In a controversial season marked by homophobic and racial slurs, openly gay contestant and Aurora native Andy Herren was named the winner of "Big Brother" Wednesday night.
Herren, 26, bested his season 15 housemates on the CBS reality show to win $500,000.
Herren, a 2005 graduate of West Aurora High School, has worked as a part-time teacher at College of DuPage.
Before the competition started, Herren explained what his strategy would be on the show's webpage: "I would start by playing a covertly aggressive game. I would lay low on the surface and be friendly to everyone (if this is possible) while secretly establishing a concrete alliance with people I have deemed the most trustworthy. ... I'm a smiley, friendly person, so nobody will see it coming when I stab them in the back."
GinaMarie Zimmerman, a 32-year-old pageant coordinator from Staten Island, N.Y., finished as runner-up. Spencer Clawson, a 31-year-old railroad conductor from Conway, Ark., rounded out the final three.