Xavier Prather on making history as Big Brother's first Black winner — and fulfilling a promise to his late brother
Epic. Historic. Dominant. Unanimous.
One can use all the superlatives imaginable to describe Xavier Prather's victory Thursday night on the two-hour live season finale of Big Brother. Xavier made a prediction before the season even started that the show would crown its first-ever Black winner in a non-celebrity season (Tamar Braxton won season 2 of Celebrity Big Brother in 2019), and not only did his prediction came true, but he was the one who ended up walking out of the house $750,000 richer after defeating Derek Frazier in a unanimous 9-0 vote.
We spoke to the freshly minted champ just hours after his victory to chat about his historic win, what he and Kyland said to each other outside the house, and much more. (Also red our exit interview with Big Brother runner-up Derek Frazier and Q&A with third place finisher Azah Awasum.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I asked you before the season to make a bold prediction for this season of Big Brother and your answer was, "This season on Big Brother, I think BBUS will crown its first-ever African American winner. I'm gonna be a little selfish and hope that I make it, but yeah, I think this season is gonna be different. And I'm gonna do what I can to make sure it's different." How amazing does it feel to have seen every aspect of that plan through to fruition?
XAVIER PRATHER: It's kind of surreal. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted this season to be different from past seasons and luckily I had five other like-minded individuals in the house to help me with that goal and we accomplished it. And then I was fortunate enough to be crowned the winner. So it's incredible.
Knowing the history of this show and there having never been a Black winner before, does it feel bigger than just winning a season of a reality show for you?
Absolutely. Being the first Black winner in BBUS history is an honor. 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. And now we want little Black boys and little Black girls to see: Hey, there are ways to be successful. There are ways to make an impact without being an amazing entertainer or being a professional athlete. You can still be successful in other ways. We wanted to show that with this season, and we accomplished that.
I know you made a final two deal with Big D, but I also know you were going to take whomever you thought you had the best chance of beating, so why Big D over Azah beyond just the "We made a deal on day one" or whatever?
Truthfully, from a game standpoint, a lot of people have been telling me that no matter who I sat next to, I would win. So at that point, for me, it was really just, you know, Big D's held me down since day one. That's my brother for life. He never went against me in the game and I know he was looking out for me just as much as I was looking out for him. So it really just came down to this man has been loyal to me and I wouldn't rather sit next to anybody else. So that's why it was Big deal. Azah has been not only a great friend, but a great game ally, but the Big D was who I was rocking with no matter what.
So when you get into those final two chairs, before the questions start off, I'm guessing you're pretty confident, right?
I was curious to figure out how the jury was going to feel about the Cookout. If they were bitter, then I don't know, because Big D had been telling everybody they could get it all season. So if they took that seriously I was like, maybe they'll just vote for Big D. But if they went off just overall gameplay, I felt I had a decent shot.
Any votes surprise you from the nine you got?
I would say Britini because I know she was really close with Big D. And then Kyland, he also had a very close relationship with Big D. So to get both of those votes, I was actually surprised. I wasn't expecting a unanimous vote, so that's pretty amazing. It's a good feeling.
It was obviously a super tense moment last week when Kyland came at you and basically insinuated you weren't being a good role model for your nephew. What was going through your mind when he went there with that?
It definitely caught me off guard in the moment, but I also understand that I just kind of blindsided Kyland, so he was emotional and in the moment and probably said some things that either I misinterpreted, or maybe he thought he was coming across a different way. Kyland and I will have a discussion and hopefully come to an understanding, but I don't wish any ill will on Kyland. You know, sometimes it's a part of the game and I wish him nothing but the best because he is someone who helped all six of us made history. And I'm never going to undermine that or neglect his impact in this game.
What did you two say to each other when you came out of the house? I saw you all say something.
We just said, "we're going to talk." I think we need to have a conversation just man to man. And he agreed and we're just gonna have a conversation, just get an understanding around that whole situation. I'm not gonna have any bad blood towards Kyland.
That's a personal situation. But let's just put it in terms of the game for a second: after that went down, were you worried as to what kind of impact Kyland could potentially have on the other jury members?
I was slightly worried. I was like either Kyland's going to go back and try to taint the jury against me, but I felt like enough members of the jury would respect the move from a game perspective to take that big of a shot, especially at the final four. So if he was to taint the jury, I figured he would maybe only get a few while I could still have the majority respecting the move that I made.
Who was the hardest person for you to vote out of the house over the course of the season?
Losing Alyssa and Christian was very hard but I didn't actually vote them out, but I would say the hardest to vote out was Hannah. Hannah was like a younger sister to me and to have to cast a vote against her and be kind of a part of her leaving the game, that tore me up. I call her baby sister and that's how I feel about her. She's my younger sister. And she's a genius. I didn't know that.
As you all were marching towards the final six at the Cookout, I'm sure everyone had in their head the order they wanted people to go once you got down to six. Was the order we ended up seeing always the order you planned out or did things kind of change once Tiffany went a little rogue at that one point with her last HOH win? Did that change things?
Yeah, I would say after Tiffany's second HOH, which shout to Tiffany, she's a legend in this game. She won back-to-back HOHs. That's incredible. But yeah, once she won the second HOH at that point, I was like, "Okay, Kyland and Tiffany probably six or five, Hannah at four, but truthfully, Big D and Azah were people who I felt never had my name in their mouth. Never were disloyal to me or never went against me in the game. So if I was able to get them to the final three, that's what I wanted. And luckily that's what happened.
At one point Big D called you out for being a lawyer. How worried were you that he was on to you and that you might have to do something about it?
Uh, Big D! I was just like, "Man, bro, come on, help me out!" People in this game can take any type of conspiracy theory and run with it. So for him week one to be like, "I think you're a lawyer" — I am man! But, you know, that's just Big D. Big D is going to say what's on his mind and he'll apologize for it later. Or he won't, and that's what I love about him. But after I was just like, "Hey, maybe you keep that to yourself." And he was like, "Cool." And it got us to the final two. So nothing but love there.
What are you gonna do with all that money?
First thing with the money is, I want to do what I can to set some money aside for my nephew. That was the big reason why I came into this game. Why I wanted to win was to fulfill a promise to my late brother. And by winning, I feel like I've done that. So that makes me feel amazing. I'll probably knock out a little bit of student loan debt too. A law degree is not cheap. And then I want to probably do some saving, do some investing, help out some of my family and friends. This wasn't a win that was for me. I more so knew what the money could do for the people I cared about. And that was what was most important to me.
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Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.