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Exclusive: Marcie Ciscel talks about her brief 'The Mole' journey

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/03/2008 

Marcie Ciscel couldn't determine who was serving as the saboteur during her short stint as a The Mole fifth-season player.

The 31-year-old stay-at-home mom from Corona, CA paid the price for it when she became the first player executed during last night's premiere broadcast.

On Tuesday, Marcie talked to Reality TV World about why she wasn't really surprised to be the first fifth-season player to be executed; how she went from everybody suspecting she was the mole to being shown the door; what led her to form a coalition with another player and how paranoia subsequently set in; and why she initially didn't want to be on The Mole but is now grateful she took the opportunity.

Reality TV World:  Who did you suspect was the mole when you were answering the questions on the quiz and what led you to think that?

Marcie:  Oh my gosh, it was so crazy.  You know what, I think it was so early.  It was too early, none of us really knew who the mole was.  Um... The people I thought at that time, I think I had Bobby.  I think I picked Clay.  I know I had suspected Ali.  I think those were my Top 3, but at that point, really none of us knew.

Reality TV World:  Was there anybody you immediately thought couldn't have been the mole?

Marcie:  No.  You can't do that.  You can't do that in this game.  The only person who I was hoping [wasn't the mole] was Paul, just because we had an agreement together that we were going to give each other information and pick other people's brains.  So Paul was the only one I was hoping was staying honest with me.

Reality TV World:  Were you surprised to be the first player executed?  Did you think you had done well on the quiz?

Marcie:  No.

Reality TV World:  Okay, so you weren't surprised?

Marcie:  Emotionally, this was a tough, tough game.  the other players were amazing.  Things were being thrown at you at different ways at different times.  It was crazy.  I was emotionally, I was mentally drained.  I felt like I was going crazy.  I was confused if Paul was really giving me the right information.  Now -- seeing the show -- I know he was! (laughing)  It's crazy.

Reality TV World:  What was your reaction when prior to the first mission, when host Jon Kelley revealed that the majority of your fellow players were suspicious you were the mole?

Marcie:  I was a little surprised.  The other players kept asking me questions like, 'How could you do this?  How could you be away from your three boys and your family?  That's a bit suspicious.'  Everybody was very up front about the way that they felt, they would tell you that.

I wasn't that surprised only because they kept watching me and I could feel it. (laughing)  You want to throw them off, so maybe I did a good job.

Reality TV World:  It seemed like some of your choices of where to place the money during the first mission were kind of odd.  How did you decide which players would be going for the money?

Marcie:  As I said when we entered [that mission], we didn't have a lot of time together before that.  I didn't get a chance to really get to know everyone that well.  So I knew that Ali was in good shape and working out.  It doesn't matter how tall you are.  You can be very tall and clumsy and not very strong.

So I figured I'd go for the ones I knew were athletic -- like Ali, Victoria, Clay and Mark.  Kristen, I really didn't get a lot of time to talk to her, so I didn't know she was athletic.

Everybody thought it was odd -- the people that I chose.  But I just tried to go with who I thought was the most athletic.

Reality TV World:  Okay, so you were intentionally trying to sabotage the mission and make the other players think you were the mole?

Marcie:  Maybe with some players, yeah. (laughing)

Reality TV World:  What went into your selections of who would be sleeping in the cabin and who would be sleeping outside on the first night?

Marcie:  Nicole was just bothering me.  You can only listen to her a certain amount, then you tune her out.  So I just figured, "Ah, I'll put her outside.  She wants to speak a lot and give everybody her opinion?  We don't want to listen.'  So I threw her outside.

Then grandma [61-year-old Liz], she's a camping, outdoors person.  I didn't have a lot of time to choose!  It was at the spur of the moment.  Bobby could go outside.  I wanted to put the people inside that I still needed to talk to, like Kristen.  So I was strategizing, putting them close to me so I could find out more information.  Paul got to sleep inside because we were together.

Reality TV World:  Last night's episode showed Paul complaining Nicole kept everyone up all night.  Did anyone who slept in the cabin manage to get much sleep with her staying up all night in there?

Marcie:  She did keep everyone up.  She kept talking.  She wouldn't go outside.  We exchanged words.  We shut our door and tried not to listen, but she just kept going and going.  She would not stop and she would not go outside.

Reality TV World:  Did anyone raise the idea that trying to keep everyone from getting much sleep might be something the mole might do?

Marcie:  In a way.  I thought that maybe she could be the mole because she was still awake and maybe that's how they're handing her clues.  You never know.  It's so crazy.

Reality TV World:   What was your reaction when you learned she'd be receiving an exemption and wouldn't have to take the quiz?  Had any of you guys suspected the exemption going to be coming or was it a genuine surprise?

