Exclusive: Liz Cain talks about her fifth-season 'The Mole' experience
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/11/2008
Liz Cain put all her eggs in one basket in attempting to guess The Mole's fifth-season saboteur, and viewers saw where that got her.
The retired 60-year-old from Whitefish, MT became the second player executed from The Mole's fifth season during Monday night's broadcast of the reality competition series on ABC.
On Tuesday, Liz talked to Reality TV World about her thoughts on several of the players still remaining in the competition; why she wasn't surprised to see Nicole threaten to "kill" Paul; how she was serendipitously cast for the show; and why her love of fart jokes doesn't mean she has a dirty mouth.
Reality TV World: You didn't seem to be very confident heading into Monday night's quiz. Was there a specific reason why you were unsure you'd be able to survive being executed?
Liz: Well there are a lot of factors that go into it -- the speed of doing the quiz and whether I judged right. But I put all my eggs in one basket that night. After I did it, I thought, "Oh! What am I, crazy?" (laughing) But I just had a feeling and I put all my eggs in one basket. I may be right, I may have just had the slowest time. Who knows. Time will tell.
[Editor's note: Due to the nature of The Mole's format, ABC would not allow Reality TV World to question which contestant Liz had believed to be the season's saboteur.]
Reality TV World: What was the major problem the goal-oriented team encountered during the soccer game? Were the kids really that good?
Liz: Oh those kids were amazing! They eat, drink and sleep soccer -- that's their national sport, they all aspire to be soccer players. That's all they do is play soccer, and boy were they good. They really beat us badly. (laughing)
Reality TV World: Why do you think Bobby and Alex did so poorly during the mission after they boasted about having previous soccer experience?
Liz: Bobby came around at the end. He saved a lot of goals, you just didn't see them. Actually, the children get to practice together as a team everyday. We had never -- we hadn't even had one practice as a team. We didn't even know what positions we were playing and half of the people didn't even know what positions there were in soccer. (laughing) So maybe with a little practice we could have whipped their little butts.
Reality TV World: You were one of the slower players to make your way back to the gondola station. Was that a strategy on your part or at that point were you really just tired?
Liz: It could have been a strategy, but judging by my physique, you would think it was real. I don't want to reveal any secrets, but actually my feet started swelling up in my shoes -- so my circulation was cut off and I couldn't feel my feet. I'm an old Southern girl -- I'm used to going barefoot anyway -- so I just kicked off the shoes and socks and then I took off. I did okay!
Reality TV World: Paul seemed to constantly be around you during Monday night's episode -- first when he waited for you to go to the gondola station and again when you both caught the flying pigs during the second mission. Did you have any sort of alliance with Paul? Was he someone you felt you could trust?
Liz: Well... He likes to do coalitions, but I can't say whether we had a coalition or not. But he did take good care of me. He was concerned. Paul comes off as having a big bravado and all of that, but he's a big old marshmallow inside. He was genuinely concerned for me and he was taking good care of me. He was being a good guy.
Reality TV World: Before Paul broke the pig containing the exemption, did he ever tell you why he was playing with it so much?
Liz: Boy I was so clueless! I feel like an idiot. (laughing) I didn't even think... I thought the pig with the [exemption] was out in the town somewhere. But he kept playing with it and fiddling with it and I thought, "Oh, isn't he cute. A little boy playing with a toy. He's just so fascinated with that little jingle inside." It didn't dawn on me. If I had thought for a moment that I could get [exemption], I would have beat him to the ground. I would have beat him to a pulp. (laughing)
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Reality TV World: What was your take on Bobby? Did you suspect that he was really having as difficult a time during the physical challenges as he led on?
Liz: He did admit that he hadn't been keeping up with his physical activities since he got into the working world, so he's just -- like may of us, me included -- when you start having to work for a living and doing other things and taking care of other people, you go by the wayside a little bit. I just think he had to get out of the body-building for a while and it got to him. He was kind of puny but he's a sweetie -- he is a real sweet person.
Reality TV World: Were you suspicious of his trio -- which also included Kristen and Craig -- when they failed to retrieve any pigs during that mission?
Liz: I just thought it was funny. Everybody did differently. That's what I love about this game -- if everybody brought back exactly the same thing it would be kind of boring. So the difference in what people were able to do in their different little teams was just fascinating to me. I just loved it. I know Kristen was highly upset because she's really a go-getter. (laughing) But it was funny. It was very funny. Reality TV World: Alex came under heavy criticism from a few of the other players for trying to be a leader and doing a poor job at it. Do you think Alex could do a better job leading if he wanted to and is simply holding back as a strategy?
Liz: I think he's a young man who has a lot of get-up-and-go. The starry-eyed young person who thinks he can go out and conquer the world. Well I guess he's still living with his parents. (laughing) I think he sincerely wanted to take a leading role and do well and try to help everybody out and maybe that would be a good cover for the mole. Who knows? I don't know.
But he does the best he can. He's home with his parents and I'm sure he gets just so far at home and his parents pick-up and take-off from there. He didn't have his parents with him, maybe that was it. I don't know. (laughing)
Reality TV World: Were you in the group of people that had a problem with Nicole? What was it specifically about her that rubbed the group the wrong way? Was she really that bad?
Liz: She rubbed everybody the wrong way. To begin with, when we were all just meeting, we all introduced ourselves and tried to ingratiate ourselves with each other. When she introduced herself, she introduced herself as DOCTOR -- pause -- Nicole Williams. We all looked around at each other and said, "Yeah, okay. Dr. Williams. Fine. That's fine with us." But then... I don't know, I guess she had an image to uphold. After she realized that her patients and her coworkers might be seeing how she's acting, she kind of turned into a little pussycat I think.
