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Claim to Fame 2 was really full of shit in this episode! Spoilers ahead

Claim to Fame 2 was really full of shit in this episode! Spoilers ahead
J.R., who revealed his celebrity relative had to poop mid-concert, wears a b.s. pulse monitor while being interrogated by Detective Derek on Claim to Fame 2 episode 6 (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

Welcome to the b.s. episode of Claim to Fame, which had literal and figurative feces filling the hour. The biggest shitstain came at the end of the hour, but let’s not talk about the unmasked moron yet, and start instead with the season 2, episode 6 challenge.

To get information and secure safety, the players had the chance to ask each other questions and then were quizzed on whether they thought the answers were truthful or not.

Last season, Claim to Fame had a similar challenge, but with Silent Polygraph Man operating a polygraph and giving thumbs up or down to answers.

As I wrote about last year, polygraphs don’t work and are basically just pop culture fiction. At best, they measure anxiety, so I kind of wish someone had given me one in 8th grade and then put me on medication. Anyway, I am glad the producers decided to dump the literal polygraph.

In the place of Silent Polygraph Man, this episode used a heart rate monitor and an infrared image of the person being interrogated. Heart rate is one of the physiological measurements used in a polygraph, which, again, are bullshit, so a move in the right direction but not quite abandoning the idea entirely.

While Kevin Jonas’s introduction was cleverly worded so as not to place any value on the measurements (“you will be hooked up to a heart rate monitor and an IR scanner, which means your fellow players will be able to see if your heart starts to race”), it still implied that was important data.

The players ran with it, making definitive statements based on that information: “He’s lying!”; heart rate is “spiking because he’s telling the truth”; “that’s the baseline right there, she’s telling the truth.”

Here’s the thing: I really like this challenge at its core. The entire group discusses what they want to know about one of their fellow players, who cannot hear that conversation. We normally get a lot of side conversations, so forcing them all to discuss together creates an interesting dynamic. Do players use that opportunity to get more information, or keep information they have close to themselves so as to not tip their hand?

Once the group decides, they ask that person questions and hear direct responses. Of course, the person may be lying, but a clever line of questioning might expose inconsistencies or link pieces of information.

The heart rate and infrared video was just unnecessary window-dressing. So, points to the producers for dropping the polygraph, and I hope next year they drop the heart rate nonsense, too.

A person sitting at a table smiling slightly, with their hand on the table; another person is leaning over the table and looking at them. The room is smoky.
During the Claim to Fame 2 episode 6 challenge, Chris is asked questions by other players via Detective Derek (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

I did, however, love the addition of “Detective Derek,” who asked the questions in an absurd caricature of a TV detective. The actor was a hoot, from his questions to the physical comedy (a spit-take, splashing himself in the face with coffee).

Each player was asked 10 questions, but they only showed us a few for each of them:

  • Karsyn: NASCAR racer? (yes), #24 (yes), junior? (no)
  • Chris: Star in Ace Ventura? (no), Teen idol in the 70s? (yes), musician? (yes)
  • J.R.: in the NBA? (no), rapper? (no), name a team your celebrity relative has played for (Miami Heat)
  • Olivia: orange hair? (no), props in their stand-up act? (no)
  • Gabriel: NFL? (yes), Seattle Seahawks? (no), offense or defense? (both), Heisman trophy (yes)
  • Hugo: president in the last 8 years? (no), how old? (98), political party? (Republican party)
  • Monay: hosted a game show? (yes), actor? (yes), on 30 Rock? (um, yes), stand-up comedy? (yes)

I’m curious what kind of limitations, if any, were placed on the questions. So many of the ones we saw were yes/no questions, but then Hugo was asked for his relative’s age. I’d guess they were not able to ask direct questions with names, but asking Olivia about a prop comic is basically asking her if she’s related to Carrot Top.

The players each wrote down whether they thought the interrogated player was telling the truth. With 44 of 60 questions right, Gabriel won.

Those who scored the least were Chris and Olivia.

Three people sit on a couch, looking quizzically off to the left
Monay, Olivia, and Karsyn during Claim to Fame season 2, episode 6 (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

Earlier, Karsyn pointed out that she was “so wrong” about Chris, and they again tried to figure out his clue. This conversation was ridiculous/hilarious because they were trying to figure out if Jim Carrey was indeed a teen idol in the 1970s (what?!) and then Monay said something like, “Jim Carrey was around in the ’60s” (what?!?!).

