By People Staff
Updated December 01, 2020 04:06 PM
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Credit: Sonja Flemmimg/CBS(2)

The last season of Big Brother divided the house into cliques that would make the toughest high school student cringe. After crowning a winner – Jordan Lloyd – who was one-part chest bump, three parts Jeff Schroeder and a healthy dose of “aw shucks,” this season of BB introduces “the saboteur” when it premieres July 8 on CBS. In a series first, thirteen house guests walk in with one determined to wreak havoc on who are either “peers” or “pawns.” Here’s a look at six standouts (the first two are pictured) going into the “den of Chen” for season 12:

BRENDON VILLEGAS: A high school swim coach from Riverside, Calif., Villegas, 30, will soon pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical physics. Though he describes himself as “very much a nerd,” he’s really a combination of brains, brawn and brown-eyed good looks. “My goal is to not intimidate the guys and to be flirty with the girls,” says Villegas, who may be up for a showmance. “The girl that is down-to-earth and sweet is going to be the biggest challenge for me.”

RACHEL REILLY: A graduate student in chemistry and VIP cocktail waitress from Las Vegas, Reilly, 26, has a secret weapon – or two. “Most look at me and think that I’m just a hot girl with big boobs,” she says. “I can manipulate men and the bikinis that I brought are not even the size of my palm. They’re super tiny! I’m going to hustle them with my Vegas-cocktail personality.”

KATHY HILLIS: A deputy sheriff-sergeant from Texarkana, Ark., Hillis, 40, is the only contestant who has (legally) ordered someone to “cough and drop.” But this single mom, who has survived cancer, has a simpler motto: “Never give up, never give in and never use the word defeat,” she says. “When my grandma was terminally ill, we would watch BB together and … I promised her that I would try out for the show when we both got better. And though I got better, she didn’t so I’m going win it for Grandma!”

ENZO PALUMBO: An insurance adjuster from Bayonne, N.J., Palumbo, 32, is happy to wear a stereotype on his sleeve and “shore” up that Jersey “situation.” His message to fans: “When I get into that house, competition is going to be served like my mother’s baked ziti,” he says. “That is how I am going to be playing this game.”

ANNIE WHITTINGTON: A bartender from Tampa, Fla., Whittington, 27, says she may keep her bisexuality a secret. “There may be some more close-minded in the house and I don’t want to be judged,” she says. “There are so many more facets to my character … I don’t think who I sleep with should be that important to anybody.”

MATT HOFFMAN: A Web designer from Elgin, Ill., Hoffman, 32, is quick to list his strengths – “My tattoos, coming into BB, are my greatest asset,” he says, “along with being a genius.” – as well as a weakness. “One of my worst character traits is the fact that I can be really condescending,” he reveals. “It’s something that I’ve tried to work on but everyone aggravates me.”

And the rest of the cast…

Kristen Bitting, 24: “I am a quiet storm,” says the boutique manager from Philadelphia. I don’t think there is anyone on reality TV quite like me.”

Hayden Moss, 24: “Athletically, I’m pretty gifted, so the physical competitions are going to be in the bag,” says the college student from Tempe, Ariz. “Also, I’m smarter than I look.”

Britney Haynes, 22: “I’ll pretend to be nice and always a bit elusive,” says the hotel sales manager from Huntington, Ariz. “People want what they can’t have and I’ll give them just enough.”

Andrew Gordon, 39: “Live for today because tomorrow will be yesterday soon,” says the podiatrist from Miami Beach. “Say anything, do anything, just don’t let them know and trust no one.”

Ragan Fox, 34: “I party as hard as I work, and I grew up gay in Texas,” says the college professor from West Hollywood, Calif. “If you want to get crazy with me – and I opt to go crazy – then you’re in trouble.”

Monet Stunson, 24: “I come off as really sweet and innocent,” says the model from Glen Carbon, Ill. “People won’t expect that I would lie to their face and stab them in the back to win.”

Lane Elenburg, 24: “I’m a big guy, so I know that I have to find a smart guy,” says the oil rig salesman from Decatur, Texas. “I have to find a ‘brain’ for the ‘meat head.’ ” –Reagan Alexander

Tell us: Who’s your early pick to go far on this season of Big Brother?