WIDM ’18

Get your Molboekjes ready, Wie is De Mol? returns on January 6th for another run of celebrity sabotage hijinks and it will have to do great things if it’s to match last year’s hugely entertaining series. Ten Dutch celebrities are off to Georgia to complete challenges set by Art Rooijakkers to earn money for a pot which the winner will take home, but one of the ten is a secret saboteur. The winner is not the person who does best in the challenges, but the person who best works out who the Mole is and remembers everything they’ve done.

As usual, we ask our international friends not to spoil episodes until the brilliant Marieke has put up the English subtitled eps. The following links will take you straight to the relevant parts of the discussion.

Let’s meet the contestants, from left to right:

  • Writer and philosopher Stine Jensen
  • Comedian Emilio Guzman
  • NOS Journaal presenter Simone Weimans
  • BNNVARA presenter Jan Versteegh
  • Fashion designer Olcay Gulsen
  • Tears & Marble band member Bella Hay
  • Fokke and Sukke (comic characters) draftsman Jean-Marc van Tol
  • Pianist and singer Ruben Hein
  • Actress Loes Haverkort
  • AVROTROS presenter Ron Boszhard

Happy Mol hunting!

272 thoughts on “WIDM ’18

  1. spp138

    My main suspect is still here, and still quite suspicious to me. Yay for tunnel vision, right?
    Do any of you also try to spot who the winner and the runner-up are? I usually do that, and it’s quite a challenge. But I also feel like it helps narrow down who the Mole is some years. As for this season, I think this week (Ep. 5) showed who I think the winner is going to be.

  2. Danny Kerner

    CBS Drama are showing Wheel Of Fortune starting tomorrow at 5PM. It’s likely to be USA editions but could be UK. It’s a nice edition if they are USA as challenge don’t want to touch them.

  3. Daniel Peake

    It’s time for Week 6 of The Suspect List! Has your prime suspect changed? Or are you sticking to your guns all throughout? We shall see… Success!


    Last week I asked: What was in The Mole’s envelope in the ‘Chaos’ task?
    Nothing – 33%
    €1000 – 21%
    1 joker – 21%
    2 jokers – 8%
    Mole had no envelope – 17%

  4. John R

    I didn’t pick up much this week, but I loved the little touch of having the ‘Motel’ keyring slightly scrubbed out to make the letters ‘Mol’ more obvious than the rest!

  5. Andrew, the Yank

    I liked the hotel task. Also Ruben slyly holding the jokers behind his back was hilarious.

    Olcay suddenly searching everyone’s bodies was kinda weird, as was Jan doing the same to her in her room later on. Stine listening through the door was amusing though.

    Oh man, the twist with the moving challenge is hilarious. I love this show.

    I laughed a lot at Jan trying to carry a chair with one hand out the window, and then trying to close the back door.

    Aw, Ruben’s response to Irma singing was adorable.

    OH MY GOD JAN IS HOLDING THE CHAIRS UP WITH ONE HAND ahahahaha this is amazing. And slightly terrifying.

    Astonishingly, they did well. And their chat after Art left about how he was like a father proud of them was adorable. (And they’re right, he did seem it!)

    haha, Art just walking away. He loves to be mysterious and troll the players. (Also, he’s still beautiful.)

  6. Daniel Peake

    OK, here’s a fun statistic from The Suspect List, now that we’re 5 weeks in.

    Here are the percentages of the Moliness of the contestants, but I’m not saying whose percentage is whose. If everyone put them at the top (most likely) of the suspect list they’d get 100%, if everyone put them at the bottom they’d get 0%. (So, higher = more moly)

    58, 57, 53, 52, 29

    Basically, we’re a bit split between 4 people and 1 person who we really don’t think it is, by a very significant margin. Thought that was interesting.


    1. Andrew, the Yank

      When I realized you were publishing the results of the bonus question I began to wonder about strategy of possibly giving an answer you don’t think is correct to make other people think more people are guessing someone is the mole.

      1. Clicky

        I have a very interesting strategy – I have my #1 suspect at the top. And then I put the people that I think others are likely to go all in on at the bottom, the strategy being if I think others are suspect enough that they’re worth going all in on, I don’t think I’ll have a chance to win if they’re the mole because I’m not putting them first, so put them at the bottom and then make my #2 and #3s the suspects that I think people are unlikely to bet on (aka also people I think are unlikely to be The Mole), so that if my #1 does get eliminated, I start ranking them my #1.

        This is the only reason I won 2015 :|. My top suspect got out early and I went all in on the actual Mol because in the first episode I thought it was unlikely anyone would be better on them.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          Going all-in is almost certainly the best strategy for this game really, the difference between The Suspect List and the show is that you don’t get eliminated if you’re wrong so you can get away with not spreading. I’m not sure playing it as a one in ten guess is much fun though, and it’s not like there is a big cash prize on offer.

          1. Daniel Peake

            We’ve got 25 regular players and much beyond this the game actually breaks, because it will be much more likely that someone will absolutely just go all in on the correct person. As it stands, we’re ok with our current numbers!

        2. Andrew, the Yank

          I’ve been on the same suspect since episode 2, but I’m now pretty confident I was wrong and it’s someone I had relatively low on my list all along. I moved them up to second, but in hindsight you’re right, I should be throwing my second picks on someone less likely now. But realistically I think if my main pick is wrong it doesn’t really matter at this point.

          1. TVs Michael Harmstone

            If it’s any consolation, I had a Mole in week 1, then changed to someone else in 2 & 3 and now have been on the same Mole for three weeks. Don’t think I’ll win anymore, but I’m playing to beat my top 5 from last year.

  7. Nico W.

    I love Olcay. I have no idea whether she is the mole or not, but she is so much fun! And what a mean person being angry with Jan for turning another contestant’s screen green. She is my favourite contestant for years (if not my favourite contestant ever).
    And I would like to know at the end of The Suspect List who used tactical voting and who didn’t. I mean sometimes I think about changing my third and second place so one who was more on top in the last few weeks gets placed a bit lower, but I never really use any tactics. I just put my genuine list up and hope for the best. Which is probably not good for points, but that doesn’t really matter to me…

  8. Reid W.


    That was the red screen that I was dreading. It is safe to say that my hopes for a decent score on this year’s contest have now been blown to smithereens. I was absolutely convinced that this week’s eliminee was the Mole from Episode 1. I have had a second main suspect most of the time but now I’m beginning to doubt that too…..and now I truly have no idea what to think! On the one hand, it makes for more exciting viewing because I literally don’t have any real confidence anymore about who it is, but at the same time, it is quite painful in terms of points in the contest to have such a lack of certainty at this stage of the game. Aargh. I will be very curious to see in the final episode if Stine had a strategy to just look extremely suspicious the whole time or if she was just a very bad candidate in terms of earning money for the pot. Because she had earned by far the least money of anyone still remaining (which means that, until she was eliminated at least) she earned even less than the actual Mole, and not by a very small margin either.

    As an aside, does anyone know how trustworthy the Mole diaries are that are released after each week’s episode? If you use Google Chrome, there is an auto-translate option so that you can go to the official WIDM website and read them in English. The translations aren’t as good as the subtitles that the wonderful Marieke does for us on YouTube, but they are readable and make enough sense to easily understand them. A lot of times these seem to just be fluff that doesn’t provide much useful information, but occasionally they seem like they might provide clues. As an example, the Mole diary for Episode 2 talks about the scene where everyone is sitting around the breakfast table at the start of the episode and they are all interrogating each other about who made the various phone calls to Art, etc. The Mole diary talks about how that scene was very intense and that the Mole stayed silent and observed the other candidates (I am paraphrasing but that is the gist of it). If this is to be taken seriously, it would seem to mean that neither Simone nor Olcay could be the Mole, because they both were shown as being very vocal during that scene questioning other people. Jan and Ruben, on the other hand, say very little. I was just wondering, if anyone knows, do the producers of the show ever use these to throw people off or are they meant to be taken as legitimate clues? For example, maybe there was a lot more of that scene than what we were shown on TV and in those other parts Simone and Olcay stayed fairly quiet while Jan and Ruben talked more, and we were only shown footage that the producers wanted us to see to try and throw us off when viewed in conjunction with the Mole’s diary (i.e. the Mole is really Simone and Olcay and they don’t want us to think that, so they show just the parts of the scene where Simone and Olcay talk quite a bit/interrogate others, and then release a Mole diary that would contradict the footage we were shown, but which could still be true in other footage that we just weren’t shown). Therefore, the producers can say that the Mole diaries weren’t outright lies but can still use them along with the footage we are shown as misdirection for the audience. Because of course we know that the footage we see on TV is heavily edited to guide our suspicions certain ways, etc. And so the fact that a Mole diary would so obviously eliminate two of the four remaining contestants seems a little bit too easy, and I am inclined to view them with some suspicion. Kind of like how I view the contestant’s comments as they are taking the tests with some suspicion as well. I believe that what they say is actually true but also that there are very likely times where they say more that the editors don’t show on TV to make us think they are voting certain ways, etc. Anyway, just throwing that out there and wondering if anyone agrees/disagrees or has any prior experience with how the “Mole diaries” should be approached/analyzed. I have not ever looked at them on any past seasons, so didn’t know if they were always 100% reliable or whether they were, at times, misleading.

    Sorry for such a long and rambling post. Just trying to get my bearings again now that my Stine-tunnel has collapsed.

    1. Dale

      The diaries are fairly truthful. In the past during the live reunion they have showed hidden clues in them. But with anything regarding The Mole nothing is what it seems. ;D

  9. Andrew, the Yank

    One thing I’ve enjoyed about this version is that because it’s such a long-running show, the contestants have meta knowledge about the show, such as likely type of challenges. I think it was last episode someone was talking about wanting the laser challenge to come soon before they were eliminated because they thought it would be fun. In this episode Jan made me laugh when he was talking about how every season has a control room, and if there was a season that didn’t have it it must have been a terrible season, haha.

    I liked the bridge challenge, kind of heartwarming to see them help and work with the community, plus each other for once to succeed. And then of course immediately the train challenge is a mess with them not coordinating well together as usual. Also I can’t wait to find out how the mole sabotaged it. Did they just hide the boxes in the piles? Or throw them off the train entirely? Or…? (or did the group just mess up as per usual?)

    Art, you beautiful, cruel man, announcing to the group right before excuti how much money they have versus how much they could have.

    At this point in the game it probably doesn’t matter if I reveal this much, Stine was the person I had fairly low all along but last week panicked and thought was the mole, partly because based on the bonus question answers it was clear many of you had her. So now I’m still confident in my pick, except that suddenly someone who’s been literally my lowest pick all season is suddenly seeming very suspicious to me… so I have a bad feeling the exact same thing is going to happen to me as has the last two times I’ve watched a season of various versions of the show, which is that my mole candidate wins and my least likely mole turns out to be the mole. Which would actually be an amazing track record in its own way, I suppose.

  10. Dale

    Totally forgot to do my suspect list for the last episode!!! Oh well one week shouldn’t make too much of a difference considering most are/were between Olcay and Stine and I have been far away from them since the start. Im still unsure of who the mole really I have a top three and between those I have no idea. The mole has done a good job this year blending in with the candidates fairly well. I can wait for the reveal in a few weeks to see everything we missed.

  11. Clicky

    Loved that first challenge!

    I am typically a robot and void of emotions, but the way they edited the bridge challenge actually made me care about that type of challenge for once and felt very touched ^_^.

    Two ideas on how the Mol could have sabotaged the train challenge:

    The Mole switched labels on two of the boxes (seems unlikely).
    The Mole opened one box and hid another box in it xD (very likely).

    At this rate I really don’t know who The Mole is anymore. I feel like this episode really ramped up the option that Simone could be The Mole.

    What was the scene where Stine & Ruben were outside and Olclay whispered something to Stine and then went back inside?

  12. Reid W.


    Like you, I have seen the announcement that the new season of De Mol (Belgium) is expected to come out sometime in March—the latest I have seen was someone speculating it might start on/around March 19th, while elsewhere I have seen that it will start in early March. Whoever did the English subs for the past two seasons of the Belgian Mole has indicated that he/she will be doing them again this year. Have you considered doing a Suspect List contest for that this year? I, for one, would love it if we could all do another contest like this one for the Belgian Mol and I would imagine most of the other participants in the WIDM Suspect List would enjoy doing so as well. I could be mistaken about this but I think this is the first year that the Belgian Mol season will be having English subtitles done as the episodes come out. Not sure if the subtitler for the Belgian Mol will be as fast as Marieke has been with WIDM, which could be a problem if the subtitler doesn’t get an episode translated before the next week’s episode airs on Belgian TV, since participants could then see who gets eliminated by looking at the show’s website….but I get the feeling most/all participants here are doing this contest for fun and if everyone who participated would agree not to look at the Belgian Mol website, etc. if the subtitler is slower than Marieke, I think we could still have a fun contest for people to participate in. Just wondering what your thoughts about this are.


    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I’d imagine it’d use the standard rule that lines close before the next episode goes out on television regardless of when the subtitles go up.

  13. John R

    That’s what I meant to ask…as De Mol (Dutch) is played by I suppose what we would call ‘celebrities’ what happens to the winnings? Does the winner actually pocket them or do they donate it to a charity?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      They keep it for themselves, or at least they don’t mention charities. From what I gather Dutch celebs fees are fairly low generally so it’s significant money for them.

      Also it’d look quite bad for The Mole to effectively be blocking money for charity.

    2. Nico W.

      In Germany it has become rather common for celebrities to keep the money themselves on game shows on private broadcasters. It mainly started when Stefan Raab made a political debate show (Absolute Mehrheit) where there were votings and if some politician got more than 50% of the votes they won the jackpot (started at 100,000€ and if not won they were added to next week’s jackpot). It was rather funny when the most left wing party DIE LINKE won 300,000€ (or rather the party’s leader) and they couldn’t figure out what to do with the money at first. In the end they didn’t use it for the party but gave it to charity. Since then almost all shows on private broadcasters offer money to the celebrities themeselves in Germany (Beat the Star, Celebrity Big Brother, etc.).

