Move over Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip, we’ve got a new reality-TV potpourri best friend! The Traitors season two was announced on February 2 by Peacock, which is thrilling news for anyone who likes drama, Scottish accents, watching people get buried alive, or ultimate betrayal. One aspect that made the U.S. season of the series different from the U.K. iteration was the reality-TV vets that made up half the cast. “We wanted to lean into what makes us unique,” Susan Rovner, NBCUniversal’s chairman of entertainment content, told Vulture about the change. “With Bravo and E!, we have the greatest unscripted ecosystem of any place, period, on the planet. So the goal was to lean into our stars — people who we know would play the game great, like Kate Chastain — and then also bring in some other reality stars to help broaden the audiences coming to Peacock.” With all that excitement about the reality-TV aspect from Rovner, it seems likely that season two will have a new cavalcade of B-list celebs. But who should it be?
When we asked (SPOILER) season-one winner Cirie Fields about who should go from her alma mater, Survivor, she named Sandra Diaz Twine. “Sandra is a shoo-in,” Fields said, due to Twine’s iconic “anybody but me” strategy. “If they don’t immediately target her? If she can shake that off? Shoo-in.” But winning is only one aspect of the game. It’s also important to be entertaining! With that in mind, we asked the Vulture staff who they wanted to see get their backstab on from the annals of reality-TV history, and ended up with a few Housewives, some Survivors, hosts, and one Millionaire Matchmaker.
Parvati Shallow (Survivor)
Who better to stir shit up in season two than Cirie Fields’s fellow Black Widow Brigade mastermind? After Cirie’s win and her own Survivor accomplishments, Parv will have to put in major work to get the target off her back, but it’s nothing she hasn’t overcome before. She’ll smile and giggle as she stabs unsuspecting foes in the back — and it will make for amazing television.
Miss J. Alexander (America’s Next Top Model)
It’s so important to have a runway-diva coach extraordinaire in any cast, honestly. More important, however, is having someone with an unimpeachable sense of style (Alan Cumming can only be onscreen so often each episode) and a flair for the dramatic. If there’s one person who knows how to milk a moment of drama, it’s Ms. J. Plus, Ms. J is one of the smartest judges from the glory days of Top Model and would certainly have techniques for sniffing out traitors that the less fabulous among us can only dream of.
—Jason P. Frank
Rachel Lindsay (The Bachelorette)
So far, dating-show experience hasn’t translated well on The Traitors. (Arie’s strategy was so nonexistent he blew himself up in the final round and was correctly/hilariously deemed “inconsequential” by Cirie.) But the woman who spent her fantasy-suite dates asking about her men’s credit scores is surely savvy enough to navigate the game’s complex social dynamics as well as she navigated the complex social dynamics of being the first Black Bachelorette.
Hannah Ferrier (Below Deck: Mediterranean)
Below Deck star Kate Chastain was the breakout of The Traitors season one, giving us a whole plot arc from her investment in rooting out traitors to her disdain for the show to her revived goal of making it to the end. So why not tap her Below Deck Med counterpart, former chief stew Hannah Ferrier, for season two? Like Kate, Hannah is one of reality TV’s straightest shooters, unafraid to call things as she sees them; she’s also possibly even more of a troublemaker, since she held a seasons-long grudge against Captain Sandy (and may be looking to avenge her unfortunate exit from the show).
Alex McCord (The Real Housewives of New York City)
She is in [Scotland] trying to survive in this economy!! (She’d have 10,000 panic attacks, and it’d be very fun to watch.)
Some Host (Various)
It’s time for the people to rise up and seize the means of reality-television production … by which I mean, let’s have a whole season pitting reality-television hosts against one another. Imagine a game of wits, deceit, and backstabbery among Andy Cohen, Jeff Probst, RuPaul, Michelle Butaeu, and the Amazing Race guy. Let’s drag Tim Gunn out of retirement (again). Who’s hosting The Bachelor again? Alex Wagner hosted The Mole reboot; let’s see if she learned anything from governing The Traitor’s closest cousin. We may well see alliances form between the food hosts: Padma Lakshmi, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsey, the Iron Chef himself Mark Dacascos. And just to mix things up a bit, let’s toss in all four color commentators from Singles Inferno too. Can Alan Cumming join the fun? Sure. Let Cirie host — it’s her Scottish castle now. The only real issue would be the prize. Given that some of these hosts are already quite rich, a $250,000 pot might not be a good enough incentive for that particular contestant strata. There’s only one answer: Winners get ownership stake of NBCUniversal.
