Dan Gheesling From 'The Traitors' Admits: "You Can't Play Chess Anymore — It's Time To Start Playing Poker" (EXCLUSIVE)

Dan Gheesling said he planned to "leverage a relationship or surprise the heck out of someone" during his run on Peacock's 'The Traitors.'

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Feb. 16 2024, Updated 9:57 a.m. ET

Alan Cumming in The Traitors Season 2
Source: Peacock

The best part about The Traitors on Peacock is watching the chosen traitors keep their identities a secret, lest they be found out and banished from the house at the nightly roundtable event. And in Season 2, the treachery is certainly afoot with three traitors chosen in the first handful of episodes. So, who are the traitors in The Traitors Season 2? If you're keeping up, then you know the identity of the traitors can change at any time.

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Distractify spoke exclusively with Dan Gheesling, known for Big Brother and now as a traitor from The Traitors. Well, a former traitor, since we see him banished in the Feb. 1 episode. He shared what it was like being named a traitor, and why his Big Brother game might not have been the best plan for him, going into the competition. And let's not forget that Dan is at first flanked by two other traitors this season, and at some point, it's every traitor for themselves.

The Traitors Season 2 cast in a mission
Source: Peacock
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Who are the traitors in 'The Traitors' Season 2?

Besides Dan, the traitors (at least at first) in Season 2 of The Traitors are Phaedra Parks and Parvati Shallow. Phaedra is named as a traitor the same time Dan is and, together, they make the choice to get rid of Johnny Bananas. Later, they agree to add Parvati to the mix. This means there are three traitors in the midst almost from the very beginning, and they each have experience with backstabbing on reality TV.

In the Feb. 1 episode, however, we see Dan turn on Phaedra when he is under the microscope of some suspicious faithfuls. But, despite his minor arguments of why they should vote out Phaedra instead, Dan is banished. Phaedra and Parvati are then offered the chance to recruit another faithful to take his place.

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Dan, Phaedra, and Parvati on The Traitors
Source: Peacock

When we spoke with Dan about playing in two seasons of Big Brother and then this, he revealed that competing on The Traitors forced him to rethink his entire plan.

"I just kind of leaned on experience," he told us. "So I essentially just ran the same playbook of both seasons of Big Brother. Develop relationships, and then, when the time happens down the road, like, leverage a relationship or surprise the heck out of someone. "

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He added that, once he realized how the game should be played, he knew he had to throw his original playbook out the window.

"Towards the end of the third episode, [it] kind of hits me like, alright, this is a completely different game," he told us. "You can't play chess anymore. It's time to start playing poker."

Dan Gheesling talks to The Traitors host
Source: Peacock
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Is Peter a traitor in Season 2 of 'The Traitors'?

After Dan is banished, another one of the guys in the castle has the chance take his place. Phaedra lets Parvati take the reins and they offer Peter the chance to join them. Peter is leading other faithfuls in a quest to quickly find and banish the traitors, and he enacted the plan that eventually got Dan out. He could have been a strong traitor. In the end, however, he turns down the opportunity.

Kate Chastain is a traitor now.

After Phaedra survives a bit of speculation from the faithfuls and Parvati is banished instead of her, she gets the opportunity to choose a faithful to join her. Toward the end of the Feb. 15 episode, Phaedra chooses Kate, who is back after she competed in the first season of the U.S. version of the show.

Kate accepts the position of traitor because, as she puts it in the episode, the alternative is "murder" and being booted from the competition.

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Peter Weber and Alan Cummings in front of a fire place on The Traitors
Source: Peacock

What's the difference between banishment and murder in 'The Traitors'?

When the traitors meet in secret each night, they decide which player they want to secretly "murder" by having a letter sent to them in private. A banishment, however, is something that all of the other players have a say in. They discuss their suspicions at the roundtable and then, one by one, the players vote for who they believe is a traitor and should go home.

In both instances, the player in question is booted from the game. However, with players in control of who is banished, it's a team effort of sorts to get one person out and keep the prize money safe.

Watch new episodes of The Traitors on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST, only on Peacock.

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