This season's version of Big Brother has descended in so many ways this summer. It has always been a group of mostly narcissistic hotheads and wannabes, who get their proverbial 15 minutes of fame and, for the most part, even if they win, are never heard from again.
But last night's episode of Big Brother 14 took the cake, most notably in outright slime, which I'm sorry to predict many of you will defend as Dan Gheesling's brilliant game play. I prefer to look at it as the tremendous stupidity exhibited by Danielle Murphrey and, to a lesser extent Shane Meaney. OK, Shane has never shown himself to be particularly gifted in the smarts department, making one wonder how he won the recent POV competition, requiring the piecing together of a puzzle. But even he showed uncommon idiocy when he accepted without so much as a "Really?" the suggested option proffered by Danielle, orchestrated by Dan, that as the latest POV winner she remove Dan from the block and replace Shane as the nominee.
It was clear that Danielle was torn between loyalty to Dan and carnal love of Shane. However, in the end she trusted Dan more than the man she wanted to bed. Though she wanted both Dan and Shane in the final three, she had more faith that Dan would be true to his word and in so doing evict sleazy Ian Terry, rather than risk Shane being the turncoat and showing the door to Dan. It was even more amazing, considering that nothing in the season should have led her to believe Dan, because she'd seen him lie over and over, even to the extent of arranging the sudden exit of Britney Haynes.
I felt it coming, but thought to myself, "No, this can't be. They must have edited it in this manner, showing Dan wage a futile battle just to make us think the unbelievable might happen." But it did. And it was even more stupid than I'd felt when Frank Eudy fell for Dan's gambit, because at that point, as I said in my last article, he was between a rock and a hard place. Desperate for Frank's support, Dan actually told the truth regarding how others, including Ian, had been plotting against him. So, Frank's presumed alliance with Britney and Shane was obviously not to be trusted, and with Dan's "sincere" hand on the bible and swearing on his wife and dead grandfather, he rolled the dice and ultimately lost.
And just to sidestep for the moment, so many people objected to my support and praise of Frank, citing the live feeds and his supposed horrible behavior. So, I was therefore gratified and pleased to see not only in the private emails at my website but also a good number of people who also watch the live feeds posting comments on HuffPost that took issue with the attacks on Frank, stating they were either total misrepresentations or instances taken out of context to make Frank look bad.
To those who said Dan only swore on the bible re the "truth" he was telling Frank about what had gone on, not swearing allegiance to their alliance, then why did he repeat his "confession" on TV about how "bad" he felt swearing on the bible and his wife, then going back on his word with Frank? He attributed his dastardly deed, which he "insisted" he was not proud of, to doing anything to win that money for him and his family.
And it was uncanny watching Britney in the jury house last night with the other evictees as she went back and forth between how horribly she'd been treated by Dan, yet then reversing herself and defending him when Frank agreed with her. Blah, blah, she said. It's just a game, get over it, whereas Frank, true to form, rejoindered there are ways to play a game. Desperate to win the argument, she actually had the cheek to accuse Frank of back-stabbing her, even as Frank reminded her that it was because he learned (from Dan) she was planning to back-door him a number of times, which was all true, as we saw her pronouncements on TV. No matter, as with many people caught in a lie, self-preservation was the essence of Britney's mantra, morphing into delusion about her activities.
But tonight's game play and the shocked expression on Danielle's face, not to mention Shane's exit (a la Frank) straight out of the house can't make any but the most cynical pleased with Dan's behavior. That Danielle allowed him to talk with her was unbelievable, even as his voice raced almost unintelligibly insisting he'd actually done it for her, so that she would ultimately win, which was even more despicable to watch, considering we the viewers had heard time immemorial from Dan about his intention to win the $500,000 for himself.
If Dan is in the final two, and we can expect it to be so if Ian wins HOH, and certainly if Dan gets the nod, it is up to the evicted house guests in the jury house to not fall prey to what has often happened in the past. In other seasons, even when there has been resentment towards a player there has been grudging respect. But Dan has gone too far. Even in the two Survivor seasons where Russell Hantz got into the finals, the jury members never voted him the winner, though one could have appreciated his manipulative escapades and the ingenious manner he so often found the immunity idols hidden in the jungle. But they didn't and in his third Survivor outing the others voted him out early.
There's got to be a point where people say "Enough is enough! No, Dan, you shouldn't be rewarded." Especially since he wasn't so brilliant in all instances. Rather he profited by the other players displaying incredibly stupid behavior. In this regard, I sadly include Frank, though now at this very late point in the competition, for Danielle and Shane to have done what they did has to equate in some manner with the guy on Survivor who gave up his immunity to a girl, who then joined the other women in voting him off the island.
As I'm often being reminded, Big Brother is a social game more than anything. If so, then Dan committed more fouls and faux pas than can be imagined, and if the others write him a big check then it isn't because they like him and how can they really admire him? It must be mass hypnosis.
Michael Russnow's website is ramproductionsinternational.com