On September 25th, at the season finale of “Big Brother,” history was made. Taylor Hale, a personal stylist and former Miss Michigan USA who is 27 years old, became the first Black woman to win the long-running CBS show after 24 seasons.
Hale’s fellow housemates, who made up the nine-person jury, voted 8-1 to give her the $750,000 grand prize and named her the season winner. In a second historic moment, host Julie Chen Moonves said that Hale was voted “America’s Favorite Player” by the audience, which gave her an extra $50,000.
The $800,000 she won is the most money anyone has ever won on “Big Brother.” After 82 days, Hale went against the odds and won first place. She had to deal with minor insults and bullying the whole season as other contestants questioned her character and made plans to get rid of her.
— Big Brother (@CBSBigBrother) September 28, 2022
Hale was put on the block the first week of the season and five more times on eviction nights. During the two-hour finale, 27-year-old personal trainer Monte Taylor beat third-placed Matthew Turner in the final Head of Household competition.
Taylor got rid of Turner and chose to go to the final two with Hale. As one of the last two houseguests, Hale became the first Black woman to make it to the final two since fan favorite Danielle Reyes did it in Season 3.
Even though Reyes played a great game on September 25, 2002, the jury only gave her one vote. Throughout Season 24, Hale talked about wanting to make history and finish what the other Black women who have played “Big Brother” have started.
In her last argument to the jury, Hale talked about how she kept going every week and how that should symbolize the season. “Jury members, I have won three competitions, and in two of them, I was Head of Household,” she said in a speech posted on Twitter.
“But I am so much more than my victories. I have shown I can win and use power, but in this game, I am more than my wins.” She agreed that Taylor had won more competitions than she had and that he had “more blood on his hands” because he had made more significant moves.
“But I have lost the most blood in this game because I have sat on this block six times on eviction night. But every time, I pulled myself together, got up, and kept fighting, because that is what so many other women in the world and I have to do to get to the end,” she said.
The winner of Miss Congeniality 2021 then talked about a few of the problems she had to deal with in the house. “I have been wrongly accused of using someone’s mental health and someone’s sick mother as pawns in this game,” she said, referring to how contestants Daniel Durston and Nicole Layog treated her in the first few weeks of the game.
“I have been called the b-word much more in this house than in my real life.” This season, Hale also talked about another controversy. Kyle Capener was in a majority alliance with Hale called “The Leftovers.” He thought that all the POC players were secretly working together and wanted to make an alliance with just the white houseguests.
She told the jury, “There was an attempt to make an all-white alliance, and I was left on the block next to the person who tried to make that alliance.” Then she said, “I have been through a lot in this game, and I have learned that I am not a shield.
I am a sword. I did not get hurt. I am a winner. And if you had to pick one word to describe the whole season, it would be “resilience.” And if you are wondering who has been the most resilient person this season, it is me.” Hale asked her former houseguests to pick winners differently.
“Jury members, I am challenging you to make a hard choice that will change the way this game goes and choose progress. “I can win this season, and if you choose me tonight, I promise it will not be for nothing,” she said. During her speech, a few of the guests shed a few tears. After Hale was named the winner, she walked out to a cannon blast of confetti and celebrated with the jury and her family.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly that came out on Monday, Hale talked about how important it was that after 24 seasons, a Black woman finally won the show. She asked, “Why is it that people who look like me and play this game are immediately seen as bad guys and viewed with suspicion when there are so many other players who have played more sneaky and mean games?”
“So I want us to be able to live freely. And if I had to take on most of the work so that we could prove our point, so be it. It worked, and now you should be free for the rest of your life. At the end of the last episode, host Chen Moonves said the show would be back for its 25th season next summer. Fans will get to see if Hale’s win affects future seasons and if her legacy leads to new kinds of winners.