A sweet love story. Taylor Hale and Joseph Abdin sparked showmance rumors as contestants on season 24 of Big Brother and their bond continued to grow outside of the game.
“There was just something really warm and inviting about Joseph,” Taylor, the first Black woman to win a non-celebrity season of the CBS reality show, exclusively told Us Weekly in September 2022. “It was really hard that first few weeks of the house. I could not walk to a room without people just stopping a conversation, changing a conversation. I felt like my fate was sealed every single day and my best friend was my bed. And I’m an introvert on top of all of that.”
She continued: “But Joseph, no matter whether I was forced or needed to be in a corner … would always just check on me and be like, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ And for someone to even care or feign like they could care, even a pinky amount about how I was doing, it was very, very difficult in that house. And Joseph was willing to be a friend to someone that everyone was painting out to be the most disgusting villain.”
Before the Michigan native was crowned the season 24 winner in September 2022, she received negative treatment from several of her fellow houseguests throughout the season. Joseph, however, knew right away that he wanted to get to know the former pageant queen better.
“I kind of saw Taylor a little bit right before we walked in. So, she always stayed on my radar in that aspect. I was like, ‘God damn.’ So even on premiere night, when I walked in, the first thing – which I just, like, hours ago find out I’m coming on the show – I’m like, ‘Where’d that girl go?’” he told Us.
The pair were separated when Joseph was evicted during the Dyre Fest twist, becoming the second member of the jury. After reuniting outside the house, the pair continued spending time together, doing joint interviews and watching episodes of their season together on Instagram Live. The duo even traveled to the Miss USA pageant in Reno, Nevada, in October 2022 where the attorney met Taylor’s mom.
“It was such a pleasure seeing this part of her life and how happy it made her,” Joseph told Us of the trip.
In September 2022, the former Miss Michigan told Us that she was taking things slow with the Florida native after experiencing her fair share of hardships on Big Brother.
“He’s literally the best support system ever. Everybody saw that in the game and getting it back is the best thing in the world. But I don’t wanna jump into a relationship, almost trauma-bonding with someone. I just wanna make sure that I have my head straight. He’s good. And then we can really work on exploring,” she said.
In November 2022, Us confirmed that the twosome were an item. However, they called it quits the following April.
“Joseph and I have made the decision to love and support one another as best friends going forward,” Taylor wrote in an Instagram statement, which Joseph reposted. “We recognize what’s best for both of our futures at this time. This decision was made with lots of love, care and acknowledgment of how special our relationship is to the both of us.”
She continued: “We want to thank you for the love and support you’ve shown us while we navigated our relationship from friends, to lovers, and now back to friends. We’ve seen every message about how watching an interracial relationship form impacted you, in spite of the ongoing harassment, and we’re touched by how our love has inspired you.”
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Scroll through for a look at Joseph and Taylor’s bond: