Big Brother #23 – And the End of a Good Season

Big Brother 23, let me start by saying thank you!  You finally, after more years than I want to discuss, gave us an interesting season.  Not only did we have a cast that enjoyed themselves, but we only had one showmance, game play that no one saw, and an alliance of six that made it to the final six.  Of course, there was controversy.  Many on Twitter wasn’t happy with the Cookout alliance but if you look back through history, this one has finally given us many firsts.  We did have an exit with Kyland that got messy, but I believe everyone who watched Big Brother was expecting it.  I don’t know who was in charge of the casting, but please let them do it again.  We got an intelligent lot with most knowing the game.  That made it so much better.  And if there are typos tonight, remember!  This is a two hour episode I’m trying to get up in an hour.

Round One to Xavier, Round Two Goes to …

Julie reminds us that one of Xavier, Azah or Derek F. will win the $750,000.  After the recap of the entire history of the Cookout (and a reminder that Xavier promised to take Derek to the end), Derek evicts Kyland and Xavier wins part one. 

Julie tells us that 85 days have passed.  The second round of the HoH competition is called “Four of a Kind Slots” and looks like a huge slot machine.  They have to use their feet to line up the answers to the questions with four people who answers the questions.  Once a questions is correct, they get their next question.  It’s tough and both Azah and Derek (BIg D) have problems.  While Azah doesn’t get the answers right, Big D has problems with his knees and gets hurt.   In the end, Azah beats Big D with a better time (Azah 13:19, Big D. 20:22).  Big D did try to use his father’s fights with Mohammad Ali as inspiration.  He tells us in Diary Room that he did the best that he could. Azah celebrates in the Diary Room and is ready to take on Xavier for the money.

After the competition, Big D is upset because he didn’t do well.  He’s also worried that Azah is infatuated with Xavier (but not in a showmance way due to Xavier’s choice).  He’s getting very paranoid.  It doesn’t help when Azah asks him who he wants to set next to in the finale.  And they fight and disagree.  This seems to have been the tone during the last few days.  Xavier is happy even though he’s often caught in the middle.  One thing Azah seems to forget is that she hasn’t won!  My thoughts is that neither Big D or Azah did much during the early weeks.  They both seemed to fall in love with the bedroom and their separate beds.  Xavier does tell us that the more they argue, the better chance it will be for Xavier to be in the finale versus Azah.  But what will Xavier do if he wins?  (Oh, and Big D’s biggest regret is taking Kyland out.)  They do (as always make up.)  Azah tells us that she is confused and doesn’t want to lose Big D. (Derek) as a friend.

The Jury House Greets Kyland

The group is waiting for the next juror to arrive.  They debate who will be next and Tiffany hopes it is not Kyland.  People want it to be Xavier but really don’t see surprised to see Kyland.  After Tiffany asks him “what happened,” Kyland lets it fly and tells them that Big D was the one to evict him.  Then, they get down to how to determine the winner.  Tiffany says they must look at strategy, social lgame, etc.  Xavier had the relationships but he was always guarded and playing the game (per Claire).  Kyland lets it be known that Xavier threw competitions.  Tiffany adds that Xavier never had “heavy conversations” or game talk.  Big D and Azah flew under the radar.  Azah had relationships outside of the Cookout and was good at making relationships with people she liked.  It’s going to be hard for Azah if she sits next to Big D.  Big D. had a social game.  Derek X. jokes that they share the same name.  Big D talked a lot and disguised the Cookout from Sarah Beth (and others).  He hasn’t win competitions.  It was not because of strategy because he couldn’t.  TIffany sees that he gave the game his best and his will power cannot be overlooked.  Kyland is talking about winning competitions and Claire rolls his eyes.  Kyland has now apparently made the jury mad and Tiffany says he’s insulted Hannah.  Kyland sees Big D and Hannah as interchangable.  Britini makes the point it’s going to be determined on how they answer the juror’s question.  Wait!  No Dr. Will Kirby this year.  Well, it’s probably due to Covid.

The Final HoH

This will be a question/answer game called “Houseguest Headliners.”  They have to look at headlines and three statements.  One statement is a lie.  After viewing the video about the juror, they must choose which is the lie.  I don’t think studying this would have necessarily helped.  Azah is nervous and she misses the first question.  At the end, Xavier beats her by one question.  (And a question to readers:  How do you like how “buff” they made Derek X. look.)

Xavier gives each a chance to make a plea.  Big D reminds him that they bonded day one and he’s had his back since the start of the game.  Azah tells Xavier that she appreciates his game and thanks him for starting the Cookout (that’s three that takes credit for that!).  Xavier is told that he’s guaranteed at least $75,000 and must decide who to evict.  It’s the different between big money and second place.  He chooses to evict Azah and she joins Julie on stage.

Azah and Julie

As they watch, Big D. cries and thanks Xavier while Xavier grins and tells him Xavier has had Derek. Big D. can’t believe his luck and says this proves anything can happen.  Julie asks Azah how she feels and she is upset.  She knew the first question but overthought it.  She doesn’t regret anything.  When asked who she would have taken to the final two, she says Xavier because he did visible things in the game.  Against Big D., she didn’t have a chance.  With Xavier, she would have gotten votes but it would be close.  Julie congratulates her on making history (Cookout).  Azah’s final thoughts are that she’s still trying to process everything.  She knows she messed up and wonders what the purpose for her being in the house was.  She knows there is a reason and she can’t wait to find out what it was.  Julie tells her that “God has a plan.”

Jury Questions Begin

Jury is now on the stage and Julie calls them rowdy and asks who they think is the final juror.  Sarah Beth hopes it is Derek but it’s Azah which seems to surprise them all.  They welcome her.  They’re told that Xavier as the last HoH and chose Derek F. But now it’s time for juror questions to the two. 

