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Who Are Season 3’s Famous Relatives?

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

Claim To Fame is the perfect summer reality series: It’s mindless and low-stakes enough to feel breezy, but also invites enough wild speculation to make it seem like it somehow matters if someone is Jason Aldean’s cousin or Nick Cannon’s brother. And because we’re playing along at home with the contestants trying to sniff out their fellow fame-adjacents before getting eliminated themselves, it’s more satisfying than, say, The Masked Singer, where the embarrassingly off-base guesses Jenny McCarthy and company have been known to throw around can make the show’s reveals anti-climactic. On Claim To Fame, when it’s revealed that someone is Tom Hanks’ niece, that shit lands.

The contestants on Claim To Fame also don’t necessarily aspire to be famous and they’re not thrashing around in some desperate attempt to remain relevant, a la RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race or We Are Family.  Sure, some of them would undoubtedly love to come out on the other side with a few more social-media followers and some name recognition of their own, but most of them seem to genuinely be in it for the $100k in prize money, which—for the very un-famous relative of someone actually famous—is nothing to sneeze at.

But who are the celebrity relatives of these 11 hopefuls, who are vying for not only the Claim To Fame crown but for the hard-earned approval of hosts Kevin and Franklin Jonas? Here are our best guesses.

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

What we know about Adam: In the premiere episode’s game of two truths and a lie, he says his celebrity relative is his uncle, who’s an actor, and who has won a Grammy. Later on, Adam reveals that his relative is actually a singer who was most famous in the ’80s and ’90s, and that he actually sounds quite a lot like him when he sings.
Why it’s Michael Bolton: Redditors put this one together before the season aired, figuring out through some rabbit-hole sleuthing that Adam’s real name is Adam Christoferson, and that his mother’s brother is the ’90s balladeer. But beyond that, honestly, just look at him. Throw a wig on Adam and shave back that beard and that’s Michael Bolton right there.
Why it might not be Michael Bolton: It could be some other ‘80s or ‘90s American pop or rock solo artist, though we’d be hard pressed to pick one that enough of the population could cite from a modern-day vantage point. You could say he looks a bit like the main dude from Live, but would any of the other contestants be able to pull Ed Kowalczyk’s name from thin air? They don’t even know what the Peabody Awards are.

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

What we know about Bianca: Her two truths and a lie are that her famous relative is her aunt who’s an actress, and who’s won a Peabody Award. The latter clue seems specific enough to not be a lie, and there are very few actresses who also have Peabodies, so it’s safe to assume it’s her aunt.
Why it’s Robin Roberts: Typically, Peabody Awards are given for excellence in reporting, though they have also gone to other media trailblazers like Carol Burnett, Quinta Brunson, Issa Rae, Lily Tomlin, and Terry Gross. Bianca seems to at least be in her thirties, which would most likely mean her aunt is in her fifties or sixties. While it could be Oprah, there’s something about Claim To Fame’s ABC connection that makes us think it’s Robin Roberts, host of Good Morning America.
Why it might not be Robin Roberts: It is. Bianca was eliminated in the first episode, greeted in defeat by a nice video from her aunt.

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

What we know about Danny: Danny’s two truths and a lie clues are that his relative is his uncle, who’s a pro wrestler, and who’s won a Grammy. While a lot of contestants seem to think he looks like Jelly Roll, Mr. Roll is only 39, has never wrestled, and has never won a Grammy, though he was nominated for one. There also aren’t a ton of wrestlers who have won Grammys, and while you could argue that Danny just said he’s related to a wrestler to throw people off because he’s a big dude, it’s also a lot easier to pick from a pool of possible wrestlers than it is to try and guess random uncles who have Grammys.
Why it’s Big Show: We saw this guess bandied around on TikTok, and frankly it seems as good as any. Big Show is one of the most famous wrestlers, having both held belts and commentated, and he even had his own Netflix sitcom at one point. He’s also 52, which puts him in prime uncle territory. And maybe that popcorn and mountain of tickets in the clue wall is supposed to indicate a show?
Why it might not be Big Show: Honestly, we’re not really sure what Danny’s deal is yet. We know precious little, making his identity still tantalizingly unclear.

