As predicted, the winner of Big Brother 10 is Dan Gheesling, the 25-year-old Catholic high school teacher from Dearborn, Michigan. He was the unanimous choice of all the jury members, who were reunited all on stage at CBS Television City in Los Angeles for the live telecast. Dan and Memphis Garrett, the “mixologist” from LA, were the Renegade duo that was left in the end. They endured some grilling from the seven jury members –those who were tossed out of the house most recently—Jerry, Keesha, Renny, Ollie, Michelle, April and Libra.
Jerry then walks in, and there is a clear and palpable sense of dread: no one is glad to see him, a point he himself announces out loud. But it’s not just the collective groan that –ugh—it’s Jerry who just walked in. It’s the sudden realization that Dan and Memphis are still inside, and that, wow, the jury has all been played by the final duo. “They played everybody to the hilt”, declared Jerry, and there was a shot of Ollie, so thoroughly confused and looking down, trying to process all this information in his own cipher-like way. Then some yelling ensues when Keesha asks Jerry why he didn’t put up Memphis and Dan when he had a chance. Jerry declares that he had an alliance (so he thought) with Memphis. Renny screeches loudly. Renny clearly wants to just vent her pent-up anger towards the Colonel one last time. Clearly, the jury has to make a decision as to who they think should win the $500,000. Do they want to reward the person who actively played the game and maneuvered himself and others around (Dan) or the person who never won a challenge (in fact he claimed to have thrown two of them) but who just played the game behind the scenes (Memphis)?
(The runner-up receives $50,000.)
The jury questioning produced no real sparks, and there’s probably a reason for that. CBS clearly wanted to move this process very quickly. There were no unscripted moments, save perhaps, for Renny’s drawn out questioning which essentially became an exercise in her listening to her incoherence and nagging voice. Before the questioning it’s supposed to appear as if the jury members really are torn between the two. Do you vote Dan because he “mocked” and “embarrassed” “you two”, as April coldly says, pointing to her once-bed partner Ollie and Michelle? Or do you vote for Memphis, who essentially floated along and in some ways owed his survival to Dan? Then again, this was a game, and those two –no matter what the jury members’ feelings are—were still inside the damn house.
A few observations:
· Michelle announced that Dan selected her for the luxury challenge and appeared to complain about it. The Portuguese Princess seemed to still be upset that she was backdoored out of the house still, and simply suggests that Dan was being instrumental. She is so dim and full of herself. Sure, it would help Dan if he tried to get on her good side. But what about the fact that Dan chose her because of Libra’s cold taking away of her trip to Hawaii during the POV competition, which left Michelle wearing those horrid red leotards for a week? Michelle will go down as this season’s most inconsequential player.
· Keesha was right to say that Dan’s greatest achievement was to make himself (somewhat) likable to most. Memphis didn’t care about this much, and in fact, he eschewed all confrontation and was not close to many. Dan at least put himself out there and was apparently willing to take risks at various moments in the game.
· In general, Dan appeared to answer the questions better than Memphis. Memphis is simply not used to arguing points, and he flubbed up some lines and did not lie very skillfully. His exchange with Renny, in which she asks him for one thing he did for her in the game. “That’s a hard question, Renny”, was all he could utter, which clearly pointed out the remoteness of his personality and how diametrically apart these two people could possibly have been. I wonder if Renny and Memphis ever really spoke much before she was squashed by him a couple of weeks back.
· After the jury members voted, CBS brought out former houseguests from this season, including Brian, Angie, Steven and Jessie. One standout moment occurred when Brian seemed to applaud the fact that 1) Dan and Memphis were in the final two. Brian, before he was tossed out in week one, had allied with Dan but could not warm up to Memphis, whom he also felt would go very far in this game; and 2) both Dan and Memphis did not engage in any personal attacks on other houseguests. This last point is partly true in that Dan and Memphis were good strategic players, moving and manipulating (especially Dan) bodies throughout without cheap shots or rancor. Then Brian lowered the boom: he called out the jury members themselves on their own petty behavior –Ollie’s temper tantrum at being played by Dan, Michelle attacking Libra’s mothering abilities, and when Michelle and (especially) April said they thought Keesha had a fat ass.
· But by far the best jury moment was when Steven, the meek and conflicted rodeo cowboy, put an unflattering spotlight on Jerry. No, wait, it was CBS that handled that. Steven wanted to know what nerve Jerry had to bring religion into a game like this, calling Dan a “Judas” and a hypocrite when in fact all Dan was doing was –again—playing a game. CBS went, Warner Wolf-style, right to the videotape during one particular sequence, when Jerry seemed to switch sides when Michelle won HOH, calling the “other side” (Dan, Libra, Keesha—I know–?) “traitors” and showing him, the ex-Marine, flipping the bird with his shirt off. CBS clearly wanted to put down this man and it was a classic BB moment. The worst part of all this is that Jerry continued to defend himself, saying that if someone brought religion “into this”, then he would return the favor. What Jerry forgets is how foolish he was all along. I would rather that Jerry confess that he was playing his sympathy act (“my last hurrah” bs) far too long and that he had no real backbone. He simply tried to kiss up to whoever was in charge. In the end, Memphis chewed him up and spit his brittle body out quick.
· Chenbot revealed that there was an America’s Player this summer—it was Dan, who won $20,000 in one week, a fact that no one knew at all. Of course, the jury had voted when they found out about this breathlessly, and again, CBS went to the videotape, showing Dan complete the assigned tasks, including the lengthy hug he gave he-man Jessie. Then, of course, it showed how America also told him to vote the dim bodybuilder out.
· Chenbot also revealed –for the first time—that America had been voting this past week for the “favorite” jury member, and that distinction (and $25,000) went to Keesha. I am puzzled why Jerry was the close second-place vote-getter, but I am happy the old man was denied. Once and for all he can go back and live down whatever dishonor he brought to his family and large brood.
· Dan won the big money in a vote of 8-0. Memphis was shown no love, except that he pockets $50,000 plus the sweet ‘69 Camaro he won on the first night. (Word is that he took it for a spin and decided that the gas guzzler wasn’t for him. He took some more cash instead.) Dan goes back to Michigan with $520,000 total. And another BB season ends. Another summer is officially over, and yes, we feel kinda bad that we spent our time indoors watching complete strangers (some of them idiots) do completely stupid things. And we still don’t really know if April is giving it up still to Ollie. Oh, and Jerry did not die.