The first question is Kyland who asks Xavier what is the most important factor to crowing the first African-American Big Brother.  Xavier says he never got personal.  He did lie and hopes he didn’t disrespect anyone.  To him, he played the best game.

Britini asks Big D. what decisions he made on his own.  Big D. tells them that he started the Cookout.  He went to HoH to protect the Cookout every week. 

Alyssa asks Xavier what his biggest mistake was.  Xavier feels that it was watching her leave.  He doesn’t really regret anything.

Hannah asks Big D whether he was only in it for fame.  Big D. tells her that he wanted to be on television and help his mom and had made that clear throughout the game. 

Derek X. asks Xavier what move he made that the jury didn’t know.  Xavier admitted to throwing two competitions because of the Cookout.  He talked around that answer though. 

Sarah Beth goes to Big D and asks what he contributed to get to the final six.  He tells her any time there was an HoH won, he was in their ear to benefit the Cookout.  If something had to be executed, he made it happened (even if the Cookout didn’t like it).

Azah asks Big D what he did to deserve the $750,000 more than Xavier.  Big D tells her he gave it his all.  He didn’t think of himself but the rest of the Cookout.  He made himself a pawn (to protect the Cookout).  Big D. showed everyone his heart (and I’ll give him that).

The final pleas are made.  The winner will be the first African- American champion of Big Brother.  Big D says he deserve the prize and he came in wanting to be the first African-American winner.  He tried to win comps but couldn’t.  He knew he wanted to start the alliance of six.  Xavier tells all that he played a team game because he had to do that to get everyone to jury.  He won when he needed and gives his credentials. If length of speech counts, Xavier wins.

Jurors cast their votes.  They will vote one at a time and insert the key with the name that should win Big Brother.  Of course, they congratulate the two as they cast their votes.  (Of all the jurors, I think Sarah Beth is still bitter.)  Kyland, of course, has to give a long-winded speech.  Azah makes a joke about not evicting and scares Julie. 

The rest of the evicted house guests join remotely.  They’re as rowdy as the jurors.  Julie says that they saw what America saw and talks about the Cookout.  Christian found out as soon as he got home.  He says that the Cookout is the greatest alliance in BB history.  When you put a bigger purpose in the game, history can be made.  Julie says “unity,”and Christan says yes!  Xavier said Christian said it perfectly but Big D and Kyland nodded.  Brent was most surprised by Tiffany and thought all she did was hair and braids.  He was surprised by her undercover game.  He gave her credit and didn’t see it coming.    Julie asks TIffany if she ever thought the plan wasn’t going to work.  Tiffany admits that she did and it really hurt when she had to evict Claire.  She admitted that the other strong people in the Cookout told her that she had to do it.  Julie then asks Derek X. if he knew about this when he was in the house and was only a pawn in the master plan.  Derek X. says he didn’t know he was played.  He had only seen two seasons. 

The house guests’ secrets are revealed.  Julie shows the clips of Hannah saying she’s a protegee, Sarah Beth revealing her job, Claire and math, and Britini’s black belt.  Claire is asked about which surprises her the most and she tells all that it is Hannah.  Of course, the Cookout is the biggest. 

Big D is then asked to share his secret and Xavier does “the Thinking Man” pose while Big D stands.  Derek F. tells them that his lifestyle and other things he said was true.  What he hid was that he was the youngest son of “Smoking” Joe Frazier.  Xavier gets up, smiling, and jumps in his face laughing.  Derek F. was afraid that the house guests would think he came from money, but he doesn’t.  Xavier says you think you know a man.  Derek tried to cover up the Frazier tattoo. Xavier says he still would have taken him to the final two. 

Now it turns to Xavier about his occupation and Derek props his chin and says, “oh yes.”  Xavier tells all that most of what he said is true.  He has done bartending at wedding.  He omitted that he’s a college basketball player and a fully licensed attorney and Derek F. gets back at him with the fact that Derek F. guessed it.  Julie admits they have that on tape from an early episode. 

Britini has asked to share something on stage.  She stands and announces that she did have a black belt but now she wanted to reveal a secret she kept from the house guests.  At 22, Britini was diagnosed with autism. She didn’t want any of them to think that she was anything but Britini.  She’s much more than her disability and is so proud of her Big Brother journey.  Derek X. hugs her while Derek F. wipes tears and Tiffany and others around her take her hand or hug her.

Kyland is asked about the exit confrontation which he still doesn’t regret what he said.  Xavier tells him that he shouldn’t have made it personal by bringing up his nephew.  Xavier says that it is a game after all. 

Hannah is asked about her feelings when she left the house on day 65.  Hannah said while it was a shock.  When she opened the door, she knew it was one of the happiest moments of her life because the Cookout (and she) had made history.  She was so proud of being a part of the alliance.

And the winner of this year’s Big Brother is Xavier by a unanimous vote.  Xavier and Big D. hug and Julie tells them to come out.  Big D does hang back and let Xavier have his moment in the confetti.  Xavier’s parents/family/friends are watching live.  Hugs and celebration ensue.  Kyland and Xavier have a word (but I think there will be more).  Tiffany consoles Azah.  

American Favorite came down to Derek X. and Tiffany as the two top vote getters.  Tiffany wins.  Tiffany thanks America and tells her son that the money is all hers.  Xavier is asked how he feels.  He’s thrilled.  He loves all.  Xavier gets $750,000.  BIg D. gets $75,000 (plus what he won at comps).  Derek F. wants

the money to change his mom’s life and will do so.  He thanks the Cookout. 

As the show ends, Julie thanks all the house guests for a wonderful season (and I agree whole heartedly).  She announces that you can apply for Big Brother next summer (please use the same casting director).  Then she announces Celebrity Big Brother will return in February.  She will see us then! 

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