Even before entering the house, Steve knew he might be seen as the Big Brother 17 Ian Terry, the nerdy, unassuming winner of Season 14. He went so far as to call himself Steve rather than Steven because he thought it sounded too much like Ian, and he also worried that his musical engineering major was too similar to Ian's chemical engineering major. Both quiet, socially awkward, and Big Brother superfans, it's easy to see how a comparison could be made between the houseguests. Steve himself was taking notes from Ian's playbook, and in the first few weeks of the game, he talked to himself and the live feed viewers, explaining how he might create his own Quack Pack to make it to the end.
Of course, one big difference between Steve and Ian from the start was that Ian had nobody to be compared to. If you ask me, that put Steve at a disadvantage on day one, and it's true that Steve's superfan status was a danger to his game at first.
Now that Season 17 has passed the halfway mark, there is more for us to work with when determining just how much Steve's game play resembles Ian's from his season.
Freaks & Geeks = Quack Pack
It's safe to say that without the Quack Pack, there's no way Ian would have won Season 14, and the alliance formerly known as Freaks & Geeks (I refuse to call them Scamper Squad) is basically this season's Quack Pack.
Throw, Throw, Throw, Then Win, Win, Win
Although we shouldn't assume that Steve has thrown every competition he's participated in, we know he was concerned from the start about winning too many competitions and becoming a target in the house. Of course, whenever he's needed to get himself off the block, he has pulled through, and Thursday's HOH win, even if unplanned and undesired, shows he's better at comps than he originally let on.
Steve vs. Vanessa; Steve vs. John
Another important part of Ian's strategy was his relationship with power player Dan, who helped him get to the final two. Steve currently has two Dans in the mix: Vanessa and John. Vanessa might get Steve to the final two, and he could convince any bitter jury members that he deserves to win. Matched up against John in the final two, who has actually played a similar game, Steve's entire case could simply come down to his HOH win.
Even with some similarities between Steve and Ian, most BB fans agree at this point that Steve is no Ian. Why not? Ian had a clear strategy and was a smart player from the start, and most fans think neither of these statements is true for Steve. Sadly, ever since his HOH win during Thursday's double eviction, everyone's been throwing serious shade Steve's way, including Dan himself, who probably knows Ian's game better than anyone.
Personally, I am still #TeamSteve and see the value in his game play, even if he clumsily stumbled onto it. As strange as it seems, I'd love to see him win this game.
For more on this season of Big Brother, check out Bustle's podcast The Diary Room below.