During last night's Big Brother finale, I wanted to give the jury the benefit of the doubt that their decision to go with Ian was based more on thinking Ian deserved to win and not simply a vote against Dan. But the more we hear from the houseguests in the interviews they've done since last night's finale, the more convinced I am that Dan's win was robbed by a bitter jury that either couldn't get over Dan's antics enough to see that he was playing on a whole other level of strategy than they were. Or they simply refused to give a past winner the grand prize.
I should say up front that I'm a firm believer that with a game like Big Brother, the deserving player always wins. Part of the game includes convincing the jury that you're the one they want to win. Dan didn't do that, and he didn't win. So it's nearly impossible for me to argue that Dan "should have" won. Ian got the votes to win, so there's no denying his victory. And he's among the more likable winners from past seasons, so I'm not even complaining about that. But hearing some of the comments made by the jurors since the finale, I can't help but feel disappointed by the outcome and their decision.
Earlier today we shared some video interviews, one of which had Britney mentioning that there was no way the jury was going to vote for Dan to win. When she said that, I figured she meant against Ian. And I wondered if Dan might have had better luck with Danielle, who seemed like the harder contestant to beat from Dan and Ian's perspective, but was actually probably the easier bet as the jury didn't seem particularly fond of her game-play when we saw them deliberating. But from what Britney told The Insider, it sounds like Dan had no chance of winning going into last night's finale:
I was not surprised. The thing about the jury is it always flips on somebody – this jury was never going to vote for Dan, whether he was up against Danielle or up against Ian. This was the most bitter jury in the history of juries. I am not kidding you, this jury hated Dan so bad. They could have Dan up against a bottle of ketchup and the bottle of ketchup would have won this game. The hatred of Dan was on a whole new level I've never seen. Bitter is an understatement.
I love Britney's candidness, especially considering she was one of the people who voted for Ian. And that's ok. She and Ian were very close prior to Britney's eviction, and if she knew the rest of the jury was favoring Dan, there was no reason to be the odd man out. Even if she and Jenn (who also seemed like she might be favoring Dan, and made comments about Ian being a rat) had voted for Dan, added to Danielle's vote, Ian still would have won. But "bitter is an understatement"? Really. Granted, this is just her perspective, but it sounds like Dan never had a chance.
Let's move on to Shane, who still seemed frustrated by his eviction. Sure, it hasn't even been a week since Dan sent him packing, but he struck me as a good-natured kind of guy, so his attitude has been surprising. I kind of figured him to be the shrug and accept it kind of player who saw this experience as a game. But he seemed to take his exit really personally. The Insider quotes him as saying that he wasn't surprised at all that Ian won, "The way Dan played his game, he did me wrong, he did a lot of people wrong and he had to pay for it." Pay for what, exactly?
It's comments like these that make this season's ending harder to swallow. If Dan had shoved Shane out the door, laughing at him while he went and calling him a fool (for agreeing to be put on the block) then sure, some bitterness and a bit of payback would've been justified. Dan's act was a betrayal, but from his perspective, breaking up the Shane/Danielle alliance was his best game move at the time. And he said as much when he sent Shane packing. Based on the tone of Shane's comment, it seems like Dan's paying more for Shane's mistake than his own. That's Shane's choice though, and his right as a juror. But as a fan of the game, it doesn't sit well with me. I guess I'd rather hear him singing Ian's praises than talking about payback.