There is an old saying in professional wrestling: “To Be The Man, You Gotta Beat The Man.” It’s a simple premise, overall. To prove you are the best, you have to win against the best.
In the end, The Prodigy beat The Best Player in Big Brother and proved this to be true once more. Tonight, Ian became the Man by beating Dan, the Man 6 – 1.
It seems only fitting that a college student who had studied the game since the age of 10 beat the high school coach who developed two completely separate yet completely successful gameplans to get to the Final Two. Ian’s defeat of Dan may come down as one of the biggest upsets in Big Brother History, but a closer look reveals that the 6-1 vote was not entirely surprising when one considers the following:
– Dan’s entire plan required him to betray 6 of the Jury members.
– Ian’s gameplay was in your face, while Dan’s strategy was to stab from behind.
– The Jury Sequester was filled with those who Dan had managed to backstab and the brewing animosity only festered as more people entered.
– Ian’s social game had improved to the point where very few were truly upset with him at the end.
Before looking too closely at Ian’s win, one must examine the final status of Dan Gheesling’s gameplay this year. Coming in, it was safe to say that Dan was underestimated in gameplay. That he managed to sneak through to the end using his wits and maneuvering of his chess piece Houseguests speaks to a mental game that is second to none. Dan has proven to be the best player for this version of the Big Brother game, a game that took down the previous Best Player in BB History when he played it in All-Stars.
So, where does this place Dan in the Pantheon of Best Players? The argument could clearly be made that he is the best- remember, no other player has ever made Final Two twice and won once. He is the most successful financially, and is still the only player to get a 7-0 vote. He has the most successful game for the current iteration of Big Brother (the version of the game that developed following Big Brother 3), and he has former master players commending his game.
In light of this, it makes it all the more impressive that Ian managed to win Big Brother 14. Rarely has a player gone from such an awkward social position as Ian started in to grow into a winner and more well-rounded young man in general. It spoke volumes that Mike “Boogie” commended both Ian’s gameplay and his personal growth. Ian earned this commendation on both fronts.
Ian played a well rounded Social, Competition and Mental game. He was extremely competent in all fronts, and proved an excellent Mental game player. His own gameplay puts him in easy contention for a future All-Stars season, and his performance is impressive overall.
3rd Place – Danielle
The most complementary thing to be said towards Danielle’s Final 3 Performance is that she looked good tonight. Danielle’s utter lack of self-gameplay earned her the most regrettable position in Big Brother – Third Place. To be fair, this may be the most deserving place she could have gotten. Danielle made some decisions on her own, true- but they were rare in a game where the most dominating voice in her head came from outside of it. She allowed herself to be blindsided, misguided and ultimately cast aside. The most telling thing about Danielle’s chances in Final Three is this- in rehearsals for his final speech, Dan was assuming he was going against Ian and sending Danielle to Jury. Her biggest “ally” proved to be her downfall, and she lost it all for that.
2nd Place – Dan
Dan’s strategy earned him a Final Two position, but almost guaranteed no higher than that. Simply put, he had burned too many bridges and the obvious anger of the Jury towards him made it clear that no matter how smooth he talked tonight, he would not win this season. $50,000 is a considerable salve for any bruised ego he may have, and his gameplay elevated his stature in the Big Brother Pantheon. He may not have won, but he did earn props and respect tonight.
1st Place – Ian
Chief Quack himself. Ian’s abilities were overlooked early on by may Houseguests but one coach saw potential in the kid. It is very telling that Boogie – the man who was most upset with Ian upon his eviction – was so quickly shown the light in his interview with Julie and quickly became an Ian fan. Mike Malin is a student and master of the game, and his respect for Ian at the end of this season spoke volumes. Moreover, Ian maintained friendships in the Jury- witness Ashley and Britney’s clear pleasure in Ian’s win. Ashely even said to Ian during the credits “I’m so proud of you.” The young man grew up during this summer, and has earned more than $500,000 for it.
Star of the Season – Dan
Despite coming in 2nd Place, Dan was easily the star of the season. It was Dan’s world, and everyone else was living in it. His gameplay from the “Funeral” on defined the game and who remained in it, and his skill in moving the chess pieces of the House around was unparallelled. Dan was the Best Player of the season, and when combined with his BB10 performance put him as the best in BB History.
Game Move of the Season – Ian Forms the Quack Pack.
Despite Dan’s protests to the contrary, it was mostly on Ian’s shoulders that the formation and maintenance of the Quack Pack fell. It was on Ian to reunite the Quack Pack after Dan’s betrayal that sent Britney out. Ian was the lynchpin in this alliance, and his work to maintain it led to an all-Quack Pack Final Four.
In the end, Big Brother 14 falls as one of the most exciting seasons of Big Brother mostly for the second half gameplay of Dan. That being said, there were many highlights of the season from Day 1 onward. Big Brother 15 has already been announced, and this gives us 9 months to prepare for another round of gameplay, backdealings, backstabbings and fun.
It’s been a great summer, folks. See you next July.