Kyland Young reacts to his Big Brother blowup with Xavier
Well, that was tense. Kyland Young was blindsided out of the Big Brother house on Thursday's live eviction episode, and he was not happy about it.
Instead of walking out after Derek Frazier cast the sole vote to evict him, Kyland confronted Big D and Xavier Prather about lying to him and not giving him a heads-up on his ouster. Kyland then told Xavier that he was not being a good role model for his nephew Kobe, which clearly agitated the now frontrunner to win the $750,000. Things got so heated, with the two standing almost face-to-face, that host Julie Chen Moonves ordered Kyland to immediately leave the house before the situation escalated.
While Kyland was clearly shell-shocked and upset by what went down, how did he feel the next day about it? Does he regret bringing Xavier's nephew into the conversation? Does he feel Xavier is playing a cowardly game, as he insinuated in his interview with Chen Moonves? And how does he think he would have done had he made it to the final two against Xavier, Big D, or Azah Awasum? We asked Kyland all that and more when we caught up with the fourth-place finisher on his way to the jury house.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You were clearly very upset with Xavier for turning on you and not giving you a heads-up about your eviction, and you essentially stated he was not being a good role model for his nephew. Do you still feel that way, or do you regret bringing his nephew into the conversation?
KYLAND YOUNG: I tend to speak pretty objectively. So as far as what I was speaking about to Xavier, that's something that I maintain fully because I wasn't suggesting that he's a person that lacks all character as a whole. It's just that Xavier and I had specifically talked about people like Kobe Bryant and Goku, and those people who love to go head-to-head with the strongest competitors as they can. For this season, we had bonded over the fact that if we're going to have a first Black winner, we want them to win at the highest level. And at the highest level would be, according to those sort of role models we look up to, going to sit in those final two chairs with somebody who is a tough competitor overall.
So that's what I was stating. It's an objective fact that it's something we talked about, and that was something he chose not to do. And then I think he also clarified in his goodbye message that for him, he didn't want to sit next to me at the end. And that totally makes sense because I had demonstrated that in, I think, eight out of the 11 competitions, I beat him. But as far as the statement, you know, I'd hate for it to be misconstrued. It has nothing to do with his character — it just has to do with the way he played the game compared to the way we'd talked about it.
You said you wanted to win with honor and not in a cowardly way. Do you feel like Xavier's playing in a cowardly way?
I would say going back to the standard that Xavier and I had discussed as far as what we want the first Black winner of Big Brother to look like, we did specifically say, "Hey, having two of the strongest people sitting next to each other at the end of this game, we think would be achieving at a highest level." So we have the Cookout, this incredible moment of Black excellence. And from that point on, me, myself — I removed the goal. I was like, "You know what? I'm very much about representation and the importance of it, especially in the Black community." I do a lot of work outside the house. So I decided, "Know what? I only want to win this game on these terms."
And, of course, it's Big Brother. You get to lie and backstab and cheat, and it's all part of the game. But I knew I wanted to say that: "Hey, the first Black winner didn't just win, they won in this way. They won without doing some of the underhanded moves." And also, for me, it has to do with what's necessary. Someone like Big D or Azah, they didn't have a résumé that could help them get to the end, and they weren't competitors in competitions enough to get them to the end, without making those moves. They have to make those moves.
Xavier was a decent competitor, more than decent. This wasn't necessarily for him — it just was the easier route. Some that choose the easier route, [that's] choosing the less brave and honorable option, but we all have our different priorities and things we care about. And I totally understand that.
You said that even if you could go back in time, you would not lie to Big D about the final two, but that maybe you would alter the conversation a bit. How would you have handled that moment differently if you could?
When I think about handling the conversation with Big D on the final two differently, I don't think about lying to him. I do think about being more compassionate [toward] what he was saying, but he was in a position where he was vulnerable. And that was something I was even asked about multiple times. Why wouldn't you just tell him, "Yeah, we're good" and make him feel comfortable and have his support and have his backing in this game? For me, I knew that coming into the season, I wanted us to have our first Black winner. As soon as that became an absolute fact once the final six made it to the end — and in my head even before that, I could see the path — I knew I only wanted it to happen a certain way.
My mentor actually told me going into the game, "Hey, if you go, don't play the game." I was like, "What do you mean? I got to play the game. I got to do all the necessary moves." He's like, "No, don't lose yourself." And something Azah's father had mentioned in her letter — and they're a very biblical family — is that money is a great servant, but a terrible master. And I knew I didn't want to make my decisions based off just winning the game by any means necessary. I wanted to win in a certain way. So that's why I look at that conversation with Big D or any other moves, and I still feel good about them.
Let's say you had made it to the end. How do you think you would do against Xavier, Azah, or Big D in the final two?
I think against Azah and Big D, more than likely with the way I was playing the game and the arguments I already had in place, we were looking at a pretty good safe margin of a win there for myself. As for Xavier — honestly, winning that last HOH would have probably been the determining factor for which of us won. For me, taking him off the block and keeping him off the block at final six and at final five were just moves I was having to add to my résumé as far as, "Hey, all of you guys talking about Xavier getting here, I brought him here. He didn't get here. And I told you guys, I would do this 10 weeks ago, whoever was the strongest competitor here. I wasn't convinced. This is what I did. And I told you guys, and I followed through on that consistency."
So looking at that, assuming that I won that last HOH — and the statistical likelihood given the times that Xavier and I competed against each other in different competitions suggest I had a decent probability — I think I would've been pretty good against him as well. Maybe it would've been something like a 5-to-4 chance, or it could've been a 6-to-3. I had some impressive argument points up my sleeve that I had already been working on for the speeches, if I had made it.
Seeing how you ended up in fourth place, are you still happy you stuck with the Cookout, or do you wish you had charted a different path?
As far as my loyalty to the Cookout and to that mission and prioritizing that above my personal game, there could not be anything I regret less. I'm somebody who doesn't regret virtually any of the decisions and any of the things I did in the house — just because I don't really believe in that energy being useful. Plus, you can't see the outcome of things until further down the line anyway. But sticking to the Cookout, staying loyal, keeping people safe, even to the detriment of myself and my own game at multiple points throughout the summer, those are all things that took zero hesitation, zero thought on my part, and nothing that I would even think about changing.
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Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.