Jonny Fairplay (Survivor)
One of Survivor’s most infamous liars proved he’d do anything for a W his first go-round (Pearl Islands), then abdicated at the first opportunity when he returned for Micronesia. Accounts conflict as to why he departed the reprisal so early, so The Traitors is an opportunity to set the record straight — while cementing himself in the reality-television villains’ Hall of Fame forever.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Finding Your Roots)
It is long since past time for reality-TV hosts to join the fray of the reality-TV secondary show market. Who knows these games better than them? Who could be better positioned to speak with leadership, to rally a group of allies, to negotiate between in-group conflicts? It’s also time for us to branch out beyond the most obvious big franchise options for reality-TV participants, and to that end, Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African American Research at Harvard University, as well as host of PBS celebrity genealogy reality show Finding Your Roots, should be in the next season of The Traitors. Imagine you’re looking around the table trying to suss out who’s going to kill you, and the guy who attended the Obama beer summit is smiling back at you. Imagine how glorious it would be for everyone to treat him as a kind, grandfatherly figure, only to discover he’s been blithely stabbing people in the back and lying straight to their faces. You think he can’t do it? I dare you to find anyone who’s made it as far as he has in academia who lacks a bone-deep capacity for ruthlessness.
Monet X Change (RuPaul’s Drag Race)
For all the queens who have talked a big game about strategy on Drag Race (All Stars 3 Shangela, looking at you), only one has gone back and done the work to truly incorporate strategy shows like Survivor into their daily personality. Monet X Change spearheaded the twinners alliance on All Stars 7, and she would certainly walk into that room determined, even if subtlety isn’t her strong suit. And if Miss J does come on, that alliance is all we’d need to solve many of the world’s problems including world hunger, because we would be eating.
—Jason P. Frank
Patti Stanger (Millionaire Matchmaker)
First off, it’s just been too long since Patti Stanger, one of Bravo’s early breakout stars, has graced our TV screens. But more than that, the Millionaire Matchmaker herself is especially suited to play the game that is The Traitors. She made her living on reading people and building relationships — now who better to spend a week placing relationships under the microscope (or, if we’re lucky, using her skills to trick people as a traitor)? Plus, you know you need to hear that New Jersey accent in some confessionals again.
Jill Zarin (The Real Housewives of New York City)
Jill Zarin has a reputation for being incredibly thirsty and surprising her fellow Housewives at unwanted moments. I think she’d also be a terrible liar, and her attempts to feign innocence would be unbeatable. Her ability to handle high-pressure situations is shaky at best, as recently depicted in her live coverage of Instagram Stories when her boyfriend got locked in a Zimmermann dressing-room bathroom. You know she’d sneak her dog, Bossie, in her bag too. Jill forever.
Lala Kent (Vanderpump Rules)
On The Traitors, everyone thinks they’re a perceptive body-language expert and master manipulator, and they’re nearly all wrong, which is the exact combination of hyperconfidence and extreme cluelessness that has so long driven the cast of Vanderpump Rules. (Well, that, and a willingness to shamelessly stir up mess.) But if you’ve managed to survive in a Lisa Vanderpump workplace, then I think a Scottish castle full of murder is a piece of cake. For maximum chaos, I would want the literally-unable-to-be-truthful James Kennedy to join season two, but I worry he would annoy everyone so quickly that the Faithful and the Traitors would abandon the show’s rules and find a way to team up to kick him off. But what about Lala Kent? She’s cunning and blunt, which would be good for a Traitor; she could easily form alliances, but I don’t think she’s necessarily a ringleader, which would help her slide through as a member of the Faithful. She’s emerged victorious over and over again in Vanderpump Rules rivalries of all kinds, and I wouldn’t put winning The Traitors past her either. At the very least, she’d probably curse out at least one fellow competitor, and that’s just good TV.
Bethenny Frankel (The Real Housewives of New York City)
The woman, the myth, the legend. No one would trust her, and she would be murdered night one, but it would be worth it just to see her talk back to Alan Cumming and make a bitchy TikTok series about it afterward.