With the highly-anticipated new season of Big Brother fast approaching, it’s time to think back to the housemates of series past.
After 11 seasons, we’ve seen more than 100 people enter the diary room and some have been much more memorable than the others.
As we’re introduced to the new housemates, it’s only natural to start thinking about who our “new” Blair McDonough will be or who our “new” Sara-Marie Fedele is, and which names we’ll remember long after we remember their stint on Big Brother (like Chrissie Swan and Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald).
With plenty of scandals in the past, Big Brother changed the Australian reality TV landscape forever. Here, we take a look back some of the biggest and brightest stars of the franchise and find out where are they now.
Season: 1, 2001
Then: Blair, 19, was the original Big Brother Australia heartthrob who came second on the very first season of the breakout show.
Now: Since appearing on season one of the reality TV series, McDonough landed a role on Neighbours as Stuart Parker until 2006. He then appeared on UK drama Heartbeat before appearing on Sea Patrol, Winners & Losers and in 2017 landed a six-episode role on Home and Away. Blair is now married with two children.
Season: 1, 2001
Then: Sara-Marie Fedele was just 21 when she entered the Big Brother house. The Perth local became the most nominated contestant when her housemates put her up for eviction every single week, however, she quickly became a fan-favourite and ended up placing third.
Fedele was most known for her infamous “bum dance” and bunny ears.
Now: After leaving the house, Fedele released a pyjama line with underwear company Holeproof, wrote a book called The Sara-Marie Guide to Life, had a top 10 hit on MTV with her bum dance and appeared on season two of Dancing With the Stars.
Fedele then became a plus-sized model with BMG and is now mum to a five-year-old daughter.
Season: 4, 2005
Then: Merlin Luck was 23 when he entered the Big Brother house but it was what he did after being evicted that made him a household name.
After 43 days, Luck walked on to the Big Brother stage with a strip of black tape on his mouth, holding up a sign on some cloth that said: “Free the refugees”.
As host Gretel Killeen attempted to talk to him, Luck sat silently starring out to the audiences with his sign in place, refusing to take part in the post-eviction interview.
Now: Luck now works in the corporate world working for a large enterprise cloud technology company and is married with a daughter.
Season: 3, 2004
Then: Chrissie Swan was an unknown 29-year-old when she went on season three of Big Brother. Well-liked by her fellow housemates and the public, Swan was opinionated and confident, placing second behind Reggie Bird.
Now: Arguably one of the most famous faces from the entire series, Swan has gone from strength-to-strength in her media career.
In 2010, she became a host of The Circle and a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. Then, in 2011, her radio career kicked off where Swan was a fixture on Mix 101.1 3PM Pick-Up before doing breakfast with Jane Hall and Jamie Row.
In 2015, Swan appeared on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! (among other TV stints) finishing in third place. Now, Swan is one-third of Chrissie, Sam and Browny on Nova 100 and regularly appears on The Project. She has three children.
Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald
Season: 4, 2004
Then: Before appearing on Big Brother, Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald had a successful career as a Sydney Swan’s player in the AFL.
Now: In 2010, Fitzy went on to host Nova’s drive show Fitzy and Wippa with Michael “Wippa” Wipfli. The duo then scored the top spot as breakfast hosts. Fitzy is married to Belinda “BJ” Irons and they have two sons, Hewie and Lenny.
Season: 9, 2012
Then: Michael Beveridge was a copywriter before his hook-up with Melbourne law student Estelle Landy in the 2012 season of Big Brother.
Now: Beveridge is a popular personality in the media circuit who has hosted numerous shows on Adelaide radio including The Drop, SAFM breakfast and FOX FM weekend breakfast. He also recently appeared as a sex-shop worker on Stan’s The Other Guy.
Season: 10, 2013.
Then: Tully Smyth worked as a social media manager before becoming a housemate on Big Brother and it was here, that she became famous (and her own social media following really started to snowball). Smyth entered the house with a long-term girlfriend on the outside, Tahlia Farrant, and soon after entering the house, started a relationship with fellow housemate Anthony “Drew” Drew. She’s often been referred to as the “most controverisal housemate” in the 2013 series.
Now: Now, Smyth hosts the Social Squad podcast within the Mamamia Network, writes for various publications, and operates as a fashion/travel/food/lifestyle blogger.
Season: 4, 2004
Then: Bree Amer is probably most famous for being evicted when she wasn’t supposed to be. Amer re-entered the Big Brother house and subsequently placed second after Trevor Butler.
Now: Amer is now a mother-of-two (Hunter and Harlow) and went from being on-screen to behind-the-scenes. She was a casting producer for My Kitchen Rules and behind-the-scenes on The Bachelor, Seven Year Switch and the Amazing Race.
Season: 10, 2013
Then: After 101 days in the Big Brother house, Tim Dormer was crowned the winner of season 10, earning himself a $250k prize. At the time, he posted a photo of his bank balance (and bank account details) when the prize money was transferred.
Now: Following his success on the show, Dormer became a radio announcer and TV personality as a presenter for Channel 9’s TODAY and Getaway. He has also starred in numerous TV commercials and hosted POPSUGAR’s podcast, POPCAST: Life After Reality TV.
Dormer is engaged to his partner, Ash Toweel.
Season: 5, 2005
Then: Constance Hall was a housemate on Big Brother after she placed 19th in her season, appearing in the house for only 10 days.
Now: Now, Hall is one of Australia’s most famous mummy-bloggers with 424k Instagram followers and a highly-successful blog. She also appeared on Dancing With the Stars and in 2019 and has written two books. Hall has five children.
Season: 11, 2014
Then: Skye Wheatley was a barista before she came third on season 11 of Big Brother.
Now: Wheatley is now an Instagram influencer with a whopping 621k followers. She lives with her partner Lachlan Waugh and they have a son named Forest Van Waugh.
Simon Deering a.k.a Hotdogs
Season: 5, 2005
Then: Simon “Hot Dogs” Deering was best known for his streak at the Big Brother house.
Now: After his season ended, Deering was arrested in Cairns for committing an indecent act when he was caught urinating outside a club. He then hosted The Up-Late Game Show on Channel 10.
Now, Deering is a property expert for company Purple Bricks in Perth and even appeared on House Rules. He is married with two daughters.
Season: 9, 2012
Then: Benjamin Norris became a household name after he won the series and proposed to his boyfriend, Ben, during the finale.
Now: Despite winning the show, Norris revealed a crippling bout of depression. Following his struggle, he became a media personality and is now one-third of the Ben, Rob and Robbo Show for Australian TV site, TV Blackbox. He has also just been announced as host of Ticker Jumpstart on Australia’s first dedicated streaming news network, Ticker.
He and Ben are now married.
Reggie Bird (Sorensen)
Season: 3, 2003
Then: Reggie Bird is by far one of the most well-loved housemates to come out of the Big Brother house.
Before winning season three, Bird owned a fish and chip shop.
Now: Bird has definitely had it tough since leaving the Big Brother house. Her marriage broke down, leaving her as a single mum (her son also has cystic fibrosis) and she became legally blind. According to an interview with News.com.au last year, Bird said she’d go back on the show “in a heartbeat”.