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

What we know about Dedrick: Dedrick’s two truths and a lie are that his famous relative is his uncle, who’s a singer, and who won a “Best Rock Song,” award, an assertion that’s too vague to possibly be true. (Get better at lying, Dedrick!) Later in the episode, we learn that his uncle is “one of the most famous and iconic people in the world,” and in a thrown-off comment, Dedrick slips and calls himself “Mr. Jackson.”
Why it’s Michael Jackson: If you’re talking about the Venn diagram of people old enough to be uncles and who are also “the most famous and iconic” singers “in the world,” that pool of people is very, very small. Throw in the Jackson info, plus the aviator glasses and multiple mirrors on the clue wall (plus a little online sleuthing) and we’re putting all our money on Michael Jackson.
Why it might not be Michael Jackson: Let’s say the Jackson thing was either an intentional misdirect or a meh clue, based on the fact that Jackson isn’t exactly the most uncommon last name. Who else is that famous? Elvis? Prince? We suppose we could be convinced, but it would take a lot.

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

What we know about Gracie Lou: Her two truths and a lie are that her famous relative is her uncle, who’s a musician, and who has an Emmy. She tells the camera in the premiere that she wants people to think she’s country royalty, but that she’s really just playing a game based on her down-home name. She’s a double-agent in cowboy boots.
Why it’s Jon Cryer: All the credit for this one goes to Redditors, who figured out that Gracie Lou is her stage name and that her real name—Gracie Hyland—makes her Jon Cryer’s niece.
Why it might not be Jon Cryer: Gracie Lou is great at singing, so while we know she’s not a country artist’s relative, it could be a musician.

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

What we know about Hud: Hud’s two truths and a lie are that his famous relative is his mom, who’s a singer, and who has a Grammy. Hud also has a mustache.
Why it’s John Mellencamp: If you’re of a certain age, and remember John Mellencamp’s ’90s marriage to model Elaine Irwin, then you also remember that the pair had two kids: Hud and Speck. (The “Little Pink Houses” singer also has three other kids, including former Real Housewife Teddi Mellencamp.) Hud also looks just like his parents, something the mustache is perhaps intended to obscure.
Why it might not be John Mellencamp: Maybe some other famous singer has a kid named Hud. Also, there’s nothing that screams Mellencamp on the clue wall, but maybe Claim To Fame just didn’t want to make it too obvious.

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

What we know about Jill: Jill’s two truths and a lie are that she’s there for her grandfather, an actor, who has a People’s Choice Award. As of right now, that’s pretty much all we know about Jill, other than that she’s really good at that magic trick where you pull stuff out of your mouth.
Why it’s Tim Allen: Honestly, we’re not sure it is. Let’s say you assume the actor part and the People’s Choice Awards part are true and the grandpa is false. Then you have to look at actors who have only won PCAs and not Emmys or Oscars. That’s a small list, including people like Drew Carey and Tim Allen. And let’s say you assume the grandpa and the PCA part is true. That list is even smaller. And if the PCA part is the lie and it’s grandpa and actor? That list is enormous. We’re going to have to reserve judgment on Jill’s relatives until we know a little more.
Why it might not be Tim Allen: See above.

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

What we know about Mackenzie: Mackenzie’s pretty quick out of the gate to let us know that, while she claims to be related to someone with a Tony, that’s absolutely false. So instead we know her dad is a singer.
Why it’s Trace Adkins: Mackenzie is so cute and country that it doesn’t take much Googling to figure out that her dad is country icon Trace Adkins. She even kind of looks like him if you squint.
Why it might not be Trace Adkins: It’s unclear what clues on the board point to Trace Adkins, but that could just be because—like, we assume, more than a few of the contestants—we don’t know all that much about him.

