Dan Gheesling Learns a Lesson About Catholic [universal] Morality
an Op/Ed Interview

Dan Gheesling gave us one of the most interesting and entertaining summers of Big Brother ever. His duplicitous, conniving con game played out like no other in the history of the US Big Brother franchise with the possible exception of Dr. Will. And while the debate rages on as to who is the better competitor or ultimate Big Brother player, no one can argue the fact that Dan Gheesling is the only player to enter the house twice and never get evicted.

While Dr. Will’s charming ‘little boy gone bad’ routine worked great for Season 2, the Big Brother house has gotten way too savvy for that schtick to play out and he proved it was not a winning strategy on the AllStars edition of Big Brother 7. But the debate continues, with even our very own CBS Chenbot weighing in. In response to Entertainment Weekly asking if Dan won would it make him a better player than Dr. Will, this was Julie Chen’s answer; “In my opinion no, because Will never had to pull the Bible into game play or a personal loved one. In my book, that’s pretty low. Will didn’t have to stoop to that level because he was just that good.” Um, stoop that low? Did Julie Chen blackout all of Dr. Will’s machinations during AllStars Big Brother Season 7?

Apparently conspiring with another player (Boogie) before BB7 even started and then during the game, to use two women and convince them of their affection for each, while riding their coattails to a win, is not bad form in Julie Chen’s Big Brother playbook. I call foul on that one, missy! You can swear on any Bible on the planet and toss out any heirloom jewelry you want as collateral, they are inanimate objects with all kinds of superstitious lore attached, who cares? But using women sexually and emotionally to win a reality TV show is a disgusting betrayal of every stride women have made to be seen as equals in a man’s world. And the continued adoration for a botox, plastic manchild named Dr. Will boggles my mind, but I digress.

After an interesting, albeit commercial fueled finale, [Didn’t CBS make enough money to make the final prize at least $750000.00 if not a million, blimey, enough with all the commercials!] the jury voted Ian Terry the winner by a 6 to 1 margin with ‘loyal to a fault’, Danielle being Dan’s only vote. It is a good thing I don’t bet because I would have lost money on this finale. I actually thought the jury would see Dan’s hardscrabble, Machiavellian, over-the-top, Rachel-histrionic villain as someone to champion, not ridicule. Look how wrong I can be.

After a night of contemplation and very little sleep, Joker’s Updates was allowed talk time with Dan Gheesling. Dan came on the phone and greeted many of the other media outlets, taking special notice of the Canadian outlets, and this time, I decided to bide my time before I jumped in and asked questions.

Dan was complimented on his brilliant “Funeral” plan and that seemed to delight him and he admitted it was a last minute “hail-Mary pass”. He thought the jury voted for the younger, nicer kid with the bigger tuition bills and obviously was not going to allow a former winner to get the money again. He was right, the Jury had already made up their minds to vote against him, no matter who sat in the other chair. They were overdosed on bitter pills and jealousy and nothing he said or did was going to change that. Dan’s dream Final 3 would have been himself, Jenn and Danielle with him in the Final 2 against Jenn and he said he did NOT blow that final HOH comp, that Ian beat him thoroughly.

Dan went into detail about the time he spent in solitary and how he went into “zombie mode” and acted like he was not ‘right in the head’ so that he could pull off his “funeral”. It worked but cost him the money in the end. He did not feel good about misleading Danielle but he thought it was fairly easy because of the original Coach/player dynamic.

Dan admitted that he got heated during the Jury questions and interrupted Ian when he started taking credit for things that were not actually Ian’s doing. Dan also started feeling it was a lost cause and he only had 90 seconds to “mist” the jury and he couldn’t get it done.

This is Joker’s time with Dan:

BestBBever: Dan, I will admit that I did not follow your gameplay in season 10 but you really convinced me this season, how great the game of Big Brother is when really played and you played the hell out of it this season. I always watched it before for the psychological aspects or even the Showmances but you really showed me the GAME of Big Brother this year.

But even as brilliant as your gameplay was, I thought the necklace gambit [giving Ian his Grandfather’s necklace as proof of his loyalty for Final 2] and whispering to Shane, as he left the BB house, that Dani had been playing him was overkill. Did your gut ever tell you any of your moves were overkill or did your gut and YOU always think you were playing a solid, diabolical game?

Dan: Yes, you know I never looked at this as a solid, diabolical game, I kind of looked at it like this; when I knew I had to play a ruthless game, you know you can’t play a half-game cuz you gotta go all the way, you know when I turned that corner and decided I had to stab everyone, I couldn’t stab half the people, I had to go all the way!

At the end of the day, that was going to be my pitch to the jury was the fact that I played this game without a heart and I was willing to do anything at any time regardless of how diabolical...or whatever you want to say it is....at the time, so I don’t regret that. It’s just me, anything I do, I do 110% and I can see how you would see that as overkill but for me, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. If that was the game I was going to play, I wanted to drive the stake all the way through [the other player’s hearts].

BestBBever: That makes perfect sense. We spoke to Danielle right before this and I thought your misstep was planning to take Ian to the Final 2 and throwing that Final 2, you did throw that, right?

Dan: No, contrary to popular belief, I actually didn’t throw it, he flat out beat me! And you’re right, I would have taken Ian to the Final 2 anyway, in hindsight Ian and I both believed Danielle was so liked by the jury that we would get slaughtered by her and when you’re in that house you only have so much information and your gut instinct to go off of and we didn’t get to see the jury banter back and forth and that is why I felt good about everything I did because I wouldn’t have changed it [meaning who he wanted for Final 2] you know, with all this extra information of course that changes decisions but at that time, in the moment, there was no way I was going to take Danielle.

