Let’s Make a Mole!

Well folks we’re two weeks into Celebrity Mole Hawaii. And while it is still too early to be sure of identity of The Mole, one thing is perfectly clear; somewhere Fran Tarkenton is breathing a sigh of relief. Why? Because Ahmad Rashad has knocked him out of the #1 spot on the “Worst Reality TV Host Ever To Play for the Minnesota Vikings” rankings. You’ll recall that twenty years ago, Mr. Tarkenton was one of the three hosts of the very popular That’s Incredible Reality show on ABC. Fran used his TI stardom as a stepping-stone to a lucrative career in Infomercials. Who can forget his riveting screen presence in the Guthy-Renker “Think and Grow Rich” advertisements? Now, I’ve been thinking off and on my whole life, but I don’t have an extra dime to show for it. Clearly, I’m not doing it right. But I digress. Ahmad, you should be expecting that call from the Guthy-Renker people any time now.

This week’s show opens with our celebrities each giving a confessional from their hotel rooms. All we really learn here is that when she’s alone, Frederique likes to speak Dutch. It seems our former Victoria’s Secret model didn’t get the memo explaining that the confessional footage would be shown to an American audience. Now, I’m not Dutch, but I’m pretty sure she was saying something along the lines of “I cannot find my bread baggage.” Are you sure you’re Dutch, Frederique? Oh, we also learn the fun little fact that Kathy enjoys executing Stephen Baldwin in her head all day.

With the confessionals out of the way, we shift to breakfast. Stephen, ever the little scamp, decides that this is the perfect time to repeatedly smack Kathy in the face like a pesky older brother. I’m sure he also went through the whole “I’m not touching you” routine, but as you know, portions of the filming that don’t affect the outcome of the show are edited out due to time constraints. For Stephen’s sake, the producers saw fit to switch Kathy over to decaf before she decided that executing him in her head just wasn’t good enough anymore. Apparently their research showed that a dead Baldwin wouldn’t go over well with the key female 25-35 demographic. Good old Stephen quickly tires of taunting Kathy, and decides it would be more fun to swipe Corbin’s notebook and run around the breakfast table in a game of keep-away – the little rascal. Predictably, Corbin doesn’t take kindly to little Stevie’s antics. He easily retrieves his notebook and punches Stephen, throwing in “That’s for Kathy!” Apparently Corbin is the good big brother. As Stephen and Corbin head off for the first game, Kathy tells Frederique “I think one is eleven and one is twelve-and-a-half.” Kathy, if you aren’t talking about their emotional ages, I think you’re giving them way too much credit, hon.

First up is the Jobs game. Our celebs will break into three different jobs - lifeguard, short-order cook, and flight attendant. Each job will have a task associated with it, and each person with a different job will secretly vote on whether or not they think a celeb will successfully complete their task. Each correct guess will be worth $1,000, so they have the potential to add $24,000 to the $50,000 they earned last week.

First up are Stephen and Corbin. They will take turns riding in a biplane. Their job will be to wipe off the black goop which is covering the instrument panel – while the pilot is performing aerial stunts. Stephen has no problem completing the task. “It was a rush,” he proclaims. Stephen is so hopped up all the time that one wonders how he could tell if it really had been a rush or not, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Next to take the plunge are Erik and Michael as lifeguards, where they learn that they will each have five minutes to jump off a forty foot cliff into the ocean. However, since this is Celebrity Mole Hawaii, they don’t have to figure out the timing of the waves on their own; they have a local wave expert there to tell them when they should jump. I can’t help wondering where this guy was when Steve McQueen needed him in Papillion. Young Erik doesn’t need anything close to the allotted five minutes, and he makes the jump in a brisk eighteen seconds. For the second week in a row, Michael informs us that before leaving for Hawaii, his wife gave him clear instructions on what he could and could not do. We learn that jumping off high places was on the verboten list “because I could lean back and snap my neck” he tells us. Michael, if your wife tells you everything you can and can’t do, then maybe you might want to think about making that lean, big guy. Michael’s time ticks down to zero, and he fails to make the jump.