  14. Andrew, the Yank

    “Car-aoke” is very clever.

    ….. ahahahahahahahaha so is the hose being used to make this task more challenging. I cackled when it started.

    Oh god I also laughed hysterically at Olcay’s method of explaining Thriller to Jan. Those two were incredible. I was also laughing at Ruben and Simone’s incompetence, but I did like Simone miming Beastie Boys and Ruben’s delighted amusement. It was adorable. (I may have a crush on Ruben okay.)

    Simone and Ruben both have good taste in actors. RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman. 🙁

    Jan and Olcay seem 100% convinced that Ruben is the mole. Interesting.

    “Jan Versteegh in a wetsuit is the wet dream of every man and woman.” Okay Ruben, calm down. He’s no Art…

    Jan is crazy. But that was pretty badass.

    Watching the test scene and hearing their suspicions, I’m making a bold prediction: Ruben is about to be eliminated, and everyone will be shocked because they all think he’s the mole. Gonna post this no matter what, even if I look like a fool.
    … and for the record I typed that before the final comments where everyone straight up says “Ruben is the mole” which made me 10000% sure that’s what’s about to happen. There’s no way they’d air those comments if he actually is.

    ….. well damn. I’m a fool. But I still firmly believe that they would not air that if he really is the mole, especially with some of Art’s comments on the mole earlier in the episode. And with my mole candidate still in it, I still feel confident in my pick. Sort of. Kind of. Maybe.

    Poor Simone though. 🙁

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      My pick’s still in so pretty pleased.

      Jan running down the boat to get the cannister was pretty impressive but it did make me wonder – I reckon they missed a lot of cannisters waiting for him to get back aboard, which looks like a great Mole action, especially for a high value game. He wasn’t on my radar, and now I’m wondering.

      1. Dale

        Im think that Jan’s dive was definitely a sabotage. Because people are going to think “Look! Hes a hero for diving in for money!” but thats probably not what really happend

        1. spp138

          Jan has been my mole since very, very early on because of this reason. He’s an expert at making people feel good about losing money, subtly missing opportunities and re-anchoring the group to not expect to earn the full amount possible

          1. Cheesebiscuits

            I’ve only just started considering Jan since Stine went out. But just in these two episodes I feel like he’s sabotaged a lot of stuff. He convinced Olcay to mole the rafting game. He fell in distracting everyone for the first set of flags in the rafting game.

            In the previous episode he made his train carriage really hard to move through so a different coloured box could have easily been hidden in there. When he gave the money to Art it wasn’t counted, if there was more than 500 euros there that would be an amazing sabotage right in front of everyone.

          2. Brig Bother Post author

            Would genuinely love it if it turns out Jan’s the Mole, he’s a great character, and you’re absolutely right re: managing expectations. Would be as good as Thomas last year but in a slightly different way.

          3. Matt Clemson

            I *thought* I had a very, very good reason to be very, very certain that Jan was not the Mole… and now I fear I may have found a flaw in that logic.

          4. Dale

            He’s been my mole since the cast was release. I just had a feeling about him. But last year i went with my gut and ended up picking the winner and not the mole.

  15. Andrew, the Yank

    It’s far enough into the competition I think I feel comfortable saying this much: I went back and rewatched the rafting challenge, and all three of the remaining contestants failed and/or sabotaged it in some way. Which is interesting.

    1. Andrew, the Yank

      I’ll even go a step further that based on that challenge, and other things in this episode, I am beginning to change my perception of who the mole is again. If it’s not clear based on my previous post, I don’t think it’s Ruben and have never thought that – he’s been my lowest suspect since episode 2, and was my second lowest in episode 1. However, the other two have been high on my list the whole time – one of them has been my top suspect from episode 2, the other of them has been my second or third highest choice in every episode, but I’ve been super tunnel-visionined on the other. But based on this episode I begin to suspect my secondary option might be the mole.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I’ve never been big on Ruben being the mole either. My choice comes from a highly suspicious action early on, followed up by what was clearly a huge production clue in the questionnaire assignment.

  16. David

    Considering they were in the minuses for so long, they’ve got a pretty decent pot going into the last part of the season..

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I think the benefit of not announcing at the start what the total prize could be is that the producers can bump up some of the later figures if the pot looks a bit small. It’s sort of cheating, but I greatly prefer that over having everything telegraphed.

      I wonder if they’ll be going to give the winner a chance to double the pot like last year?

  17. Dale

    I have had the same Mole except one week for the whole series so Im either really wrong or I need to be on this show somehow so I can win real money haha.

    I found it odd how they reveled who their mole choices were at the end of the episode. If they are to be believed the mole is quite obvious yet but it still hard because they are such great actors during the execution its hard to get a read off of them during the screens. Im going to laugh if the mol ends up being olcay and they all just screwed up their tests so bad.

  18. Brig Bother Post author

    With two weeks to go, the final and the reveal, I think it’s fair to suggest this has been a hugely entertaining series, challenges above the usual, great cast… I thought last year’s would be difficult to top for entertainment but it’s having a pretty good stab.

  19. John R

    I’m utterly confused now, such a good series how it can still confuse you with just four contestants left! I’m going to kick myself during the reveal, but what I have noticed during previous season finales is the Dutch version doesn’t seem to have too many ‘hidden clues’ for the viewer, the UK one always had quite a few but the Dutch one just seems to fire through theirs in 2 minutes at the end of the live show.

    I did like “Ooh Art hasn’t said prepare for test and execution” only to cut back to Art “oh…and prepare for test and execution!”

    1. Dale

      In terms of hints they show a few on air but then they post the rest on their website. If you haven’t looked at it yet its a good read. Google translate can help you out. They have journals from the Mole and Players which yield some hints at times.

    1. Andrew, the Yank

      That preview is so weird and creepy and awesome.

  20. Clicky

    Ahhhh can’t wait for the last challenge!

    Although I’ve been on Olcay the entire time, I’m really hoping Jan is The Mole.

    One ‘sabotage’ that I’ve always wanted to see is what Jan did last episode: convince someone else to sabotage the challenge. It’s so devious and epic if pulled off successfully.

    I also keep thinking back to the crossword challenge, apparently Jan crossed off “wie is de mol” (i.e., he crossed off the words de mol). Also, apparently Jan’s name was listed on the crossword twice. If Jan were in fact The Mole, it’d be moderately risky that someone else might cross off “wie is de mol” before Jan does, so having his name on there two other times means if he didn’t get to cross off wie is de mol he had two backup options that involved crossing off his own name… just an idea.

    Although, if ‘crossed off ‘ could also be interpreted as ‘crossed over’, it could simply mean *walk over* the words the mole (or their own name) and that could be what Olcay did as the clue (I remember her walking over letters to show people where words were).

