It’s finale time for the 14th installment of “Big Brother.”
As we begin Wednesday’s (September 19) night’s finale, I think we can probably all agree that the potential Top 2 scenarios look like this: Ian beats Danielle. Dan beats Danielle. Ian and Dan would be a close vote.
Let’s see how things play out with the climactic Head of Household competition and where things go from there…
9:32 p.m. ET. Boy, that clip package was certainly edited to emphasize Dan’s gameplay and basically ignored anything Ian did to shape the season. Danielle was also downplayed, though probably for good reason.
9:34 p.m. BARE SHOULDERS.
9:34 p.m. Danielle’s sitting very far away from Dan and Ian in the living room. What’s up with that?
9:35 p.m. But anyway, back to the start of the HoH competition, which we started on Sunday’s episode. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s “Hook, Line and Sinker” and it requires the players to cling to a hook that’s swinging wildly, whacking the hamsters against walls and dunking them in pools. But first, we have to flashback to the deal that Dan cut with Ian to keep him around. And then to the deal that Dan made with Danielle, claiming that Ian will drop out in the HoH. Dan’s expecting that Danielle is also going to drop, giving him the first part of the HoH.
9:37 p.m. Ian is, indeed, committed to throwing the competition. As we know, Ian isn’t a terrific actor, so he’s working very hard to appear plausibly uncertain. But after 17 minutes, Ian drops, convincing Danielle that Dan may, in fact, be at least somewhat honest. He’s trying to convince her to drop out, but he’s also trying to make it seem like it’s her idea. Danielle’s been burnt too many times to immediately be warped to Dan’s will. “You drive me crazy,” Danielle says. “That’s how I play the game,” Dan explains. As the rain starts pouring, Danielle drops off. She claims, however, that she only did it to win Dan’s trust. It’s still absurd that at this stage in the game, Dan was able to convince two people to throw the first part of the most important HoH of the season just for him.
9:44 p.m. Back to “Dan Brother.”
9:44 p.m. Dan thinks he wants to take Danielle to the Final 2. Of course. In case Ian wins Part 2, Dan has to set up an elaborate mindgame to make Ian believe that if Danielle goes to the Jury, she’ll taint the Jury and nobody will vote for him. This will somehow lead to Ian throwing the third part for Dan. I’m so confused, but Danielle thinks this’ll make Dan “the most deadliest player” in “Big Brother” history.
9:47 p.m. It’s a skyscraper themed second HoH task, asking players to clean windows and accumulate the order of evicted hamsters. Danielle appears to do it fairly quickly. Ian’s up next, comparing the physical component to a task from fifth grade gym class. He also appears to do it fairly quickly.
9:49 p.m. Danielle’s time was 7:31. OK. Ian’s time was… 6:04. Ian wins. “I’m fuming mad that I lost to Ian,” Danielle says. That means it’s Dan’s Mindgame Time. “We did it. You just won 50 grand,” Dan tells Ian, in front of Danielle. This prompts Danielle to feign outrage. “I will taint the Jury,” Danielle yells. She’s really not very good at improv. “That’s just not good sportsmanship at all,” says Ian. “That fight actually worked,” Dan gloats. But Ian tells Dan point-blank that he won’t throw it. “I’m risk averse,” he says.
9:53 p.m. Meanwhile… Shane arrives at the Jury House. “It’s like the worst blindside of the season,” Shane tells the evicted hamsters. Shane still doesn’t know if Danielle blindsided him or if Dan and Danielle were working together or if Dan played Danielle. Shane, one to kiss-and-tell, refers to having been physically “in cahoots” with Danielle. Ew. Joe respects Ian’s gameplay. Britney respects Ian and thinks he did it with a good heart. Frank is reticent to vote for Ian because Ian didn’t stick with him. “Where I come from, rats eat cheese,” says Jenn, who hates Ian because he’s a rat. I hate Jenn. So much. When it comes to Danielle, Joe thinks that she had an easy road and Britney agrees. “Is latching onto somebody like Dan really a bad thing if it got her all the way to the end?” Frank asks, while Jenn points out that she’s won competitions when she needed to. “I’m in awe of his game,” Britney says of Dan. “Dan is out there on the battlefield murdering everybody,” Jenn says. “He’s running the house,” Britney says, adding that the game doesn’t have rules. Joe and Frank, however, say that there’s a life manual. “Why are Dan’s lies worse than anybody else’s?” Britney asks. It’s a Bible thing for Frank. “If Dan and Judas were in the Final 2, Dan might have my vote,” Screaming Tomato Joe bellows. It’s too close to call! Allegedly!
