When the topic of best Big Brother winner comes up, hardcore fans usually pick either Will Kirby (Season 2) or Dan Gheesling (Season 10). Newer viewers tend to also put Derek Levasseur (Season 16) in the conversation. For Julie Chen though, it’s none of those dudes. The 47-year-old host of the long-running reality competition reveals to Entertainment Weekly that her pick for the best is Rachel Reilly, Season 13 champion.
“I’m going to say Rachel Reilly,” answers Chen of the season 13 champ, and her reasoning gets to the fact that the unlikely winner with the unmistakable laugh had to overcome so much to take the title. “Because she turned that ship around at the 11th hour. She had everyone against her — a power couple, her and Brandon. She was also seen as very obnoxious in the house, a little bit of a troublemaker, a loudmouth. And she had everything stacked up against her. But she pulled it out by winning competitions and ultimately, when you get the jury to vote after you have pissed off so many people, that says a lot. And I’m going to throw it in there — being a woman.”
Chen goes on to say that she debated picking Gheesling due to his brilliant strategy of staging his own funeral to stay in the house, but ultimately stood by her choice of picking Rachel.
“Rachel Reilly really turned me around, and if you can turn me around, that says a lot. I remember coming into work one day and saying, ‘You know, I hope she takes it all.’ And she did! And I didn’t feel like that at the beginning of that season. I was like, ‘Oh my God with this one!’ But there was something really refreshing about her being who she was, not making any excuses, and then taking that check for half a million dollars.”
Chen also talked about this season’s crop of contestants to the publication and how the remaining houseguests all belong to the cult of Paul. The BB chatter starts at the 31:00 minute mark. Listen below. Be sure to share your pick for best BB winner in the comments section.