For the first time in the long history of the program, a Black woman, Taylor Hale, was named the winner of Season 24 of Big Brother on Sunday, September 25.
The 27-year-old Michigan beauty queen triumphed over rivals Monte Taylor, 27, of Delaware, and Matthew “Turner” Turner, 23, of Massachusetts, to win the $750,000 top prize. When viewers chose her as America’s Favorite Houseguest, she also received an additional $50,000. She thus made history by becoming the first Black woman to win Big Brother and the first winner of the America’s Favorite Houseguest Award, making her the first in both categories.
The season 24 finale also marked a first time having a Black man and a Black woman as the final two house guests.
Taylor Hale made her final plea to the jury members in a speech many viewers are calling the best in Big Brother history, saying: “I have overcome so much in this game and I have come to understand that I am not a shield. I am a sword. I am not a victim. I am a victor. If there is one word that is going to describe the entire season, it is resiliency. If you were to ask yourself who the most resilient person of this season has been, it is me.”
“We can have the same Big Brother wins that we’ve had in the past, but I am challenging you jury members,” Taylor Hale continued. “I’m challenging all of you to decide what type of winner you want to have this year? Do we want the same thing, where we see evictions and comp wins be the path to success? Or do we want a winner where we choose resiliency, we choose persistence as a reason to win this game.
I have never given up on myself and I refuse to do it tonight when I’m sitting next to such a strong competitor. Jury members, I am challenging you to make the hard decision and change the course of the game and choose progress for the course of this game. I can be with the winner of this season, and I promise you will not do it in vain if you choose me tonight.”