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Mark Lambrecht wins 'The Mole,' Craig Slike revealed as saboteur


By Christopher Rocchio, 08/12/2008 

Mark Lambrecht was revealed to be The Mole's fifth-season winner and Craig Slike was unmasked as its saboteur during last night's finale broadcast of the ABC reality competition series.

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Mark -- a 42-year-old high school history teacher and soccer coach from Mukwonago, WI who was revealed to have barely survived elimination several times -- took home The Mole's $420,000 fifth-season pot after correctly answering 17 of the 20 questions on the quiz he took during last Monday night's penultimate broadcast.

"I'm shocked and I'm humbled," said Mark after his victory. 

"The whole reason I did this was so my wife wouldn't have to work anymore, and if I could make enough money so that my wife could just stay home with our children -- especially with the new baby -- that would give me an incredible sense of accomplishment.  I just can't believe it."

Mark defeated Nicole Williams, a 32-year-old OB/GYN doctor from Chicago, IL, who became Craig's final victim after she correctly answered only 13 of the 20 questions during last week's quiz.

"The moment after I walked out of the quiz, I knew," said Nicole about losing to Mark.  "I've been taking enough tests in my life to know when I've done well on a quiz and when I've performed poorly."

As The Mole's fifth-season saboteur, Craig, a 31-year-old graphic designer San Diego, CA, was able to prevent "well over $100,000" from going into the pot.

"I think you were built for this game, both mentally and physically," said Craig to Mark during last night's episode.  "Even things that people thought would hold you back, I think you turned around and used as a strength.  I'm proud of you and I think you did it for all the right reasons."

Nicole was revealed to have actually been Craig more onto than Mark throughout The Mole's fifth season, which host Jon Kelley told viewers filmed 12 weeks prior to last night's finale.

As Nicole and Paul Grassi played off of each other as a strategy, she initially targeted Bobby O'Donnell as the saboteur until he was executed during the third week of the competition.  She subsequently turned her attention to Victoria Garza, who was executed in the fourth week.

After that, Nicole decided to play the field on the quiz and spread her answers out among Kristen Willeumier, Alex Jacobs and Craig.  Once Kristen and Alex were the sixth and seventh players executed, respectively, that left Craig as Nicole's top suspect.

However Paul continued to grate on Nicole, and she said she almost followed through on her plan to self-execute during the eighth week.

"Maybe because [Paul] knew that I was going to be one of his greater adversaries, so he tried really hard," explained Nicole.  "He was almost right there.  I really almost threw that quiz.  I just wanted to leave because I didn't want to deal with him.  It almost worked until I sat in-front of that computer."

With both Nicole and Paul suspecting Craig as the saboteur, they tied on the ninth week's quiz.  However Nicole completed it four seconds faster than Paul, executing him from the competition.

Mark's strategy got off to a good start when he found a coalition partner he could trust in Craig, and they targeted Victoria as the saboteur. 

However during the fifth week Mark, Alex and Victoria all tied on the quiz, with Clay safe with an exemption.  While Victoria suspected Craig, she incorrectly answered a question trying to rush through the quiz and it cost her.

With Victoria out, Mark and Clay instead decided to target Kristen.  But on the next quiz Mark and Kristen tied and he was able to complete it faster, once again saving his neck.

From there Mark and Clay targeted Nicole -- but so did Alex, who was the next player executed.  Mark and Clay then tied during the next quiz when they suspected Nicole, but once again Mark was faster and Clay was given the boot.

With only Mark, Paul, Nicole and Craig still in the game, Mark won the fifth season's final exemption and secured himself a spot in the Finale 3 and allowing him more time to decide who the saboteur was.

Paul was executed and that left only two suspects.  Mark remembered Clay telling him that he went "100%" with Nicole, meaning if Clay had been telling the truth, Craig was the mole.

In the final quiz, Mark applied all of the information in his journal towards Craig to win the title.

"I knew it.  I knew Clay and I tied the night that Clay went home," said Mark during the finale. 

"I did feel really bad the night Clay went home because that was a sacrifice that ended up letting me win the game.  Clay really was my sanity in this game.  He saved me emotionally.  I cannot thank him enough for that."

Mark added he didn't think he had Nicole beat on the final quiz.

"Nicole is incredibly intuitive and she is very smart," he said.  "I thought that I needed a perfect score."

(Photo credit ABC)


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