Names: Janelle Marie Pierzina DeSanto & Britney Elizabeth Haynes
Previous Shows: Big Brother (U.S.)
Previous Seasons: Season 6 (Janelle, 3rd place), Season 7: All-Stars (Janelle, 3rd place), Season 12 (Britney, 4th place), Season 14 (Janelle, 12th place; Britney, 8th place)
Relationship: They met on Season 14 as “coaches”, and because they look similar and are both parents, they’re now on The Amazing Race.
What’s their deal?: So it’s hard to convey to a modern audience who’s never seen either of their initial seasons just how big both Britney and Janelle were in the scope of their shows, to the point they were yanked onto the next available season at the very first opportunity. While they weren’t always the best players at their respective games, they quickly carved out a legacy in their respective niches, and all by pretty much being themselves.
Janelle started out on Season 6 as a spoiled bratty blonde constantly earning the ire of the people around her, and was nominated several times for eviction because of that. In a normal, scripted television show, this would result in Janelle learning the error of her ways and vowing to be a better person; because this is Big Brother, Janelle stayed the exact same person throughout, but directed the full brunt of her personality towards an unbearably smug alliance who constantly talked down to her, constantly harassing them in glorious takedowns where they tried to call her a disgrace, disgusting, a horrible person, and so forth, while she would simply laugh in their faces. While she didn’t win, and never would have won the season, she wore the role she was given with enough power and passion that she was brought back for the upcoming All-Star season, where she diminished somewhat by getting into a showmance with a man who clearly had no respect for her. She managed to evict him near the end of the game, and would have actually won the season if not for an unfortunate Final Head of Household loss which saw Mike Boogie win instead. She then returned to the show almost 7 years later as a “coach”, almost the same person but now a mother and with wildly different life priorities, where she Stepford Wife’d her way through several weeks unbothered until she was suddenly a contestant and being eliminated from the game in an early 12th place.
Britney was nearly the exact opposite of Janelle in that she was smart, articulate and cutting; she was placed in the house in order to perfectly comment on and laugh at the idiots surrounding her, and she did so all season long, becoming one of the best confessionalists in all of reality television, and even striking up a rivalry with Rachel Reilly in the process; unfortunately, she was not the best at playing Big Brother, so she ended up letting herself be led to the end of the season by a group of men who had no intention of letting her in the finals, which was slightly infuriating as a viewer. She returned two years later to play out the exact same role but also as a “coach”, commenting this time on the weirdos who’d been put in the season to let the coaches win, but again found herself as an actual player, this time actually having a hand in forming a slightly less unbearable alliance and only being eliminated due to the tryhard showman theatrics of Dan Gheesling.
While Janelle and Britney may be legendary Big Brother contestants, and for very good reason, they have their shortfalls which prevent me from being the most excited to see them out of everyone. That being said, their legendary status cannot be denied, so they’re sure to provide at least something along the way.
Storylines: Janelle found herself on the losing side of a season-long alliance battle between the “Sovereign Six” and “The Friendship”; everyone else’s role in the alliance was as a Strategist – Janelle’s role was as the pitbull who attacked the unbearably smug assholes she was stuck in the house with.
Britney didn’t really have storylines, but when you’re a frontrunner for one of the best confessionalists to ever be on reality television, storylines are just a nuisance anyway.
Rivalries: Janelle inspired both anger and jealousy in nearly everyone she met, but special mention goes to her season-long frenemy status with Ivette Corredero, in which Ivette was the sanest member of The Friendship while Janelle was the most insane of the Sovereign Six, to the point that they struck up a begrudging respect of each other even as Ivette eliminated her from the game.
Britney’s has to be both Brendon Villegas and Rachel Reilly, because it’s the foundation of her entire reality television career.
Signature Scenes: The history books have decreed that Bye Bye Bitches be Janelle’s defining moment, and it is fairly spectacular, but I’ll give special mention to the time she got absolutely plastered and started catfights with anyone who walked past.
As for Britney, roll that tape.