Tiffany Mitchell may have become an instant Big Brother legend as the mastermind behind season 23’s historic alliance, The Cookout, but her time on The Challenge: USA was cut short.
Mitchell appeared on the inaugural season of the CBS spinoff for the long-running reality competition series. She competed with several Big Brother alums, including many from season 23 and The Cookout alliance.
But with folks from Love Island gunning for Big Brother stars (especially her), and one of her own Cookout members advocating for her exit, fans were blindsided as Mitchell departed in episode 2.
She spoke to Shadow and Act Unscripted shortly after the episode’s airing to talk about blindside, if she was truly surprised, Xavier Prather’s damage control and the current controversy surrounding Big Brother 24.
Though it was clear she was shocked during the episode, Mitchell told us that in her gut, she knew it was a strong possibility that she'd be taken out.
“I had heard that my name had been said,” she said. “But I was hoping that it was a no, because I genuinely thought that Tyson [Apostol] and I were going to keep each other safe. So, I wasn’t for sure until I heard it..and even then, like my ears went out. I didn’t even hear my name. I remember staring at those two beams that were up there snd I’m waiting on T.J. [Lavin] to ask them and then I’m waiting on them to speak. Then all of a sudden, everything went silent. And then I heard ‘and Cashel [Barnett].’ And I said, ‘Oh, that’s me! They really said me.’ Eerily, I felt it. I did. I knew it.”
What was even more surprising is that Prather, who was her BB23 Cookout co-member, went to Apostol and Justine Ndiba to tell them he supported getting her and Barnett out.
Though Prather and Mitchell went back and forth within The Cookout, they mended fences after and are even friends to this day.
This is why seeing how hard Prather was pushing to send her out over their other BB23 castmate, Alyssa Lopez, surprised her. Mitchell didn’t even realize how hard Prather pushed until the episode aired.
“When I watched it, I didn’t know that he was so actively involved in doing damage control for Tyson at the rate of 100%…it’s the 100% for me…and the wink to Alyssa, as I am going into elimination,” she added. “But things are edited. So I can’t really say that that wink was to her–maybe it was to Ky[land Young]? I don’t know.”
Speaking of Lopez, Mitchell understands why she and the other non-Cookout BB23-er, Derek Xiao, would want to get revenge on them. But still, she didn't think it made sense.
“I understand you’re not trusting us. I do get that,” she explained. “And I guess maybe from their side or their standpoint, they felt that they had been played by people that they were thinking that they were close to. Maybe they felt that they had something to prove…but it seems like you would then try to get to know the other 20 people who are in the house who are also backstabbers, manipulators and liars…instead of focusing on the ones you know. You know who we are and how we play. It would make absolutely no sense for us to target you guys like you’re our target and to get you out of the game, unless we think you’re coming for us–and we didn’t. I would have actively been trying to, like I was, trying to see how everyone else plays, who everyone else is, what their game moves are, who should I be trusting, who should I not be trusting [and more]. But they were so focused on us, which I guess seems to be the story of my life.”
Mitchell also touched on the current BB24 bullying controversy.
As we previously reported, the members of The Cookout put out strong statements against the hate that season 24 contestant Taylor Hale has received in the house.
The Cookout was historic, and Mitchell says it is hard to see the actions of this season come after season 23.
‘I think we all expected that that no one else would go in and play the game like we did, because they didn’t have to,” she told us. “Someone already did that, and we have our first Black winner. So people are should be able to just go in and play their game now. But it is kind of disheartening to see people actively not working together. Like not as far as an alliance goes, but just in an effort to make it a point to show others like ‘no, we’re definitely not working together in that capacity of a Cookout. 2.0,’ as if it is a negative thing, because if it is a bad thing. Anybody should be trying to hide their alliance period.”
She continued, “When you have to live with people, for me, it’s important for me to live in an environment that is comfortable..[so] in order for us to live together, it would be nice that we could at least make it comfortable and livable. I don’t like to see the other people of color or the Black people in the house [do that]. They don’t have to be best friends. They don’t have to have a cookout. 2.0. But, you know, just embracing the fact that they’re all there and encouraging each other to play the best game, at least so that they can feel comfortable and have a good experience. Our whole thing and BB23 with everybody, not just a cookout, but we all wanted to make sure that we were having a good experience. We wanted everybody to have a good time. It was a party for us every single day. So I think they’re missing that.”
Watch the full interview below in which she talks more about 'The Challenge: USA,' the 'Love Island' ladies having it out for her, what's next and more: