'Big Brother' recap: Derek Xiao evicted over Claire Rehfuss and a new Head of Household comes into power!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/28/2021
Big Brother's Season 23 houseguests evicted Derek Xiao over Claire Rehfuss, and a new houseguest was crowned Head of Household during Thursday night's live eviction episode on CBS.
Derek X., a 24-year-old start-up founder from Baltimore, MD who currently resides in New York, NY, was evicted from the Big Brother house by a vote of 5-2 instead of Claire, a 25-year-old artificial intelligence engineer from Chagrin Falls, OH who currently resides in New York, NY, on Day 51 of the game. Derek X. is now a member of the jury.
The episode concluded with Tiffany Mitchell, a 40-year-old phlebotomist from Detroit, MI, winning the Head of Household competition and rising into power.
The Big Brother broadcast began with a footage-flashback to Day 48 after Xavier Prather, a 27-year-old attorney from Kalamazoo, MI, used the Power of Veto and then the HoH, Sarah Beth Steagall, a 27-year-old forensic scientist from Boiling Springs, SC who currently resides in Fort Myers, FL, named Derek X. the replacement nominee, resulting in Derek X. and Claire on the chopping block together.
Xavier said Derek X. thought that by taking Christian Birkenberger out, he'd be removing the biggest competitor in the game.
"What he doesn't realize is the biggest competitor is still in this house and the main person who's targeted him since Christian went out the door. See you later, 'Baby D!'" Xavier said.
Claire said while she adores Derek X. as a person and ally, he being on the block next to her was her best chance of staying in the game, and Sarah Beth said she felt confident in having enough votes to send Derek X. packing.
Tiffany, however, didn't want to see Derek X. go. The pair happened to be very close, and Tiffany pointed out how Derek X. is a "comp beast" yet would never gun for her. Derek X. could probably therefore get Tiffany further in the game.
Derek X. was upset at Sarah Beth because he had only lost the HoH title to her by a fraction of a second and he couldn't even play to save himself in the Power of Veto. Derek X. also hated sitting next to his good friend Claire on the block.
Tiffany then told Hannah Chaddha, a 21-year-old graduate student from Chicago, IL, and Azah Awasum, a 30-year-old director of sales operations from Baltimore, MD, that Derek X. would probably keep the three of them safe and target Sarah Beth and Alyssa Lopez, a 24-year-old swimwear designer from Sarasota, FL instead.
However, Hannah ran to Xavier, another member of "The Cookout" alliance, and revealed how the girls wanted Derek X. to stay. Xavier told the cameras he needed to sway Azah and Tiffany to see his point of view -- that a shot should be taken at Derek X. when the first one becomes available.
Xavier explained how Derek X. was the biggest threat to "The Cookout" alliance because he'd be the one to take shots at them. Xavier said Derek X. would come after their alliance not because he wants to but because there wouldn't be anyone left.
Kyland Young, a 29-year-old account executive from San Bernardino County, CA who currently resides in Venice Beach, CA, then annoyed Tiffany a little bit by making her feel a guilty about wanting to keep Derek X. in the house.
Tiffany told Xavier that Derek X. was "not untouchable" because Sarah Beth was able to put him in this situation, but she allowed him to believe that she was totally onboard with voting him out along with "The Cookout."
But the game wasn't over for Tiffany, who didn't like how the men in "The Cookout" alliance wanted to take credit for everything.
Tiffany said she was the one who had come up with "the master plan" about "The Cookout" to begin with and told Azah that the three women -- Azah, Hannah and herself -- would have a fair fight if they made it to the end together.
As one of his three punishments for winning the Power of Veto, Xavier was forced to stay in solitary confinement in the "Have Not" room for 24 hours.
Derek X. was counting on Hannah, Tiffany and Kyland to have his back, and he hoped to convince Azah to vote for him to stay as "a sympathy vote." Tiffany advised Derek X. to ask Azah how she planned to get to the end of the game.
Derek X. told Azah that he just wanted to level the playing field for everyone else. Derek X. said he could take out two big threats after Claire's eviction, which would make an easier game to play for Azah, Tiffany and Hannah.
Azah realized having Derek X. as a shield could be a game-changer and she loved him as a person and ally in the house.
"He brought up some really, really, really good points," Azah said, acknowledging she may be changing her mind about the Derek X. vote.
It then became time for the live eviction. In their final speeches, which are intended to sway houseguests to vote in their favor, Claire just reminded everyone she's not a big threat due to her lack of competition wins and said she'd like to stick around longer.
Derek X., however, announced there was someone in the house playing "a [Nicole Franzel] game."
"I am her biggest threat in this game, and if I stay, I promise that I will take this person out and I will be your biggest shield," Derek said, clearly referring to Sarah Beth.
"If you do keep me, I'm not long for the game, but right now, I just want to play this game so I can give the people I care about as fair a shot as possible at winning it."
One at a time, each houseguest cast his or her vote to evict, and everyone voted to evict Derek X. except for Hannah and Kyland in a 5-2 vote.
"It sucks. I have so much regret from this week. I was thinking about a long-term game when I didn't realize that my short-term game was at risk," Derek X. said.
"All I can do now is hope that there's a 'Battle Back [Competition].' And no risk, no reward, but I took a little bit too much risk."
Derek X. also apologized to America, who had awarded him the highest amount of BB Bucks possible, for letting them down, and he admitted he felt "stupid" for not playing "Chopping Block Roulette" but had tried his best in the game.
On his connection with Hannah during the game, Derek X. explained how the two of them had been laser-focused on the game but she's "amazing" and he loves her a lot.
When asked if he might pursue a relationship with Hannah and date her outside the house, Derek X. teased, "Expect the unexpected!"
While Derek X. was still in the house, the houseguests were required to study The Memory Wall and a series of hilarious "BB NFT's" or gif's and short video clips. As videos played, items shown in the clips were also listed and given a price, such as "Masks for $3500."
For the next HoH competition dubbed "BB NFT's," the participating players -- minus Sarah Beth, who as the outgoing HoH was deemed ineligible to compete -- were tasked with answering "True" or "False" questions based on the NFT's the houseguests had studied.
If a player answered incorrectly, he or she would be eliminated. The last person standing would become the new Head of Household.
In the end, Tiffany won the competition and became the season's next HoH.
Houseguests were then advised to select an envelope, which would reveal more BB Bucks for each person inside.
Tiffany was absolutely thrilled and proud about her victory and said she couldn't wait to see photos of her child and receive a letter from her mother.