Ian’s Corner — Costume Curse?

by Ian Terry



Ever since Week 2 of Big Brother 8, costumes and other forms of humiliating attire as punishment have been common in the BB house. Over the past 8 seasons, discussion of a supposed “costume curse” has rattled around the internet like a piece of folklore that would end up getting discussed on Snopes. Though this myth is at least somewhat based in truth, there are some pretty interesting peculiarities regarding the games of those that fall victim to the show’s wacky and embarrassing outfits. Let’s take a look at some of the myths surrounding this topic, as well as some fun facts.


Myth #1: The person that ends up with a costume seems to always gets evicted in it, especially if it’s the unitard.

Though these evictions tend to be memorable for one reason or another, far less than a third of those wearing any sort of costume on a Thursday night actually end up getting evicted in it. The unitard’s overall track record is only slightly worse, with three of its eight wearers talking to Julie  in spandex. It’s easy to see why the latter is true, the competition it’s doled out in makes it easy for the week’s target to get screwed out of the Veto and end up with a leotard instead.


Myth #2: A person that’s worn a costume has never gone on to win their season.

Not exactly true. It is true in that nobody that’s worn a unitard has ever gone on to win the season they wore it in. Additionally, nobody that’s worn a costume for the duration of one full week has won the show. In fact, neither of those two groups have ever had a representative even make it to the Final 2. However, the myth falls apart pretty quickly if you factor in the shorter-term costumes. I went on to win BB14 after wearing the dog suit for 24 hours, while GinaMarie claimed $50,000 in BB15 after surviving several days in the “cone of shame”.


Fun Fact #1: Only one male has worn the unitard out of the eight seasons it’s been offered in, so far. That of course, would be Frank Eudy and his Spiritard (given to him in exchange for the Veto by Danielle Murphree).


Fun Fact #2: Though costumes as a form of punishment didn’t get introduced until BB8, the first time the show forced a Houseguest into a costume that they’d be evicted in was during BB7. Week 6 saw Marcellas Reynolds evicted in a 1970s disco outfit, complete with a comically large afro wig, that was to be worn in the HoH competition immediately following his exit.


Fun Fact #3: The round Danielle Reyes was evicted in during BB7, she was nominated against “Chicken” George Boswell. George was, by his own volition, was wearing a Santa hat, green unitard, and an over-sized pink flower petal around his neck. During Danielle’s eviction interview, Julie Chen remarked to her, “you lost to a guy in a green leotard”. My theory is that production found George’s outfit amusing enough to make a regular thing, and thus, the unitard was born.


In the end, it’s not if you wear a punishment costume, it’s how you wear it. Those that take it in stride and make fun of themselves often end up being praised by the viewers for being good sports about their misfortune.


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