Through a season of twists and turns, the secret mother-son relationship between Cirie and Jared Fields stood as the biggest curveball of Big Brother 25. And the season’s winner, Jag Bains, had a lot to say about it.
There have been several instances of friends and family competing alongside each other in the Big Brother house. From Big Brother 8’s father-daughter duo Dick and Daniele Donato, to seven pairs storming into season 6’s abode, contestants joining the game with someone they know from back home isn’t a new idea.
But, it was the first time we saw a mother and son move into the CBS time slot — and unlike the two other examples listed, their relationship was kept a secret. Because Cirie is a four-time Survivor legend and the winner of The Traitors US, she was already known by many of the houseguests when she made her grand entrance. But, only one player — Survivor superfan Izzy Gleicher — clocked Cirie’s relationship with Jared, and the three combined forces on day 1.
Although Izzy was voted out pre-Jury, she took their secret with her. And the only other contestant to know about Cirie and Jared’s kinship was Blue Kim, Jared’s showmance. Jared volunteered the information to Blue, and she kept it to herself as well.
Because of the unknown dynamic, Cirie and Jared absorbed more information than the other houseguests by maintaining close relationships with different contestants. Although the twist likely altered the trajectory of the game from the get-go, Jared officially left the house on day 58 — before Jury. Cirie lasted until the final five when she was ousted on day 93.
Jag would never have guessed Cirie and Jared’s relationship “in a million years”
When the twist was originally revealed to the uninformed houseguests on finale night, Jag and Matt Klotz — the last two players remaining in the house — were visibly shocked. And when Jag spoke with Rob Cesternino and Taran Armstrong on Rob Had a Podcast around a week after snagging the $750,000 grand prize, he dove deeper into the game changer, and he pointed to the twist being a massive advantage for the Fields.
“For me, I never saw it coming. The biggest twist of the season by far. I had no idea, could have never guessed it in a million years. It was wild, and now that I started to piece things together back, like, it makes so much sense. My first thought was like, ‘Damn, we never had a chance to start with.’ You know what I mean?”
Jag reflected on him and Jared playing together in “The Handful” at the start of season 25, an alliance Cirie was outside of. “Cirie was on the other side, so that was never going to work out,” Jag said. “We really were doomed from the start.”
Although The Handful seemed like it had staying power, it quickly collapsed with its defacto leader Reilly Smedley, exiting the house as the second evictee. Jag blamed Jared’s connection to Cirie as a factor in its demise, and he also reflected on other moments when Cire and Jared showed their strong bond, something that Jag, at the time, chalked up to them being tight-knit allies.
Specifically, Jag mentioned when Jared was sent packing during the first double eviction, but came back into the house as a “zombie” with an opportunity to resurrect his game (something Cameron Hardin succeeded at over Jared).
“There was the transmission that came down — Cirie was the one who read it. And everything about that moment makes sense because when she read it, she started laughing. And I remember in my mind, I was like, ‘This is maniacal. Like, what is happening? Why are you so excited that there’s more people in this house? The point of the game is to have less people in the house and to make it to the end.’ Suddenly we have these two huge competitors that are coming back into the house. Why are we excited about this? And now it hits me. Like, that’s her son that has a chance to come back into the house — that’s not just Jared.”
“I feel so dumb,” Jag continued. “But, there’s nothing I could’ve done to know this. I never could’ve guessed it. Man, they played us. I’ll say that. I got played.”
Rob then brought up that Jag wouldn’t have known that he had a mole in his alliance to that kind of extent. It’s one thing to have someone playing both sides, it’s another thing when the player is the son of another houseguest. “That’s very true,” Jag answered. “Because it really did feel like a lot of things at the beginning of the game just weren’t working, and I was like, ‘Why? I thought I’d be better at this game.’ I remember thinking about that.”
Jag said that he remember talking to Jared about Cirie in private. Jag took aim at Cirie’s game strategy — creating close, mother-like bonds with several contestants while also playing on the other side of the house for “The Professors.” “I’m talking about his mother,” Jag said. “Of course it’s going to go back to her.”
Jag’s game would’ve ended in week 4 when he was unanimously evicted. But, because Matt had used his “Power of Invincibility” advantage to nullify the 25-year-old’s eviction, Jag received a second lease on life. And he took full advantage of it. He set the record for most competition wins in a single season of Big Brother’s U.S. series, and he went on to become its first-ever Sikh winner.
Still, it’s unclear how the season would’ve shaken out if Jared and Cirie didn’t know each other heading into the house. Would they have been aligned? And would they have gotten as close with Izzy, who was a part of their power alliance for the first few weeks of Big Brother 25?
For example, Cameron was week 6’s Head of Household and Jared held the Power of Veto. Wanting to take a shot at the Survivor icon, Cameron told Jared that he wanted him to use the Veto so he could backdoor Cirie. But, Jared shot down the idea. He didn’t use the power, and Izzy went home that week instead.
For nearly 60 days of play, the game was completely altered by their secret relationship, and it had lasting ramifications as well.
But for Jag, the 100-day competition ultimately went his way. “Either way, I’m glad it worked out the way it did,” Jag laughed.