‘Big Brother 23’ finale recap: Did Xavier, Derek or Azah win the $750,000 grand prize? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

After 85 days of scheming, napping and crying, the winner of “Big Brother 23” was finally crowned on Wednesday night. But was it Xavier Prather, Derek Frazier or Azah Awasum who won the $750,000 grand prize and became the show’s first-ever Black winner? After Xavier claimed Part 1 of the final Head of Household competition, Derek and Azah competed in Part 2. The victor then faced off live against Xavier in Part 3 to determine who would become the last HOH of the summer. That person had the power to bring someone with them to the Final 2, thereby sending the other contestant to the jury house. Also during the two-hour finale, viewers learned the identity America’s Favorite Houseguest, which came with a special $50,000 check.

Below, read our minute-by-minute “Big Brother” finale recap of Season 23, Episode 37 to find out what happened Wednesday, September 29 at 9:00 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 what you think of the new addition to the “Big Brother” winners list. Julie Chen Moonves hosts the long-running program.

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

9:00 p.m. – “Previously on ‘Big Brother’!” In the 36th episode, Julie hosted a special episode that focused on the journeys of each of the finalists. The houseguests then competed in Part 1 of the final HOH competition. Xavier, Derek and Azah held on tightly to their suspended boats as they were bombarded with water and flying objects. Big D fell first, with Azah following soon after. That left Xavier as the winner of the challenge, which means he gets to relax until Part 3 later tonight. So who will be named the winner of “BB23” at the end of the evening? Let’s go!

9:12 p.m. – Julie welcomes us to the grand finale of Season 23! Who will be the final, most important HOH and who will they take to the final two? Who will emerge victorious when the jury of nine votes for the winner? First, we watch Azah and Big D face off in part two of the final HOH. The winner will face off against Xavier in part three. On go, each will receive a jackpot question. The answer is always four specific houseguests. Each player must race up the stairs to roll their slot machine to the four correct houesguests. Whoever completes this task the fastest will win part two of this final HOH. There are only three questions, but this competition is physical as well as mental. Azah makes a couple of mistakes and isn’t confident about her time. Lucky for her, Big D can barely even balance on this giant slot machine. By question two he’s already complaining about scraping his knees. He calls it the most difficult competition of the summer, which it was definitely NOT. Anyways, Azah finished in 13:19 and Big D finished in 20:22. Azah has won part two of the final HOH and Big D has officially won zero comps this summer.

9:15 p.m. – The pressure rises for Xavier to win part three of the competition now that Azah is still in this race. Big D is banking on either of them pulling him along to the final two (which they likely will). Then Julie teases that “someone should probably remind” Big D that his fate now rests in the hands of Azah or Xavier. I’m guessing he spent his last few days in the house annoying both of them.

9:20 p.m. – Having won part two of the final HOH competition, Azah has positioned herself to reach the end. That is not sitting well with Big D. He’s furious that they’re cuddling on the couch. Big D feels like he has carried Azah all the way to the final three and she should know better than to even think about taking Xavier to the final two. When asked who Big D would take, he says he would stick with his deal to take Xavier. He continues to remind Azah that he doesn’t respect her game even though she tells him that she plans to bring him to the final two. Big D is really trying to sink his own ship here. Why does he want to argue with her right now?

9:25 p.m. – Azah tells Big D they should stop talking game for the rest of the season. She tells him that she has given him no indication that she’s changing her mind and she’s tired of his insecurities. Azah was sure a final two with Big D was a done deal, but she no longer respects the way he speaks to her. Now she wants to consider all her options. Big D is such a drama queen! I already can’t wait to watch him get second place to ANYONE. Meanwhile, Azah tells Xavier that she is going to pray about it, but she will probably take Xavier if she wins the final HOH. Xavier is thrilled that Azah has come to this decision and he didn’t even have to do anything. Big D ruined his own game! Azah is not happy that Big D has shown such disrespect for her game. Now Azah tells Big D that she will take Xavier to the final two. Big D is flabbergasted because he saved her last week when he evicted Kyland instead of her. He gives her a passive aggressive hug and walks away with his fan. Azah heads to the Diary Room in tears and feels torn about what to do. If she’s smart, she’ll take Big D because at this point I think she could smoke him in a jury vote. They definitely don’t think as highly of Big D’s game as he does.

9:30 p.m. – The jury (Britni D’Angelo, Derek Xiao, Sarah Beth Steagall, Claire Rehfuss, Alyssa Lopez, Tiffany Mitchell, Hannah Chaddha and Kyland Young) meets and Tiffany hopes to see Big D evicted next. Even though Kyland screwed her over, she has no respect for Big D’s game. Claire thinks it would be smart to send Xavier out. They’re shocked when Kyland joins them and they want ALL the tea. Kyland explains that Xavier went back on his word, but Big D cast the vote to evict him. Sarah Beth says Xavier has played an incredible game and Hannah says he has personal relationships with everyone. Derek X. laughs about Xavier calling himself a bartender, but he couldn’t make a martini. Tiffany doesn’t know which comps Xavier threw or not, but he never led any important conversations. She says he doesn’t have any “big moves.” Sarah Beth would love to watch Xavier defend his game.

9:35 p.m. – The jury is impressed with Azah’s loyalty. Derek X. compliments her for flying under the radar and if she gets rid of Xavier in the end, she has his respect. The jury agrees she was passive, but Azah has the most personal relationships. They basically all agree that Azah taking out Xavier would be the only move she needs. As for Big D, Alyssa respects his social game more than Azah’s. Sarah Beth says he did a good job of disguising the Cookout, but he was incapable of winning anything. Kyland tells the group that Big D was as good of a player as Hannah, which Hannah and Tiffany both take offense to. Hannah respectfully disagrees with Kyland and everyone basically agrees they would love those two to defend their games against each other.

