Credit: ABC Photo: The Glass House Premiere (June 18, 2012)

Even before its season premiere, The Glass House threw the first stone at CBS’s long-running seasonal summer smash, Big Brother. If you haven’t been following the legal showdown between ABC and The Eye net, don’t worry; you haven’t missed a thing. In short, a judge ruled that Big Brother wasn’t all that original of a concept. And so, last night, ABC went on with the show and introduced America to its own motley crew of 14.

From the start, we anticipated a reality tv fight-to-the-death, as residents entered the house two-by-two on glass encased pods ala The Hunger Games. They swiftly shifted from strangers to acquaintances through a jaunty round of suck-and-blow (classic), and we learned that all it takes to make it onto this show is a day job and a hobby.

Here’s what you need to know about each house guest contestant:

Alex - 25-year-old freestyle rapping bail bondsman from Dallas, TX. Refers to himself as “Prime Time 99!” (exclamation point always implied)

Andrea - 31-year-old dirt-bike riding bookkeeper from Valencia, CA.

Apollo - 28-year-old poet from Phoenix, AZ.

Ashley - 30-year-old singing paralegal from New Orleans, LA.

Erica - 27-year-old singing cocktail waitress from Denver, CO.

Gene - 28-year-old wakeboarding stuntman from Chicago, IL.

Holly - 21-year-old belly dancing retail sales girl from Detroit, MI. Spoiler alert: she has a psychology degree and is afraid of telling anyone in the house about it because, obviously, that could be the WORST decision of her life.

Jacob - 28-year-old cook (not to be confused with chef) from Coos Bay, OR. He enjoys dredging for gold, albeit unsuccessfully.

Jeffrey - 35-year-old receptionist from Brooklyn, NY. He’s a self-proclaimed “fat hot” and proud gay man who enjoys collecting kitsch.

Joy - 27-year-old nurse from Fredericksburg, VA. This single mom has posed in Playboy six times, but sadly she’s not one of The Girls Next Door.

Kevin - 33-year-old police sergeant from Toledo, OH. His special talent is “looking like Ryan Gosling,” so he clearly has a great sense of humor — or is he just delusional? Either way, he’s a catch!

Mike - 48-year-old double-jointed Bar Mitzvah DJ from Pembroke, MA. Don’t let the profession fool you; he may just be the most self-aware one in the house.

Robin - 43-year-old sushi-making blogger from Washington, DC. She considers herself “47% Mom, 52.5% sweetheart, 52.75% witch, 82% statistical genius, and 100% sarcastic.” ...she teaches math on the side. Obviously.

Stephanie - 32-year-old scientist and furniture maker from Boston, MA.

 

Credit: ABC Photo: Glass House Contestants Take on the First Challenge (June 18, 2012)

Prior to their first official challenge, the gang faced an even harder challenge: splitting themselves up into two teams based on East Coast / West Coast borders (thanks, America!). Jacob from Oregon couldn’t figure out which team he belonged on, but eventually someone remembered where his state was located and welcomed him with open arms to the West Coast team. After this display of mental dexterity, Jacob was chosen as the team leader. Proud Jeffrey stepped up for the East Coasters.

The challenge involved pairing up the other contestants’ names with an individual achievement (i.e. ______ has sung in front of 10,000 people). When all was said and done, the East Coasters completed the task in under four minutes, while the Westerners needed almost three extra minutes to figure it all out. Let’s chalk this one up to time zone differences.

Sadly, the loss meant that gold dredger by day-losing team leader by night Jacob was automatically on the chopping block “in limbo.” Fearing everyone already disliked him, Alex campaigned to stay before the house had even nominated the person that would go up against Jacob in a battle for America’s affection. Naturally, his plan backfired as they found his pleas a tad desperate. Ouch. He’s eventually nominated for eviction “placed in limbo.”

TWIST ALERT: We learn that the contestants can ask America anything. When viewer responses are revealed, the other residents only get to see the answers, not the question asked (that's a twist within a twist). Ashley asks the biggest question of the night: Is Arie Luyendyk Jr. still on The Bachelorette? She’s thrilled to hear that he is (spoiler alert) and shares the great news with the rest of the cast. Meanwhile, Gene learns that viewers want him to align with the women in the house. Finally, Alex uses the opportunity to ask if he should become one of the biggest villains in TV history, and SURPRISE... America says Y-E-S.

Apparently, Alex’s definition of a villain is someone who insults everyone else in the house and alienates himself entirely by being the resident bully. His poor housemates... #ItGetsBetter.

As the premiere comes to a close, Jacob and Alex are sent somewhere “in limbo” by way of the previously mentioned Hunger Games pods. TWIST ALERT #2: The announcers explain to those of us who are still watching that after going to the magical land of limbo, Jacob decided to leave the competition, marking the first smart move anyone on the show has made thus far. However, America will still decide Alex’s fate. Will the villain survive?

Has The Glass House won a coveted spot on your summer DVR lineup, or will you follow in Jacob’s footsteps? Let us know in the comments below!

The next all-new episode of The Glass House airs Monday, June 25 at 10pm on ABC.

Follow Jonathan Zipper on Twitter @MisterJZip.