The TV Watercooler had the opportunity to chat with Big Brother 24 winner Taylor Hale following her historic win as the first Black woman to win a traditional season of the show, while also winning the “America’s Favorite Houseguest” title.
Congratulations! That was a historic win. What was it like coming out of this win? It must have been so overwhelming.
It’s been really interesting learning more about the game through these interviews. I only know what I know from my perspective and some people wanted to share some things with me on Twitter.
It’s interesting, but yep – it’s been an absolute whirlwind going back into the real world. I went to Disneyland because I thought that was a good idea. I just got overstimulated.
It’s been quite a wild ride to understand where some truths were, where some lies were, how low some lies were, and how surface-level some others were.
So, there’s definitely a journey ahead of me, but I want to at least enjoy this initial part of having achieved the goal that I went in with, which is being the first black female winner of the game.
Did you get a chance to meet ‘The Cookout’?
The Cookout has been awesome! They’re the reason why I even went into the game. I saw a supercut of Tiffany formulating the master plan, and that made me decide to want to go back and start Season 23 from the beginning and then catch up so that I could finish the season in real time!
I won my pageant and then got reached out to about doing The Amazing Race, and I said, “I’ve never seen it but I watch Big Brother, let’s talk about that!” So, going from being introduced to the game via The Cookout to now being called an honorary member of The Cookout and having them being so protective of me…
They’ve told me that because they were six people, they were able to have full range of emotions and personalities. Whereas I was just one person who was being bullied, it was very hard for them to see me not have the same agency as they did, so they’ve been very, very protective of my experience coming out of the house.
It was a very unique experience and I shouldered a lot. I carried a lot all the way through and it’s nice to have people care about my heart and my spirit amidst all the craziness that happened. I love them and it’s been very great.
I’m glad that you got to connect with them. In terms of the protectives, I want you to know that it’s not just The Cookout. A lot of viewers felt so protective of you, which I think became evident when you won America’s Favorite Player. I hope that you recognize that as well. You had so many people, not just in the United States, but in Canada as well. So many were rooting for you. I think it was a perfect ending for a lot of the underdogs.
It means the world to me. I came into the game not feeling like I deserved to be part of the game because I got recruited off Instagram and I was this “pretty pageant girl.” I had only watched one season, but I did do some research coming in…In all these seasons there are these heavy hitters and the fandom that it has achieved across countries. I love the Canadian fans and the Canadian game is also awesome, and it’s really cool how much the Canadian fandom knows the American game.
So, walking into this, I wanted to be so respectful of the fan base because I felt like I was not someone they’d want to be part of this franchise, but now coming out and learning just how protective you all were of me…It was so hard in that house, and you know, I had my one or two people that I felt like I had my back, but to know that it’s not just Americans across the country who have my back, but Canadians were really in there rooting for me, it means that I did everything true to who I am. It was really nice to be well received, so thank you very much.
You handled a lot of that hardship with grace and dignity. Can you share with us how you found that strength?
I attribute a lot of that to my grandma. She is a black woman in her 80s. She was born and raised in the Jim Crow era – in Mississippi – and then moved to Detroit to have a better life for herself and her family. From there she was able to create a family, have jobs with dignity, and get dignity that she was not allowed to have in the South.
And through that, she had a lot of patience and a lot of tolerance that she should not have had for many people. She’s very open-minded. I think that my open-mindedness, tolerance, and patience come from her and my mom.
I heard my mom was popping off on Twitter a little bit! She could be more of the “sword” in that aspect and I’d be the “shield.”
And this was the grandmother that came to finale night?
Yes, my grandma Betty.
What was it like reconnecting with Joseph?
I knew it was coming! [Laughs] I thought that he would be upset with me. I thought Joseph would be very upset with me.
I wasn’t sure what the truth was. I was not sure if I was being lied to or was told the truth. I didn’t want to believe it.
He was always someone who said, “don’t lose yourself to the game,” and then I was so scared that he did.
It was hard to convince me of that, but I had to work with the people that were telling me that. So, to operate in that mindset and question if he had thrown me under the bus and ultimately, he never did.
I would have made different decisions had I known that… personal decisions.
Reconnecting with Joseph has just been the best experience ever because we are the same people as each other, and nothing is going to tear that away.
It’s also been really interesting to learn that he and I are coming out [of this game]mostly unscathed and we mostly have each other. We have decided to watch this season together, not with anyone else or in our own time – but together and make decisions on our relationship from there.
Did you think it was strategy on Michael and Brittany’s part to reveal what they knew about Kyle at that exact moment and not when it happened?
I don’t think it was strategy, and I know there are many, many people who will disagree with me on that. I know Terrance and Monty are entitled to feel differently as well.
If you don’t think that racism is a factor in the game, you don’t bring it up until you absolutely know. I will never fault them for not wanting to open up that can of worms in a place where there are 24/7 cameras where people will have real opinions on that. I will never fault them on that.
I am still frustrated with the fact that they went through all those steps to do the right thing, but still left me on the block next to Kyle. That was very painful. It did give me the opportunity of a speech, which we all know I love! But I feel like if you are going to say that this is bad for your game, you’re taking a risk – the ultimate risk that you need to do is put yourself in a position of jeopardy and do the right thing. But there’s no doing the right thing if there’s no risk involved and I was the one that had to once again, should that risk.
I’ve forgiven them, but at the time, I was very disappointed about that.
You seemed so surprised by the landslide victory. Why did you think it was all about resume building? One would think that surviving all those weeks on the block could be considered a huge move… Over and over again.
It’s because I was up against two men that had strong resumes. This game can show a lot of favouritism towards men and their physical, competitive, and numerical accomplishments.
Whereas being on the block – particularly as a woman, can be seen as weakness. There are so many things that happen in this game, no matter what a woman accomplishes, where she’s just not getting the same accolades as the men are.
I could have had the same resume as a man, and he would have probably had a stronger argument against me just by virtue of being a man in the game. I was very concerned about that with Turner and Monte, who had nearly identical resumes.
By not having the same number of wins against them being on the block as someone who just had to survive. I thought that would be weak and I thought that the women would be convinced that a more just, fair, traditional way of winning the game was the best way to go.
I’m just happy that the jury thought otherwise from what I’ve been told they were in a solid decision before even getting to finale night.
Would you be open to doing The Amazing Race now?
A new season of Big Brother will premiere in 2023! Casting is now open for Big Brother Canada’s 11th season. Learn more and apply at bigbrothercanada.ca.