    Also related, I am hosting a live Mole game and filming it and putting out episodes on youtube within the next couple of months. Would it be ok for me to advertise my site here so mole fans can check it out once it is released? ^_^.

    1. Brig Bother Post author


      I’ve been banking on Olcay being The Mole since episode three I think. Two reasons:

      1) Who just gives away a black exemption?

      2) In the questionaire challenge, the shots in between the contestants were very careful to focus on people wearing red. Who was the only person with red fingernails that task?

          1. Andrew, the Yank

            I’m convinced after this episode that they actually ARE all moles, the producers are trolling everyone including the moles themselves, and Simone is the winner.

            Joking. But only slightly.

            That being said, Okcay has been my number one suspect since episode two. Before the theatre task, she was helping Stine dress up, and said something like, “My heels are like knives, I want to kill tonight.” Given that ostensibly they didn’t know what play they were seeing yet, it seemed like a potential indication that she already knew, and an intentional clue perhaps. In hindsight, it is perhaps flimsy justification for picking her if it was a red herring, but she was already suspicious to me due to poor performance at challenges.

            Jan has been my #2 all along, largely because he cost do much money calling Art in episode one – even calling for a hint he had already heard from another team – and in general, he always seems do supportive and trying to instruct people how to succeed at challenges, but it seems like he pushes just bad plans. The gravel moving challenge was a good example.

            Ruben, on the other hand…. All along he has been my lowest choice. I also kind of have a crush on him? Which certainly doesn’t help me be impartial. But the last couple of episodes his utter incompetence has finally made me give in and wonder if he really is the mole. The fact that EVERYONE since the final, what, five? six? have “known” it’s him obviously makes it hard to dispute too. That being said, maybe it’s just that I have never watched this version, but it seems do wrong to me that they would make it so obvious, why not edit the contestants’ remarks? And Art did start the previous episode saying something like, “Everyone thinks they know the mole, but do they really?”

            Which is my last shred of hope clinging to Olcay. It would be incredible if NOBODY correctly guessed. I’m hoping that’s what the show has been building toward, even delaying the reveal.

      1. Dale

        My problem with Olcay is that she is way too obvious! But that might be her trick be so obvious everyone looks over here.

      1. Dale

        Im not at this point if you dont know who the Mole is theres no way you would be there, unless you got lucky with exemptions or jokers which there was not many this year. I would be the best move to go for the money or test right away.

        1. TVs Michael Harmstone

          Yeah, but there’s only a 1/41 chance that you’re going to tie with the other person, so time shouldn’t really be a factor on the final quiz. I would probably try and go for all three personally – if you go for the Mole, you’re pretty much guaranteed to win, and add another 2,500EUR into your winning pot too.

          1. Dale

            True but “face the mole” is a bit cryptic. We know it would be a clue but not 100% sure it would be helpful. Even if it was actually the mole standing there you would still have to recall the right answers that applied to them so its not a guarantee and with this being the show it is im sure it would be more of a trick than actual information. I hope they show what they would have seen during the finale.

          2. David

            I think you could only pick one route though- you could go to the test immediately, go get the money then go to the test, or see the Mole then go to the test.

            Frankly, I think the person who didn’t go for the money is the Mole; why go for 2,500 you’re not going to get anyway? Now if you’re not confident in your Mole pick you might want to go right to the test, but in that case the only way you’d win is if the other normal player wasn’t sure either and split their answers.

    1. Brig Bother Post author


      I quite liked the first time they did a race to a test, when they were in a market and there were jokers and exemptions up for grabs, doing it for a final feels extremely devious although the comment that time rarely comes into it is true, although the fact they pointed it out and put the times up may suggest a surprise.

      Would this be the first time contestants don’t know the results before the live show?

      1. Dale

        I loved the race! I have a similar feeling about how transparent they were with the times means the time played a major factor.

        This is the first time within the last four or five series I havent seen any of the pre-Art series though but I imagine they have all been like we are use to. I wonder if they are going to do the reveal like they did in the US version or if they have something more grander planned.

  21. Daniel Peake

    It’s time for the final Suspect List of the season!


    Remember to play your joker if you haven’t already – it would suck to lose because of that! The List will close early on Saturday evening.

    Last week I asked:
    Where did the Mole sit in the boat in the rafting challenge?
    Front & port – 50%
    Back & starboard – 30%
    Back & port – 20%


      1. Steve

        I decided to check the official website (after submitting) to see what the rest of the fans thought… Right now, it’s a 35%/33%/32% split. Hooray, we’re all confused!

        I’ve been picking Ruben since episode one. I thought I saw a big clue in the first episode, and thought, “Eh, why not,” and rode it to here. Aside from the obvious points that they make during the show (becoming treasurer at the exact moment when it matters, etc.), I haven’t really had any solid proof it’s been him otherwise. In fact, through a few episodes ago, were I playing as an actual contestant, I’d’ve still been spreading my votes between all three of the finalists plus Stine.

        I don’t think I’m in the running to win The Suspect List this year, especially since there was one week I decided to hedge and put Stine in the number one slot over Ruben. (There was also a week I couldn’t watch the episode until after the voting closed, so I made a blind guess and picked a bonus question answer that wouldn’t have lined up with Ruben, if it were him.) As Brig noted earlier, you have to basically go gung-ho and pick the correct Mole from the start in order to win this contest; those couple of slips mean I’m probably out. Best case scenario, I come third or fourth if it’s Ruben, middle of the pack if it’s Olcay (she started to jump up my list after the word search game), or near dead-last if it’s Jan (he and Jean-Marc were my bottom two from the start, until a couple episodes ago when I started putting Simone as last).

        The one thing I’m really curious about is how many people used their Jokers immediately, and how many saved them until the end.

        1. Clicky

          I’m sticking with Olcay even though there’s a big part of me that reallyyyyy hopes it is Jan.

          The twist at the quiz made me wonder if nobody guessed the Mole correctly yet so they were hoping someone would go see The Mole and change their answers at the last minute to help them. Otherwise, I was kind of shocked they offered to go see The Mole.

          Farfetched theory, but if I were the producer and no one was onto the Mole (Olcay in this scenario since nobody is voting her) it’d make sense why they’d offer for the contestant to see The Mole… or it’s just my wishful thinking. And it would also explain why they decided to reveal the winner at the reunion, if they hadn’t decided how to handle the scenario in which nobody guessed the Mole correctly.

          1. Brig Bother Post author

            I would assume in this instance the most inadvertent correct answers would still win, just as people accidentally get through tests in episodes and years previous – especially last year.

            Also suggests producers are picking brilliant moles if it’s taking so long for people to cotton on to them of late.

          2. John R

            I hope they’ve still filmed a cryptic reveal scene – the one in 2013 with the priest slowly revealing ‘T H E M O L E I S’ as part of his church service in particular was bloody brilliant!

        2. Nico W.

          I’ve only seen bits of the Mole Diary, but in the task where everyone was racing to reach Ruben it said something like “I had a blast in the metro”, so Ruben has been last on my Suspect List since then. I love Olcay and really wish she gets a reality show à la Kardashian/Chrisley/Leah Remini and it airs on Netflix. That would be a dream!
          I kind of think it’s Jan who I put last/almost last in nearly every week except for the first and the last. He was just so ambitious, I’d be really intrigued to see how he sabotaged in the end!

