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Claim to Fame Cheat Sheet: All the Clues We Have So Far

Follow along as we uncover the secret identities of Season 2's players.
  • Claim to Fame (photo: John Fleenor/ABC)
    Claim to Fame (photo: John Fleenor/ABC)

    Claim to Fame has returned with more celebrity relatives who are trying to figure out each other's secret identity, and things are even more volatile and hotly competitive. This season, the show's producers declined to reveal anyone's secret celebrity connection upfront, so the audience is on a level playing field with the contestants from the jump.

    So much of the fun of Claim to Fame is getting to play along with the show. To that end, we're assembling everything we know so far about each celebrity relative. To keep from getting too far ahead of the game and ruining all the fun, we have refrained from Googling any answers more revealing than the ages and hometowns of famous actors and singers, as well as which have won certain awards — no trips to Reddit to get all the answers. What follows is best taken as a worksheet to accompany you on your own Season 2 sleuthing.

    We’ll be updating this “cheat sheet” every Monday night post-episode as we get closer to figuring out everyone's secret identity. In addition to clues from the most recent episode, you can check for revised assessments of the Clue Wall as it pertains to the remaining cast members.

    Updated August 14 with clues from Episode 8, "Defections, Connections, and Total Perplexion."


    Clues from Episode 8: The six-degrees celebrity game revealed that Chris' relative won the 9th season of Dancing with the Stars.

    Clues from Previous Episodes: Chris says his celebrity relative is a singer. His "two truths and a lie" included the claim that his relative is his uncle who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Chris' bottle clue was: [puppy] + [heart] + [tee shirt] + N + [eye] + [doll] followed by seven identical tee shirts. Which translates to: "Puppy Love" Teen Idol in the '70s. This strongly points to Donny Osmond, whose hit song was "Puppy Love," and who was big in the '70s. In the statue game, the one statue that seems to best connect with the Donny Osmond theory is the Flamingo, since Donny and Marie Osmond had a residency at the Flamingo hotel and casino in Las Vegas from 2008-2019. The poker chips in the Telephone game also seem to allude to Donny Osmond's Vegas residency. Chris' shredded dossier revealed his celebrity relative was born in Ogden, Utah; his "associates" included entertainer Andy Williams; and something about an "amazing coloured dreamcoat" (seemingly referring to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the musical Donny Osmond famously starred in.

    Wall Clues That Might Help: The Osmonds' home state is Utah, the beehive state (there's a bee on the wall), and The Osmonds had a #1 hit with the song "One Bad Apple" (there's an apple on the wall).


    Clues from Episode 8: Gabriel's relative joined the cast of All That in the late '90s.

    Clues from Previous Episodes: Gabriel says his Claim to Fame is his brother, who is an athlete, and an NAACP Image Award winner. Gabriel says he's allowing the house to think his claim to fame is an athlete, though that's not correct. During the "Red Carpet Ready" competition, we find out that Gabriel's claim to fame was born in San Diego, CA. The "Head Shot" game revealed the following clues: a propeller hat/beanie, a three-layered red-and-yellow star, and drumsticks. One Black celebrity who is connected to drums is Nick Cannon (star of Drumline), who is an NAACP Image Award winner. Gabriel noted during the statue game that the burger statue was his clue, as his claim to fame was on Nickelodeon as a teen along with Good Burger stars Kenan and Kel. This definitely tracks with a Nick Cannon guess. The microphone paired with the limerick clue about a "battle" in the Telephone game seemed to be alluding to the kind of mic battles that would happen on Nick Cannon's Wild'n Out show on MTV. Gabriel's bottle clue read: [person pushing a baby carriage] [2] [>] [ten babies] [&] [drum] [star]. The drum and the star seem to underline the "Drumline star" suggested by an earlier clue, once again pointing to Nick Cannon.

    Wall Clues That Might Help: There is definitely a drummer on the wall.


    Clues from Episode 8: Karsyn's celebrity relative spoke about his late father on Danica Patrick's podcast.

    Clues from Previous Episodes: We only saw Karsyn say that her Claim to Fame was a musician, though that quick shot of the notebook also revealed that she said her relative was her uncle and that he's in some kind of Hall of Fame. Karsyn's wine bottle reads: [trophy] [eraser] [minus] [E] [question mark on a face] [record player] [record player] [4] [beer]. One stab at an interpretation: award-winning racer who holds two records for some kind of beer company? Perhaps pointing towards a NASCAR racer, as Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser are a major presence in car racing. Karsyn confirmed the NASCAR suspicions in the statue game, where she said the car tire was a reference to her celebrity relative. The house seemed to be set on Jeff Gordon as the driver to guess, but Karsyn indicates to Chris that it's a wrong assumption. Is Karsyn lying about that to scare people away from guessing her? We do get a very lowkey moment where Olivia wonders if the related driver might be Dale Earnhardt Jr. Olivia doesn't elaborate, but in fact, it's Earnhardt who's most associated with the Budweiser car. A racecar in the Telephone game only further pointed towards Karsyn's NASCAR connection. Karsyn's dossier revealed her celebrity relative was a two-time [redacted] winner; won the most popular [redacted] award 15 consecutive times; won Daytona [redacted] in 2004. Known associates include Danica [redacted], [redacted] Zuckerberg, and Jay-Z.

    Wall Clues That Might Help: The new clues included, yes, a red racecar. Other clues that relate to NASCAR on the wall include the steering wheel, the beer bottle (Budweiser again), and the horse (horsepower). More specifically, there's the number 8 (Earnhardt drove the no. 8 car), and "Family Is Everything" could refer to the Earnhardt family racing legacy.


    Clues from Episode 8: Monay's celebrity relative was in Spider-Man: Far From Home.

