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Claim to Fame 2: Are Chris & Monay still mysteries? Did betrayal = bro bifurcation?

Claim to Fame 2: Are Chris & Monay still mysteries? Did betrayal = bro bifurcation?
Chris and Gabriel at the Claim to Fame 2 episode 8 challenge, before they made up after their fight (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

Claim to Fame 2 has just five players left, and the game is getting more personal, even as there are fewer unknowns and few spoilers left in the game.

The defining event of episode eight was not Kevin Jonas taking the night off and abandoning his brother Franklin, who had to host alone, but a quarrel between bros, fallout from last week’s episode.

A person with curly hair wearing a sweater and a coat over it, smiling at the camera
Franklin Jonas hosted Claim to Fame season 2 episode 8 solo, as his brother Kevin Jonas was absent (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

Chris told us “I messed up,” saying he betrayed his BFF and ally Gabriel by sharing his clue with Karsyn, “knowing she was going to take it home with her.” Oops, Karsyn didn’t go home.

Now, Chris said, “the guy he’s trusted” has “just betrayed him,” and “I need to tell him before he finds out from someone else.”

That conversation did not go well.

Gabriel, annoyed, immediately said, “I knew you showed it to her” and added, “don’t underestimate me.” While Gabriel insisted “I’m not mad at it; you owe me no loyalty,” his words betrayed him: “I’m watching the pattern of character; you’re obviously guilty.”

Hands were waved after Chris stormed off and then came back; voices were raised; voices told other voices to simmer down now. Then Gabriel twisted the knife: “you’re probably not used to being called out because you’ve probably been pampered, buddy.”

Chris did not take this well, calling it “insensitive” and then leaving. “It’s fucked up.”

In an interview, Chris told us, “some people take it a little more personal.” Obviously, he’s taking it personally; I didn’t notice because I was too busy screaming at yet another reality TV star for using “personal” instead of “personally.”

Chris’s competitors may not know who Donny Osmond is or what he looks like, but Chris does not know adverbs.

Later, though, they made up, in a scene with more heart and humanity than your average Bachelor/ette season. Gabriel asked Chris, “Did I apologize? I’m sorry about that bro.” He continued, “No, for real. Bro, I was thinking fully with my heart and not with my head, bro. And the truth is, I think my feelings was hurt. Sorry. For real.”

“That sucks. I get it,” Chris said. “I’m sorry, too.” If you need to take a break from this recap to wipe your eyes, I understand.

Two people dashing and smiling; one has his hands in his pockets and the other has his arm outstretched, as if to block the other person
Lil Nas X’s brother J.R. and Donny Osmond’s son Chris run for a star with the answer a trivia question during Claim to Fame 2 episode 8’s challenge (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

For the challenge, five players headed to a dirt field for the challenge, which was covered with 120 stars, each with a celebrity name.

Franklin “I get to finally have my moment in the spotlight” Jonas hosted this—and later the guess-off—all by himself, after faking a phone call with his brother.

I didn’t fully grasp the challenge from Franklin’s description, even when he described it as a mix of trivia and musical chairs.

But once it started, it made sense: Franklin asked a trivia question, and everyone ran to find a star with the answer.

What I didn’t understand initially was that there were multiple stars with the same names. In each round, there were five stars with the correct answer for the first question, and then four, then three, and so on. Depending upon who got a question right or wrong, there’d eventually be fewer answers than players, so players had to find the correct answer before at least one other player.

A person holding a gold card that says Nicki Minaj
Monay won four of five rounds of Claim to Fame 2’s trivia challenge (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

This was almost entirely the Monay show, as she kicked ass, winning four of the five rounds:

  1. Karsyn won a clue connecting Danica Patrick to her relative, which said he was on her podcast
  2. Monay won a clue connecting Keenan Thompson to Gabriel, whose relative was on All That
  3. Monay won a clue connecting Jake Gyllenhall to her relative, who was in Spider-Man: Far From Home
  4. Monay won a clue connecting J.R.’s relative to the Nicki Minaj fan page Nasamaraj, which 1) basically gives the name of his relative away and 2) was misspelled on screen, as it’s @nasmaraj, and 3) why call it a “fan page” when it was a Twitter account?
  5. Monay won a clue connecting Chris’s relative to Derek Hough, but the clue was a vague connection, that Chris’s relative won Dancing with the Stars season 9, which Derek was also on

The most-interesting part of the challenge to me were the players realizing that the chain of celebrity names were likely leading to their own relative—though Monay thought that about Keenan Thompson, but instead received Gabriel’s clue.

Gabriel said Monay is “the biggest threat in this house.” However, she was immune, and he was not. Gabriel and J.R. had the worst performance, so they ended up in the bottom two.

