets.”
Austin Matelson, 30, Woodland Hills, Calif., Professional Wrestler
"I would go for the first HoH potentially."
John McGuire, 27, Scranton, Pa., Dentist
“People love talking about their teeth, and they always ask you about it; it’ll help me get closer to people.”
All of the houseguests will be cut off from the outside world for their stay in the game. That includes no TV, no movies, no music. As they embark on a reality television adventure of course they'll miss their fix from other outlets of entertainment.
If they could play Big Brother with a fictional character from their favorite films or television series:
Meg Maley, 25, Collingswood, N.J., Server
"Miss Piggy. No one wants to fight with Miss Piggy!"
Shelli Poole, 33, Marietta, Ga., Interior Designer
“Monica from Friends. I’m a lot like her in the sense that I’m very feisty and very loyal and hardcore about the people that I love.”
Steve Moses, 22, Gouverneur, N.Y., College Student
“I’m thinking Disney characters cause they’re so loyal, like Hercules.”
Da'Vonne Rogers, 27, Inglewood, Calif., Poker Dealer
“Lucy Ricardo [Lucille Ball]. She has the personality, the determination, she’s going to get the job done by any means necessary.”
Clay Honeycutt, 23, Dickinson, Texas, Graduate Student
“Coach Taylor [Friday Night Lights]. He’d be a good, strategic player.”
Big Brother premieres Wednesday, June 24, at 8 p.m. on CBS. Who’s your favorite so far? Sound off in the comments below and stay tuned to The Live Feed for more Big Brother coverage.