In the first, but easily not last, of multiple 2015 appearances on this list, we have TAR alumni turned BB alumni Jackie Iberra. While her fellow cross-series alumni Jeff was in the exact same boat as Jackie for three weeks of Big Brother, she quickly and easily emerged from his shadow as a force in her own right, and was easily one of the standout Big Brother contestants of the year, alongside one of the most noteable Amazing Race contestants of her year.
Jackie was one of the ten contestants of The Amazing Race 26 to have signed up for what was branded as “the most extreme blind date ever”, where she was paired with Jeff, deemed her “perfect match”. They, of the five couples put together that season, were the only ones to have any sort of chemistry throughout the season and ended their time on the show on a hopeful note (at least compared to the previous blind dating couple, who left the show literally walking out of shot in opposite directions). They worked well together, minus one extreme blowup in Germany, and were shockingly eliminated in Monaco in a tight race for first and last, but they were given screentime via the ending confessionals that there may be hope for a relationship after all.
When Big Brother came around the same year, however, they had settled into being friends, but that did not stop the show from marketing them as a success story, and as such they were put into the cast as an “exchange” for all the Big Brother contestants who had gone onto The Amazing Race over the years, during which their relationship was portrayed in a different manner – Jeff was set out to be an alpha dog, while Jackie was simply a “number” to him. However, what neither of the two realised was that the Big Brother US 17 house would end up being one of the most crazy, unstable seasons of recent years – that exact same approach may have worked for Jeff last year, but the alpha women of the house ate him alive within three weeks, and Jackie was suddenly a contestant of her own.
Thus came the revelation that while Jackie was not a fantastic racer on The Amazing Race, she was a fantastic player of Big Brother. Often entire days were spent of Jackie simply laying around, seemingly not giving a crap about anything going around her, but when push came to shove it was realised that Jackie had one of the most finely tuned bullshit detectors on the planet, using it to sniff out the Sixth Sense alliance and helping turn the house fully against Shelli and Clay, but all throughout not managing to become a target of their side of the house. Whilst not as good at competitions as her allies, Jackie had acumen in the game that prevented her from becoming a target like competition threat James or outright enemy of the Sixth Sense Becky. In fact, the only reason why Jackie is not the winner of Big Brother 17 is because of the paranoid suspicion of eventual winner Steve, who eliminated her during a double eviction.
Jackie was both a nice addition to a show that needed a sample example to prove a premise right, and a breath of life in a show that usually relies on its trite stereotypes and ham-fisted confessionals. She was fantastic at a game that many can boast about but few can master in any interesting way, and it became one of the most disheartening eliminations of the year when both Steve and John knocked her out of the game at various points. She may have been cut off at the knees too early into seasons that would have been better with her, but she made a major impact despite being a somewhat low-key person by the standards of reality television.