        3. Andrew, the Yank

          Would you be willing to share the clue you thought you saw? I finally shared the possible clue that turned me on to Olcay.

          1. Nico W.

            I have no idea who you mean… But if it was me: The clue I saw was one Mole Diary entry on Facebook about the “race to the treasurer (Ruben)” task, where he appointed the money/jokers to each person. The entry said something about the Mol being in the metro, but Ruben was the only one not in the metro throughout the race suggesting he is definitely not the mole. So I put him last most of the time (somehow I don’t really trust those diary entries and he could have taken the metro anyway).

          2. Andrew, the Yank

            I was asking Steve, sorry, should have clarified!

          3. Steve

            Lemme see here… Episode one, when (almost) everyone’s arrived in Tbilisi, there’s a nighttime outdoor shot starting at 57:20. Typical geography porn, except there’s someone walking toward the ascending camera, right in the middle of the shot. If I had to pin that as looking like one of the players, I’d say it looked most like Ruben.

            And that’s literally the one piece of evidence that’s kept me in the running. I’m 98% sure it’s a ridiculous red herring. The other 2% of me believes it was so obvious that no one would actually follow it, so it *must* be right.

          4. Andrew, the Yank

            Not to burst your bubble, because you may very well be right that it’s Ruben with the way the other contestants think, but watching the video, I’m pretty certian that was actually Emilio. When they show the group together a few moments later, the clothing seems to match up – in the dark shot the guy is clearly wearing a jacket with the front open to reveal a light shirt, which is what Emilio is wearing when we see the contestants in proper lighting, whereas Ruben has a zipped up jacket.

      2. Reid W.


        I just submitted my Suspect List and want to edit it. I’ve already closed the webpage. To edit it, do I just submit a new list for the week? Also, I’ve been saving my joker for this week so I used it when submitting the list for this week a minute ago that I now would like to edit. If I submit a new list for the week with the changes I want to make and then use my joker again, the joker will apply to the new edited version of the list correct? To clarify, I have not used my joker on any previous weeks. I know the rules state that if you use it in more than one week, the first week’s use will be the one that counts. Since here I am just editing my list for the week, I wanted to be sure that the joker would apply to my edited list for the week and not the first version of this week’s list that I’ve already submitted. If there is a different way that I need to edit the list other than submitting a new list, please let me know. Thanks.

  22. Andrew, the Yank

    General comment about the episode, as a counterpoint to my reply up the thread about my mole suspect(s). Brief as I am on my phone.

    The moon challenge was not very difficult, but still really cool. I loved their awe.

    The driving task was interesting, wish we’d seen the second part to fully grasp what it entailed.

    Racing to the test is cool. Curious if you would have literally seen the mole, or if it was more convoluted than that. (As per my “they are all moles” idea, I like to imagine it was just a mirror…)

    1. John R

      There are some *amazing* theories on the YouTube comments which could be massive actual clues or just coincidence.

      One I read today linked the ‘Moonwalker’ sequence from last week to the fact there was the Moon challenge this week for example!

    2. Clicky

      I was expecting one person to go see The Mole, and they not reveal who it is…

      Only to then at the finale they show the clip and that person is standing in front of a mirror.

  23. Matt Clemson

    What I think I’m going to do is write up my final thoughts and conclusion – and the logic that led me to that point – now,, and then sit on it and post it – verbatim, whether right or wrong – after the final episode has been released, Might be fun to see how far off the mark I am, because I’ve got a ton of thoughts I wanted to discuss, but didn’t want to interfere with the Suspect List!

    1. Clicky

      Are a lot of people afraid to share their opinion/discuss during the show for fear of impacting other’s opinion on the suspect list? 🙁

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I can’t help but think by this stage you’ve probably won or lost already so you might as well discuss it.

        1. Dale

          So True!

          My day one pick has been Jan. I just got a gut feeling even before the show started that the just was the Mole. After seeing the first episode it reinforced my thinking.

          Jan has been a key player in many of the assignments and was not afraid to take the hero role in a few like the rafting one where his jumping ended up costing them more than benefiting them.

          One week I went for Olcay just because see is such a wild card but the rest I was 1) Jan 2&3 flipped between Reuben and Olcay for the most part. I would be the most surprised if it ends up being Olcay. As for me she has been the most obvious in her moleing but that could just be a double bluff, it is the mole after all.

          The one thing I do want to see in the finale though is what they would have seen if they chose to look at the mole before the final test.

    2. Matt Clemson

      As it happens I didn’t get around to finishing this until this weekend anyway!

      I think it’s Olcay, but first I want to talk about why I don’t think it’s Jan:

      Episode 1’s structure meant that it was entirely possible for – at the end of the programme – just two people to be at risk for execution, and at that point there’s a chance that it would be the mole and one other – in other words, a situation where the player at risk has *no* opportunity to save themselves with the test. Add to this the fact that the mole has little chance to directly influence the group’s they’re not in, and it feels that whoever gets drawn with the mole has a significant disadvantage at that point…

      …unless the mole has been instructed to do whatever’s necessary to get their duo to the safe and an exemption from the test – which is why early on Simone was my prime candidate, because she had a significant revelation that looked suspicious at the time. The mole can still influence the pot with phone calls (and it strikes me that it’s quite possible they didn’t all appear on camera, and players would get separated from each other quite frequently as they searched for the rewards on the side-paths).

      Now, the flaw in that assumption wasn’t apparent until episode 2, with Ron’s opportunity to be brought back into the fold. It wasn’t until much later on (around Episode 7-8?) I realised that this introduced the error in my logic, in that that *could* have been a mechanic to allow someone who did get short-changed in the way I just described to have a second chance (at which point the Mole would be instructed to *save* them at all costs – with an extra excuse that “They were my buddy for Episode 1, we were in the same boat, I’m going to want them back!”). I’m still not quite convinced the producers would go for this – it very much tips the entire balance for success or failure on the task entirely into the Mole’s hand, with both giving them a reason to lose all their money *and* a perfectly reasonable excuse to do so that doesn’t look particularly suspicious.

      So yes, all of this is a long-winded way to describe the particular form of tunnel-vision I had: Right from the start I was convinced that anyone who took a test in the first episode could *not* be the Mole. Since we still have Jan in the final three, that’s led me to eliminating him – although I do have to concede that he has looked particularly Moley in the last couple of episodes which is fuelling my doubt!

      As for Olcay? The overwhelming thing that’s been driving me to her is an odd one, and it might just be a mannerism, but… it’s her turn of phrase in the vox-pops, particularly when talking about the pot. She uses phrasing that conjures images of ownership; things like “my team” does well – as if she’s considering herself as associated with the team, but slightly outside it – and there’s a clear role for someone with that philosophy!

      (It does strike me that I’m basing an awful lot of this theory on the subs, and that does make me wonder if I’m reading too much into how they’ve been translated!)

