In "Big Brother," Veto Rules Add Drama

Learn "Big Brother" Veto Rules for the Game

Power of Veto Big Brother
Rachel Reilly wins the Power of Veto during Big Brother 13. Courtesy CBS

In the game of "Big Brother" the Power of Veto (also known as the Golden Power of Veto) is an important power to earn. Coming second in importance only to the Head of Household, the Power of Veto allows a houseguest to remove one of the nominees from the nomination block, thereby forcing the Head of Household to replace that person with another nominee for eviction. More importantly, the Power of Veto (PoV) ensures the winner's safety in the house for the week, since he or she cannot be nominated even if the Veto is used.

The winner of the Power of Veto is determined by a competition, appropriately called the Veto Competition. The rules for both the competition and the use of the Veto have changed a few times over the years.

"Big Brother" Veto Rules

Currently, only six houseguests compete for the PoV: The Head of Household, the two nominees and three other random houseguests. The random players are chosen by the three confirmed players as they draw name chips out of a bag. In addition to the chips with names printed on them, there is a "houseguest's choice" chip which allows the drawer to choose any available player for the competition.

When there are only six or fewer houseguests left in the game, all of them compete in the PoV competition. The final PoV comp takes place when the game is down to the final four houseguests, and that last PoV winner not only earns safety, but also casts the sole vote to evict (unless the winner is also Head of Household).

The Power of Veto competitions is usually shorter in duration than the Head of Household competitions since they have to fit into an edited broadcast show. There are several different types of competitions for the veto, including:

  • Physical challenges such as obstacle courses
  • Memory games based on events that happened in the house that season
  • Skill-based competitions

Often, the houseguests are given a game to play during their downtime in the house. These games will then become the basis for the next Power of Veto or Head of Household competition.

The winner of the PoV receives a gold medallion in the shape of the veto symbol (a circle with a diagonal line through it), which he or she wears around his or her neck.

The Power of Veto Ceremony

Once the PoV has been won, the houseguests gather for the veto ceremony. This is really just a gathering in the living room during which the winner of the veto announces whether he or she will be using it. First, the two nominees are given a chance to stand up and explain why they believe the veto should be used to remove them from the nomination block.

After the short speeches, the veto holder says whether or not he or she will be using the PoV, and which nominee will be removed from the block. If the veto is not used, the medallion is returned to its box and the ceremony is concluded.

If the veto is being used, the medallion goes around the neck of the houseguest who is coming off the block. The winner then turns the ceremony over to the Head of Household, who must choose a replacement nominee.

The new nominee then takes his or her chair, and the ceremony is concluded by the Head of Household.

"Big Brother" Veto Rules in Action

Here are some examples of using the veto:

The PoV is most often used by a nominee to remove him- or herself from the nomination block. It is also used many times to save an alliance member from eviction. There have been a couple of occasions, however, when it was used a little differently.

  • In season 3, nominee Marcellas Reynolds won the PoV but chose not to use it on himself. Since the game was down to the final four at the time, the eviction vote immediately followed the veto ceremony and Marcellas ended up walking out the door.
  • In season 8, nominee Dick Donato chose to use the PoV to save his fellow nominee, daughter Daniele Donato. Dick survived the vote, thereby ultimately saving both nominees that week.
  • During season 13, nominee Brendon Villegas chose to save his fiancée and fellow nominee Rachel Reilly. Brendon was then voted out of the house.
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Grosvenor, Carrie. "In "Big Brother," Veto Rules Add Drama." ThoughtCo, Mar. 4, 2017, Grosvenor, Carrie. (2017, March 4). In "Big Brother," Veto Rules Add Drama. Retrieved from Grosvenor, Carrie. "In "Big Brother," Veto Rules Add Drama." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 21, 2017).