The 23rd season of Big Brother came to a historic end on Wednesday, September 29, as 27-year-old attorney from Milwaukee, Xavier Prather, was the first-ever African American winner for the U.S. edition of the popular reality franchise.
Following the finale, The TV Watercooler had the opportunity to speak with the three finalists. In this interview, we chat with Baltimore’s Azah Awasum, who placed third. We spoke to the 30-year-old Sales Director about what would have been the hardest decision she’d have to make in the game when she knew who she was going to vote for to win, and which moment she’s looking forward to watching from this past season.
You must be so proud of what you and your alliance were able to accomplish this season. Can you walk us through how the realization that there were six of you – which is so rare for an American reality show – and what that could mean for the season?
Well, I definitely wanted an African American winner to be crowned. I wanted it to be me! So, I walk into the house and I meet five other dope individuals as well and I’m like “Oh my gosh! Okay…” We all agreed that we “got each other.” It really started more as an agreement and understanding that we all had, but it very quickly developed into a strategy, making sure that an African American winner gets crowned.
I think that this season was incredible because you are able to see the fights that we had to have internally with people who genuinely mattered to us and who we knew were “our guys,” but we had to make those hard decisions to let them go.
Honestly, the term that I would say which was the trend this season was putting others before yourself. Every person had to make those personal sacrifices, but it all got us to the final six. It all got us to a mission accomplished, which was crowning an African American winner.
What was the hardest decision for you? Was it putting Hannah up on Double Eviction night?
I think that the hardest decision was the one that I didn’t end up making. It was if I had won Part 3 of the final HOH, who I would take to the Final 2.
Hannah was also a hard decision…she was, unfortunately, a casualty. I had a Final 3 that I was loyal to, and I had a deal with Kyland that since he didn’t put me up on the block in Week 6, I wouldn’t target him. So, I had no other choice but to target Hannah. That’s why I ended up putting her on the block. It was definitely hard.
But once I was in the Final 3 and the possibility of being a winner came into my head, the decision on who to bring to the Final 2 was probably the hardest decision I would have had to make in the last couple of days.
You wanted to keep your word to Derek F but he made things harder for you those last few days, did he not?
He did and I did not have a Final 2 with Big D. We never had a Final 2, we were just very close in the game. In the game, I kept 100% of my deals. I said that I wanted to take him but we did not have a deal. He had a deal with Xavier. I decided in my last days that had I won [the final HOH], I would take Xavier.
It must have been so jarring getting voted out, going to jury and then immediately having to make a decision. Did you have a chance to properly think things through about crowning a winner or were you always leaning towards Xavier over Derek F?
No, I would have to say I was leaning towards voting for my friend and ally [Derek F]. But over those last few days, you have a lot of time to yourself and you think about a lot. You have to think about more things and not just the game. We spent this whole season not thinking about ourselves, but the Cookout. That really had me thinking of so many other things when it came to crowning a winner. I felt that if those two were the best options to choose from, then Xavier would be the best. If Xavier and I were the best options, in the end, I’m going to believe I was the best. I believed I could win.
Did you get a chance to deliberate with the rest of the jury at all? I’m assuming not since everything appeared to be so quick. Did you get a sense of how they were all voting?
I literally had no idea but I could sense the direction from the questions and I could sense the directions from when they put their keys in. I had my decision made prior to even when that night started.
Is there a moment from your time in the house that you are either looking forward to reliving?
I want to see all the fun song moments that we had over the summer. We had not much to do, so I would come up with songs just to pass time. I would really like to see those. I had a lot of fun with those, so that would probably be it!
Look for the third edition of Celebrity Big Brother to premiere in February 2022, followed by the 10th season of Big Brother Canada. A new season of Big Brother will premiere in Summer 2022.