      There’s other aspects, too; she *is* one of those people who seems to frequently be *around* losses of money without necessarily carrying the blame directly, which is often a standout point. And personality-wise she seems to be a pretty good fit (although at this stage, all three are for different ways!) – she seems to have a friendly relationship with everyone.

      People have pointed out Jan trying to convince her to Mole in the rafting task and suggesting that that’s a sign of quality Moling on his part – while that’s arguably a possibility, I noticed – in contrast – how she seemed awkwardly circumspect on the subject, which makes me wonder if she knew that there was a fundamental flaw in Jan’s plan!

      Actually, on that note, it feels like a few series ago there was a lot more impetus for candidates to deliberately mole to muddy the waters, but in this series (and maybe the last? I’m trying to think) it seems to have swung more back to actually *trying* to win money the majority of the time.

      So yes, that’s my treatise. As I finish this off the video is out there and we’re waiting with bated breath for Marieke’s fine work (generally a bit later for the final, isn’t it? Just to make the tension that much worse!)

  24. Reid W.

    Does anyone know if any of Seasons 1-7 are available with English subs somewhere? There is a Youtube channel from a user named ThatDarkSpark where some seasons are up with English subs that aren’t on Marieke’s page, but I didn’t know if anyone knew if any of those earlier seasons have been translated? Or for that matter whether any of the Belgian Mole seasons have been subtitled somewhere other than the two most recent seasons?

    1. Clicky

      Season 5 is on ThatDarkSpark’s page. Besides that one, I’ve never been able to locate Seasons 1-4 or Season 7.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        ThatDarkSpark was very much a Friend Of The Bar before mysteriously going AWOL before the final of one of the series. Still never worked out what happened to her, and still hope she is alright.

  25. Daniel Peake

    WiDM watchers – the final percentages are in.

    55% think it’s Jan,
    35% think it’s Olcay,
    10% think it’s Ruben.

    We’ll find out who it actually is soon enough.

  26. TVs Michael Harmstone

    Ah balls. Some numpty on Facebook thought it’d be funny to spoil me. Now I know how I’ve done on Suspect List and am regretting a couple of choices.

  27. Chris M. Dickson

    Our subber has said that subbing the live show will be a much bigger job than usual because, being live, the show does not have Dutch subs to translate directly. Fingers crossed she may get it finished on Sunday, probably late Sunday – if not, we may have to wait until Wednesday or Thursday. Also, if you like, send tips by PayPal to widmenglishsubs@hotmail.com to thank her.

    1. Reid W.

      Wow, she is amazing. Major kudos to her for being so prompt this entire season.

    2. Dale

      YESS! This is the first year I have been on to the mole from the first episode. I did switch out mole during one ep but switched back. So excited!

  28. Clicky

    Is there a prize for last place? ^_^

    Totally called the mirror part on the final quiz – haha.

    1. Dale

      You did! hah I wonder if it would have been like that for everyone or if he would have been standing there instead.

      1. stephen

        Same i wonder what it would of been if Olcay/Ruben had chosen that route

    2. stephen

      I Noticed you said this awhile ago clicky

      I am hosting a live Mole game and filming it and putting out episodes on youtube within the next couple of months. Would it be ok for me to advertise my site here so mole fans can check it out once it is released? ^_^.

      But never did give site so what is your site ?

    1. TVs Michael Harmstone

      None of the hidden clues were stellar this year, so I don’t exactly blame them. Best one was the Train game featuring the Mole holding a parcel for Tsemi, or “It’s Me”.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Yep, agree with that. Here’s the translation from the site:

        “This season was full of hidden indications about the identity of the Mol.
        As always, the delivery titles all point to the Mol.

        The title of episode 1 is “A story apart”. During the appearing of this title, de Mol talks about the start of the new season of Wie is de Mol as a voiceover. A separate story. And certainly in this narrative form.
        In the same episode, de Mol says in the taxi on the way to the location of the safe: “M 18. Thanks Art. I already knew that “, a reference to his foreknowledge and thus to his identity. You can also see the Mole in the cafe portraying the letter M with his hands when he asks an employee if and where there is a golden arch in Kiev. Again an indication of the identity of the Mol. And on the chessboard the white king is in position D1, which is the field in which Kiev is located on the map of all candidates. The city in which the Mol is located.

        “Wisseltruc”, the title of episode 2 refers to the Mol who during the assignment “change money” first suggests to the € 10 notes per two on the board to pin. Because of this fraud with money, there are not enough plus notes to cover all the boxes.
        With the assignment “join” in the theater, the Mol chooses to play for money in the pot instead of going to the lodge of Ron. That while the Mole knows that he, and therefore the rest of the group, is wrong. De Mol misleads in a money transaction, the literal meaning of “exchange trick”. The most bizarre dilemma where the candidates in the “nothing is what it seems” assignment in episode 4 stands for is answering the question: Do you already want to know who the Mol is? Whether the question is answered with a “yes” or “no”, the Mol decides to walk right by all candidates. Yet nobody sees the Mol. Just as nobody sees the hidden indication in the question. If you take all the initials of the words from the sentence: WJNAWWDMI and there WIDM (the detour of Who is the Mole?) From pulls you keep the following letters: WW and JAN. The Password on this question is JAN.
        The title of the episode; “Prospect” – which literally means “do not see the solution” – refers to the fact that the Mol passes by everyone but nobody sees this and there is a solution to the question: Do you want to know who the Mol is? which also nobody of the candidates has noticed.

        In episode 5 is the correct solution of the “word search” command: Strip the Mol de Mol road? The answer to that question is; yes, because that’s what the Mol does. A hidden indication of his identity. This mole also adds a little extra by not just crossing the word “Mol” but by the letter M, from Mol. And because the words “de Mol” appear twice in the solution, the name of the mole also comes up; Jan, as the only two times in the puzzle for. De Mol clearly has different views than the rest of the candidates on the “word search” assignment, which refers to the title of the episode “views”.

        The title of episode 6 was “redeemed”. De Mol is first redeemed from a room with the “key position” command. De Mol is relieved of taking someone with him during the assignment “lada’s with cargo” because he does his best at the first time by taking foreknowledge about the assignment. And the Mole is the first to be released from seeing his screen during the execution of the “Green / Red” command. In this latter assignment De Mol is also the one who in answer to a question from Art pronounces the numbers “1” and “8”, a reference to the Mole of season 18.

        “Shine Pitcher”, the title of episode 7 refers to the Mole who acts during all assignments as if he is doing his best but does not actually do it. When “light up” the Mol with the lamps makes an assignment where he is also literally in the spotlight after the first lamp has been turned. In ‘talking as a bridge man’, Mol is the only one who does not paint. And in “accidentally” the Mol builds a molehill of the blue packages. De Mol also holds a red package in his hand with the name of the end station; Tsemi, which is an anagram of “It’s me”. Above it is in the Georgian script the name of the Mol, Jan. With the wrap, two red packages do not appear to be delivered. Whose debt? It’s me, Jan.

