'Big Brother 17' Has First Transgender Houseguest: Tearful Julie Chen Asks for 'Compassion'
Audrey Middleton looks like she's going to be a fascinating "Big Brother" houseguest, and not because she's the first transgender contestant in the CBS reality show's history. We weren't even supposed to know that about her before the big two-night June 24-June 25 premiere of BB17, but the news was leaked to TMZ, then host "The Talk."
During "The Talk" chat, Julie had them play a clip from Audrey's pre-show interview with "Big Brother" alum Jeff Schroeder. He asked the 25-year-old Georgia native if she thinks she'll be seen as a hero or a villain, Audrey said, "I think there's a chance that I could be a misunderstood hero. But I'm gonna be a hero." Then Julie revealed to "The Talk" audience that Audrey is the show's first transgender houseguest, thanking the crowd when they clapped. The hosts discussed the news for a while, name-dropping Caitlyn Jenner in the mix, and the four-minute clip ends with this emotional request from Julie:
For me personally, for anyone watching, I just want to say I hope you watch with compassion and an open mind to learn something about a community that you may not be familiar with. This is Audrey's story to tell and I'm looking forward to hearing it next week."
Check it out:
It's good to hear Julie request compassion, since "Big Brother" houseguests and fans aren't always known for being kind. The HGs themselves can be quite vicious -- see but actually please avoid the racism of BB15 -- but hopefully Audrey will be judged by her actions and gameplay, not her status as the first transgender HG.
More than anything, Audrey just sounds like a firecracker with a real gamer's spirit. Audrey told Zap2it she's a super fan whose strategy is "to be really dynamic socially" and she admitted she's inspired by Showtime's Dexter Morgan. "I want to have my own collection of organized blood slides of every fallen houseguest I've had a hand in dismantling," she joked. "I don't want to kick people while they're down, but if they get in my way I'm going to have to push them out."
Love it. Here's her Zap2it interview:
Good look to all the BB17 houseguests. Watch them in action this Wednesday, June 24 at 8 p.m. on CBS.
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