My favorite moment of the episode besides Gabriel and Chris’s bromance was Monay’s Dancing with the Stars commentary: “people use that to kind of help them regain their celebrity status,” she told other players. In an interview, she said “no shade” and then described it as a platform for people whose careers had plateaued.

Lots of shade there, but totally accurate shade! I hope ABC uses those quotations to advertise the new season.

No one has any idea who was on Dancing with the Stars, or who won a season, so that has not helped them get closer to identifying Donny Osmond as Chris’s father. Karsyn said, “I’m stuck between Prince and Billy Idol.”

Monay asked J.R. if “you want to take the Billy Idol shot,” and J.R. was like LOL NOPE. “We’ll have to see. I really don’t know,” he told Karsyn and Monay, who wanted him to guess Billy Idol for Chris, though it seemed like J.R. might choose Karsyn, who’s a safer bet.

Yet guess Billy Idol was exactly what J.R. did. Perhaps he realized he has bad instincts, like when Monay reasoned that Gabriel could be related to “Nick Cannon” and J.R. said “no.”

A person standing outside at night, smiling, with bushes and red flowers behind him
J.R. is revealed to be Robert Lamar Stafford Jr., Lil Nas X’s brother, on Claim to Fame 2 episode 8 (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

The other three players voted J.R. as the guesser, and after some grunting, J.R. called out Chris, again. “Might as well take a shot,” he said. “Just wingin’ it, bro,” he told Chris.

Billy Idol was, of course, wrong. J.R.’s relative was revealed as Lil Nas X, which surprised only Franklin.

“This is my annoying big brother Robert,” Lil Nas X said in a video. J.R. got emotional, and said that not only has his brother taught him about the LGBTQ community, “he’s taught me just be yourself no matter what people think about you—just be yourself, you know? Just know I’m not crying—it’s the rain.”

In the post-Guess Off confessional, Chris was somewhat smug and then downright cocky.

“I am the roach they can’t get rid of,” he said. “I’m invincible.” With that kind of confidence, I’d think his streak will be broken during the next episode (a two-hour finale Aug. 28), yet I also am not sure what clue will help the other players guess Donny Osmond, unless Donny Osmond himself flies a plane across the challenge field towing a banner that says “I AM DONNY OSMOND – CHRIS IS MY SON.”

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Happy discussing!

Bad Mitten

Friday 18th of August 2023

If the finale is similar to last season, with the eliminated contestants returning, I wouldnt be surprised if Jane learns from her incorrect guess of Elvis and realizes it is Donny Osmond

Bad Mitten

Friday 18th of August 2023

They did a similar challenge last season (degrees of separation). Last season each player individually ran through the house one by one looking for the star to answer the trivia question. I think the modification this season (to having it be a knock-out style challenge) was an improvement.

Bad Mitten

Friday 18th of August 2023

"Gabriel said Monay is “the biggest threat in this house.” However, she was immune, and he was not. Gabriel and J.R. had the worst performance, so they ended up in the bottom two. The house voted"

- Clean it up Andy lol

Andy Dehnart

Thursday 24th of August 2023

As you've noticed by now, starting sentences and not finishing them is one of my quirks. I just don't notice them as I read through. My brain must think the thought is complete? 😂 I do appreciate you pointing them out, though!


Tuesday 15th of August 2023

At this point, I think Monay is going to win. I think everyone knows Dale Earnhardt Jr and Nick Cannon. But JR is the only one who even mentioned Donny Osmond even though everyone dismissed it, but at least that name is out there. I don’t recall anybody having said JB Smoove’s name at all.

For what it’s worth, even if I had all of Monay’s clues, I still would not have guessed that being her relative. To me he’s more of a “hey, it’s that guy!” actor.

I didn’t watch season one so I have no idea how the finale plays out. What if you have two contestants whose relative nobody knows?

Bad Mitten

Friday 18th of August 2023

@Michael, Where are you getting the impression that everyone in the house knows nick cannon? The name got thrown out there, but they also threw out Kel Mitchell, so I'm not convinced they "know" 100% he's related to nick cannon


Wednesday 16th of August 2023

@Michael, when did he mention Donny Osmond? In what context?

Andy Dehnart

Tuesday 15th of August 2023

That’s basically what happened last season. Without revealing details (you should watch!), two of the final three were basically unknown, but the combination of VERY revealing clues and having the rest of the cast re-join the house helped them figure things out.


Tuesday 15th of August 2023

They have guessed two British singers in a row. They know he is from Utah. Monay is way better than that. I'm picturing an old school Big Brother banner plane.