        At Vardzia, the Mol is the one who sings along with the singing groups. The title of the eighth episode “like-minded” refers to this.

        Episode 9 is entitled “finalist” which means literally last. It refers to the Mole which is the last in the command “moonshine” of which the moon is approved. In addition, he comes last to the “Tabatskuri”. And to take away all doubts the Mol takes the money in the final test, but he arrives at the test computer without an envelope. This is in contrast to Ruben who is testing with the envelope on his table. And the end time of the Mol final test; 11:07. Added together 18. A final reference to the Mol of Wie is de Mol? season 18″

        1. Andrew, the Yank

          They’re not amazing, though as you’ll see in my “live reaction” comment to come the chess board clue was one I didn’t fully grasp the significance of but when I saw the chess board at all I thought it must be a clue (and picked Jean-Marc as my mole…).

          I do quite like the Tsemi clue, though. That’s very clever. But the best is definitely the last one, of Jan claiming to go for the money but not having the envelope.

          1. John R

            The 11:07 clue was quite good too, as I know someone on here was mentioning how they showed the times was unusual.

        2. Dale

          I think the hidden clues were underwhelming after seeing how Jan actually moled. He is definitely the most ballsy mole I have seen, even telling some of them he was the mole at times and they didn’t even pay attention to it.

  29. Andrew, the Yank

    Typing this comment as a live response to the finale:

    I love that the show opens on a giant sign the says “Art is

    the Mole”. So true.

    lol at the continuing theme of “Sorry Ron”

    Also is that a sign in the crowd that says “Jean-Marc was

    originally the Mole”? Because if so I totally had that thought

    too. He was my original first pick as the mole.

    So Art is about to announce the mole and winner and referenced

    the “We’re not in Kiev friend!” quote and suddenly it hit me,

    Jan is the mole. The original reason he was high up on my

    list, and he remained there all season, was because when he

    was on the phone to Ruben he was the first person to say

    “Where in Kiev are you?” which was the first hint that another

    contestant had to realize they weren’t in the same country. It

    immediately jumped out at me that the producers may have had

    him say that specifically to get the ball rolling to help them

    out. And now it suddenly hit me, as they’re about to announce

    it, that I should have trusted that hint more.. Jan is the

    mole. Of course he is. Damn it.

    lol Art, “Molcay”. nice.

    and yeah, announcing Olcay’s not the mole first.. sigh… I

    was confident for a while, up until the last couple episodes.

    at least I had Jan high also.

    Also the fact that they’re making it between Ruben and Jan

    before announcing means it has to be Jan, right? If it was

    Ruben, there’d be a bigger deal about who got the vote right

    between Jan and Olcay.

    yessssssssssss I got so hype when they showed Jan looking at

    himself in the mirror, I don’t even care that I was

    technically wrong and lost the Suspect List I was so hype a)

    to have that mini-theory of mine proven true but also b) so

    happy for Ruben, who was my favourite all along. And also

    because he was my last mole pick, and Jan was my second, so on

    the whole I did pretty good. I was screaming and jumping

    around my room in happiness even though I lost, that’s how

    much I like Ruben.

    Also props to Ruben for not giving it away after Olcay was

    eliminated as mole.

    Hahaha, Jan saying he tried to play it a bit cocky, and

    everyone’s like, “A bit?!”

    haha, Jan telling the story of Olcay saying the casting was

    terrible because everyone knew who the mole was.

    Oh damn, showing the start with Jean-Marc, there was what I

    thought was a clue that was shown with the two of them that

    put them both high on my list, I ended up putting Jean-Marc

    first in week 1, and when he was eliminated – after I’d

    already jumped onto Olcay for another what I thought was a

    clue – I totally convinced myself that clue was fake.
    — and I just red Brig’s comment with the hidden clues, I was

    right that the chess board was a clue! GAH!

    Yeaaah, watching the digging challenge, that was another big

    one that put me high on Jan. If not for the Olcay red herring,

    I think he would have been my mole from episode two one. Alas.

    And Olcay’s comment after that clip that she thought his idea

    was brilliant so she voted to give him control also highlights

    another reason I kept tunnelvisioning her, every time Jan had

    a dumb plan she seemed to persuade the group to agree with it.

    So that’s why Jan was always high on my list, but ultimately I

    thought she was using him as a cover. Same with the next

    challenge, Olcay saying “we should listen to Jan”. Looking

    back over my notes from each episode, I specifically wrote

    down on several occasions “Olcay tells the others to listen to

    Jan”. So basically, Olcay moled me out of getting the mole


    Yoooo the clips of Jan walking right behind the contestants is

    amazing. Especially the one where Ruben turned his head right

    after after Jan pulled his hood up. Also, the clip after Art

    told the group that the mole was close to them, and Jan

    immediately turned to look at everyone.. I remember being

    suspicious about that, too.

    Crossing out “mol” with the letter M is pretty clever. What a

    brave mole he was, damn.

    Oh man and hiding the light bulbs while Olcay could watch him

    on camera.

    Also it was kind of able to be deducted from the other contestants’ comments, but Art confirming that Ruben was the ONLY player to ever select Jan for the final question is amazing.

    And that compilation of Jan winking at the camera, or talking about being the mole with the others just feet away… amazing. He was brilliant.

    Final thoughts: I’m so happy Ruben won, I liked him a lot, and the fact that he was the only person to figure out the mole is very impressive. Sad that I was so close to being right on the mole for once and one red herring drew me away to another suspect, even though I had him second from episode 2 on. If only Olcay got eliminated early! Speaking of, incredible that she got as far as she did – I wonder if her notorious lack of note-taking meant that she was getting questions about Ruben wrong, and accidentally picking Jan, and that’s why she outlasted the others on Ruben?

    This was a great series, so glad I finally watched the Dutch. Excited for Belgian soon.

    And finally, the most important thing: Art is still gorgeous.

    1. Andrew, the Yank

      crap, the document I was typing that in messed up the formatting. Sorry, Brig!

  30. Steve

    It’s time for my annual post in which I shrug my shoulders and say, “WELP.”

    Very well done on Jan. He completely flew under my radar and I kept him at or near the bottom of my suspect list the entire time. I think I might’ve gotten a total of ten points this year, maybe more if the bonus questions I answered on Ruben also applied to him.

    Thanks to Dan for running the Suspect List again, Brig for hosting our discussions, and Marieke for all the translations!

  31. Scott Rux

    Dan pointed this out while we were watching the episode, but it hasn’t come up in the official hints, so I’ll bring it up here as an OC question.

    “In the Car-aoke assignment, some songs were designated as bonus songs. What is the connection between those bonus songs?”

    1. kim

      I can’t think of any connection between the songs “Piano Man – Billy Joel”, “Thriller – Michael Jackson”, “Ain’t nobody (loves me better) – Felix Jaehn”. But I guess if you were to connect the assignment to the Mole it would be that Jan participated in “IT TAKES 2”, which is a singing contest for Dutch celebrities. So yeah he likes to sing. But I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a hint at all.

