Traitors is a reality show that feels like a live action game of Among Us. There are 20 contestants of which 3 are “traitors” while 17 are “faithful”. The goal of the faithful is to identify and vote out the traitors.
Show Prize & Structure
The top prize is $250,000, and if all the imposters are voted out at the end of the game, the honest players will win. However, if even 1 of the imposters (aka traitors) remains in when the competition ends, all the money will go to the remaining imposters.
There was a UK version that aired in 2022 and a US version in 2023. The first episode aired on January 12, 2023, on Peacock. All episodes were released at the same time, and I binged the entire season in just over a day. The US version had a mix of new contestants who had never appeared on a reality show before as well as many stars and winners from other reality shows.
The Reality Start Crossovers include Cyrie from Survivor, Rachel and Cody from Big Brother, and Arie from the Bachelor. There were contestants from other reality shows too, but I am mainly listing the people who appeared on some of the biggest shows.
There are two ways to get eliminated. The first is that the group of 3 traitors could select any single contestant and eliminate them from the show. This allowed them to very much steer the game to remove people who were getting close to identifying who they were.
The traitors would work together so that when someone was building an alliance to oust one of the imposters, they would often share their plan with one of the other traitors which would result in their being the person taken out. One contestant was removed this way each day.
The second way contestants were removed from the show is by a vote similar to tribal council. The contestant with the most votes was ejected from the game, and when they were removed they revealed whether they were on team Faithful or team Traitor.
Traitor Season 1 Spoiler
The winner of Season 1 of the Traitor was Cyrie. She was the lone remaining traitor who walked away with the $250,000. She outlasted Andie and Quentin who were faithful.
She played a masterful game and could have walked away at the final 4 with a guaranteed win, but then she would have split the prize fund. She took a huge chance by outting her traitor teammate Arie.
Arie chose to remove himself from the game, and he chose not to reveal that Cyrie knew he was a traitor because she was one also. It took immense bravery and understanding of the game to take the risk.
Cyrie is a very well-deserved winner of the show as she took a major chance at the end. I don’t think I would have been brave enough to risk revealing Arie’s secret when she could have walked away with a guaranteed $125k.
Suggestions for Season 2
I hope this show will get picked up for a second season. If they do, I hope they will change the prize structure so that if the faithful win, they walk away with the prize money. However, if the traitors win, they walk away with only the money the faithful DIDN’T win in the competitions.
This will add another layer to the game as the traitors will need to find ways to sabotage the challenges if they want to walk away with any money. This creates a unique balance between trying to keep their identity concealed and needing to build their own prize pool.
This is most similar to Among Us where the imposters need to take actions that could lead to them being revealed. The idea of sabotaging missions isn’t new, as it’s been in the Mole for more than 20 years. The big difference is that in The Mole, many contestants want to throw challenges so that other contestants will think they are the Mole and get themselves voted out.
With the traitor, because the vote to reveal is an elimination, it’s of the utmost importance to keep your identity a secret, meaning that no one will openly and overtly try to throw the challenges.
Another reason this could be a nice change for the show is that it will create some tension for team Traitor. Do they disagree on how to handle the challenges? In the season, there will inevitably be arguments about money that’s going into their pool because there’s a careful balance between revealing yourself and building the prize pool.
Additionally, there could also be a level of manipulating the other traitors to take more risks. It ups the game.
The Traitors (US) casting
As of January 16, 2023 the casting is currently closed for this show. The company that runs the casting is Studio Lambert, and you can get a link to their application form here. They currently don’t have a list of requirements for the show; however, if they become available I will update this post to include any age or geographic requirements.
Overall, I liked this show. I felt it had a sweet spot for both actions from the challenges, contestant drama, and the whodunit strategy element. This has a very advanced social component that I haven’t seen in many years.