Derek Frazier is accustomed to answering interview questions, just not ones about himself.
After all, Frazier, 29, is legendary boxer Smokin’ Joe Frazier’s youngest child, who recently finished second on the 23rd season of the CBS television show Big Brother, earning a $75,000 prize. The show’s final episode aired last week.
“My life has changed because now, instead of me staring at my phone while walking, I have to actually look up because I know people are wanting to say hello,” Frazier said. “I love that because I enjoy talking and getting to know people.”
Big Brother puts strangers in an isolated home to coexist. Microphones and cameras follow the group’s movements 24 hours a day and a houseguest is voted off each week.
Before most of the Big Brother guests even got settled in, Frazier took initiative and came up with a plan that carried him and five others through the stages of the show. A group of six Black houseguests called themselves “The Cookout.” It was a historic moment. The Cookout’s alliance led to the final three houseguests’ all being Black people for the first time in the history of the show. Xavier Prather won the $750,000 prize as the first Black winner.
“When we did that, I just had a feeling that we were going to make it far,” Frazier said. “I knew that I was going to be able to get my way and I knew Xavier was too, because we worked very well together.”
Frazier is back in Philly now. One of his goals upon returning is to donate his money toward helping single mothers. He grew up in a single-parent household and credits his mother for being a strong staple in his upbringing.
“It’s been a really tough time adjusting because I’m trying to celebrate, but I also have to be there for my family,” Frazier said.
The newfound fame has led to a sizable increase in Frazier’s social media influence, as he is now surpassing 40,000 Instagram followers. However, he jokes that since the show painted him as a villain, his fandom is still far less than that of some other guests.
The 37-episode season captures a lot, but Frazier noticed some things that were missing that may have impacted how he was viewed. Certain moments like an encounter with houseguest and alliance member Tiffany Mitchell had fans calling Frazier misogynistic, but he thought that he was playing a role with no intent to hurt people’s feelings.
“My job in The Cookout was to entertain, distract people, manipulate and lie, and then tell the business that I needed to,” Frazier said. “Everyone had their sole goal of what they needed to do in order to help each other.”
“I feel like it captured me as a funny person, but I feel like I did way more funnier stuff,” Frazier later added. “I was messy. I was doing a lot of messy moves and I feel like it wasn’t shown as much.”
The added attention also allows Frazier to highlight his father more. He’s always been passionate about keeping his father’s legacy alive.
“I want people to know who Smokin’ Joe Frazier is because I feel like the young crowd does not know,” Frazier said. “Even if that’s making a name for myself as Derek Frazier, at least the Frazier name is still continuing and I can still use my platform to remind people about my father.”