      1. Scott Rux

        The hint we picked up on was “these are all songs by artists with surnames that start with J”.
        We guessed that was a hint to indicate Jan.

  32. Reid W.

    While I thought Jan was a great Mole in the sense of being very hard to guess, I admit that I have mixed feelings about the show using a Mole that appeared to be a fanatical candidate. Yes, we did see Jan sabotage certain assignments in the finale but there were many others that were not addressed where it would seem he didn’t sabotage at all. Here are some just off the top of my head that he could have easily sabotaged (or sabotaged more than he did) but didn’t (or at least we weren’t shown that he did): (1) the car-a-oke assignment where he could have easily not guessed Olcay’s songs, but he guessed a TON of them correctly and he also did a good job conveying his songs to Olcay so that she could guess his; (2) the Pac-Man car challenge where he helped push the most valuable car across the finish line and ended up doubling the money for the pot (when he could have allowed the car to get trapped by the other cars in the first place; (3) the zip-line challenge, where he not only goes across but actively encourages the other candidates to go across by telling them it’s not that scary, etc., (4) the moon gazing challenge where he could have easily not seen the moon and claimed he had issues with his telescope, etc., (5) the control room challenge where he actively helped Simone and others solve the extension cord challenge, adding money to the pot, (6) the musical chair cars challenge where he could have easily gotten to Ruben and not looked suspicious on the basis that he wanted the two jokers for himself, but instead he appears to let Loes win, since he would have as Mole presumably known where all the cars were located. And these are just examples I can think of off the top of my head, Even some of the challenges that he did sabotage were ones where he still ended up bringing in some money for the group to make himself not look suspicious (i.e. the locked room hotel challenge, the moving houses challenge where he still earned a lot of money for packing so much in his car even though he didn’t bring a passenger etc.). And I would understand why, as the Mole you would most likely not want to sabotage at all the possible opportunities when you could to avoid suspicion, so I would get it if he didn’t sabotage on a couple of the numbered items that I listed above for that reason. But to not sabotage on so many possible instances when it would have been possible to do so just feels kind of….the opposite of what the Mole is actually supposed to do, which is to keep as much money out of the pot as possible. And he certainly could have taken a LOT more money than he did without being obvious about it and he still could have done so without sacrificing his fanatical candidate approach. It sort of felt like the producers just picked him because they thought having a fanatical candidate approach would be cool, and then told him that as long as he sabotaged here and there he would be fine….rather than to take as much money from the pot as possible, which as a viewer, is what you are expecting the Mole to do. So if you evaluate Jan as a Mole on the basis of whether he did a good job taking as much money from the pot as possible, I would say that he was a fairly bad Mole in that respect. On the other hand, if you evaluate whether he was a good Mole on the basis of remaining undetected, he would be considered an excellent Mole. So I’m a bit torn about how I feel about Jan as the Mole and the show’s approach to the Mole in general. Because the show seems OK with having a Mole that just sabotages here and there, which to me takes some of the fair-play out of the show. Because most if not all candidates sabotage here and there to make themselves look suspicious….so I’m not sure how it would really be possible to “figure out” Jan is the Mole until very late in the game like Ruben did when there were just a handful of people left, Yes, you could have a gut feeling it was Jan and just go with it, but my approach to shows like this is more analytical and I just don’t see how you could actually have figured out it was Jan (other than making a lucky guess or having good instincts) until very, very late in the game. Not to mention the show seemed to put hidden clues to a number of contestants in the show. The main example that I have yet to hear an explanation for is a tweet from the Mole that appeared around the third or fourth episode I believe, in which random letters in the tweet were capitalized. Some very astute fans of the show discovered that the capitalized letters were all the first letters of titles of the books that Stine has published. I kept waiting for an explanation for that in the hidden clues reveal that showed how it pointed to Jan instead, but there was none. And so, it would seem that the show was just dropping fake hidden clues to other contestants as well, which again, I think takes away from some of the fair-play element of the show. Just wanted to put these thoughts out there and see what others think.

    1. Clicky

      I don’t have an issue with a fanatic Mole, but I do feel similarly to you in that I felt underwhelmed at first when they started showing the sabotages.

      Granted I think he did a lot of great sabotages (towards the end), I think I felt underwhelmed because besides the phone call in Episode 1, and leading the team in the wrong direction in the first mission of Episode 3, I feel like he didn’t really proactively do anything in the first FIVE episodes. O_O

      Anything they showed besides the two mentioned above that applied to the first five episodes seemed like incredibly small and pointless sabotages (pretending the car stalled, but they get the car back and earn money anyways, wasting 10 seconds because he can’t find the word liar in the crossword).

      Great Sabotages: Throwing boxes off the train, tearing up cash in the room, hiding the lightbulbs was cool BUT the amount of money he cost the group seems underwhelming, the final 3 car/puzzle challenge was direct sabotage… but again all of these were so late in the game it felt underwhelming =[

      Obviously I still enjoyed it, but I totally feel you on this one.

      1. Dale

        I think he may have been told to take it easy since they had a rough start. if he was a bit full on all season and they didnt win money it wouldnt be fun. I am surprised he didnt sabotage the pot though. I think Jan had a feeling that Ru was going to win and didnt want to take from him.

      2. Brig Bother Post author

        I think these are all reasonable comments, especially in the context of last year’s Mole being very good indeed. I think there are some caveats – there are almost certainly more smaller sabotages than we’re told, they’re limited by time in that final episode to the most interesting. Secondly the Dutch show has a lot of challenges where contestants can earn part credit, and with lots of different groups of people there are times where the Mole is powerless or risks giving themselves away too much.

        Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the producers can edit any way they see fit to keep maximum suspicion on as many people for the longest time. For viewers The Mole is basically a hugely elaborate guessing game and always has been, but nonetheless a hugely entertaining one.

        1. John R

          I really think the live show needs to be at least half an hour longer next time, if not a couple of hours. It was almost halfway through the thing by the time they had done the live reveal!

          Glad they still managed a compilation of suspicious activity just before revealing the mole, surprised to learn it was basically 8 months between filming and the live…so they’re probably not far off starting to film Season 19!

  33. David B

    I’ve not actually been watching the series – though I plan to, when I have time – but I’ve always been a bit conflicted about Mole sabotages and producer influence. If the producers wanted to, they could give the Mole enough opportunities and advance information – including direct instructions for particular sabotages – for the team to score zero throughout the whole series. Personally, I think the information should be limited to an extent so that the sabotages are circumstantial and of the Mole’s own invention and volition.

    1. David

      In some cases the producers actually tell the Mole to help the team win if they can- in the first US season the final three had an escape their individual rooms challenge, and the producers gave the Mole the entire solution so she could be the hero and possibly throw the scent off of her; but the other two players laughed the challenge off (tying up the only phone line so she couldn’t talk to them), which ended up costing the winner an extra 75K….

      I think the producers have a target range of what they want the pot to be at the end, and can tell the Mole to play hard or ease up depending on the situation at the time; they can’t control how the others will play in the challenges, so sometimes the team will sabotage themselves with no Mole help.


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