It is easy to sit in judgment since we have access to Wikipedia. As Chris said, “We have no Internet, I don’t have my phone, I don’t have my wife who knows everything about pop culture.” Still, a tiny bit of thought should make it clear that Jim Carrey, who they’re all talking about as being in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, was not a teen idol. And not in the 1970s. And certainly not in the 1960s!

Elsewhere, Chris told Gabriel about Hugo’s clue, and Gabriel shared about Monay’s clue. Chris really doesn’t know pop culture, saying, “Curb Your Enthusiasm. Is that a show? It’s a TV show?”

Gabriel offered some television criticism, noting that whoever Monay’s relative is, that person is “the token Black character,” because that’s generally the case.

Gabriel and Chris thought the emoji on Hugo’s clue pointed to Donald Trump. Now, yes, Trump does make faces, but silly faces?

J.R. told Monay a story about his relative, saying that the person had to poop in the middle of a game. But J.R. told us the story was really about telling the audience “I have to do the #2” and then, “in the middle of a concert, he ran off the stage.”

So, if you saw those headlines, you now know who J.R. is related to: Lil Nas X. Last fall, he left the stage, and while still on mic, told the crowd, “I’m taking a mean shit.”

Later, Gabriel pulled J.R.’s clue: BIU (with B circled, I italicized, and U underlined) + painter + who + finger pointing right + person using a cane + houses + road

Gabriel figured out the end: old town road, and said, “man, if he’s related to Lil Nas X…” Gabriel now has that critical information, plus Hugo and Monay’s clues.

With Chris potentially in the guess-off, he talked to Hugo, who said “Karsyn’s the one everyone knows, bro.” And everyone “knows” it’s Jeff Gordon.

Chris asked to see Karsyn’s rebus puzzle, and Monay gave it to him. While they both looked at it, again stuck on the emoji faces, Monay figured it out: “nuts.” (In their defense: that is stupid.) “Jane was right from the first day,” Monay said.

Then Chris told Gabriel, “I figured out Hugo” and repeated that. (Was he just covering for Monay, who told him not to reveal where he got the clue? Or was he taking credit?)

Since Chris was unsure, he said his real strategy was to get Olivia to 1) be voted in and 2) guess wrong so 3) she’d be eliminated, removing a player from the game whose relative is unclear. That’s a fascinating strategy. It’s dangerous if everyone knows who you’re related to, and dangerous if they have no idea at all.

Chris tried to convince Olivia that Hugo’s clue pointed to Trump, not Jimmy Carter, even though Olivia pointed out that the clue “board is more Jimmy Carter.”

Olivia, meanwhile, told Hugo Chris has his clue, and said “he thinks it’s Trump.” While Hugo wouldn’t reveal his person to Olivia, she told Hugo her relative was Carrot Top, as everyone suspected, and argued that they should keep her as a safety.

Two people standing with their hands clasped in front of them
Kevin Jonas and Frankie Jonas on Claim to Fame 2 episode 6 (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

Olivia was voted as the guesser, and while Olivia didn’t want to betray Karsyn, she called Karsyn anyway. “Sorry, baby girl,” she said. Karsyn replied, “We all have to do it…I’d rather you send me home than anyone else.”

Olivia guessed Jeff Gordon, and that was wrong, as Karsyn said earlier in the season.

Olivia’s relative was then revealed, even though she’d just revealed it to Hugo—BUT NO! She was not related to Carrot Top!

Instead, Jenny McCarthy’s face appeared on the screen. Olivia said Jenny McCarthy is her aunt, and described Jenny by saying, “She’s an entrepreneur, she’s an actress, she has her own makeup line.”

Olivia forgot that her aunt is also “the face of the anti-vaxx movement”—a movement that not only helped to kill an extra 300,000 or so people from COVID-19, but is helping polio to come back, yay!

So yes, one final whiff of crap in this episode of Claim to Fame.

It was also one in which a lot of information came out, and now it remains to be seen how the players will use it, or if some of them will continue to be hilariously wrong.

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