Mark wins The Mole 3 after almost being executed repeatedly; Craig is the mole

After nine episodes, The Mole 3 reached its conclusion, revealing the identities of the mole and the show’s winner. History teacher and soccer coach Mark Lambrecht won the pot of $420,0000 despite almost being eliminated on multiple occasions. His time on the show was “full of near-misses,” host Jon Kelley said, but his “drive to win for his family led him to victory.” Mark said he wanted to win the money so his wife, pregnant with their fourth child, wouldn’t have to work.

Mark’s win left the two most obvious suspects, Craig and Nicole, as the mole, and it was Craig Slike, the 30-year-old graphic artist, who was working for the producers. Jon Kelley said Craig prevented “well over $100,000 from being added to the pot,” as he basically sabotaged something on nearly every mission, yet the fact that he was a nice, funny guy who seemed to try hard kept left most people clueless. While he seemed to sabotage a lot, we learned that on the final mission, Craig he had the answers and helped the other two complete it. “You just didn’t want to believe he was the mole,” Mark said.

OBGYN Nicole Williams, who threatened to kill Paul at one point, came in third place, but she didn’t know the mole’s identity until late in the game. On the penultimate quiz, Nicole and Paul tied, but Nicole beat Paul by four seconds, keeping her in the game. Paul said he knew “from the first execution” that Craig was the mole, and thus said his four-second loss was “like a dagger to the heart.”

Ironically, of the final three non-mole players, the person who knew and/or strongly suspected that Craig was the mole from early in the game (Paul) went home first, while the winner (Mark) was almost executed repeatedly (three times) after tying on the quiz with the person who was executed. In other words, Mark barely stayed in the game.

In fact, the winner was a terrible player in terms of figuring out the mole’s identity, but he took the quizzes fast enough that he was never executed. Winner Mark targeted Victoria as the mole first, and later Kristen. At one early execution, Victoria, Alex, and Mark all tied, and although Victoria knew that Craig was the mole, she mis-answered a question, keeping Mark in the game. He tied later with another suspect and another executed player, Kristen. “Once again, Mark was in a tie with the executed player.” Then he targeted Nicole, and tied with Clay, who went home instead.

The same was sort of true for runner-up Nicole, who initially suspected Bobby, at least until Bobby went home for suspecting that Paul was the mole. That left Nicole to suspect Victoria, and later, Kristen, Alex, and finally Craig. In the final quiz, however, runner-up Nicole got 13 out of 20, while Mark got 17 out of 20, although he said he was unsure whether to target Nicole or Craig even on that last quiz.

The finale, which played out pretty much like previous seasons’ finales, revealed the winner and mole early, and later highlighted the clues that, like in previous seasons, seemed both impossibly difficult (on a single frame during the recap episode, the latitude and longitude of San Diego, Craig’s hometown, was written) and also rather obvious (“CRG” was written on a wall in the background of one shot). Here’s a complete list.

During the recap about their suspicious activity, Craig and Nicole both seemed like such obvious mole candidates that either one could actually be the mole. Then again, so did many players, like Bobby, who could barely stand up without grabbing his side and whining. Perhaps that’s the genius of the casting this season: Everyone seemed so mole-ish and/or annoying that no one would suspect the lovable big guy who kept screwing everything up–except, you know, all the viewers who saw right through it.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.