FORT Smack-A-Mole Week 5

Welcome back, Mole fans. There is a force at work which is preventing Mole Recapper IguanaChocolate and me from being able to commune with other FORT Mole fans while the show is airing. That force is The Bachelorette, and its horde of fans who clog up the website and keep us from being able to log on. Yes folks, The Bachelorette is the Mole, and it is sabotaging us from being able to have live show threads with any participation. Luckily next week is the finale of the Bachelorette, yet the Mole will continue on for a couple more weeks. We might actually be able to discuss the show on Mondays after DeAnna and her new fiancé have sashayed off into the sunset. By the way, my prediction is Jason, but my daughter is rooting for Jesse. Yes, a second generation of reality tv internet predictors in the making.

Inspired by the very awesome Best Week Ever show’s Reality TV Bachelor, I’m awarding roses and other prizes from other well-known reality tv shows this week for our remaining Mole contestants.

Nicole, Will You Accept This Rose?

Of course Nicole would not be on the receiving end of a rose because she would be handing them out. Nicole is now The Bachelorette: the lone female character surrounded by a bunch of men. Nicole has been known to throw out a tantrum (or a deliver a death threat) if things aren’t going her way, but even she is unlikely to cuss out Clay, Craig, Paul, Mark and Alex for not paying enough attention to her at a pool party. Look at ME ME ME!!! Oh sorry, I was channeling DeAnna (and Trista) for a minute. I am surprised that Nicole is the last woman standing because I thought that Kristen was close to figuring it out, but apparently playing the field is a better strategy for folks this season. What a sneaky Mole we have. Nicole gets the Bachelor / Bachelorette rose prize for being the last woman standing and for having to put up with all of those guys and their rotting fruit companions by herself.

This Immunity Necklace is for You

Craig doesn’t strike me as someone who would do well on Survivor, but this week he takes the Survivor Immunity Necklace by earning the only exemption. He had the first shot of the exemption in the first challenge, but wisely passed it up, knowing that whoever took that would be hated by all left in the cold. It was still a little cold that he went for the exemption in the second challenge by picking humiliating and impossible modes of transportation for his companions, especially after they had rallied together and let him out of the cold first in the prior challenge. That’s called out-playing, I guess, and most of his companions later conceded that they would have likely made the same choices. This way Craig can still salvage some of his popularity with the group. He is a very charming guy, but he’d better hope he keeps winning exemptions because I think it’s very unlikely he’s the Mole.

The Hell’s Kitchen Potty Mouth

I had a hard time picking a reality tv show award for Paul. I’d considered the Biggest Loser based purely on personality, but that was too cold. Because Paul seems to like words that only Gordon Ramsey would appreciate, we’ll award him a shot at working for Gordo for a year and getting yelled at all the time by one of the best. The best comparison I had for Paul was not a reality show, but instead the movie Castaway where Tom Hanks gets stranded on a desert island and talks to a soccer ball that he names Wilson to stay sane. Paul is with a group people, not isolated, but has still painted a face on a lemon and named him Lemonhead and has meaningful conversations with his fruit friend. I’d say that it was also an effort to stay sane, but that horse has already left the barn. Paul is clearly projecting a personality, but whether it is a cover to distract from his real role as the Mole remains to be seen. He’s more likely just a nutter.

Head of Household

From what I’ve gathered, Mark, Paul and Clay are all parents, but Mark was this week’s Big Brother “Head of Household”. Marked seemed the most focused on his family and talked about missing them this week. Well, that and how he misses his most recent lost love, his journal (my precious!) that got burned up in the last episode. Like Big Brother’s HOH, Mark was in a position of authority this episode. In the first challenge, Mark was the last man standing in the handcuff challenge and had the opportunity to take the exemption without leaving anyone to spend the night in the cold. People had left Mark for last, knowing that would be the most likely position for someone to take the exemption with the least consequences. His drive to build the pot was stronger than his pull for the exemption, however, and he left it behind. In the second challenge, Mark was the driving force behind the challenge mutiny. As a competitive runner, he knew the challenge was impossible, but he did seem rather adamant that no-one should try (even though Alex seemed a little too eager to dress up like a conquistador). When Mark isn’t moping about his lost journal, he seems rather influential, like a father-figure. Like any good Dad, I don’t think Mark is our saboteur. He’s just a guy too likely to wear 1970s short shorts with tall socks and do other embarrassing things when out with the kids.

The People’s Court

Attorney Clay gave Paul and everyone else in Van 1 a taste of his trial skills by pointing out that Paul is uneducated, incompetent, and a moron (a title I’d given Paul in my Week 2 column). Clay got Paul riled up enough that Paul couldn’t compose a coherent sentence. That is some powerful debating skills, but then Clay lost his cool and tossed Mr. Lemonhead at Paul. Throwing rotten fruit is supposed to be reserved for lousy stand-up comedy (like say, most of the people on Last Comic Standing this season). A veteran attorney should use his words, not fruit, to make his point. If Clay is the Mole, I can picture him talking to the producers during a break “listen, I agreed to be the Mole, but I didn’t agree to have to listen to Paul run his mouth all the time. You need to get me out of this van pronto.” If the unicycle doesn’t fit, you must acquit. Clay was the only one hopping into his sleeping bag during the first challenge, giving up when others were negotiating, which seems very unlike an attorney, though somewhat like a Mole.

