Taylor Hale became the first Black woman to be crowned the victor of “Big Brother” season 24 on Sunday night. And her win was nearly 25 seasons in the making.
The 27-year-old Michigan native is the first Black woman to win the non-celebrity format of the CBS reality competition series. Soul Train Award-winning vocalist and reality TV sensation Tamar Braxton won the second season of the celebrity edition of the show in 2019.
Hale, who is the 2021 Miss Michigan USA, beat out personal trainer Monte Taylor in an 8-1 vote.
In her final speech to the jury, she said that she has come to understand that she is not a shield but a sword.
“I am not a victim; I am a victor. And if there is one word that is going to describe the entire season, it is resiliency,” the personal stylist said. “If you are to ask yourself who the most resilient person of this season has been, it is me.”
“I have never given up on myself and I refuse to do it tonight when I’m sitting next to such a strong competitor,” she added about Taylor, who she has had a strong alliance with.
The Lay’s potato chip-loving pageant queen, who is the first person to win both the game and the fan-voted America’s Favorite Houseguest award, has a prize of $50,000 and a cruise trip for two.
The winnings are in addition to her whopping $750,000 grand prize.
With both wins, Hale is the player to have won the most money in the history of “Big Brother.”
She is the fourth winner of the series hailing from the great state of Michigan; In 2021, Kalamazoo native Xavier Prather won, Nicole Franzel, of Ubly, won in 2016, and Dearborn’s Dan Gheesling won the show in 2008.
The series, which has been hosted by Julie Chen Moonves since 2000, follows a group of people living together in a house with their every move recorded 24 hours a day. Each week, someone will be voted out of the house, with the last remaining “houseguest” receiving the grand prize.