10:01 p.m. It’s Dan versus Ian for the Final Head of Household. Julie Chen is going to read the beginning of statements from members of the Jury and then they have to guess the correct conclusion to the statements. Dan and Ian both knew that Ashley’s favorite moment in the House was her ice cream date with Frank. Ouch. Poor Ian. Dan and Ian both knew that Screaming Tomato Joe’s biggest regret was his 10 alliances. Ian correctly guesses that Britney’s most embarrassing moment was when one of her players bartered cigarettes for a vote. Ian also got that Frank hated being on the block every week. It’s 4-2, Ian! Jenn’s most uncomfortable moment in the House was the Frank/Willie fight. Ian got it right and Ian WINS! Wow. Clutch win for Ian. Unless the fix was in in the other direction?
10:11 p.m. Come on, Ian. I know that to be the best, you have to beat the best, but… Come on. Take Danielle.
10:11 p.m. As Julie observes, this is a half-million dollar decision. Ian calls Danielle the sweetest person he’s met, but he honors his commitment to Dan and possibly throws away $500,000. At least Danielle looks adorable in elimination, so there’s that. Back in the house, Dan says he tried his hardest, while Ian admits he guessed on several answers. Of course he was guessing. This is “Big Brother,” a game that basically gives $500,000 for winning a string of coin-flips. And why shouldn’t the Final HoH be as random, challenge-wise, as everything else in the game.
10:13 p.m. Why didn’t Danielle try to work out a deal with Ian? “I didn’t want to have too many deals out there and then have it come back to bite me,” Danielle says. Julie Chen seems to buy this. “He told me to my face he couldn’t win against me,” Danielle says of Ian’s decision. “I think it’s a cowardly way to go out.” Danielle’s mighty bitter about Ian voting her out. Yeah, Danielle. Be bitter at IAN. Come on, Danielle.
10:18 p.m. Enter The Jury… Ashley and Britney are dressed for prom. Frank is dressed for camping on the beach. Jenn is dressed for a rumble. Shane is dressed for a country concert. And Joe is dressed to yell a lot.
10:19 p.m. Britney hopes that Danielle was evicted, saying that Ian and Dan are the most deserving of the Final 3. Bitter Frank wants to see Dan. Nope… It’s Britney. Shane comes over and gives her a kiss and a hug. Awww… I wish I knew what Danielle was whispering to people.
10:21 p.m. As a group, the Jury has questions for Dan and Ian. Ashley asks Ian if he made his own decisions or if he just did what he wanted to do. Ian says he took his destiny into his own hands. “I would totally disagree with that, but you didn’t ask me the question,” Dan interjects. Frank asks Dan if he crossed the line when he swore on the Bible. “In this game I was forced to play a certain way,” Dan says, insisting that if he could take it back, he would. Oh, BS. Jenn tells Ian she doesn’t respect snitches. Jenn doesn’t understand what a “snitch” is. “When that reset hit, I just wanted to take fate into my own hands,” Ian says. I wish he’d had a better answer for that one. Joe asks about Dan’s comment about being up to his elbows in blood. Dan very correctly explains the machinations that led him to stab everybody in the back. “That was my only option,” he says. Britney asks Ian why he deserves to win. “I took my fate into my own hands,” Ian says. AGAIN. I guess we know what his ideology is. “I played a slightly cleaner game,” Ian says, basically losing himself the money. LAME, Ian. Shane asks Dan why he deserves to win, calling him “Satan.” Dan debunks the “Ian created the Quack Pack” mythology. “Bull,” Ian says multiple times. Danielle’s last question is for Ian. Did he know that Dan was going to take her to the Final Two? Nope. “He gave me his grandfather’s gold necklace as collateral,” Ian says. Danielle’s stunned. Ian’s stunned. What the heck game did Ian think he was playing? And who did he think he was playing it with?