American Idol Recording Contract

Sing it with me people: “We’re Paul-free in van 2, oh yeah, we’re Paul-free in van 2 . . .” Poor Kristen, not only did she get eliminated this week, but she also got sent to van 2 to be with Paul and Mark when Craig and Clay bailed out. Alex kept the mood light in van 2 by leading the group in a song and by not being Paul. This is the second time we’ve seen Alex leading the group in song, and this one is catchier than his “trying to figure out if the Mole is you or me” ditty from an earlier episode. For his contributions in adding music to this show (which has no budget for a soundtrack, apparently), we award Alex this American Idol recording contract, and hope that with the exposure he gets on the show he’s able to help launch his music career. Alex seems like a very cool guy, easy going, no wonder his parents haven’t kicked him out yet. People seem to like him and want to keep him around. Just what the Mole would want, isn’t it.

Count It Down Alright folks, it’s time to rattle off the Mole-Continuum again this week. Here are my predictions from least likely to most likely to be the Mole.

12 – Marcie – out

11 – Liz – out

10 – Ali – out

9 – Bobby – out

8 – Victoria – out

7 – Kristen – out this week, leaving only Nicole as the sole female contestant in the game

6 – Mark – I’ll be so shocked if he ends up being the Mole (even though he has cost the pot lots of cash) just because he seems so intense, like he is trying so hard to win money for the pot. If he is the Mole, his high school should have him start coaching the drama club next fall.

5 – Craig – yes, he took the exemption by giving everyone else impossible modes of transportation, but most of the players would have done so to get themselves and exemption. In that challenge, each group of two that made it up the hill would get $10,000 into the pot, but if even if had picked the mini-bikes for one of the groups, there would still have been 2 groups unlikely to finish. Then there would have been $10,000 in the pot and no exemption for Craig. It was a less costly exemption than the one Mark and Kristen took for $35,000 in week 2.

4 – Nicole – is she nice, is she crazy, it depends which Nicole we see from episode to episode. I liked hearing Nicole say how she’d miss Kristen, as that makes me think that Nicole is only a crazy diva in small doses, and generally ok to be around. She didn’t want to be in a llama costume with Paul – who would? At least Craig had selected her to be the head of the costume. Yes, there is proof positive that Paul is much more annoying to be around than Nicole, as affable Craig picked her for the head. For all her strange antics, she really isn’t making any noticeable moves to keep cash out of the pot.

3 – Paul – has moved into the top three position this week just because kooky fruit talking dude who calls people names just might be a persona to district us all from his true Moley self. Or he’s just plain annoying, and this isn’t an act. I had a tough time deciding between Paul or Nicole for the number 3 position as neither have really done anything to cost the pot money, but both throw odd tantrums and cause lots of drama. We saw a new side of Paul this week when he swore on his daughter that he wouldn’t take the exemption in the first challenge in order to get out of the cold. They showed his hand pausing over the exemption, but I don’t think he ever really considered breaking his word after bringing up his daughter. We now know that Paul isn’t completely spur of the moment and can maintain a thought for at least 10 minutes. That’s a sign of personal growth.

2 – Clay – was more feisty than usual this week, taking on Paul in a verbal dispute in van 1. Clay had a right to be angry when Paul questioned his Christianity for being a defense attorney. Defense attorneys are an easy target, but it is pretty fundamental to our legal system that people are entitled to legal counsel in their defense before society deprives them of their liberty and sends them to prison. It’s a concept which may be beyond Paul’s level of comprehension, in which case throwing fruit at him may be Clay’s only recourse. But why did Clay lose his cool? Was it because he really couldn’t win in a verbal debate with Paul? I think not. I think it was because Clay wanted to change vans. Why did Clay want to change vans? Maybe it was because they were just starting to fill out their journals again and Clay had the information he needed from Mark and Paul and wanted to get into the other van so he could get information from them as well. Very shrewd, counselor. Of course Clay would only need this information if he wasn’t the Mole, so Alex moves up to the top spot again this week.

1 –Alex – was pretty low-key again this week. Alex and Clay were both willing to sleep outside if others couldn’t come to an agreement for the order in the handcuff challenge. Alex drove van 2 and kept the mood light, and seemed very eager to try the second challenge after donning his conquistador costume. He actually looked pretty cool in it, despite the fact that he probably needed to re-do his hair after cramming it in that metal helmet. He is breezing through this game and doesn’t really seem too concerned when his test scores are being revealed. Is it because he is the Mole? I think it’s a darn good possibility.

Let me know how you rank our remaining contestants. If you want to comment on this article, please click here:
FORT Smack-A-Mole Column - Week 5