Big Brother’s Xavier Prather faced family tragedy ahead of ‘challenge’
When Xavier Prather entered the “Big Brother” house in 2021, he was not doing well. As he announced on the show, his brother died shortly before filming began. Still, he used it to fuel his “Big Brother” ambitions — becoming the first black winner on the CBS reality show.
When The Challenge: USA called, Prather wasn’t sure about returning to reality TV. Though he didn’t like that five other houseguests from his season were also on the show — “It felt like a setup,” he says — that he could put aside.
“I almost didn’t move on because I was dealing with some very personal things, but eventually I got support from my family,” he shared on a recent episode of Spotify’s Reality Rundown podcast. “Nobody on ‘The Challenge’ grounds, except for one person, really knew. About two weeks before we were flown out for a shoot, one of my cousins was murdered. And then, within a week of that, my grandmother’s body just shut down and she died.”
He knew he wanted to take part in The Challenge at some point, but wasn’t sure the timing was right. However, after speaking to previous candidates, he knew he might never get the call again.
“My grandmother’s funeral took place two days before my flight to Argentina. I was really torn,” he said. “Two of my loved ones just left like that, and only one person knew everything. So I was really like, ‘Am I going? I stay?’ This is the second time I’ve dealt with death just before I go on a show. I was struggling mentally. I was not feeling well. Even on “The Challenge” you don’t often see me in front of the cameras. I snuck away.”
He explained that while he wasn’t sure he was mentally ready, he knew he needed a distraction from what was happening. Still, he didn’t want to share it on TV.
“One thing that also crossed my mind was that I had just gone onto ‘Big Brother’ where I played for my older brother and nephew who passed away recently. I figured I didn’t want to tell my story about how I lost my family every time I came to one of these shows and that I’m playing for it,” Prather said. “I think you can use that, but at the same time, I think if that’s the case, it means that every time I come to one of these shows, something terrible has happened and I don’t want that. I would give up all my time on Big Brother, any money I would win, just to see my brother again.”
https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/xavier-prather-challenge-usa-big-brother-deaths-1235329861/ Big Brother’s Xavier Prather faced family tragedy ahead of ‘challenge’