Media day took place on Wednesday. Brendon and Rachel left for Costa Rica early Thursday morning. Rachel's sister, Elissa is getting married today there. I've known about this for months. The reason why the media were allowed to post pictures of the house late last night/early this morning is because the new cast was safely sequestered as of yesterday afternoon so they are not privy to view them.
Howie, I like your theory. It's either that or here's what I think, the 18 hgs will partake in an endurance or whatever competition and the first four to drop, quit, or whatever will be out of the game immediately, hence giving us the 14 permanent hg's.