‘Celebrity Big Brother’ pre-premiere power rankings: Assessing the season 3 cast

This February the “Big Brother” house will once again experience a celebrity takeover. On Wednesday, February 2, 11 celebrities will give up their personal space to be filmed 24/7 by the “BB” cameras, all for the chance of becoming the third celebrity winner of America’s favorite roommate experiment. This season’s cast includes athletes, housewives, judges and performers, but all of their talents will be checked at the door because this game is about trust, loyalty and backstabbing. Who among them is the most talented at deceiving their friends while still being liked?

Below is our best guesses at which celebrities will thrive and which will struggle to survive the winter. A handful of this year’s houseguests are linked to each other in one way or another, and so we decided to group them based on those links to analyze who will be the more formidable player. Do YOU agree with our “Celebrity Big Brother” pre-premiere power rankings? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts on who will come out on top.

SEE Everything to know about ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ Season 3

The Athletes
Lamar vs. Miesha vs. Mirai

Athletes have had an inconsistent track record on the series so far. While Ricky Williams was able to get 2nd place last year, Lolo Jones is the only other one to make it to finale night. The rest went home in the first few weeks, largely because of the high threat level they bring as competitive players. In the main franchise, comp wins is a huge asset to an alliance that needs enough stability to last for three months. But in the one month it takes to win “CBB,” a perceived ability to dominate comps makes anyone too big of a threat. As a UFC champion and currently ranked #8 in her class, Miesha Tate is coming into the house hot. Like UFC champ Chuck Liddell, evicted first on season 1, Miesha probably isn’t going to last very long simply because of her strength.

Lamar Odom, the only male athlete this season, will also have a big target on his back, but he has one thing Miesha doesn’t: the experience of navigating many conflicting personalities in the reality TV environment. During his time on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” while married to Khloé Kardashian, Lamar had to let other people’s personalities share the spotlight while still maintaining his own voice. That experience in social awareness should help balance out his image as a tough athlete.

While the other houseguests are worried about how to mitigate the comp prowess of Miesha and Lamar, figure skater Mirai Nagasu is going to fly right under the radar. That’s probably why she’s near the top of our pre-season predictions with 19/5 odds of winning. Expect Mirai to use the first few evictions as a chance to build social connections with the other players, putting herself in a position where her status as a competitive athlete no longer matters and she can triple Axel her way to the gold medal of reality TV.

The Ru Boys
Carson vs. Todrick

Both Carson Kressley and Todrick Hall hope to follow in the footsteps of their “RuPaul’s Drag Race” colleague, season 1 runner-up Ross Mathews. You’ll likely remember Todrick as a frequent collaborator on “RPDR” as choreographer, but he also served on the panel as a guest judge numerous times and filled Ross’ spot as full-time judge on “All Stars 2,” alternating in the chair with Carson. As was true for Ross on his season, the balancing act Carson and Todrick will have to play in CBB is the reputation that comes along with being a judge: having an opinion. All three of the guys work well in the judges’ chair of RPDR because of their opinions about other people. In fact, opinions and taste-making is what made Carson famous in the first place on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” But in a game centered on loyalty, maintaining a tight-lip is of paramount importance. As a superfan of the show, Todrick should know how to remain composed in the face of lies and gossip, but because of the success Ross had on the show as a superfan both guys will probably be fighting an uphill battle to the top.

The Reality Wives
Cynthia vs. Shanna vs. Teddi

These three women are going to enter the house with the advantage of low expectations. Unlike Kandi Burruss and Brandi Glanville before them, both Cynthia Bailey and Teddi Mellencamp enter the game as “Real Housewives” without the reputation of being combative. In fact, Cynthia and Teddi are largely known on their franchises for their loyalty to more dominant personalities. Cynthia once offered Nene Leakes a “friend contract” on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and Teddi’s three season run on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” has been largely roasted for existing solely to be the sidekick of Kyle Richards. Shanna Moakler‘s reputation is much more diversified than that of Cynthia and Teddi, giving her a slight leg up to them. Shanna’s career has bounced between the pageant circuit, a celebrity marriage, and stints on reality shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and “Hollywood Exes.” It’s been a while since Shanna was that widely seen on television, unlike Cynthia and Teddi who were only recently dropped from their shows, so she’ll enjoy the benefit of entering the house with the least amount of baggage comparatively.

The Performers
Chris vs. Chris vs. Todd

Here’s what Chris Kattan, Chris Kirkpatrick and Todd Bridges all have in common: performers that at one point experienced a great amount of fame, but by now have been relatively forgotten. While that may seem like a harsh way to summarize their impactful careers, it’s a terrific status to enter the “CBB” house with. Being a hilarious comedian on “Saturday Night Live,” member of global supergroup N*SYNC, or child star from “Diff’rent Strokes” comes with the territory of the other celebrities having a built-in fascination for you. This is a dynamic that Joey Lawrence and Jonathan Bennett entered the season 2 house with, but unfortunately they both played too hard, too quick. For Chris, Chris and Todd to make the most of the love the other players will have for them they should maintain as low of competitive profile as possible through the first two evictions. They shouldn’t come into the house attempting to remind people that they were once famous; the fandom of the others will do that for them, and they should let any success they have in the house speak for itself.

SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘Big Brother’?

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