Big Brother 14 is over and 21-year-old super fan Ian Terry beat season 10 winner Dan Gheesling in a 6-1 vote.

Finale Recap: Ian Wins>>

Some people may agree with Janelle Pierzina that Dan not winning is an “absolute travesty,” that hosting his own funeral was one of the greatest moves in the history of the game and that his ruthless lies and backstabbing was amazing.

I’ll agree that the funeral was amazing, and I also have no problem with Dan’s morally bankrupt style of lying. But that doesn’t mean he deserved to win.

Ian Terry was no slouch and Dan was not perfect. Here are five reasons why I believe Ian deserved to beat Dan on the merits of the game and NOT for any foolish moral reasons about a bitter jury.

Dan’s Cockiness

Dan may have become his own worst enemy in the final week. On the live feeds he made claims that his plan was to throw the final HoH competition so Ian would evict Danielle and take him. Dan thought he couldn’t beat Danielle, but he could beat Ian. That was a fatal flaw.

It didn’t help that Dan also spent most of Tuesday night rehearsing his final speech, timing it out and making sure he sucked up to all of the members of the jury. After being blindsided by him time and time again, the jury wasn’t about to fall for Dan’s pathetic attempts at flattery. Did he really think people like Joe and Jenn and Ashley would believe that he respected their gameplay?

Dan started believing the hype that he’s the greatest player of all-time. He fell in love with his overly complex antics and manipulations. He thought he was invincible, and like Icarus, his wings melted and he fell to his doom.

If Dan were smart, played to win the final competition and evicted Ian, there’s a chance he could’ve won. I really think at least four members of the jury (Britney, Frank, Jenn, Ashley, maybe Joe and Ian) would’ve given Dan the win simply out of a total lack of respect for Danielle’s pathetic game.

Danielle’s Question

Dan’s hubris was bad, but the one thing he probably didn’t count on was Danielle screwing up his game. She asked Ian if he knew that Dan had a final 2 deal with her. That’s when the crap really hit the fan.

I think Ian genuinely believed Dan was more loyal to the Renegades 2.0 alliance with him than he was to Danielle. But when Danielle revealed this wasn’t true with her question, all bets were off. That led to Ian’s final speech where the gloves came off and he systematically took apart Dan’s game point by point while talking about all of his own accomplishments. Ian admitted his final speech was off the cuff and unscripted, and that genuine passion came through.

Offense vs. Defense

There was a fundamental difference in the way Dan and Ian played the game, and it had nothing to do with morals. Dan played a selfish game. All of his big moves were designed purely to get him to the end. His funeral was to save his own butt and getting Danielle to use her final Power of Veto on him was because he didn’t have a final 2 deal with Shane.

Ian, on the other hand, made big moves to try and get big targets out of the game. Ian turned on Boogie and Frank because he knew he wouldn’t be able to win if he went to the end with them, so he needed to take them out.

Ian played offense and Dan played defense. Defense might be helpful, but offense scores points. Dan might have some blood on his hands, but he played a far more passive game, using Danielle to get things done instead of doing it himself.

Taking Destiny Into His Own Hands

This was the overall theme of Ian’s final plea to the jury, and it worked on two levels. First, it pointed out that Ian really was all alone and made his own moves. He was the only houseguest all season to actually turn on his original “team.” Sure, Dan, Danielle, Britney and Shane were already working together when Ian joined them and formed the Quack Pack, but by doing so, Ian showed that he was going to control his own destiny and not let the fact that Boogie picked him decide his game. It’s a lesson Willie told everyone about week 1, but Ian was the only player who listned.

Second, Ian was able to point out that Dan only made it as far as he did because he was a coach and he had Danielle. He wrapped her around his little finger, brainwashed her into doing everything for him, made her cry multiple times and basically used her to further himself in the game while operating under the guise of “trying to coach her to the end,” which was obviously never his intention.

Ian’s line about how Dan started the game with three lives and lost two of them right away was apt. It’s a bit like the argument I had against Rachel Reilly last season. By coming into the house as a veteran with Brendon, she may have had a target on her back, but she also had someone she could trust completely. That’s the most valuable commodity in this game, and Dan got that with Danielle. Sure, she may have proven to be a liability at the end, but up to that point she was a huge asset that Ian didn’t have.

Ian’s Alliance With Britney

Ian made a very smart move once he joined the Quack Pack. He made strategic alliances with Britney and Dan, becoming closer with those two than with anyone else in the house. Why was this a smart move? Because they were also the two most influential.

Dan’s Mist was powerful, and being aligned with him was obvious beneficial to getting Ian to the end. More importantly, Ian’s close ties with Britney paid huge dividends. She was the second person in the jury, and because Ian was so close with her, she was able to influence the jury in his favor.

I doubt that Ian was really this clever, but it turned out good for him anyway. Britney is genuinely a great social game player and she is great at defending her arguments and getting people to see her side of things. I’m guessing that the 6-1 jury vote is largely due to Britney’s influence and her love for the kid. Why else would someone like Jenn, who hates snitches, vote for Ian?

There are leaders and followers in the game, and in the jury house, it helps to have the leaders on your side to influence the followers. Players like Ashley, Jenn and Joe were most likely eager to have some guidance on their votes, and Britney probably pushed them in Ian’s direction.

I have no proof that this is how it went down, but it makes sense. Britney was Dan’s biggest supporter, but the fact that she voted for Ian to win instead tells you where her loyalties were. Having her as an advocate, someone who isn’t afraid to get into a big bully’s face and argue her point, is a definite benefit.

So as you can see, it wasn’t just about morals. It wasn’t just about a bitter jury that hated Dan and didn’t want him to win. It was about Ian’s game, his evolution throughout the season, his mastery of competitions, his formation of the Quack Pack and, most importantly, his refusal to accept that, just because Boogie picked him on night one, he has to stick with that forced alliance for the entire game.

Ian really did take destiny into his own hands. And the result is that he became the youngest person to ever win Big Brother.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.