Many people dream of one day getting into the Big Brother house and being recognized all across the nation. While there are lots of different shows around the world – starting in the Netherlands, with spin-offs in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, India, Nigeria, and so many more – there are some rules which seem set across all of them.
Those rules are printed out in a handbook, along with any rules specific to the country or that year’s particular format. They're given to every contestant on the show so they can refer back to the rules at any time, which is why rule-breakers are not tolerated. Some offenses can result in punishments or penalties, but in other cases, the contestant can simply be asked to leave the show.
At every stage during the process of getting on Big Brother, there are moments where you can get disqualified. It might be when you apply, or it might be after you've been selected but before the show starts. The incidents that attract the most attention are when contestants are disqualified after filming starts, causing them to leave the house without a vote.
It might be something that they did, or something that they said. It could be something that they didn’t do – or simply who they are. We have rounded up a list of 15 things that will get you disqualified from the Big Brother house without question and without any option for appeal.
15 Contacting The Outside World
The housemates are not allowed to have contact with the outside world at all, save for a few exceptions when the producers allow them to. Examples of this could be when a contestant's family member is unwell, a contestant being rewarded with a phone call from home, and so on. They aren’t allowed to have phones of any kind, watch television or the news, or even slip letters to the outside world. If someone was caught contacting someone in some secret way, such as by smuggling a phone in, they would be disqualified right away. Due to the frequency of the episodes and the large amounts of live screenings, a contestant would gain a huge advantage with any knowledge sent to them from the outside world. Know secrets and twists ahead of time would allow them to play the game for the win.
14 Refusing To Wear Microphones
The lapel microphones that the contestants wear record their conversations all day long. The only time they are allowed to take them off is if they are swimming or sleeping. However, there have been times when contestants have decided they don’t want to wear the microphones anymore, and this resulted in expulsion from the house. Whispering is also prohibited, but only if it is done at a volume that the microphone can’t pick up. In other words, a contestant can get away with using a stage whisper that the microphone can hear, but that other contestants can’t. As the main point of the show is for everyone to be monitored around the clock, it stands to reason that taking off your microphone and not putting it back on when prompted would be cause for disqualification. It also makes for somewhat boring TV if someone was just quiet all the time, so the producers won’t allow that person to stay, even if it wasn’t against the rules.
13 Assaulting Another Guest
When things turn violent, Big Brother steps in. While it’s perfectly okay for housemates to yell at each other for as long as they want – and, let’s be honest, that’s one of the things we always hope will happen – it’s not fine for things to cross the line into physical altercations. If a houseguest assaults someone else in any way, they will be immediately evicted from the house and may even face criminal charges. It's been made clear by the producers time and time again that this behavior is not acceptable, and more than one contestant has lost their place on the show due to this rule. Willie Hantz fell afoul of it in season 14, for example, and was sent home after butting Chef Joe with his head or shoulder. Others have been thrown off the show for throwing chairs around, like Scott Weintraub in his season 4 outburst.
12 Bringing In Prohibited Items
There is a long list of items which housemates are forbidden from bringing in with them. While some of them may be mild enough for a mere reprimanded, others are definitely enough to have them thrown out.
The list includes: “Mobile phones, pagers or any telecommunication devices; Radios, Personal Stereos, MP3 Players or any music playing devices; CDs or any form of recordable media; Computers, PDAs such as Blackberries or any form of electronic organizer or computing device; Games of any description; Television, VCR or DVD Player; Calendars of any kind; Timepieces of any description; Drugs and Narcotics; Weapons (or any item that could be considered to be a weapon); Clothes with Prominent Logos; Money, chequebooks, credit/debit cards or any form of currency; Diaries, agendas or journals; Books, magazines or any kind of reading material; Strong Alcohol; Pens, pencils or any similar writing implement including Paper, writing pads.”
11 Not Taking Part In Tasks
Usually, housemates have to face a series of tasks throughout the show. Their performance determines what kind of perks they will have in the house, how popular they are, and whether they are up for eviction or not. But, if you decided that you have had enough of the show, you could easily stop taking part in the tasks entirely. You could sit to one side and forfeit all the tasks, refuse to go to the diary room, and even refuse to get out of bed when the alarm goes off in the morning. The rules state that tasks are compulsory, so anyone who decides not to take part would have to face the music and leave. If you’re in the game, you have to play the game – it’s as simple as that.
10 Threatening (Or Pseudo-Threatening) Another Guest
Even if you don’t resort to actually hurting another person, just telling them you might is enough to get you thrown off in some circumstances. The producers have had to use their discretion to decide who is just joking around, and who is really threatening someone – even if it might not sound like a threat. Justin Sebik got himself evicted after making out with Krista after the two of them had had a bit too much to drink. Things took a dark turn when he held up a kitchen knife and asked if she’d get mad if he killed her. While he didn’t actually hurt her, and they even continued to make out after the incident, producers pulled the plug. They simply didn’t want to see that kind of behavior in the house. They have an in-house psychologist who helps to determine when a contestant’s behavior has crossed the line.
9 Being Racist Or Gender Biased
If you act in a way which “could cause serious offense to any other Housemate or to the viewing public”, according to the rules, then you can be expelled from the show. One example of this is when housemates spout racist or sexist beliefs or words. There was a big controversy in the UK when contestant Jade Goody got into an argument with Indian actress Shilpa Shetty, who had previously clashed with Jade’s mother and friends during their time in the house. The morning after their big argument, Jade referred to Shilpa as “Shilpa Fuckawallah”, “Shilpa Daroopa” and “Shilpa Poppadom”. These were not the first racist comments she and others had made, but when the public backlash mounted, producers acted to remove Jade from the house. Since then, it’s obvious that if you make a racist comment – like Christopher Biggins later did – you will be off the show.