9:48 p.m. – It is time to crown either Azah or Xavier the most powerful HOH of the summer. In “Houseguest Headliners,” these two will have to prove how well they know their former housemates that sit in the jury. Videos will make three statements about each specific juror. One statement in each video is false. Whoever guesses the most correct FALSE statements about each houseguest after eight questions will win. Azah gets the first question wrong, and that’s all it took to lose this final HOH. Xavier has won by a score of 8-7.

10:00 p.m. – Xavier must now evict Azah or Big D and decide who he wants to plead his case next to in front of the jury. He predictably chooses to evict Azah. Big D practically has a meltdown when he realizes he’s reached the final two. He still thinks he can win this game. Azah meets with Julie and admits to being sad about being tripped up on the first question. She knew her only path to the the final two was winning the last HOH. She admits that if she had won she would have taken Xavier to the final two. She knew she could have beaten Big D, but she’s not motivated by money. She wants the first African-American winner to deserve the title. Okay, Azah, a little shade on Big D there, I hear you.

10:15 p.m. – The fate of the final two now rests in the hands of the jury. They are live in the studio with Julie and she introduces Azah to join them as juror #9. Before they vote, they get to grill the final two! Kyland asks Xavier what he thinks the most important factors to consider are when crowning the first Black winner of “Big Brother.” Xavier says he never belittled anyone or got personal. Although he had to lie, he never disrespected anyone. Britini asks Big D to name two decisions he made on his own, lol. Big D takes credit for creating the Cookout as Tiffany looks on with laser beams in her eyes. Alyssa asks Xavier his biggest mistake. He says it was getting too close to his teammates because watching people walk out the door crushed him. Hannah asks Big D if he was there for fame over game. He says, “Yes, I did want to be on TV.” He made it clear that he was going after the money and he played the game. Derek X. asks Xavier to name strategic game moves he made that the jury may not be aware of. He says he had to blindside Kyland and he had to throw a HOH contest to Derek X. Sarah Beth asks Big D what he specifically contributed to getting the Cookout to the final six. He says he was always in the HOH’s ear to benefit members of the Cookout. He also made sure any plans made were executed. Azah asks Big D why he deserves to win over Xavier. He says he deserves the $750k because he put in the work and gave it his all. He also offered himself up as a pawn to protect the Cookout.

10:25 p.m. – Heading into commercial break Big D mentions to Xavier that Tiffany looked like she wanted to kill him, lol. Why didn’t Tiffany ask any questions? Maybe they’re saving hers. Julie welcomes us back after the commercial break and the final two have one more chance to plead their case. Big D says he came into the game with the goal of being the first Black winner of “Big Brother.” He worked really hard in this game and never gave up. He can’t say anything bad about Xavier. Next, Xavier says he was challenged to balance teams, alliances and individual interests. Xavier says he is the only one with two original teammates in the jury and he helped the Cookout reach the final six. He won seven competitions and despite being nominated five times he only had one vote to evict him.

10:27 p.m. – One at a time, each juror will approach the voting box and insert the key of the person they want to win “Big Brother.” Britini is super excited and says she’s voting for the person who played the best game. Derek X. says, “If you’re not going to play the game, then why are you here?” Sarah Beth says they both had her fooled and she’s honored to vote for this winner. Claire says she loves being proven wrong, but she won’t get that tonight. Alyssa says nothing of substance. Tiffany says she is proud of both of them but she’s voting for the best player. Hannah is honored to be part of the Cookout and her decision may not be much of a “hot take.” Kyland has deep love and respect for both of them, but “there are more important things than money in life.” Azah casts the final vote with “love and respect.”

10:45 p.m. – Now that the jury has voted, Travis Long, Brandon “Frenchie” French, Brent Champagne, Whitney Williams and Christian Birkenberger arrive via webcam. Christian calls the Cookout the greatest alliance in “Big Brother” history and he’s proud to be part of this season. Brent says that Tiffany surprised him the most and gives her credit for the master plan. Tiffany says she almost threw off her own master plan because the fan in her wanted to play her own game sometimes. But her alliance didn’t let her derail from the plan. Derek X. says he had no idea he was a pawn because he was so “love struck” by Travis. He really never thought he was played. Then Julie reveals that Hannah is a pre-med student, Sarah Beth is a forensic chemist, Claire is an engineer, Britini is a blackbelt, Big D is the son of Joe Frazier and Xavier is a lawyer. Xavier is beside himself that Big D is the son of a heavyweight champ. Britini then stands and reveals that she has autism but didn’t disclose that because she wanted the houseguests to know her for her. Then, Julie asks Kyland if he regrets making things personal with Xavier. Kyland says his statement was objective and it wasn’t an insult to Xavier’s family. Xavier doesn’t understand why Kyland brought up his nephew’s name. So basically, no, Kyland isn’t sorry.

10:59 p.m. – It’s time to reveal the Season 23 winner of “Big Brother.” By a vote of 9-0, Xavier has become the first Black winner of “Big Brother” and will take home $750,000. Big D gets the runner-up prize of $75,000. Finally, the winner of “America’s Favorite Houseguest” and a $50,000 prize is Tiffany! She won by a narrow margin over Derek X. What a historic season! Julie announces we can all get our next fix in February with Season 3 of “Celebrity Big Brother.”

SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘Big Brother’?

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