The reveal at the end of Claim to Fame has been the show’s worst-kept secret, which is to say it was never a secret at all that Louise was related to Olympian Simone Biles.
“Everyone has known for a long time because,” Louise said, and then waved her hand around her face, “Hello!”
When she was revealed, the only surprise was that Louise’s name is Adria Louise Biles. Also surprising: how little Adria/Louise knows about pop culture, and by that, I mean, literally anyone in pop culture! But we’ll get to that in a moment.
What was most interesting about Claim to Fame’s eighth episode was how we got to Louise’s reveal. It seemed likely that she was going home, but there were two routes: Logan being the guesser, and identifying Louise, and Louise being the guesser, calling out Pepper, and then being eliminated because she got it wrong.
With just five people, the vote for the Guess-Off came down to just Lark and Pepper, and they split the vote, leaving challenge-winner L.C. to break the tie.
L.C. went with her closest ally, Logan, and let him eliminate Louise. That left Lark, crying. “I just feel betrayed” she said. “I just want to know why you lied to me?” Lark asked L.C. “It’s just hard for me to believe anything you’re saying to me.”
Earlier, Lark was worried about the “power couple” of L.C. and Logan, and wanted Pepper eliminated to keep Louise as a shield—oh, and a close personal friend, too.
“Why not make Louise take the chance on Pepper instead of the three of us?” Lark asked L.C. and Logan, and I think that’s a very smart suggestion and move.
Even though L.C. and Logan went with the easier, more-certain route, they’ve been playing a really strong game, even locking themselves on the balcony to strategize.
L.C.’s great game play
The episode focused largely on L.C., whose strengths in the game are piling up, making her the clear front-runner.
On the balcony with Logan, L.C. threw out Cindy Crawford as a possibility for Lark’s model relative, which was supported by the crawfish on the clue board. I think she’s on to something!
L.C. is also feeding into everyone’s incorrect assumption that her dad is Lawrence Fishburne. She told Lark a story about how he is “trying to stay young and handsome and all that good stuff”—and all she was doing was talking about her sister, Keke Palmer, and changing the name and pronouns.
In a wild coincidence, L.C. was named after her dad, and his name is Lawrence! “But wrong Lawrence,” L.C. laughed.
After winning the challenge, L.C. also pulled Logan’s clue, pointing out that they’re close but she’s a single mom who needs $100,000. She’s not a player who’ll let relationships allow her to forget the game, and I love to see that.
The clue said DIRT ROAD ANTHEM COUNTRY ARTIST. I don’t think the images were very clear: a person raising a flag while two people saluted with musical notes is “anthem,” really? But L.C. figured out “anthem” pretty quickly—though that didn’t lead her to a person.
I thought it might be a reference to Billy Ray Cyrus, who recorded a remix of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” But also, Jason Aldean recorded a cover of a song that’s literally called “Dirt Road Anthem,” and that seems more likely with the level of obvious clues that Claim to Fame tends to go for. Add that to Lark throwing out Jason Aldean’s name as the women brainstormed about Logan’s clue, and I’m leaning that way.
I’m also enjoying not having confirmation, and being as in the dark as the players. “All the country clues in the world will not help us know country music,” Pepper said.
A hilariously embarrassing challenge
For the seven degrees of separation-inspired challenge, the production traveled all the way to the front door.
Each player drew a ball with a fellow player’s name on it. They had to guess five celebrities, running through the house each time, finding a name amid the artfully placed stars on the floor, kind of a multi-reference challenge with red carpets and Hollywood Walk of Fame stars.
If a player got all five within the time limit, they received a clue about how that fifth celebrity was related to their chosen player’s celebrity.
Frankie, after delivering an A+ Hanson joke at Kevin’s expense, said they’d “get some of the best clues you’ve gotten yet.” That was true—and at least, the winner got more clues than they’ve ever gotten before.
Yes, in addition to the wine room clue, L.C. got every player’s clue from the game. Those clues:
- Logan: Kelly Clarkson “recorded a song with Logan’s celebrity relative”
- Lark: George Clooney was “in a tequila commercial with Lark’s celebrity relative”
- L.C.: Queen Latifah was in Barbershop II with L.C.’s celebrity relative
- Louise: Hank Azaria was in Mack and Moxie with Louise’s relative
- Pepper: Jackie Chan was in The Cannonball Run with Pepper’s relative
Only L.C. and Pepper got to the end and received clues; the other three boards were incomplete.
L.C. was by far the fastest, finishing in about five minutes despite having the extra challenge of running with her arm across her chest. “The puppies were trying to get off the leash, and I have to hold them down,” she explained, one of many references to the puppies in the episode.
The other players were hilariously terrible at identifying celebrities from relatively easy questions.
Logan didn’t know who was in ‘NSync—”I was not alive when ‘NSync started,” he said—and then guessed Chris Pine. “I don’t think Justin Timberlake was in ‘NSync,” he said.
Also: How does he know of Al Sharpton and not ‘NSync?
He did tell us that was coming, saying he’s “kind of stupid” about pop culture. But he is great at delivering a Blanche Devereaux-esque line:
- “I am as nervous as a cat with a long tail in a room full of rockin’ chairs”
- “I am as lost as a fart in the wind”
- “I’m not going to watch this when it airs because I’m probably going to look like one of the stupidest people that the good Lord ever let slide down a birth canal.”
But the truly bad guesses went to Louise.
Louise guessed Elvis Presley and Jim Gaffigan, among others, for a clue about an actor who was in both The Fly and Independence Day.
It took her 48 guesses to get to Jeff Goldblum, the correct answer. She basically had all the stars from the floor stacked up under the game board.
At one point, Louise asked, “Is Uma Thurman a guy?” 🤦
Kevin and Frankie had fun with all of this, joking while the players were inside. About Louise, Kevin said, “I guess she’s not as strong as her sister.” SHADE!
After the game, Logan and Pepper compared notes, pointing out that Lawrence Fishburne’s name was on a star, while their celebrity relatives were not, steering them away from Fishburne as L.C.’s relative.
I think that’s a big mistake on the production’s part; they know the theories floating around the house, and should have not included those guesses, especially in a game that is about connections, not identifying the actual celebrity relative. Perhaps the producers included all of the actual relatives’ names and Logan and Pepper didn’t notice?
By the way, on the episodes provided in advance to media, which were rough cuts, ABC put giant red Xs over the stars on the floor and the incorrect guesses, as if those were spoilers.
The press screeners also put giant red Xs over photos of Simone Biles’ photo at the end—even though the show had already told us who Louise was related to. Oh, Claim to Fame, never change!