    Clues from Previous Episodes: Monay's two truths and a lie are that her celebrity relative is her father, he's an athlete, and he's won an Emmy Award. Monay's head-shot clues were a fedora, a chain necklace with a padlock, and a thunder-and-lightning storm cloud. The house holds a strong suspicion that Monay's claim to fame is Steve Harvey, but it's been nothing more than speculation thus far. When Gabriel won the Telephone, he pulled Monay's bottle clue, which indicated "Saturday Night Live and Curb Your Enthusiasm Actor." The only person who fits that description and seems like a plausible relative to Monay is J.B. Smoove. This would fit the Caesar statue from the Statue Game, as J.B. Smoove is a spokesperson for Caesar's Sports Betting. Monay's shredded dossier said her celebrity relative "won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama." He's also the "face of [redacted] sportsbook commercials" and "starred in [redacted] of Hollywood."

    Wall Clues [REVISED]: In addition to the statue of Caesar in the statue game, there's also a mini-statue of Caesar on the clue wall.

    Eliminated Contestants

    J.R.: Brother of Lil Nas X. J.R.'s two truths and a lie were that his Claim to Fame is his brother who is a singer who has an NBA championship ring. His relative was born in Lithia Springs, Georgia. The "Head Shots" clues were a chef's hat and a pacifier. Based on all the clues to date, there's a strong indication that JR's claim to fame is Lil Nas X, who hails from Lithia Springs, Georgia, and whose song "Industry Baby" would correspond to the pacifier clue. The statue of the devil horns pointed towards the Lil Nas X music video for "Call Me By Your Name." J.R.'s bottle clue read: [B I U with the B in a box] [painter] [head with a question mark] [finger pointing] [old man] [houses] [road]. This appears to be referring to a "bold artist who [something] Old Town Road." J.R.'s dossier clues said his celebrity relative was the "First LGBT [redacted] to win a Country [redacted] Award," that he was featured on the Forbes "30 Under 30" list, and that "[redacted] was number 1 on [redacted] longer than any other [redacted] in history. Additionally, his known associates are [redacted] Harlow, Billy [recacted], and BTS.

    Hugo: Grandson of Jimmy Carter. Hugo's grandfather had won a Nobel Prize. Hugo also said that at one point in history, his grandfather was one of the most powerful men in the world. Hugo's bottle clue was a rebus puzzle which read: [hand making a gesture] [ampersand] [deer with antlers] [arrow pointing forward into maybe a door] [police officer] [silhouette with a question mark] [farmer] [goofy-face emoji] [goofy-face emoji]. Hugo's dossier included "known associates" like Elvis Presley and Barack Obama. Wall clues included the big D (for Democrat) and the peanuts.

    Olivia: Niece of Jenny McCarthy. Olivia said that her celebrity relative has a Razzie Award, and the notebook revealed that she also claimed her relative was her brother. Her head-shot clues were a red cross, alien heads, and "Happy New Year" glasses. Olivia was eliminated, and her claim to fame was revealed to be her aunt, Jenny McCarthy! This fits the earlier clues (she's a Razzie winner; she hosted ABC's New Year's Eve festivities; a bunny, as in Playboy bunny) on the Clue Wall.

    Cole: Brother of Alicia Keys. Cole's two truths and a lie are that his celebrity relative is his father, who is a singer and a Grammy winner. In the statue game, Cole made note of the fact that the Swiss cheese statue was his clue. That seemed enigmatic enough, but then after Cole eliminated Shayne at the end of the episode, Monay said in an interview that she and Shayne had figured Cole out. And indeed in a flashback, we see Monay and Shayne putting together some clues from the wall (the diary, the piano) that point to Alicia Keys as Cole's claim to fame. If you're wondering how Swiss cheese relates, Keys has been married to producer/rapper Swizz Beatz since 2010. Wall clues included a diary (The Diary of Alicia Keys was the title of her 2003 album) and a piano.

    Shayne: Daughter of Eddie Murphy. Shayne's two truths and a lie are that her celebrity relative is her father, who is a Grammy-winning musician. Later in that episode, Travis pulled Shayne's wine bottle, whose clue was: [crown] [question mark on a face] [airplane flight path] [the United States of America] + [play button] [deer with antlers] [wheat]. A deer with antlers is also known as a buck, and "play buck wheat" leads us right to Eddie Murphy, who famously played Buckwheat (from The Little Rascals) on Saturday Night Live. Working backwards, the crown, flight path, and U.S.A. seem to be indicating "king who flew to America," i.e. Murphy's film Coming to America.Wall clues included a crown (Coming to America), a donkey (Shrek), and a calendar with "Saturday" circled.

    Jane: Niece of Dolly Parton. Jane said her celebrity relative was her father (a lie), who was a musician and has won a Grammy. In the "Red Carpet Ready" game, we found out that Jane's claim to fame was born in 1946. The "Head Shot" game revealed a parrot, an orchid flower, and a blue dog collar, which Karsyn (impressively) connected to Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in Nashville and the "blue collar" film 9 to 5, which pointed to Jane's celebrity aunt.

    Travis: Son of Neil deGrasse Tyson. Travis' two truths and a lie were that his Claim to Fame is his father, an actor and a Critics Choice Award winner. For the talent show, he dressed up like a chef, recited the digits of pi, and then presented a pepperoni pizza with the "pi" symbol spelled out in pepperoni. Jane zeroed in on Neil deGrasse Tyson right away, based on Travis' cadence, and his talent show only confirmed her suspicions.

    Claim to Fame airs Monday nights at 8:00 PM ET on ABC. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: Claim to Fame, ABC, Frankie Jonas, Kevin Jonas