BestBBever: Well, I always thought you had Danielle wrapped your finger but the night before you blindsided Shane and sent him out of the BB house, she and Shane had their first tongue kiss and cemented their mutual infatuation and earlier she told us that she definitely would have taken Shane to the Final Two, over you, so you played it out the way you needed to........

Dan: Yeah, you know, that’s funny to hear because, if you want my honest opinion, she’s just covering her bases because there was nothing she was going to do in that game against me and I understand she’s got her version to stick to but I don’t buy that one bit [that Danielle would have taken Shane over Dan to the Final 2].

BestBBever: Well, I am not sure I buy it either but Shane was playing it for all he was worth too and getting in there to make sure he was her choice......

Dan: Yeah, that was a dangerous thing for me, people say why did you cut Shane if I knew Ian was going to be a harder Final 2 and my answer to that was because I knew I wouldn’t get to the Final 2 [in that case]. If Shane won that final HOH, I wasn’t getting to the F2. I know if Shane or Danielle won I wasn’t going to be sitting in those chairs. It worked to get me over the hump.

BestBBever: It seemed like the jury was not going to give the win to someone that won before, Jenn even said so in one of her backyard interviews last night, did you fear that mentality as well?

Dan: Ok, it was a tough jury for me but also I take the responsibility, I had 90 seconds to convince them and I honestly believe that I could do it and maybe if I gave a different speech or did something a little different in my speech, things would have been different but at the end of the day, I had my shot, I accomplished what I came for and the votes just didn’t fall my way.

BestBBever: Yeah, you were up against a very cute ketchup bottle, how do you feel about that? [Earlier, Dan referenced Britney’s comment during the backyard interviews that the jury was so tainted against Dan that anyone or anything would have won against Dan, including a ketchup bottle.]

Dan: He is a cute kid and he played a solid game and he did what he had to do to win!

BestBBever: Were you aware that Julie Chen was championing Dr. Will as a better player, than you because Dr. Will didn’t have to resort to using the Bible, apparently she forgot Dr. Will’s strategy to use women, sheesh, anyway what do you have to say about the very heated debate as to who is the best Big Brother player, you or Dr. Will?

Dan: I was not aware of that, the cool thing for me is just to be mentioned in the same sentence as Dr. Will. What made me feel better about the whole situation from last night is that I woke up this morning and got a couple of texts from Dr. Will and he had a lot of things to say about the evening [the Finale show] and about how things went down and he validated everything I was proud of and how I played the game.

BestBBever: Sweet! What is in the future for Dan? Will you come back for another AllStars or are you going to spend the rest of your life building a wonderful life with your wife, Chelsea?

Dan: You know for me, what is next in my life is I am definitely going to spend a lot of time with my wife because I just spent 75 days without her and I am going to go back to doing what I was doing before. The cool thing for me when I walked in the BB house was Ian Terry came up to me day one and said, “You know what Dan, I read your guide about how to get on reality TV!” and to me that was really cool for me because I am really passionate about helping other average people, like myself and Ian, get on reality TV through the guide and my online course because anything I can do to help these people...because some of these people are just a tweak away from a real shot of getting on reality TV and I can help them!

As for me and this show, I feel like I came in the 2nd time around and had a very difficult road and I accomplished what I set out to do, you know it is probably time to take Chelsea by the hand and ride off into the sunset. I finished in the Final 2 twice, I played it twice, I don’t know what else there is for me to accomplish in this game, at this point.

BestBBever: That’s true. No other Big Brother player can say that. Listen, that necklace that caused such a commotion at the Finale did you buy it at Target or did it really come from your Grandfather?

Dan: It actually was given to me by my Grandfather, he had passed away and it is a real necklace and it does mean a lot to me.

BestBBever: Did you get it back?

Dan: Oh yeah, I’m actually wearing it right now, just the second he voted out Danielle, he gave it back to me. It was just collateral in case I had the choice and didn’t keep him.

Dan seemed a little wistful thinking about that last exchange with Ian, before reality and a lot of other stuff hit the fan and that was then end of our conversation.

Earlier in the conversation, Dan was asked if he was willing to rebuild his relationships especially with people like Frank and Shane and he said he definitely would. He commented on how hard it was to get back to the real world and he was willing to help any of them any way that he could. Dan said he has no harsh feelings against any of the players and used this as another opportunity to plug his book about getting on Reality TV. Dan also highlighted the lack of naivete in the kids that he coaches at his school and how they are able to separate his gameplay on Big Brother from his real life and his work as their coach.

Dan was delighted to play against people like Janelle and Boogie and was delighted with how brilliantly Britney played the game. Ultimately Season 10 was a much better experience, he didn’t have to play such a hardcore game. Dan also talked about cutting Jodi early on because he felt she did not give 110% during the first comp and she stirred up a lot of emotion with the other HG’s and they wanted her out. It was a sad ending but one he almost seemed prepared for, maybe a few hugs and kisses from Chelsea and some phone calls from the original Karate Kid will take the sting out of his loss.

For me, this season brought up some interesting observations and questions about the game itself. Moves that Dan made cemented his place in BB lore but the same type of power moves and betrayals made by Shelly Moore earned her death threats. Was it the person blindsided or was it the person doing the damage that wreaks the most havoc? Boogie had continually embellished his personal resume but Danielle became internet fodder for the cruelest comments and would have been burned in effigy if anyone had thought to do it, simply because she verbalized what must have been her personal dream board, as fact. So why did Boogie get a pass and Danielle will be reeling for weeks? It begs the question is there a different set of rules for Women when they play Big Brother and ultimately is Big Brother really a game or one big popularity contest? I wonder.

@BestBBever for Joker's Updates