First black winner of “Big Brother” is crowned

Xavier Prather makes history as the first Black winner in the show’s 23-year history.

Maggie Blackburn, Assistant Editor, Arts & Culture

“Big Brother” has been a reality TV show streaming on CBS since 2000. The show is a competition usually between 16 houseguests fighting for power and to stay another week. There are multiple mental and physical competitions each week for safety and power. Success in the game relies on being a strong competitor while having a good social game, because each week, someone is voted off by their fellow contestants. Since 2000, there have been 23 seasons, but there hasn’t been a Black winner until now. 

Season 23 started with sixteen players, six of whom were Black. Within the first week, they formed an alliance called, “The Cookout,” to reach the ultimate goal of crowning the first Black winner this season. The alliance went undetected from the other houseguests because each member was in a separate, more public alliance. 

Tiffany Mitchell, member of “The Cookout,” came up with the idea that each member would bring a “plus one” outside of the six to jury (top eleven houseguests left, who will vote for the winner during the season finale), so then it would guarantee their safety no matter who was in power. Once they got to jury, they knew their odds were pretty high of achieving the ultimate goal of winning, although it became harder because it put them in the position to have to evict some of their best friends. 

Claire Ruhfuss’s eviction was extremely difficult because she was Mitchell’s “plus one.” Mitchell was Head of Household, meaning she won power and safety for the week, so she had to nominate two players for eviction. At the end of the week, the only option outside of the six was Ruhfuss because she was the only other member outside of “The Cookout” who had won safety. Mitchell pulled Ruhfuss aside to give her a heads up about why she was going to put her up, even though she didn’t want to.

After getting evicted, in an interview with “Entertainment Weekly” Ruhfuss said, “And I still was dealing with being totally blindsided, but I understood that coming in this game, everyone was going to have their own reasons for being here and their own things for what was important to them.” After Mitchell explained that she walked into this game knowing she could not send a Black person home, Ruhfuss seemed to understand, and didn’t hold resentment. 

“The Cookout” reached the final six, and knew that one of them would be crowned the first Black winner of “Big Brother.” At this point, of course they wanted to win, but almost all of them had felt they already had won by making “Big Brother” history. 

The final two members were Derek Frazier and Xavier Prather, awaiting votes from the nine previous contestants for one of them to win $750,000. With an unanimous vote, Prather was announced to be the first Black winner of “Big Brother” because of his strong gameplay and social game. He wanted to win to be able to financially help his brother and nephew.

“Being the first Black winner in BBUS history is an honor,” Prather told “Entertainment Weekly” in an interview. “And it’s something that the individuals of the Cookout came together to make happen because we felt it was something bigger than this game. Representation is important.”