Every once in a while, an awesome reality TV show comes out of the woodwork. I’m not talking about series like The single person Where Survivor; although I like them, they are shows with broad concepts that can appeal to many. I’m talking about Love is blind, Boy’s Island, Is it cake?– reality shows with laser-focused competitive aspects that somehow hold our fickle attention longer than TikTok can. These shows are the kind that can balance the fluff and corniness with real stakes. When you watch them, they feel like the greatest TV shows of all time, even if only for a brief moment.
Without further ado, I am pleased to announce that Claim to famea juicy new competition show airing weekly on ABC, is this summer’s best entry into the higher echelons of reality television.
Claim to fame starts like The single person and Big brother: A group of strangers unite in a hidden mansion surrounded by cameras. But these are not just any foreigners. They are all linked to big-name celebrities, from Oscar winners to Olympic gold medalists. The Country Music and Quarterback Halls of Fame are both discontinued. Several people claim to have their last name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You name it.
Some are siblings, some are distant cousins, some are so similar to their parent that they are identified from the start of the show, for example, Simone Biles sister Adria is almost like her identical twin. But we only know the true identities of two people entering the competition (Simone Biles’ sister and Whoopi Goldberg‘s granddaughter, Amarah Dean), which means we have to play the guessing game.
Is that Forest Whitaker’s nephew? Elvis’ long-lost grandson? Terry Bradshaw’s granddaughter? While one might think Claim to fame will be a breeze to play at home with the internet to hand – they don’t have access to phones in the mansion, although this rule is quickly broken – I found it almost impossible to identify more than two people on the show. It’s a tougher game than you think, which is sure to lead hordes of people online to speculate on who’s who in the competition.
This is Claim to famethe secret sauce. As The Masked Singer, we don’t know how famous these celebrity parents are, but we’re dying to know if any A-listers are lurking in the mix. When a shady player claims his parent has to be the most famous of the bunch, everyone quickly moves to expose him as Steven Spielberg’s grandson. (Spoiler alert: he isn’t, and the fame isn’t as big as Spielberg.)
The rules and regulations of the competition can be a little confusing though, and the hosts (and brothers) Kevin and Frankie Jonas are too busy being cute to really get down to business. From what I understand, each week the contestants all face off in some sort of challenge that could reveal their true identities; the first week was a talent show. A winner is shielded from the vote, and the two losers are eliminated. If they can correctly guess the identity of someone else in the house, they are safe. Otherwise, they are kicked out and have to reveal their famous surname to everyone.