‘Big Brother 23’ episode 36 recap: Who won HOH Part 1 on September 26? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Following “Big Brother” tradition, the final Head of Household competition of Season 23 will be split into three parts. Part 1 played out Sunday night with Derek Frazier, Xavier Prather and Azah Awasum giving it their all. The winner of this challenge immediately advanced to Part 3, which will be held live on finale night, September 29. The two losers would have to compete in Part 2, which will take place later in the week. So who won HOH Part 1?

Below, read our minute-by-minute “Big Brother” recap of Season 23, Episode 36 to find out what happened Sunday, September 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite “BB23” houseguests on CBS’s reality TV show, who annoys you the most and who you think will ultimately join the “Big Brother” winners list and win the $750,000 grand prize.

Keep refreshing/reloading this “Big Brother 23” live blog for the most recent updates.

8:00 p.m. – “Previously on ‘Big Brother’!” In the 35th episode, the Final 3 took a trip down memory lane as they remembered the best moments from the summer. Derek, Xavier and Azah were also treated with emotional videos from their loved ones, which brought on even more tears than the annual “crying montage” did. With all of the fun stuff out of the way, it’s now time for the finalists to compete in Part 1 of the last Head of Household competition. Who will win the challenge and immediately advanced to Part 3? Let’s go!

8:01 p.m. – In addition to HOH Part 1, Julie Chen-Moonves said that tonight we’ll hear from each of the Final 3 about their own strategy that got them all the way to the end of the game. First up was Xavier. His first move was to conceal his identity as a lawyer and athlete by claiming to be a bartender. In that sense, he wanted to minimize his threat level as much as possible, which included no showmances and throwing comps. As an added level of protection, he joined the pivotal alliances of the season. As far as The Cookout, Xavier called himself the “glue that kept it together” by keeping everyone focused on the mission and keeping members from fighting internally. He also explained that when he targeted Brent Champagne in Week 3 it was an important move to gain favor and trust with everyone else in the house. The parts of his strategy that slipped out of control are the many weeks he spent on the block, but that provided him the opportunity to win POV comps to take himself off the block. Once it got down to the Final 6 with The Cookout, Xavier’s big move was convincing Kyland Young to take Tiffany out because she was his biggest threat to gain control for the rest of the game.

8:14 p.m. – Azah explained that as a super fan of the show her plan coming in was to be an alpha female and comp beast, but she quickly realized that she wasn’t the best at comps and wasn’t the loudest personality. So instead she decided that she’d have to lay low and keep a very low profile. She allowed other members of The Cookout to become the big targets with their comp wins and that in the end they just got more blood on their hands while she got to sit back squeaky clean and build relationships with people. She also said that being honest was a strategy, in that she was straight up with people and even if it meant calling her own allies out on some of their lies. The biggest and only lie she says she told was to Hannah Chaddha during the second double eviction, admitting that targeting her was what she had to do in order to get to the end of the game. Her relationships that she spent all season building paid off for her when Derek decided to save her over Kyland in the Final 4.

8:24 p.m. – Knowing that he wasn’t going to be great at comps, Derek entered the house with the intention of having the best social game. Now at the end, he considers it one of the best social games in history. Frenchie was Derek’s first solid alliance to Final 2, Xavier was his second Final 2, and Kyland was his third. He chose those three because he knew they’d be shields as comp beasts, but his strongest social alliance was with Azah despite the fact that they never officially had an agreement to go to the end together. Explaining that his personal goal was to ensure there’d be a Black winner, Derek says he assembled The Cookout and did everything he could to maintain that they remained strong together. His strife with Tiffany Mitchell throughout the season was his toughest point in the game, and he almost gave up on The Cookout, but the hardest decision he made was evicting Kyland.

8:35 p.m. – For HOH Part 1, the Final 3 played Bouncy Boat Bash, an endurance comp to remain on a topsy-turvy boat suspended in the air. Going into the comp, Azah knew that the two guys have an agreement to take each other to the end and so she felt she had to win in order to guarantee her place in Part 3. Meanwhile, Derek went into it knowing that both of the other players are planning to take him to the Final 2 with them, but he still wanted to have control of his own game. Once the comp got going, Xavier and Azah both felt confident about their ability to compete well and looked fairly solid on the boat while even with his excitement, Derek seemed the most awkward and squirmy. After 19 minutes Derek fell from the boat, leaving the other two to play it out.

8:47 p.m. – Because she had been straddling the boat with her arms and legs, Azah started to get sore quicker than Xavier who was sitting upright for most of the comp. But Xavier thought that Azah looked strong at the same time that he was struggling to stay on by maneuvering side to side. But at 26 minutes Azah started to slip and in trying to readjust herself slid right off. That means Xavier won Part 1 and advances straight to Part 3 to determine the final HOH.

8:54 p.m. – After the comp Xavier was confident in his plan to get to the Final 2 coming to fruition. He celebrated with Derek privately, solidifying their plan for Derek to win Part 2 so that they can secure both of themselves in the Final 2 no matter what. Later, Azah told Derek that she’s nervous about the comp because it’s her only chance to continue on and make the finals. It’s clear that all three of them know the exact path for each of them to get to the end–Derek will go no matter who wins while both Xavier and Azah need to win in order to take Derek with them.

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