You might have thought you've seen it all when it comes to reality TV, but Peacock's The Traitors is here to challenge that. The show features celebrity contestants, some well-kept secrets, and a few twists to keep the game interesting. But how does The Traitors work and how is it different from The Mole?
Distractify spoke exclusively with some of the cast from The Traitors, as well as its trusty host, Alan Cumming. They explained how the game works and what exactly is on the line here. And just in case you're worried about how real The Traitors is or how fabricated some of the drama may be, this definitely isn't the second coming of The Surreal Life, since there are everyday people here to compete alongside the celebrity players.
How does 'The Traitors' work?
There are two types of players in The Traitors: the faithful, who are here to play the game on the straight and narrow, and then, of course, the traitors. The latter keep their identities a secret from the other players as they try to steal the prize from under them. The faithful work together to try and weed out the traitors from the pack and vote them out during roundtable sessions.
But there's always the chance they could vote out a fellow faithful, thereby falling into the well-laid traps set by traitors to make one of them the last player standing with a potential $250,000 prize.
They also have to get through outrageous challenges in order to increase the prize fund. So in that regard, the celebrity contestants have to work together. But only one of them can win in the end.
The cast is made up of reality TV powerhouses that viewers likely know simply by their faces. The players include Kate Chastain from Below Deck, Stephenie LaGrossa Kendrick from Survivor, The Bachelor's Arie Luyendyk Jr., and Brandi Glanville from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And Brandi is realistic about how the game is played on The Traitors.
"I think you go in realizing that, like, nobody's your actual friends and we're all there to win," she told Distractify.
Stephenie LaGrossa Kendrick added that players should "trust no one."
Alan Comming shared more insight into the roundtable part of the game, which is crucial for the players to figure out who they want to banish each night.
"There's a lot of backstabbing, there's a lot of sort of backstabbing through utter insecurity and fear," he told us. "I mean, every night [the players] have to turn on each other because there's a banishment every night at the roundtable."
The roundtable on 'The Traitors' is the real test for contestants.
While the game as a whole is plenty intense for the players on The Traitors, even if some of them are well-versed in reality competitions, it's the nightly roundtable that is the real stressor. Arie Luyendyk Jr. shared that, because of a "group mentality," some players might change their mind about who the traitors are once they get to the roundtable.
And Kate Chastain revealed that the roundtables got "heated" at times. Regardless of where these contestants have played before on reality TV, The Traitors is clearly a whole different ball game for many of them.
Watch The Traitors on Peacock starting on Jan. 12.
Original reporting for this article contributed by Gabrielle Bernardini.