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Victoria Garza becomes the fifth player executed from 'The Mole'


By Christopher Rocchio, 06/24/2008 

Victoria Garza did a good job of leading other players to thinking she was the mole.

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Unfortunately somebody else was doing the same thing to her, as the 26-year-old retail manager from Bishop, TX became the fifth player executed from The Mole's fifth season during last night's broadcast of the ABC reality series.

"I kind of had a feeling.  I think it was my time to go," said Victoria after her ouster was revealed.  "Obviously I was heading in the wrong direction, so kudos to the mole.  They pulled one over me."

The Mole's fourth fifth-season episode began following Ali Sonoma taking a $30,000 bribe to quit the competition and the subsequent execution of Bobby O'Donnell, with a total of $129,000 currently in the pot.  Victoria was emotional since she was close with Bobby.

"Bobby... I'm shocked," she said through tears during a confessional.  "Now I really feel alone in this game and I really can't trust anyone.  He was the only one that I trusted -- the only one."

The eight remaining players traveled to the Andes Mountains, and immediately expected the Argentinean mountain range would be involved in their next mission.  The players met host Jon Kelley at 7,200-feet altitude, and he explained the rules for the next mission.  He instructed the players to split into two teams of four -- the "selfish" and "selfless." 

The "selfish" team consisted of Victoria; Clay, a 32-year-old criminal litigation attorney from Philadelphia, PA; Kristen, a 35-year-old neuroscientist from Santa Monica, CA; and Nicole, a 32-year-old OBGYN doctor from Chicago, IL; while the "selfless" team consisted of Craig, a 30-year-old graphic designer San Diego, CA; Paul, a 29-year-old machinist from Yonkers, NY; Mark, a 42-year-old high school history teacher and soccer coach from Mukwonago, WI; and Alex, a 31-year-old musician from Haverford, PA.

Titled "Midas Rush," each team would have 50 minutes to carry as many five-pound gold bars to 10,000-feet altitude as possible. All the members of each team had to arrive at the very same time to complete the mission, meaning they'd only be as fast as their slowest player.  In addition, there was an exemption available to the first team who made it to the finish line.  Since there was a total of 200 bricks worth $250 each, a possible $50,000 could be added to the pot.

The mission commenced, with both teams piling bricks into their backpacks.  Strategies varied, as some players stuffed their packs with as many bricks as possible while others didn't in an attempt to have more energy to get to the top first and claim exemption.  The "selfish" team had 23 bricks for a total of $5,750; while the "selfless" team had 38 bricks for $9,500.

Nicole quickly became winded and Victoria was "suspicious" of her, playing right into Nicole's hands.

"The more suspicion on me, the last on the actual mole," she said.

Craig was aware that with Bobby gone, he was now the "weakest player."  The higher the teams climbed the thinner the air got.  The "selfish" team was the first to encounter Jon on their journey up, and he threw in a twist -- each team would also have to take a scale to the top.  One scale weighed 10 pounds, while the other weighed 20.  A decision had to be made without lifting the scales to determine which was which.

The "selfish" team correctly chose the lighter scale, meaning the "selfless" team had to carry the heavier scale.  Mark opted to carry at the expense of four of his bricks.  Craig found it "suspicious."

Not surprisingly the "selfless" team struggled up the hill, giving the "selfish" team a 450-yard lead with less than 20 minutes remaining in the mission.

"A couple of times I thought I was going to fall over face first and not be able to get up," said a 300-plus pound Craig. 

His physical state was not lost on the other players, who doubted his ability to make it.  The "selfish" team made it to the finish line first with just over 13 minutes remaining and their 23 bricks added $5,750 to the pot.  Craig continued to "battle" himself as there was less than five minutes remaining, but the "selfless" team was able to do it with 30 seconds left.  Their 34 bricks added $8,500 to the pot.

The 52 bricks added a total of $14,250 to the pot, and Jon informed the "selfish" team their strategy was all for not as only one of them would earn exemption.  They had to unanimously decide among themselves which would receive the exemption.  If they were unable to decide, they would forfeit the exemption and the $14,250.  Clay quickly nominated himself since he's never been exempt before.

"I feel like it's time for me to secure my spot in this game," he said, much to Kristen's chagrin, who felt she "deserved it."  However she knew he was going to back down, which made her suspicious he was the mole.

"I've never had an exemption, but I think Clay deserved it more than I did because I think he performed better," said Victoria.

The group unanimously decided to give it to Clay, who received the exemption.  The $14,250 was added to the pot, the total of which went to $143,250.

Once the eight players got to the bottom of the mountain, Craig began to suffer from hypothermia -- which Jon explained was a combination of the "strenuous" mission and high altitude.  He was slipping in an out of consciousness as he received medical attention in an ambulance.

"I just kept getting colder and colder, and I couldn't breathe," said Craig.  "I was shivering uncontrollably, my lungs just spasmed and seized.  I was panicking."