Finally, we have our short-order cooks, Kathy and Frederique. Their job will be to walk across hot lava rocks to retrieve a roasted chicken, and then return it to Ahmad. The catch? They have to do it barefoot. We’re given a view of three (why three?) chickens roasting on a metal grate over the hot lava rocks, and I’m sure we’re supposed to believe that they were cooked by the heat from the lava, but I’m not buying it. Kathy slowly and methodically makes her way over the rocks, with a grimace and an “ouch” every step of the way. Well, at least every step of the way until she gets to the chicken, where, as with the cliff guide, our celebrities get a break, and there just happens to be a cool, refreshing puddle of water next to the chicken. After a brief pause to cool her heels, Kathy successfully makes her way back to Ahmad, her roasted chicken safely in tow. Frederique also completes the task, though with much more ease than Kathy. Our Dutch supermodel has the brains to understand that the faster you move across hot lava rocks, the less time your feet are going to be in contact with them, and with less contact comes less heat, and with less heat comes less pain. Or maybe the director just told her to run across the rocks really fast so we could watch her breasts jiggle pleasantly. You decide. But at the risk of swaying your decision, I’d like to point out that rather than choosing to watch the lifeguards leap or the flight attendants attend, Ahmad is here, hanging with the ladies.

Finally, the team regroups with Ahmad to find out how everyone voted and determine how much cash they’ll get to add to the pot. But wait! Where the heck was Corbin’s flight? Did we miss something? Nope. Amiable Ahmad informs us that due to bad weather, Corbin’s task was cancelled. All Corbin has to do is tell us whether or not he would have completed the task, and to the surprise of no one, he says he would have been successful. When all is said and done, the team adds $17,000 to the pot. There was $4,000 lost when everyone incorrectly predicted Michael would be successful, and another $2,000 down the drain because Corbin and Stephen thought that Kathy would chicken out. Corbin’s reasoning for why Erik would make the leap was classic. To paraphrase: “Because he’s young and doesn’t understand the concept of death yet.” Frankly, from what I’ve seen so far I’m still trying to figure out if Erik understands the concept of speech yet. Several of our celebs confess to us that Michael’s performance is suspect, and he could be The Mole. Ooooh.

Next, our merry band of celebrities is whisked off to the location of the next game on a jet boat. Feisty young Erik clearly loves the ride, but Kathy reveals to us that she quickly started feeling nauseous. “I had to use Michael as my horizon. I’m sure he thinks that either I think he’s The Mole or that I’m really attracted to him.” Not to worry, Kathy, I’m sure that Mrs. Boatman included you in that list of things Michael can’t do.

The next game is called Underwater Charades. Under cover of darkness, Corbin and Michael will be SCUBA diving outside a submarine lamely named “Das Mole”. Inside the sub will be Stephen and Frederique. Corbin and Michael will take turns playing Charades, trying to communicate the names of five movies or television shows to the pair inside the sub, who watches through a portal. Our Baldwin and our Supermodel (why does that sound so much more appealing than it actually is?) will then relay the answers to Kathy and Erik, who are back on dry land in a “graveyard.” The tombstones in this particular cemetery all have the names of actors that appeared in the movies and television shows that will be acted out by Corbin and Michael. When our gravediggers receive an answer from the sub, it will be up to them to figure out what actor’s character died in that film (or television show), dig up their coffin, and then have the divers proceed to the next clue. They will have fifteen minutes to dig up five coffins. Four of the coffins contain only bones, but one will hold a cool $25,000. If they succeed in retrieving all the coffins, they are guaranteed the cash. Hmm, perhaps Ahmad isn’t such a bad host after all; he didn’t seem to have nearly as much trouble explaining this game as I did. Okay, on with the game.
Michael attempts to describe the first clue. Our sub crew manages to figure out that it is a film with four words. They only manage to get the second syllable of the first word (“ou” for those of you playing at home), before becoming frustrated and moving on to Corbin’s turn. Good old Corb is a crackerjack Charades player, and he quickly conveys Pearl Harbor to the team. Information in hand, Kathy and Erik struggle briefly to remember if it was Ben Affleck or Josh Hartnett that died in that film. They correctly settle on Hartnett and quickly uncover his coffin. As they are pulling it out of the ground, Erik inadvertently lifts the lid of the coffin and later reveals to Kathy that there was no money it in, just bones.

The team quickly moves through What Lies Beneath (Harrison Ford), South Park (“Who Killed Kenny?” Erik asks, in perfect South Park voice), before returning to the first clue, which turns out to be Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Chow Yun Fat.) Four coffins down, one to go. But our intrepid group is nearly out of time. From Michael’s clues, Stephen figures out that the last clue is a movie, two words, second word “Beauty.” As we see time ticking away, he gets the first syllable of the first word “Am”. “Amelie!” cries Stephen as time expires. Corbin will later confess to us that clearly, Stephen is The Mole, because he appeared in The Usual Suspects with Kevin Spacey, who starred in American Beauty, the correct answer. Corby, if I ever play a game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, I want you on my team.