Marcie:  It was a surprise.  We were hoping it wasn't going to happen.  We were really hoping she wasn't going to be exempt.  It was very disappointing.

Reality TV World:  You've already touched upon your coalition with Paul.  What was your reaction when he approached you about it?

Marcie:  (sighs) Um... Gosh.  I wasn't putting a 100% trust in him.  When he did look at me I kind of read his face and he gave me his word and I told him I'd hunt him down and kill him. (laughing) 

But I had to trust someone at that point.  I didn't have my husband, didn't have my friends, didn't have my kids.  I needed to feel that I could trust someone so that I would have a little bit more confidence in the game.  I trusted him as much as I could.

Reality TV World:  Did you tell any of the other players that you and Paul were in a coalition?

Marcie:  We kept it to ourselves.  As a matter of fact, I was getting information from Victoria and Bobby -- trying to pick their brains as [Paul] was with Alex.  I was letting them know, "Yeah, he does have an alliance with Alex.  Let's try to break them up.  What do you think?"  So I was feeding [Paul] the information I was getting.

Reality TV World:  I see, so you were aware Paul was befriending Alex and leading him to think you were the mole as a strategy?  [That] he knew about your similar strategy with Victoria and Bobby?

Marcie:  To an extent.  We were always going.  We didn't have that much time to really do that.  I had to rely on not speaking to him a lot of the time and just trying to... I don't know, mouth things out and word things out where people couldn't see.  But towards the end I got paranoid -- I just got paranoid he wasn't being honest with me.  He tried to assure me he was.  But this game's crazy.

Reality TV World:  Did you use your journal at all the short time you were in the competition?

Marcie:  I did get to use my journal.  I got to write everything that I felt, everything that I saw going on.  But you never know what you need to remember.  You write everything that you can because you don't know what they're going to use on the quiz.

Reality TV World:  How were you cast for The Mole?

Marcie:  I actually went with my best friend just for the drive. (laughing) 

My boys were in school, and when I had gone I filled out paperwork with her.  They asked me if I was really interested and said they were really interested.  I actually was thinking, "Absolutely no.  I can't do this.  I cannot leave my family."  I've been with my husband for 10 years, but together for 14 years.  I've never really stepped out of my comfort zone.

I said, "No."  Then after talking with my family about it, they really pushed me to do it.  I'd never gotten the opportunity to travel like that or be on my own or test my limits.

Reality TV World:  Would you consider yourself a fan of the show's first two seasons?  What about the celebrity installments?

Marcie:  A huge fan.  I've watched every single episode.  I don't think they were expecting me to be a huge fan, but they were asking questions and I knew exactly what they were talking about.  I love the show -- the fact that it's a mystery-solving adventure.  I love it.

Reality TV World:  What was your strategy heading into the competition?  Did you come up with a game plan at all?

Marcie:  I tried to. (laughing)  It's so nerve wracking.  I tried to.  I knew I wanted to form a coalition with another player.  I knew that.  Just to try and remain calm.  I knew I was going to be devastated without my family.  I knew I wasn't going to sleep well, I don't sleep well when I'm not around my kids or my husband just because I don't know what's going on at all times.

But mostly, I just tried to stay focused, meditate a little and pray. (laughing)

Reality TV World:  You just mentioned one aspect you were concerned about was leaving your family.  What did you think would be your strong points or attributes?

Marcie:  Strong points were the fact that I'm pretty good at reading people.  I have a good intuition -- I have three little boys.  My husband's a police officer, so he was trying to tell me, "Don't over think it," which is the best thing.  "Do not over think it."  But I did at points because you get paranoid.  You don't feel you can really trust anyone.

I was also taking it as it was a game.  Some people are like, "Oh, the whole lying aspect!"  It's a game.

Reality TV World:  You already touched upon this a bit, but when we talked to Jon before the season started he said this was an opportunity for you to experience the world.  Are you happy you took that chance despite being away from your family?

Marcie:  It was so worth it.  I am so happy that I was given this opportunity.  Never in a million years would I ever do anything like this.  I was so excited to go home and be with my family after being gone all that time, but then of course you come home and you're like, "Ugh!  I wish I would have stayed!"  (laughing)  But you never I know.  I didn't answer those questions on the quiz right.

Emotionally I wish I would have been stronger.  You can tell on the show I was exhausted.  I think I lost eight to 10 pounds from stress and not sleeping.  But it's great, the producers and writers... they're pretty phenomenal.

Reality TV World:  So what's next for you?  What are you currently up to?

Marcie:  I'm raising my boys and coaching soccer. (laughing)  I like to be active.  I don't know, we'll see where this takes me.  At first I was like, "No, I just want to be home to raise my boys."  But after coming home... I don't know, I loved meeting all these other players.  I really cannot wait to see everybody again and all that.  I'll take it as it comes.

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