Derek Xiao, the 24-year old startup founder from Baltimore, has already won over the hearts of “Big Brother” fans.
With his two veto wins, fun-loving personality, strategic gameplay, and potential budding showmance with Hannah, there’s a lot to love about Derek X. A “Big Brother” winner even joked that she wants to adopt him. Jun Song of “Big Brother 4” retweeted a video of Derek X. and wrote, “I’m officially adopting Derex.”
In the video, Derek X. talks about how he felt lonely growing up and focused on the one thing he could control, being good at school. He says he didn’t realize until college that a person could be both funny and smart. He then goes on to say that part of why he wanted to be on “Big Brother” was to challenge stereotypes of Asian Americans in pop culture.
“It’s easy to say be yourself, but when the people you see who look like you are all a certain stereotype, you don’t know who you can be,” Derek X. says.
BB23 is the Most Diverse ‘Big Brother’ Cast Ever
In November 2020, CBS pledged to make casting for “Big Brother“, “Survivor”, and “Love Island” more diverse. The network announced that casts for the reality shows would be 50% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color).
There’s even an all-Black alliance in the house called “The Cookout” comprised of Tiffany, Kyland, Xavier, Azah, Derek F., and unofficially, Hannah. Tiffany and Kyland were spotted on the live feeds using a chessboard to plan out how they can take The Cookout to the final six.
The Cookout is interesting because they haven’t been discovered by the rest of the house yet and their success will mean intentionally sabotaging some of their teammates, such as Claire, Britini, and Derek X.
Some Fans Have Called The Cookout ‘Racist’
Fan reactions to The Cookout have been mixed. Some people feel that alliances based on racial identity are problematic, but many others have been quick to defend the alliance. “Big Brother” alum Cody Nickson commented on The Cookout during an Instagram Q&A. “They came together based on trust, not hate. You’ve seen a lot of white alliances on the show… you’d have to judge them with the same measure,” said Nickson.
On a recent episode of “Rob Has a Podcast“, Aman Adwin also weighed in on The Cookout, asking “Big Brother” fans to think about the context. He reminded everyone that in almost every other season, Black houseguests have been outnumbered.
He also pointed out that everyone in The Cookout knows the game very well. “All of them are superfans, all of them have been watching the show for a long time…they all feel a duty to change the system,” said Adwin.
The Cookout Vs. the Royal Flush
There are currently two major alliances in the house, The Cookout and The Royal Flush. The Royal Flush is comprised of the Kings, the Queens, and Derek X. from the Aces. They’ve worked well together thus far, but The Cookout is ultimately more loyal to each other, at least for now. Xavier, Tiffany, and Kyland have talked at length about taking The Cookout to the final six.