The BBC’s runaway success of last year The Traitors is back! Avid watcher Lauren Windle says one contestant has tried to put the ‘faith’ back into ‘faithful’, but would you be a contestant on the show?
I’m coming clean right now. I bloomin’ love The Traitors. I’ve watched the UK, Australian and US versions and have listed them in order of my enjoyment (most to least) for your convenience.
If you haven’t seen the epic series, let me give you the lowdown. It’s basically a grand televised version of the game Mafia. At the start of play three people from a group of 20 or so are assigned as “the traitors”. The rest of the contestants “the faithfuls” have to catch out the traitors and vote them out.
During the day the contestants take part in challenges to earn money for their prize pot. In the afternoon the contestants sit in a “knights of the round table” style room and vote off one person they believe to be a traitor. While at night the traitors meet and choose one person to “kill” who will not progress to the next day. At the end of the game, everyone left in will split the prize money (usually around £120k) unless a traitor is among them, in which case, they go home with the lot.
It is the first time in my experience of watching the show that one of the contestants has spoken about having a Christian faith.
Exciting right? The second season of the UK’s version launched on 3 January 2024 and it is already set to be a corker. It is the first time in my experience of watching the show that one of the contestants has spoken about having a Christian faith.
Bubbly 34-year-old Charlie, a mental health area manager, made it through the first tense night knowing that there was a risk the traitors will have “killed” her. At breakfast the following morning, she told a fellow contestant that she had been praying in her room as she was a Christian. She joked: “I don’t know if God watches the Traitors!”
Well Charlie, I’m not sure if God tucks himself up on the sofa with a hot cup of cocoa and compliments presenter Claudia Winkleman on her extensive knitwear wardrobe, but I know that our God is omnipresent and therefore, is definitely watching.
I don’t blame Charlie for throwing up a prayer for her survival, I definitely would have done the same. I’m one of those Christians who prays for a parking space – although I also graciously accept God’s wisdom if it turns out there isn’t one available. If I were Charlie though, I would be focusing my prayers mostly on representing him well as I played the game of backstabbing and betrayal.
The Traitors involves lying. For that reason alone I think there are plenty of Christians who wouldn’t want to take part.
The Traitors involves lying. For that reason alone I think there are plenty of Christians who wouldn’t want to take part. Despite agreeing that lying is morally and spiritually corrupting, I do think that, as the parameters of the game are clear to all who apply, a Christian can play along knowing that it’s all part of the process.
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That, however, doesn’t mean that I think any manner of game play is acceptable. I think you can play the game with integrity and in a way that would make God proud. Would you win that way? Definitely yes – albeit a moral victory rather than a financial one. I think Charlie is in a strong position as she wasn’t selected to be a traitor – the role that requires the most deceit. Her job is to observe, connect and identify those who have something to hide.
Next time Charlie goes up to her room, if I were her, I’d be asking for divine wisdom. For eyes to see what is happening spiritually with my fellow contestants. For opportunities to be a light in a game that can get heavy and intense. Not so that I could get divine insight that would allow me to win the game, but so that I could use the exposure and experience as a kingdom opportunity, modelling Jesus’s peace and calm in a game designed to make you crack.