Our merry band reconvenes at the cemetery. Ahmad opens up the coffins of Harrison Ford and Kenny, revealing only bones. Suddenly, our host gets this blank look on his face, and his demeanor changes. “Folks, I’ve got a deal for you. We know that there is $25,000 hidden in one of the remaining three coffins. But you only get to open the two up dug up. I’m willing to give you $5,000 right now if you chose not to open the two you have left. Or $5 to the first woman that can bring me a bobby pin from her purse.” Ohmigosh! Ahmad is channeling Let’s Make a Deal host Monty Hall!!! This revelation doesn’t seem to phase our heroes, and after a brief discussion, they turn down the offer in favor of what’s behind Coffin Number Three. But wait, Monty is still with us. He offers the group $10,000 not to open the final coffin. Kathy recalls for us that this is the one that Erik told her only had bones in it. Yet Erik tells the team “It felt heavier, it could have the money.” Kathy gives him a classic “You ARE the Mole, glare” but says nothing of his deception to the others. Corbin pulls another brilliant nugget from…somewhere. “Pearl Harbor is in Hawaii. We’re in Hawaii. The money’s in the coffin.” For some reason, that makes sense to the rest of the group, so they turn down Monty’s offer and choose what’s behind Coffin Number Four. Oooh, sorry. The correct answer was “Kevin Spacey.” Wait a minute; I was channeling Alex Trebeck for a moment. I hate it when that happens.

We reach the dinner portion of our show. Ahmad is back to his good old friendly self, or is he? He offers to give our celebrities $25,000 if they can unanimously vote to grant The Exemption to one of the group. The twist is, if they fail to come up with a unanimous decision, they will lose $25,000. They have thirty minutes to decide. Initially, it appears that things will go smoothly. Corbin says that he will vote for Erik, because Erik is hard to figure out, and removing him from consideration will make things easier. Whatever. Mezmerized by this “logic”, the other five members of the group quickly agree, but Corbin suddenly changes his tune. “I’ll only vote for myself.” Apparently liking this idea, Stephen changes his vote, claiming that he too will only vote for himself. And to one-up Corbin, he’s willing to make a personal wager of $25,000 with anyone who thinks he won’t do it. Sit down Stephen; the others can’t borrow money from their brother Alec. When time runs out, the group is at an impasse and $25,000 is taken from the pot.

At last we reach the quiz, and as the music swells to a climactic note, Stephen Baldwin becomes the second individual executed from Celebrity Mole Hawaii. If you listened closely, you could hear an ABC exec in the background muttering something under his breath about losing that key demographic I mentioned earlier. Stephen, we hardly knew you. Not that that’s a bad thing.

We’re treated to Stephen telling us that he’s sorry to go, because being on Celebrity Mole Hawaii was the most fun he’s ever had. This comment cements his lunacy in my mind. I mean the man got to make out with Kristy Swanson in Zebra Lounge for goodness sake. How could anything be more fun than that?

As our insane Baldwin brother is leaving, (surprisingly, in a limo rather than a van filled with men in white coats) we’re treated to the traditional fallen comrade comments from the others. Thankfully, Kathy breaks from the typical “He-was-such-a-great-guy-I’m-really-going-to-miss-him” speech we’re expecting. “He was a bleep. What a bleep-bleep.” Okay, she didn’t actually say “bleep”, but ABC has figured out that the audience can read lips. So in addition to the bleeps, they borrowed technology CBS pioneered back in the original Survivor show, strategically placing the patented “Richard Hatch Blur” over Kathy’s mouth. Damn them!

So, two episodes are complete. Who is The Mole? Is it Michael, who failed his task and was horrible at Charades? Is it Erik, who duped the team into losing $10,000? Is it Corbin, who cost the team not only the chance an additional $25,000, but actually managed to lose $25,000 they already had? I don’t know. I’m too preoccupied with the horrible certainty that in 20 years I’m going turn on a Reality TV show and find that it is being hosted by Randy Moss.

Until next time, may you think and grow rich.

Care to comment on this recap? Email wayner@fansofrealitytv.com