Friday Flashback: Big Brother Top 10 contestants

Reggie Bird 2003

Ahead of Monday’s return of Big Brother it seems timely to look back on the ground-breaking series which screened on 10 from 2001 – 2008 and was rebooted on Nine from 2012 – 2014.

Drawing up a list of 10 top contestants was not easy. Rather than simply rehash the winners, I’ve chosen them for their entertainment value. Some are chosen for their personalities, some for what they contributed as deception, romance, intellect or even a memorable eviction. There were lots of runners-up (and I’ve pushed things to 12 people anyway!), I would have liked to include.

Some clips are lengthy so I have cued up for your consideration (warning: may include nude bits / language!).

Here they are in no particular order….

Sara-Marie Fedele 2001

“Farmer” Dave Graham 2006

Ben Zabel 2013

Chrissie Swan 2003

David & Greg Logan 2005

Vesna Tosevska 2005

Tim Brunero 2005

Jess & Marty 2002

Merlin Luck 2004


  1. I went to a few live evictions including when Reggie won and it was such a great atmosphere. Mind you, the real star of BB is Mike Goldman. During the live shows Gretel never interacted with the crowd, not even a hello or eye contact unless the cameras were rolling, whereas Mike was constantly hyping up the crowd and talking to people. And my favourite moment from all the seasons were the Logan twins swapping – very compelling television!

    • I think Gretels lack of audience interaction was due to her needing to stay in the zone. She was brilliant at hosting a very high pressure live show. I was at Dreamworld with my niece in the daytime, and we saw Gretel behind the stage area. My niece became very excited and called out Gretels name, and Gretel came over and chatted with us for five minutes. She was so lovely, and I admire her work to this day 😊

    • During the ad breaks it is highly likely she had producers talking in her ear. It was often two hours of high pressure live TV, which as she demonstrated during Merlin’s protest, she was exceptional at.

      I’ve been in the audience at The Project twice when she was on the panel. Both times she interacted with the audience while the recorded segments played, the ad breaks and after the show. She was very friendly and chatty.

  2. I saw Reggie up at my local shops a couple of days ago. I felt like asking her what she thought of the looks of new BB but it’s not my style to do that so I just smiled at her.

  3. Chrissie Swan was one of my favourites in BB. Although my fondest memory of her in BB, which I’ve never seen since, was one night they were doing fancy dress or something, and she’s put on the big Cher wig and starts singing If I Could Turn Back Time. She was a cack.

  4. Fantastic picks — really highlights how great a show it was in its heyday. I think we’ve lost some of that individuality on shows which are produced in the age of social media. I so want this new series to be good but nothing about it looks promising.

  5. If anyone needs any proof of the astonishing hosting abilities and talent of Gretel Killeen than one just needs to watch her handling of the Merlin situation in which she needed to field some very tense moments and keep a huge juggernaut of a live show on track. Her amazing skills at always controlling the crowd without coming across as a mother chastising the kids and keeping incredibly calm during some immense pressure from all areas during that particular eviction is stuff of Aussie TV folklore in my opinion… and who do we get for the revived Big Brother on seven? Sonia Kruger…? Ok….

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