Big Brother 9: Two gay men, Joshuah and Neil

Today CBS announced the cast of the 9th season of Big Brother, and like last season there are not one, but two gay men amongst the roommates and, once more, we’re promised the potential for gay relationship drama.

Neil, at the left, and Joshuah, at right, are both openly gay, and the twist of the season seems to be that the producers are playing matchmaker.

All of this year’s hopefuls were asked to fill out a “love match profile” as part of their application and when they enter the house they will be surprised with the discovery that one of the houseguests is meant to be their soul mate. Big Brother producer Allison Grodner explained the twist to Julie Chen:

“16 singles living in a house suddenly discover that their perfect love match is sitting right next to them. Your life in the house depends on this other person. They’re going to sleep in the same bed together, they’re going to compete together, hold the Head of Household together get nominated together and, ultimately, get evicted together.”

CBS isn’t shying away from the possibility of a gay male match-up. Julie specifically asked if there were only male/female couples, to which Grodner replied, “There will be some gay men in the house, and certainly you can expect, therefore, there won’t all be heterosexual couples.”

Joshuah is a media buyer from Texas who, according to his CBS bio, tried to fit in as straight growing up but that all went out the window “when he slept with his sister’s cheerleading coach–ruining her cheering career–and claims that his family has never forgiven him.” He identifies as bisexual and the introductory video of the cast has him talking about being attracted to the “all-American guy” and about his tastes in women, so I’m guessing Grodner’s team is hoping for a bisexual love triangle.

Neil, meanwhile, is a realtor from Texas who moves to LA hoping for a modeling or acting career but gave up when he decided he couldn’t deal with phony people. Check out the introductory video of the cast:

I have to admit, I’m feeling a little bit cynical towards Big Brother after the ugliness of last season, but this twist has grabbed my interest. I’d be feeling hopeful that this time the twist doesn’t seem as cruel as last season’s “enemies” twist, but the “Summer of Secrets” twist (where everyone had a secret partner) didn’t seem so cruel either, and that season got pretty ugly, too.