Two of my favourite shows in my childhood were The Mole and Beauty and the Geek Australia.
- Season 1 of The Mole took place in Tasmania, Australia, though the season (and the whole concept as a whole) started in Melbourne. Jan Moody was the first winner and Alan Mason (who’d later become the adjudicator on The Weakest Link) was the first Mole.
- Season 2 took place mostly in Victoria, Australia, and there was one notable assignment where the contestants had to retrieve some beacons in a large maze in the dead of night.
- Season 3 took place in Queensland, with the bulk of the season on the Gold Coast. Personally this is my favourite season as it featured the Weakest Link assignment, where the nine remaining contestants took on Cornelia Frances and escaped with $14,100 (rounded up to $15,000; it was the lowest amount ever won on TWL). There was also an assignment where two contestants had to draw a picture of an animal on the surface of (what was then known as) ANZ Stadium in Brisbane.
- Season 4 saw the series head abroad for the first time, with a new title: The Mole in Paradise. There were two fake eliminations this season, and there was also a cheating scandal in the penultimate episode which saved the eventual winner from being eliminated. In fact, he had also cheated elimination in round two, whereby he scored equal lowest in the pre-elimination quiz but survived because another contestant took longer. Also worth noting is that the weekly quizzes were only six questions and the final quiz was ten questions.
- After a break in 2004, season five in 2005 took a new twist, with episodes filmed across a weekend in New Zealand and then a live elimination taking place at Martin Place. The Seven News Sydney set had to be reconfigured to allow this to occur. This season’s winner, Liz Cantor, is now a personality on Seven Gold Coast News.
- Season six returned eight years later (in 2013) but didn’t rate well for a variety of reasons, including a new host (Shura Taft), multiple episodes taking place in a week before eliminations, a skewed format etc. This season produced the second male winner, with Hillal Kara-Ali prevailing. I know Sam Hutchins from this season personally as I met him at an AFL match in April 2014.
Beauty and the Geek Australia
- It was brought to my attention last year that a colleague whom I was working with a few years ago featured on the show in 2010 (and at the time I wasn’t really into the show), and so I started watching a few eps from that season on YouTube. The person in question is Kara (who was paired with Tim for the series), who was eliminated in the penultimate episode.