Big Brother’s 14th season proved to be the ultimate Revenge of the Nerds fantasy when engineering student Ian Terry took home the top prize over season 10 champ Dan Gheesling.
Ian, then 21, impressed the Big Brother jury with his competition wins and social strategy, earning the $500,000 cash prize during the September 2012 finale. The Pennsylvania native — a member of the “Quack Pack” alliance — beat Dan 6-1 after the former champ’s conniving gameplay left the jury bitter.
“Anytime I saved myself or got saved by someone else in a critical situation in either season,” Ian recalled of his proudest moments in the competition during a June 2022 interview with Entertainment Weekly. “Both times I won Veto on BB14, I didn’t know with certainty that I was in trouble, but I definitely felt like I was in shaky territory and there’s no better feeling than having a 10 percent guarantee that you’re through to the next round of play by virtue of winning.”
He added: “The way I play, I tend to want to link up with strong social players and have them do a lot of the legwork for me socially. As a result, I get saved much more often than the average player would when in bad spots. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and how to mitigate those weaknesses goes a long way.”
Following his season 14 victory, Ian left the reality TV circuit to pursue a career as a management consultant. He later returned for 2020’s All-Stars season but failed to make it to the finale after ally Nicole Franzel flipped the vote on him.
“Obviously, I respect the game play that she was in a larger alliance without me. Am I curious as to why I wasn’t invited into that larger alliance? I mean, yeah,” he exclusively told Us Weekly in September 2020. “I am definitely a little curious about that. I really, really respect that everything that we went through in the last week and I think she’s still a great friend.”
After a second time in the Big Brother house, Ian was ready to hand in his keys for good. “I don’t want to say never, but I’m pretty sure this is it for me. It’s just really, really stressful,” he told Us. “I’ve already won once, so just going on again, seems a little bit much for me, especially right now. I think I’m done, but never say never.”
During Ian’s Big Brother swan song, he reunited with Janelle Pierzina, who finished in 12th place during season 14, where she was brought in as a coach. The Minnesota-based real estate agent, for her part, joined her second All-Stars cast in 2020, which was her fourth time playing the game overall. Janelle, who’s won a record number of competitions through the years, quickly became a target and was eliminated pre-jury.
“I think I’m a huge target, a big name. Everyone’s scared that I was going to win some sort of power. They’re scared of the powers [and] of the America’s vote,” Janelle recalled to Us in August 2020 of what led to her early eviction. “They’re threatened by that because they don’t know if it’s going to help them out or hurt them in the game.”
She added at the time: “It’s extremely frustrating that no one wants to do anything in the house, that no one wants to make any game moves. They want to go with the house. I don’t do that s—t.”
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