‘Big Brother 23’ shake-up: Christie Valdiserri has left the show — meet the new houseguest

Expect the unexpected indeed. Christie Valdiserri, one of the announced “Big Brother 23” houseguests, has departed the show, just days before the season premiere, due to a positive COVID-19 test and has been replaced, Gold Derby has learned. Claire Rehfuss will now take her spot in the 16-person cast (see the full cast here).

In a video posted Monday on the show’s Instagram account, Valdiserri says she has “no idea” how she tested positive because she’s been vaccinated and has been “following all the guidelines.”

“I have absolutely no symptoms. I feel perfectly fine, so I’m really grateful for that, but it’s really frustrating ’cause I won’t be playing in ‘Big Brother’ this summer,” she says. “I just have to say that when you’re face with adversity, I’m just telling myself that it’s for a bigger reason and I wanna believe that. And I don’t know the reason yet, but I’ve had a roller coaster of emotions the past 48 hours.”

The news comes two days before “Big Brother 23” kicks off. The cast swap won’t disrupt the game as it has not started yet because the houseguests will move in live on Wednesday’s 90-minute premiere.

SEE Everything you need to know about ‘Big Brother 23’

Rehfuss is a 25-year-old AI engineer from New York who counts Season 3’s Lisa Donahue and Danielle Reyes as her favorite “Big Brother” duo. According to her bio, she has “written code that’s been on satellites, used in national election campaigns, and by many of the top Fortune 500 companies.”

Valdiserri, a 27-year-old professional dancer and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model with alopecia from North Hollywood, Calif., vows to “bounce back” from this setback and has a message for fans as she was hoping to raise awareness about alopecia on the show.

“I have put myself out there and shared this vulnerability of being bald and all the comments — good or bad — are affecting everybody else that also is bald and experiences this vulnerability. So spread love and whether you’re just finding out about alopecia or you know what alopecia is, you know that we’re unstoppable and I’m gonna bounce back in one way or another.”

“Big Brother 23” premieres Wednesday at 8/7c on CBS.

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