As the players returned to their cabin Craig continued to be treated for altitude sickness and hypothermia.  He was subsequently released under the condition he stayed warm and got some rest.  Craig explained what happened to the other players upon his return.

"I hope they don't think I'm trying to make it look like I'm the mole by almost dying," said Craig with a chuckle.  "That would be sad."

However that's exactly what Victoria was thinking as she conversed with Kristen.

"If he turns out to be the mole I'll be so pissed," she said.  "I mean I don't think he is, but that would be a good MO."

Victoria then discussed with Alex the importance of coalitions until the Final 5, and both accused each other of possibly trying to sabotage the game.

"Victoria could still be the mole in my mind," said Alex in a confessional.  "She just gets her game face on, and I guess she's more intelligent than I initially thought."

Mark utilized his journal the best he could, cross-checking his quiz answers with the remaining players.  The players then arrived for dinner -- minus Craig, who was resting so there would be no relapse.

At dinner Jon immediately asked how important their journals were to them, and everybody had varying answers.  Jon then instructed the players to pass their journals to him before he left the room for a minute.  Upon his return, Jon gave the players their journals back -- which made them all relieved.

However he then said he took the journals as part of their next mission -- "Who said that?"  After informing them he rounded the pot up to $144,000, Jon said that he'd be reading comments from the player's journals.  Each time the players were able to guess which of their fellow player's journal the comment came from, he'd add $2,000 to the pot. 

Comments included Victoria correctly knew Mark accused her of drinking a lot; Clay correctly guessed Kristen called him a very quiet, cool guy with a good vibe; Paul incorrectly guessed Nicole said she wanted things to work out right; Kristen correctly answered Nicole said the first mission was the stupidest thing anyone did for money; Alex incorrectly guessed Mark accused him of taking control; Mark knew Paul wrote the game was "to easy" instead of "too easy;" and Nicole incorrectly guess Paul wrote that she was in the game for fame.

Since it was the last question, Jon gave the player who made the comment a chance to own up to it and add $2,000 to the pot.  Victoria fessed up.  The players got five out of seven correct, however Kristen's correct answer was disqualified since Nicole tipped her off by blinking quickly and coughing -- dropping too many hints.

"I don't know why Nicole was blinking an coughing and hand waving," said Kristen.  "In one respect, she does that kind of showboating all the time.  I think Nicole could definitely be the mole."

"She loves to sabotage the game," added Paul.

The players then had some dessert, which was followed by a drive to an Argentinean beach.  Once there, Jon asked who was willing to "sacrifice" their journal.  They discussed it amongst themselves, and some players thought an exemption was on the line.  Clay and Mark said their journals weren't worth the sacrifice, while Alex and Paul thought the opposite. 

Paul and Alex played rocks, paper scissors and Alex lost.  He gave his journal to Jon, who spared Alex's journal -- only to have Jon torch the other six.

"Jon can I go get mine?" nervously asked Mark.

"No you may not," the host answered.

"It's just mean," said Mark, and the other players noticed he was visibly upset and shaken.  An inconsolable Mark walked off by himself, and the other players were unable to locate him when it was time to leave.  He eventually returned but continued to mope.  Clay -- who was in a coalition with Mark -- was concerned he was "unraveling to my detriment."

"I would without question, unequivocally stop the coalition," promised Clay if that was in fact the case.

Back at the cabin the players prepared for bed and Victoria realized after the next day's quiz there'd only be seven players remaining.

"I don't want to go home yet, but if I do, I'll be mad," she said.  "But, you know, I can only be mad at myself."

The Mole's fourth fifth-season quiz took place the next night -- with each of the eight remaining players answering 10 questions about the mole and six doing so sans their journal. The player who scored the lowest on the quiz would be executed and would be required to leave the game immediately.

Jon explained Craig was being allowed to keep his journal to balance out the disadvantage of not being able to make observations about the game the previous night since he missed dinner and the beach trip. 

The 10 questions on the fourth quiz were is the mole male or female; what color pants was the mole wearing in the "Midas Rush" mission; did the mole's team decide who received an exemption in the "Midas Rush" mission; how many gold bars did the mole's "Midas Rush" team carry to the finish line; from Jon's perspective, where was the mole standing from left to right at the end of the "Midas Rush mission; has the mole received an exemption to date; was the mole's answer disqualified during the "Who Said What?" mission; was the mole's journal burnt; did the mole confess to writing a comment about another player during the "Who Said That?" mission; and who is the mole.

After informing the players there was currently $152,000 in the pot, Jon reminded them Clay was exempt from execution.

"Tonight, we have a tie," said Jon.  "That means the player with the slowest time on the quiz will be executed.  This evening, that was a difference of only five seconds."

Jon then revealed Paul, Alex and Mark were all safe before giving Victoria the boot.

"Ah!  I knew it," exclaimed Victoria upon her ouster.

"I am incredibly surprised," said Clay after Victoria left.  "Thank god I had an exemption, that's all I can say."

The Mole's next fifth-season episode will air Monday, June 30 at 10PM ET/PT on ABC.

(Photo credit ABC)


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