Big Brother 14 Runner-Up Dan Gheesling Interview| September 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM EST
He came. He saw. He was denied a double win. Dan Gheesling was praised by viewers for his master gameplay but criticized for his ruthless approach. In the end the jury sided with hurt feelings and it ended his incredible journey. Dan might not have won the Jury over but he won our poll on who should have won after the Jury votes were revealed.
Today I had the chance to talk with Dan and get his thoughts on the Big Brother season and how it all turned out. Read on for what he had to say.
Big Brother Network (BBN): I called it a mistake at the time, so prove me wrong. Why didn’t you let the Frank and Jenn evictions go to a tie and force Ian to handle their evictions?
Dan Gheesling: That’s a great question. At the end of the day, especially with the Frank thing, I had just pulled off that move to get Britney out of the house and I couldn’t afford to lose any ground with the Quack Pack. So I figured if I threw my vote that way it would definitely jeopardize my position in that alliance in the house. The same thing with Jenn. I told Jenn right before the eviction that she was going home no matter what and I said I hope she understood why I had to do what I had to do.
Doing that [forcing a tie-breaker] wouldn’t really gain me a lot of ground with Jenn and Frank’s vote because eventually they would have found out in the Jury anyway. My whole goal was to get to the Final 2, get one of those seats, and get my shot at talking some people in to throwing a vote my way. Had I not done those things, had I thrown a vote that way, maybe I don’t get to the end. Maybe I do. Maybe I don’t. My goal is just to get to that seat because I figured I’d have a shot at talking my way in to the half-million.
BBN: Speaking of the Final 2, a lot of readers thought you’d have a better chance against Danielle. From what we heard from the Jury it seemed like they were dead set against you, but do you think you would have done better against Danielle?
Dan Gheesling: In hindsight, I’m pretty sure she would have been a lot less harsh on me and maybe not been as pointed as Ian especially after how mad he got. At the same time I think you’re right. Regardless they were not going to give this game to someone who had won it before, especially another coach who backstabbed everyone. That’s why I feel good about what I did. I left everything out on the field. I don’t have any regrets. I don’t feel like there were any major blunders that cost me the game.
BBN: If you could cherry-pick one of those other 7 Jury members to swap with Ian, who do you think would give you your best odds?
Dan Gheesling: That’s a great question. No one has asked me that. My dream final three was myself, Danielle, and Jenn. And then I was hopefully going to get Danielle to dump the HoH to me and then take Jenn. That was my goal, my sure fire to scrounge up four votes. Then when things didn’t go that way I knew I was in trouble.
One thing I look back on was Danielle talking me in to keeping Shane when I had him on the platter and I kept him down. That’s one thing that would have maybe kept Jenn in this game longer. The other thing with that I knew with taking Jenn to the Final 3 is that I have to win to get in. Jenn wasn’t going to take me and Danielle might not have taken me because she thought she’d have beat Jenn.
At the end of the day it was my goal to secure a seat in the Final 2. When I blasted Shane out of the house I knew both Ian and Danielle were going to take me so I felt pretty good about that.
BBN: Did you throw Round 3 of the Final HoH?
Dan Gheesling: Contrary to popular belief, I did not throw it. Ian flat out beat me. I would have taken Ian to the Final 2 anyway, but in hindsight Ian and I both believed that Danielle was just so well liked in the Jury that we’d get slaughtered by her.
BBN: Which season, BB10 or BB14, did you enjoy more and which was more difficult?
Dan Gheesling: Fourteen was extremely, extremely difficult for me for multiple reasons. One is the fact that everyone knew who I was in the game and what I was capable of playing and two, the competition was a lot stiffer. Overall enjoyment, both were different in their own ways. Fourteen was cool for me because I got to play against legends like Boogie and Janelle and got to know what a great player Britney was firsthand. That was fun for me in that aspect.
But in the first season I felt like I had a little more fun because everyone was on the same even footing and I made a best friend in Memphis and we rode it out to the end. I just remember the end days with Memphis were a hundred times more enjoyable than the end days with Ian and Danielle. With Memphis and I the game was over. We trusted each other and it was just us two in the house hanging out. With Ian and Danielle there was a little bit of an age gap between us and we kinda ran out of things to talk about. With Memphis and I it was just two guys hanging out.
I enjoyed both seasons in completely different ways, but season fourteen was very, very difficult for me.
BBN: At the end of BB10, the Jury set up was completely different and allowed you more time to talk to the Jury, right?
Dan Gheesling: Yeah, basically the Jury was set and Memphis and I had a night to talk to them. There was no time limit. I think I might have talked for four to five minutes. That was a speech that I crafted and had a lot of time to think about. This one, the way BB14 was set up, it was definitely a lot more difficult to put a prolonged mist on a Jury because I had 90 seconds to squeeze in everything I did that I thought was worth of winning the game. But at the same time I knew that, so ultimately it falls on my shoulders for not convincing the Jury this time around.
BBN: And by the time the Jury gets to talk to the Final 2 they’ve already decided.
Dan Gheesling: It’s unfortunate because the only thing I wanted, and maybe I’ll never know, all I wanted was a fair shake at four votes. Four people with an open mind to consider it. What really, it didn’t bother me, but disappointing was I heard after the fact was Jenn voted based on solely because she didn’t want to give the game to someone else who had won it before as compared to someone on the merit of how they played the game. That was disappointing to me as a player and a lover of the game.
BBN: We posted a poll on our site today that asked “Who Should Have Won? Ian or Dan?” and with over five thousand votes you took it with 58% of the vote [at the time of the interview]. So it seems the viewers did not side with the Jury on this one.
Dan Gheesling: Well that’s a moral victory, but you know at the end of the day Ian played a solid game and he deserved to win. I’m happy for him and he’s going to do good things with that.
BBN: Thanks, Dan. Congratulations on making it to the Final 2.
There were a few extra tidbits I took away from the call with Dan so I’ll add them on here.
- It wasn’t until he saw the HGs’ concern for him after the solitary dance party that he decided he had a chance to pull off the “Funeral” event.
- He gave an eloquent description of his “dirty” game. He said you can’t play a ruthless game halfway, it’s all or nothing. He couldn’t backstab just some of the HGs, he had to do it to all of them. Once he turned that corner it was full on.
- When asked if he thought the Jury was bitter he refused to call them that but instead said he doesn’t think they voted based on game but rather emotions.
As Big Brother fan site writer we depend entirely on an entertaining cast. If there’s nothing happening in the house then it’s hard to get blood from a stone when you want to share a story or ignite a discussion. Thankfully this season was routinely saved by Dan and his mischief which is probably why I enjoyed him so much this season. Love him or hate him, he was a fountain of content and I greatly appreciated him for that.