10:27 p.m. Yeah. Ian pretty much lost it there. He doesn’t have a chance.
10:29 p.m. Or he shouldn’t have a chance. I mean, to *me* the revelation that Ian was clueless about Dan’s alliance with Danielle destroys the “I controlled my own fate” narrative and leaves him with nothing. To Frank and Joe and Shane, though, the part about the necklace may make Dan look even more feckless. Who knows? My vote goes to Dan and it would have gone to Ian before that Q&A.
10:31 p.m. Last statements: “I’ve never not winged a speech, so I won’t do anything different tonight,” Ian says, before saying he’s disgusted with Dan. “I have a much better poker hand if we were playing Texas Hold ‘Em,” pointing out his four HoH wins and his two Veto wins. Finally, Ian is PLAYING! “I’ve played this game with three things: Probability, statistics and a little bit of heart,” Ian says, after reminding everybody that Dan stabbed everybody in the back. That’s Ian! Woot. Much better. Dan says that he played a ruthless game because he had to. “I played this game 24-7 because I knew my limitations,” Dan says. “If I embarrassed you in any way, I apologize,” Dan says, pointing to the bags under his eyes as evidence that he didn’t sleep. “I hope you guys aren’t mad at me and I hope you aren’t too disgusted with me,” Dan closes. Shane is voting for Ian. That’s all I know.
10:35 p.m. Ashley giggles, says something about her dream board and votes. Britney says they’re both deserving. I like Britney. “I voting for who I think made the best decisions in the game,” Frank says. Joe thanks them for “one hell of a summer together.” Jenn says it was a pleasure to play with them both. “The things I want to say, Dan,” Shane grumbles. Danielle wore her no-run mascara tonight. She says she’s voting to try to keep her word.
10:42 p.m. Oh right. All the people who went home pre-Jury. It’s Mike Boogie, Janelle and some other people. Janelle was most surprised by Danielle’s lies and also by Dan’s gameplay, calling it “an absolute travesty” if Dan doesn’t win, calling him “hand’s down one of the best players of all-time.” Frank, however, says Dan played “a scavenger game.” Mike Boogie respects Dan’s game and also the journey that Ian went on.
10:45 p.m. Shane asks Danielle if she knew he was going to be evicted. “I swear on everything I had no idea,” Danielle tells him and Dan agrees. Shane’s just boiling over with rage as he asks Dan to explain himself. Dan repeats he played the game he could. Wil does a good impression of Joe before telling people on the Jury to be mad at themselves for falling for the lies.
10:51 p.m. OK. Let’s get to it!
10:51 p.m. Julie Chen will pull keys. Danielle voted for Dan. Shane’s vote went for Ian. Jenn’s vote went for Ian. [Wow. I would not have predicted that.] Joe votes for Ian. Frank votes for Ian… Winner of “Big Brother 14.” I swear it had to be the closing statements. Ian runs out the door and into a sea of confetti and hugs.
10:54 p.m. To my mind, there wasn’t a wrong vote here. Did Dan have to do things that were more dramatic in order to get to the end? Sure. But think back to how weird and socially awkward Ian was on that first night in the house, going around looking under furniture and flexing in the mirror. Would you have guessed that that person would: A) Spearhead the game’s domination social alliance. B) Spearhead the elimination of one of his “Big Brother” Idols and C) Ultimately become relatively dominant with a string of challenge wins when he needed them most? No. you would not. Dan played a splashier and more difficult game, but don’t take anything away from Ian, who absolutely deserved this.
10:57 p.m. Britney and Ashley also voted for Ian, who won 6-1. “This is easily the best moment of my entire life,” Ian says.
10:57 p.m. Frank was America’s Player, earning $25,000 for having floppy hair and dreadful social and strategic game.
What’d you think of the “Big Brother” finale? Are you OK with the results?