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

What we know about Miguel: One of the first two people to fall into the bottom, Miguel is a bit of a wild card. He quickly tells us that he’s lying about his grandpa being his relative, but that his person is an actor and an Oscar winner. He also says he’s using a fake name to make people think he’s “more Spanish” than he really is, and that he’s playing the game because he wants to help his mom, which does make you think his mom isn’t the famous person.
Why it’s Jamie Lee Curtis: Redditors figured this one out again, but a quick Google proves it: Miguel’s real name is Raphael, and his aunt is Jamie Lee Curtis. His mom is Jamie Lee’s half-sister Allegra Curtis, and his grandpa is the legendary Tony Curtis, to whom he bears a passing resemblance. Not that there’s any love lost between his mother and his grandfather: The late patriarch re-wrote his will in his later years, cutting off all his children and leaving everything to his fifth wife.
Why it might not be Jamie Lee Curtis: Perhaps our eyes deceive us.

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

What we know about Naomi: 
Naomi is a slippery one, though we do know a little more about her than some other contestants. Her two truths and a lie are that her cousin is a singer, and won the Young Artist Award. Gracie Lou also got a wine-bottle rebus clue about Naomi in the first episode, which revealed characters amounting to “brat pack,” as well as an arrow, a bracket, a tiara, a spiky mace, and four mugs with croissants.
Why it’s Molly Ringwald: The Brat Pack hint narrows Naomi’s possibilities pretty greatly, especially if you couple that with our guess that the mace, mugs, and croissants suggest The Breakfast Club. While we’re not 100 percent sure what the tiara and the bracket/arrow mean—Ringwald’s role as the “princess” in the Breakfast Club? Brat Pack queen?—we’re going with Ringwald because Claim To Fame producers said in pre-season interviews that they’d noticed connections between some contestants’ relatives, which they then worked to sort of exploit. Given that Gracie Lou and Naomi are roommates and Gracie Lou’s uncle is Jon Cryer, who co-starred in Pretty In Pink with Ringwald, it seems pretty likely.
Why it might not be Molly Ringwald: It’s possible it could be Anthony Michael Hall, who won a 1985 Young Artist Award for Sixteen Candles alongside his co-star Ringwald, though the tiara would throw us a little there.

Photo: Chris Willard/Disney

What we know about Shane: 
Shane’s clues are pretty generic: His two truths and a lie are that his cousin is an actor with an Oscar. We also know after the premiere that Shane’s relative isn’t Forrest Whitaker, thanks to Bianca’s misplaced guess that led to her removal from the competition. Shane intimates that his relative is a “Hollywood icon” and says at one point that he spent at least one birthday as a kid at Neverland Ranch—though whether that’s true is anyone’s guess.
Why it’s Denzel Washington: This one’s tough. If we assume that Neverland thing is real and the cousin’s a lie, it could be someone like Denzel Washington, who was famous enough 20 years ago to get in the door. We know his kids and Shane’s not one of them, but could he be a nephew, maybe?
Why it might not be Denzel Washington: If the Oscar-winning actor tidbit is true and the Neverland bit isn’t, the pool of who it could be is enormous. If we were really reaching for clues in that realm — which we are — it’s possible that Shane’s very distinct chicken necklace could be a nod to Octavia Spencer’s Oscar for The Help, but it’s more likely just a red herring or an accessory he threw on to make us remember him. Or maybe the Oscar, cousin, and Neverland parts are true and actor is the lie, and then it could be an Oscar-winning musician, like Stevie Wonder or Lionel Richie, though calling them a “Hollywood icon” might be a misnomer. (They’re everywhere icons, in truth.) Additionally, there are items on the clue board that still aren’t assigned to anyone—tennis rackets, a Greek yogurt container, a bus, and so on—so any of those could be a hint about someone else. We’ll have to wait and see.

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