Arts, Culture & Entertainment

‘The Cookout’ makes ‘Big Brother’ history

This week’s ‘Big Brother’ finale will make history with the first Black winner thanks to an alliance created by all Black houseguests.

Photo of Big Brother promotional image including the host and title of the show

In all of its twenty years of airing on CBS, the infamous show “Big Brother” has never had an African American winner before. Since “Big Brother” is an alliance-based game, players from marginalized communities were always the first ones sent home.

Thanks to one of the biggest BB alliances, “The Cookout’, which is composed of three Black men and three Black women, “Big Brother” will have its first African American winner in all of its twenty-three seasons. It’s a monumental moment, especially at a time when the nation is acknowledging the need and support for diversity and inclusion.

The powerhouse alliance includes Azah Awasum, Derek Frazier, Kyland Young, Hannah Chaddha, Tiffany Mitchell and Xavier Prather. They formed the alliance early on in the season and even though they entered the house with their own personal and strategic goals, they stayed focused on the mission.

Photo of the final six houseguests in Big Brother Season 23, the first season where the final six are Black houseguests.

Typically, the white “Big Brother” houseguests would send home people of color first. This year marked a change with the most diverse group of houseguests the show has seen.

This season has been nothing short of amazing! From the HOH (head of household) challenges to the vetoes and evictions, it has kept viewers on the edge of their seats. Each player always had something up their sleeve, from intellect to physical strength, you just were never sure who would win the competitions.

Seeing “The Cookout’s” alliance and plan go undetected week by week made this season even more golden. The secrecy and tenacity required to accomplish this goal should be recognized and praised. With cameras and microphones following the houseguests for twenty-four hours, it was very interesting to see how many of the houseguests had no idea the alliance existed.

Each member of “The Cookout” had a pawn to play. Although these were people they formed true relationships with, the mission was not complete until the alliance made it to the final six.

“The Cookout” made history by achieving something that’s never been done before: securing the first Black “Big Brother” winner.

Annenberg Media spoke with former houseguest Christian Birkenberger, who was one of the first houseguests to be sent home by “The Cookout.”

A headshot of Big Brother season 23 houseguest Christian Birkenberger who was sent home by "The Cookout" alliance.

“It’s so important to recognize the mission of ‘The Cookout’ and understand that their mindset can also be seen as a lesson,” he said. “The lesson being that when you work with others to achieve a larger purpose, bigger than yourself anything is possible. Because of that mindset, BB23 will crown their first Black winner and go down as a historic season.”

When asked who he wants to win, he said the answer is “as easy as one letter: X.”

“He is extremely well-rounded and has the best social and physical game out of the remaining players,” Birkenberger said. “I’m looking forward to congratulating my boy X on finale night. With a big smile on my face, I once again want to express how happy I am to be a part of the BB23 cast!”

A photo from the show featuring "The Cookout" alliance featuring all Black houseguests in Big Brother.

The “Big Brother” finale is set to premiere tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. EST.