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  • Writer's pictureOWEN KWET

“The Traitors” casting choices warrant hype

Graphic by: LJ VP LaFiura

If you are looking for a reality show that will have you on the edge of your seat and put you in a good mood, then log onto Peacock and search for The Traitors. There is truly no other show as suspenseful, witty, humorous, and captivating as this one.

For those who don’t know how this show works, it is a reality television competition show hosted by Scottish actor Alan Cumming that is set up similar to the game of Mafia, or Werewolf if you grew up with that version, except it takes place in Ardross Castle in Scotland. 

A handful of players are secretly selected to become “Traitors” and everyone else are “Faithfuls”. The job of the Traitors is to eliminate (or murder, but not actually) the Faithfuls, and the job of the Faithfuls is to catch the Traitors by a banishment vote. Both groups will also compete in missions to build up a cash pot that could grow up to $250,000. 

Once only four players, Traitors or Faithfuls are left, the group can decide to end the game, or banish another player. If the group ends the game and there are no Traitors left, the remaining Faithfuls will split the entire cash pot. But if any Traitors are still standing, they will steal all the money. It is truly a game of deception, teamwork, investigation, and betrayal. There is no telling which side will come out victorious because the show keeps the audience asking for more every week.

After a good first season in my opinion, the second season certainly delivered with the twists and turns. Player after player were either murdered by the Traitors or banished by everyone at the roundtable, which is essentially the gathering point for eliminations. 

The three original traitors were Big Brother champion Dan Gheesling, The Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Phaedra Parks, and Survivor legend Parvati Shallow. After getting rid of a few famous faces, including The Challenge veteran Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio and RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Star Peppermint, the craziness was turned up to a twelve. There was a “murder” in plain sight orchestrated by Shallow, as she poisoned Love Island UK star Ekin-Su Culculoglu in front of everybody and narrowly got away with it. Then, Gheesling’s old rival Janelle Pierzena selfishly went for shield after shield but still falling victim to banishment. Gheesling was not a good traitor to say the least, especially after his last-desperation move to oust his fellow traitor Parks, to no avail.

The Bachelor star Peter Weber commanded his faithful crew to glory, only for most of them to be murdered eventually, all except for Trishelle Cannatella of The Challenge. The grand prize was totalled at $208,100, which was certainly a prize worth fighting for. 

The ending was unlike anything I had ever seen. Three faithfuls remained, Tamburello, Cannatella, and MJ Javid. They had just gotten rid of Chastain, who was the last remaining traitor, and they were lined up for victory. Everyone but Javid was certain that they were all faithful and would split the pot.

After a three way tiebreaker vote, Javid was banished without any winnings. Then, The Challenge vets took home the entire prize pot, in a pretty exciting finish to a pretty exciting season.

There were twenty-two phenomenal characters that made this season work. Some of my favorites included Parks, whose one-liners became TV comedy gold. Parks played like a champ and didn’t let anybody spoil the poise and confidence she had. 

Shallow gave us some fun memories as a traitor, even when she was unable to fool anyone into thinking she was a faithful, not even former Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow. Bercow was one of my picks to go far, just because of how willing he was as a 60 year old man to go for broke getting rid of traitors left and right. I also loved Survivor legend Sandra Diaz-Twine, as her play emulated her legend status. She always followed her intuition and stayed true to herself throughout. 

Gheesling was not meant to be a traitor in my eyes, his quietness and his reputation as a sneaky player caused him to go out at the fifth banishment. 

Javid just played an awful game and did not see that Parks was a traitor until late in the game. The same goes for fellow housewife and Parks’s best friend Sheree Whitfield, who maybe could’ve had a little more screen time. Two other housewives, Tamra Judge and Larsa Pippen, didn’t really have much of an impact on my viewing.  Pierzina was a selfish maniac at times, once again proving how villainous she can be when on camera.

All of this to say that The Traitors knows how to cast people to get the drama that they want. This season was the pinnacle of what proper casting can do for a show.

Having reality TV icons going against each other was fun to watch, and I cannot wait for more murders, banishments, missions, stars, roundtables, twists, and of course, Cumming’s poised and fabulous wardrobe.


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