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Claim to Fame’s final four get clues confirmed in a challenge

Claim to Fame’s final four get clues confirmed in a challenge
Claim to Fame season 1's final four: Lark, Pepper, L.C., and Logan. (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

Going into what ABC is calling “the two-night finale event” of Claim to Fame, I was—to quote Logan—“as excited as a fat pig in a mud puddle,” mostly because I just didn’t know what was going to happen.

There are so few new network reality TV competition formats, and when there are, few work well enough for me to make it to the end of a season—if they make it to the end of their first season!—that it feels special to be in this place.

How would the show go from four finalists, Lark, L.C., Logan, and Pepper, to a winner? How would they navigate their way to the finale?

The answer for Monday’s episode was: pretty much the same way as every other episode. Tonight’s finale (yes, on Tuesday! 10 p.m.!) looks like it’ll be the more twisty one, bringing back the former players for some time in the mansion with the final three.

While I think we have pretty clear ideas about all four relatives now, thanks to the show giving away most of them, it’s fascinating that the players are still analyzing those first introductory clues, the two truths and a lie. Lark, for example, wondered if L.C.’s “could be a female relative,” which Logan dismissed (“I don’t think so”) even though he really should think so.

As tends to happen in most strategic games, we saw the emotional toll of playing with and against other people who they’ve connected with.

“It’s really weighing on me, because in life I am very trustworthy, and I think I am a really good friend,” L.C. told us, after arriving at breakfast and telling Logan and Lark: “I’m just falling apart.”

Still, L.C. has her sights set on $100,000, and was ready to send Lark home. “I know she’s my next target because she has to be,” L.C. said.

While there was quite a bit of clunky frankenbiting in those opening scenes, there was also some additional confirmation.

“The only name that I was thinking was Cindy Crawford, but that was a reach” L.C. said, but the reality TV Cymbals of Confirmation told us that she was actually right.

Meanwhile, Logan thought Pepper is related to Dean Martin, calling it “the only option we have.” Claim to Fame gave him some confirmation in this week’s challenge.

Kevin and Frankie Jonas introduce the final Claim to Fame challenge during episode 9
Kevin and Frankie Jonas introduce the final Claim to Fame challenge during episode 9. (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

The challenge was basically a clue quiz—but also an opportunity to test theories, which the players quickly realized. “Hopefully I can get some good leads,” Pepper told us.

Each player had to match four clues for each of the other three players’ relatives. Those 12 clues fit into four categories: “also known as,” careers, celebrity romance, and TV appearances.

They had five minutes to place tiles with answers, and could check once to see if they were right or wrong. The player with the most points won the challenge, which in this case only meant retrieving the final clue, and since this is the penultimate episode, meant there was just one clue left: L.C.’s.

Because this is Claim to Fame, and it cannot stop spilling its secrets, we were told the answers to the challenge before it even began. As Frankie and Kevin gave the rules of the challenge, the game board showed us the four answers for each category. Sigh.

For those who didn’t get the answers, parts of the challenge were potentially quite helpful. The “also known as” category was particularly powerful. As Pepper said, “this is the first time that names or nicknames for our celebrities are revealed, if we guess them correctly.”

As we’ve seen all season, these clues were of varying degrees of helpfulness and specificity: Pepper’s relatives nickname was revealed as “Dino”—a pretty clear giveaway, or at least confirmation of Dean Martin—while Logan’s was just “the rock n’ roll cowboy,” which is a lot less specific unless you know Jason Aldean has a song called that.

L.C. wasn’t playing, taking her shoes off and tapping her TMZ knowledge, and it worked: she got nine out of 12, making her the winner—and thus protecting her own clue, the last remaining one. That was her only reward; I guess the show doesn’t have the budget to give her a gift card to TMZ Prime or something.

After the challenge, we saw Pepper’s fascinating strategy of lying to Logan and L.C. about her confirmed right answers. She told them Lark’s relative dated Drake and was on The Surreal Life. “My thing that said Drake was correct,” Pepper said.

But L.C. couldn’t be gaslit: “I got [Lark’s] full board” correct, L.C. told them.

As it turned out, Pepper was not strategizing nor gaslighting—she was just convinced she was right even though she was not, a thing I know nothing about because it’s certainly never happened to me, never not once.

“I feel like I’ve got a pretty good semi-photographic memory,” Pepper said, and the editing kept cutting to the wrong answers.

Pepper and Lark hug after Pepper successfully identified Cindy Crawford as Lark's aunt during Claim to Fame's penultimate episode
Pepper and Lark hug after Pepper successfully identified Cindy Crawford as Lark’s aunt during Claim to Fame’s penultimate episode. (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

With no bottom two, and everyone voting, the power couple of L.C. and Logan decided to align with Pepper. L.C. told them both that Lark’s relative was Cindy Crawford, based on both the challenge clues and the others from the season.

Lark was on to this. “That duo just scares me, and they’ve done so well,” she said. “I respect them so much. It’s just like, obviously, for me, it sucks.”

This last-minute strategizing occurred when Logan tried to talk with Pepper without Lark knowing, leading to a hilariously convoluted description of his plan. “I obviously have very little experience hiding women in my bedroom,” he said, and that is something I did NOT guess.

At the Guess Off, Pepper was chosen as the guesser, and even voted for herself. It’s rare that people can vote for themselves on reality competitions, but also makes sense here, because the guesser really does have all the power in the moment—though that power comes with vulnerability.

Pepper chose Lark, saying “I’m not 100 percent confident which can be really scary up here.” She told us “I trusted L.C. instead of my gut,” because she was still convinced Lark is related to Martha Stewart.

But Pepper went with Cindy Crawford, and told us that L.C. “literally saved me.”

Lark revealed herself as Cindy Crawford’s niece; the supermodel and actor is Lark’s mother’s sister. She also revealed herself to be a gracious player.

“I’m just so lucky to have her in my life, and I’m lucky to have you guys in my life, and for this experience,” Lark said as she exited. “And I’m so proud of you guys for making it this far.”

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


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