8 Making Dodgy Social Media Posts
Obviously, the housemates aren’t able to make social media posts while they are in the house. But there have been occasions when someone was already in the house and their previous posts came to media attention, forcing producers to make a choice. In the UK’s version of Celebrity Big Brother, Tila Tequila was found to have made some disturbing posts on Twitter in the past. “When they were brought to our attention, she was called to the Diary Room for a discussion with producers and was subsequently removed from the house,” said a spokesperson. “The views Tila had expressed, and permitted to remain uncorrected, are totally unacceptable and, accordingly, her continued involvement in the programme was untenable.” Her pro-Hitler and pro-Nazi comments and posts were there for all to see, but somehow the producers didn’t notice them until the show was underway, forcing them to expel her.
7 Getting Ill Or Injured
It’s not quite fair, some may think, but if you get ill or injured when in the house they normally allow only a certain amount of time for you to get better. If a housemate needs to spend more than a day out of the house for treatment, usually they are disqualified. This doesn’t happen often, but has happened on a number of shows outside of the US. The producers do strenuous checks to ensure that all participants are as healthy as possible when they enter the show, as they don’t want to have troubles with health problems during filming. The only exception is on celebrity editions, where certain celebrities will be given immunity from some tasks because of their health. While some cast members may have complained of injuries, illnesses, or getting sick from food in the house, most choose to stay rather than get treatment.
6 Having Inappropriate Content Leaked
Even if you’ve never said or done anything silly on social media, the outside world can still force your disqualification. This has happened a few times in different countries, although the producers don’t always admit what the cause is. In the case of Andrew Tate, who participated in the UK’s season 17, it was the release of a certain "tape". It was the kind of video that you shouldn’t film unless you are prepared for it to potentially end up being public. Not only was the content risqué, but it also involved violence against a woman. Although he later revealed that the woman was fully complicit and had agreed to the acts, it was too late – the producers would have him taken off the show whether it was consensual or not. The content was filmed before his time on the show and presumably leaked on purpose.
5 Trying To Escape The House
Not everyone gets expelled when they try to leave. The producers do want people to stay on the show for entertainment purposes, after all. In most cases, a housemate who tries to leave will have a conversation with the producers about why they wanted to leave, and producers will try to convince them to stay. If they decide to remain in the house, they will be permitted to stay. After the second time, however, producers are likely to get the jump on the contestant by throwing them out. This happened to Emma Jensen in season 17 in the UK. She kicked her way out through a door, and although it was apparently done in a fit of anger with no real intention to leave, she was then disqualified from the show. "Emma was unable to live within the confines of the Big Brother House and abide by the rules and therefore forfeited her place as a Housemate,” said producers.
4 Trying To Manipulate The Voting
There are plenty of rules about nominations that don’t seem to be enforced very often – for example, no one is supposed to reveal who has been nominated before it comes to the vote. While the public is well aware, the housemates shouldn’t be. Still, some housemates have broken this rule and lived to tell the tale. But there is a line, and this is when the contestants try to influence voting in the outside world unfairly. For example, the contestant in the UK’s first season known as ‘Nasty Nick’ was thrown out after using paper messages to try and influence voters at home, without the knowledge of his fellow contestants. Anyone who is thought to be manipulating things too much will be removed from the game entirely. This is part of the original broadcasting rules of the show: a competition-style game show must ensure fair voting procedures.
3 Talking About The Producers
While the producers remain shadowy figures in the background, we know everything there is to know about the housemates. The producers would like to keep things that way. As such, the contestants are forbidden from talking about any member of the crew on camera. If they did so, their words would get bleeped out or replaced with ambient sounds, and it is likely that the contestant would get evicted from the house. Particularly if they were saying some unfavorable things – such as talking about a producer in an unflattering light, accusing someone of cheating, or so on – they would be given the harshest possible punishment. Talking about the show not only angers the very people who are keeping you there; it could also destroy the illusion of the house (which producers are working so hard to maintain). It could even have personal and professional ramifications for crew members, which no one wants.
2 Repeatedly Breaking The Rules
Most rules are guidelines only, meaning that if you do break them, you are likely only to be given a punishment. In most cases, this might be something like losing your immunity, being nominated for eviction, or being given a double nomination so that you are more likely to be voted out. This way, producers can make it more likely that rule-breakers will have to leave without actually having to expel them, or breaking the format of the show. There are times, however, when contestants break one rule too many and the producers have decided to get rid of them. There’s no set number of rules you have to break in order to be disqualified, but keep doing it and you are sure to find yourself out of the house. On top of that, producers might just find some loophole in the rules to get rid of you once they have had enough of your drama.
1 Lying About Requirements For Entry
When applying to Big Brother, there are a lot of hurdles to jump through. First, you have to apply via video or at a live audition, and then you are usually called in for a couple of group sessions. Then you meet the producers one on one and try out the famous diary room to see how you react on-camera. After this, you meet the producers in different locations and they shadow you to see your normal interactions with friends and family. Of course, they also request to see your identification documents, but it could be possible for someone to fool them and defy the terms of eligibility, which include being over the age of 21 (18 in some countries) and a legal resident of the country you are applying for. If someone was caught using a fake ID and details, they would be disqualified mid-show.