Reality TV World: After you were executed, Nicole threatened to "kill" Paul. Was watching the show the first time you heard that threat? If so, what was your reaction when you saw it unfold?
Liz: Yeah, that was the first time I saw that. But I saw things building up. There's quite a bit of drama building up ion different little camps.
Reality TV World: So you weren't surprised to see her say that?
Liz: I wasn't really surprised. I can't say I was really surprised knowing Paul and knowing Nicole. That's quite an interesting dynamic, I can't wait to see where it goes. It's going to go somewhere. (laughing)
Reality TV World: Was the language barrier between the players and the locals really as bad as it seemed?
Liz: Half of us spoke Spanish -- about half of us spoke Spanish. But Alex spoke very fluent Spanish. Of course, one time he was somebody asking where they buy tickets and he kept saying "ticketas," and actually it's "boletos." (laughing) He missed a couple of words there. But he was helpful and there was a language barrier for the other half. Actually when I spoke my Spanish... I learned Mexican Spanish and the Chilean people let me know right away that they spoke a different Spanish. (laughing) It helped a little bit.
Reality TV World: You were the fifth-season's oldest player -- with the next closest player being 18 years younger than you. Did you view that as an advantage or disadvantage heading into the competition?
Liz: Oh it was definitely an advantage. I just loved being around those kids and I have two teenagers myself -- well one is 20 and in the Army and then my daughter's a teenager. But I loved it. I don't feel like I'm 60! (laughing) Something quit inside my head when I was about 20-years-old. I'm 60-years-old, but I'm not that in my head. I got along fine with everybody.
Reality TV World: Did you use your journal at all the short time you were in the competition?
Liz: Yes. I thought I was going to have to get another journal because I wrote down everything. I filled up my pages and I put some stuff in there. I wasn't aware that they were going to keep the journals. (laughing)
Reality TV World: I see, so you weren't allowed to take the journal home with you after filming?
Liz: No. There's some things in there I might not have wanted to put. (laughing) But I did enjoy having the journal to write in.
Reality TV World: Was there anything you expected to be show that wasn't?
Liz: Well there were several things. I thought, "Aw shoot. I know there's not enough time to put everything in." I wanted everyone to see one of those pigs -- one of those flying pigs -- one of them hit me right in the facemask and shattered. I just thought that would be such a great, dramatic scene -- getting hit in the face with a pig. (laughing) That didn't happen, but at least you saw my bruise.
Reality TV World: That looked pretty painful, did you recover quickly?
Liz: Yeah, I was fine. I loved it. It was very stimulating to get bruises and get hit by flying pigs. It really was.
Reality TV World: Overall, what was your favorite memory from the experience?
Liz: I can't have a favorite. Maybe it was just being there with everybody -- being there and seeing the beautiful country of Chile and meeting the Chilean people and seeing their customs. There's not just one thing I can pinpoint. Just everything. I was so grateful for being there.
Liz: Actually I was looking for a summer job. I thought it was going to be shot in the summer. I thought, "Oh, I don't have a chance. I'm just going to send off the wackiest email I can email to them." I sent a wacky email just being myself and I got a personal phone call from the casting director asking if I could make it to the Chicago auditions and I could have my own time -- I didn't have to do the cattle call. Wow! (laughing) So I got on the Amtrak and got on over there. I made it -- I made it through all the interviews and it was such fun.
There was a Reader's Digest in my choo-choo train room -- and they don't ever have reading material in the rooms -- but there was a Reader's Digest. The top strip said, "Is it really a mole?" Then the thumbprint was on the front of the Reader's Digest -- and that Reader's Digest was 2-years-old.
Reality TV World: Odd.
Liz: I just thought that was an omen. Then the story on the inside of the Reader's Digest was about Chile. (laughing)
Reality TV World: Serendipitous.
Liz: It was, it was.
Reality TV World: Would you consider yourself a fan of the show's first two seasons? What about the celebrity installments?
Liz: Absolutely! I just locked onto the first season. I missed the second season because I was in transit moving from New Mexico to Florida, so I missed that one. But the first season and then when I saw Celebrity Mole coming on, boy I locked onto them. I love The Mole. There's a reason why Mensa says it's the smartest show. (laughing)
Reality TV World: What was your strategy heading into the competition?
Liz: Gosh I just wanted to keep my wits about me. (laughing) It was hard to have a target until I got right in the situation. I just held off and assessed the situation and rolled with the punches.
Reality TV World: What did you think would be your strong points and what areas of your game play were you concerned about?
Liz: Just my ability to keep my mouth and kind of listen -- eavesdropping. (laughing) Just eavesdropping and watching things, watching people. I love watching people, it's great.
Reality TV World: When we talked to host Jon Kelley before the season started, he described you as "this loveable, grandma that kind of became the den mother of the group." Was that a strategy on your part or is that generally how you always act?
Liz: I guess it's kind of a natural thing. I'm always one to be a mother and be helpful, so I guess that's just where I'm comfortable.
Reality TV World: What's the reaction been like by your friends and family members who watched you on the show?
Liz: They're all so supportive and so excited. I was reading a couple of emails today -- I'm out of town right now -- and they're all very supportive. But I told them, "You've got to keep watching because we have a reunion show and we have a reveal show. We're going to have a reveal in [August]. There's a mole. I'll be back on there." So they're looking forward to keeping up with the show and seeing me back on again.
Reality TV World: Have you kept in touch with any of the other players?
Liz: No. We can't talk to each other.
Reality TV World: Did you have anything else that you wanted to add that we didn't touch upon?
Liz: Well I did notice there were a couple of interviews that said I had a dirty... I talked dirty or I had a foul mouth. Actually, all I talked about was I like fart jokes. (laughing) That's all. I don't want my church people thinking I get away from church and I'm this foul-mouthed little old lady. It's just fart jokes. I love fart jokes. (laughing)