Claim to Fame was the most-popular broadcast TV show on Monday night last week among people who watched live or on their DVR that night. Of course, many people record shows or stream them on Hulu, so the ratings will change, making those overnight numbers far less useful than they used to be.
Still: it’s remarkable that more people chose to watch Claim to Fame live than The Bachelorette so far this summer.
That may be why ABC booted Claim to Fame back to a 10:01 p.m. start time this week, moving The Bachelorette’s bloated two hours to 8 p.m. Alas.
I say that because The Bachelorette is boring, repetitive, over-produced, time-filling melodrama, and Claim to Fame is fresh and new, and I want more people to be exposed to its awesomeness.
So let’s get to the drama in episode five, which, to be honest, was maybe the least-dramatic episode so far this season. It did bring us the return of a now-classic challenge and perhaps teased drama to come. At the end, Gabriel pointed out that the now-reduced number of players means votes matter more, so “here the war starts.”
As this week’s episode opened, Monay was “still pissed” at Cole for Shayne’s exit, and Cole said he was “nervous.” Monay and Gabriel talked and declared that they had to get Cole out next. As revenge? Or because he’s the easiest pick?
The players discovered that new objects had been added to the clue board, such as a magnifying glass over an ace of hearts, a small keychain with a red lifeguard floatation device, and a sheet of piano music.
The episode then cut to Monay suspecting Cole is related to Alicia Keys, from the sheet of music and the diary, which she thinks refers to Alicia’s song “Diary.”
At that point—and especially later in the episode—I found myself wondering if they’d already figured out Cole long ago. Was he an easy guess like Shayne was, just someone people were keeping around, and the editors withheld that?
The editing has been far less spoilery this year, which I appreciate. So when Monay so clearly offered a suspect, and the new clues backed it up, I immediately thought Cole was in trouble. Why else would we get such clear information?
Other names dropped this episode—but not given attention—were Jim Carrey for Chris and Carrott Top for Olivia, and later, Jim Carrey for Chris, who Olivia thinks looks like Jim Carrey. But more clues were on their way.
Telephone at the former Biggest Loser ranch
For the challenge, the telephone game was back from season one.
In two teams, players had to pass two limericks from one person to the next. The leaders were selected at random, based on a ball draw, and then selected their teams:
- Gabriel chose Chris, Monay, and Cole
- J.R. chose Hugo, Olivia, and Karsyn
The challenge was effectively the same, with the first two people getting phone calls from Kevin Jonas, who read a full limerick, and the last person having to translate the limerick into a series of clues.
Also similar: the editing once again 1) highlighted the part of the limericks that were clues, though without indicating that some clues were fake-outs, and 2) showed us the objects they had to find. Last year, I wished they’d have allowed us to play along, and that didn’t happen.
However, the challenge was improved in that the clues were less-obvious, and it was, well, more challenging.
The teams had to cover much more distance, and they also weren’t able to talk face-to-face at each meeting point. Some clues were delivered and heard via large plastic tubes.
Plus, all of them weren’t packed into a Hollywood Hills mansion but stretched out across a huge estate.
Speaking of! Claim to Fame season two’s location has been so familiar to me, but I just couldn’t place it.
Thankfully, a reality blurred reader identified it: it’s the ranch that hosted The Biggest Loser!
That includes seasons two and three of The Biggest Loser, a show we now know is a giant loser. I’m glad to see the ranch being used for a better show, one that does not send toxic messages into the world.
The game of telephone was easily won by Gabriel’s team, though it took several back-and-forths to get to the answer. Monay, who was first, realized, at last, that “I have to break this down.” Yes! No point in trying to do the full thing if it’ll mean lots of mistakes.
After Chris found all of the limerick’s clues, we got a montage of J.R. search for the final clue, a guitar, set to a rock song that Shazam couldn’t identify for me.
J.R.’s team had a chance to catch up in round two, because the winning team would be determined based on cumulative time. But no, they were very far behind Gabriel’s team.
At one point, perhaps to illustrate how long this was taking, Kevin left for Las Vegas, where he had a concert to perform that night.
As losing team leader, J.R. was in the Guess-Off, and selected Karsyn to join him.
In the pre-Guess-Off strategizing, Chris worried that the conversation about performers in Las Vegas was getting too close to his celebrity, which kept me thinking Donny Osmond is his dad since he and Marie performed there. But Chris also worried about the guess of “David Copperfield” and I’m not sure what to make of that.
Chris also refused to share his clue (for Hugo) with Karsyn, which upset her because she thought they had a clue-sharing deal.
Chris later told Gabriel that his strategy was to tell no one so that he could use that clue as leverage if he was ever at risk of being voted into the Guess-Off. That’s smart play, I think—though he then offered winning team leader Gabriel a clue-swap. So, what’s the play there?
Monay, meanwhile, wanted Gabriel to pull her clue, which is a heck of an argument. Her strategy, she told us, was “so no one else can get” and said she thinks she can “trust him enough.”
Gabriel did choose Monay’s clue, and figured out the rebus puzzle faster than anyone we’ve seen all season—and more accurately, too, I think.
It was a calendar with Saturday + a moon with Zs + satellite + & + a car with one wheel up on a block + a finger pointing at the viewer + a person with their hands raised + a smiling mask.
Gabriel translated that as “Saturday Night Live and Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and the editors went ahead and finished it for us: “comedian.” I do not know how they get “comedian” from a smiling mask. I mean, there are the comedy and drama masks, sure, but “comedian”?
The group voted Karsyn in as the guesser, and she chose Cole. Another easy choice?
Her guess of Alicia Keys was correct, and Karsyn said the telephone “the keys in our limerick challenge kind of really solidified it for me”—suggesting she suspected before then, but got even more confirmation from the new clue wall and challenge.
Alicia Keys appeared via video to talk to her brother, Cole, who called Alicia his “rock” and best friend. Alicia said, in part, “you always leave your mark everywhere you go; I’m proud of you for stepping outside of your comfort zone and staking your claim to fame.”
At the end of the episode, Monay said going after Cole was “not really a revenge thing,” but revealed that Shayne wrote in her notebook, “Cole next.” So who’s next after Cole?