The season 24 winner opened up to ET just after leaving the Big Brother house and her history-making victory.
The ultimate comeback story! Taylor Hale made Big Brother history last night in multiple ways when she earned the jury vote and was crowned the season 24 champion, and she's opening up about the wild experience.
Hale, 27, went from being one of the most unreasonably disliked houseguests of the season -- and almost got evicted after the first week -- to becoming both the first Black woman to ever win the show and the first champion to also be voted by fans as America's Favorite Player.
"It just blows my mind," Hale marveled, while speaking with ET's Denny Directo after the finale. "Because I was just someone who was a very passive, casual enjoyer, I can't really say fan, of the show. I started watching last season. That's what brought me in and started going back and watching other seasons. So knowing I made a mark on the franchise in this way is unbelievable. It doesn't feel real."
"I think it's a testament to the mechanics of the game over 24 seasons. We have had Black women play this game over and over and they have been bullied many times, they have been ostracized in other ways and evicted very early," she continued. "It's a very big deal. And it's not just because I was a woman who was a comp beast. It's not because I was a Black woman who was well liked -- because I was not well liked in this house. It's that I was a Black woman who took on a lot of the pain and burden and stereotypes that have happened over and over again in the show and I still made it to the end."
Hale was the target of almost inexplicable bullying early in the season, and was one of the most belittled players in the game. Her graceful poise and confidence in the face of the mistreatment earned her a lot of fans on social media, and her refusal to quit or to take the low road was praised by many viewers.
"I refused to give up on myself, I refused to give up on the mission, and I took the win! So now I hope it's giving space for Black women, in the rest of this game, to play their own game," Hale said.
That being said, Hale admitted that it was certainly "tempting" give up, and let herself get evicted and go back to a normal life.
"There were a handful of moments where it was very tempting to say, 'There's a whole summer. Beyonce released a new album, I wanna listen to that!'" Hale said with a laugh. "But I think it was so important for me to defend my character."
"You only come to understand you were wrong about your assumptions of people by learning from them and understanding who they are as people," she added. "So I had to stick it out and do it."
With her victory on Sunday, Hale earned $750,000 -- as well as an additional $50,000 for being voted America's Favorite Player. Now, with the show having gotten picked up for season 25, coming next summer, Hale will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration for so many others looking to go the distance in the Big Brother house.