Whomever wins Season 23 of Big Brother, he or she is already guaranteed to make series history. But the question remains: Who will that be?
During Wednesday’s two-hour finale (CBS, 9/8c), the long-running reality competition will crown its first-ever Black winner when either Azah Awasum, Derek Frazier or Xavier Prather clinches at least five of nine jury votes. (This season’s victor will also be the first to claim $750,000 after the usual $500,000 grand prize was upped in the season premiere.)
But before Tiffany, Hannah, a very bitter Kyland and the rest of the jury choose the Season 23 winner, we want to know whose key you would put in that box on finale night. Let’s assess who’s left standing in the BB house:
* Despite the high opinion Derek F. seems to have of his own gameplay (we’re still not over that whole “I carried Azah” segment from last week), there’s a reason both Xavier and Azah would likely take him to the Final Two: He’s easily beatable. Although Derek was a member of the dominant Cookout alliance, and never faced real danger of eviction even when he was nominated, his thin résumé includes zero competition wins thus far. Not a one!
Of course, there’s always something to be said for a savvy social game, and the fact that Derek was rarely brought up as a potential target — even after The Cookout was forced to turn on each other — speaks to Derek’s strong personal relationships with others in the house. He also cast the lone vote to evict Kyland, one of the biggest competitive threats in the game. Still, next to Azah and especially next to Xavier, Derek will have his work cut out for him when it comes time to remind the jurors of his accomplishments.
* Azah, though not the comp beast she’d hoped to be upon entering the game, at least has a Head of Household win under her belt — and that win came under the stressful, high-stakes circumstances of a double eviction. (Yes, she did immediately squander any opportunity to evict a massive threat that night, but hey, she’s still in the finale!) Azah played an impressive social game, too: Even though the Jokers team was consistently targeted in the season’s early weeks, Azah avoided the block all the way until Final Four. A tremendous achievement by any standard.
* But if Azah or Derek find themselves next to Xavier in those armchairs on finale night, surely they know they’ll have an uphill battle ahead of them. Of the three finalists, Xavier has the best track record in competitions, with two Head of Household wins and three Power of Veto wins across the season. And though he was well-protected by the Cookout alliance, Xavier’s relationships with non-Cookout players — like Alyssa, Christian and Sarah Beth, aka his fellow Kings — helped him avoid nomination and/or eviction time and time again, despite the obvious threat he posed to everyone else’s games.
And yet, it’s not at all a foregone conclusion that Xavier will win the money, or even get to the Final Two. Azah and Derek certainly know how formidable an opponent Xavier would be in the end; it seems unlikely that Azah would take Xavier to the Final Two if she wins that final HOH, and Derek could very well break his Final Two deal with Xavier if he’d rather face a more evenly matched competitor like Azah. Should Xavier lose Wednesday’s Head of Household competition, his entire game could be over, too.
Those are our thoughts, but what about yours? Cast your votes in our polls below to predict the outcome of Wednesday’s finale, then hit the comments to back up your choices!