It may have appeared to fans of ABC's Celebrity Mole Hawaii that comedienne Kathy Griffin was just there to provide comic relief ("Corbin Bernsen just turned into super-veiny hockey dad!") but make no mistake; she was there to win. "I went in with a psychotically committed strategy that I had planned a month beforehand," she reveals to TV Guide Online. It paid off, for after realizing that model Frederique van der Wal was the Mole, the Suddenly Susan sidekick outfoxed runner-up Erik von Detten (Dinotopia) on the final quiz, and walked off with the show's grand prize of $233,000. "I would encourage any celebrity to do the show," she says, "because you get to keep the money yourself, as opposed to giving it to charity. Which, let's face it, is ridiculous in this economy." Here then, are Griffin's hard-earned tips on scaling Mole mountain.
Do Your Homework
"Before I went, I printed out the quizzes from every previous episode and made an information packet on every contestant, because I knew the quizzes were so detailed. I didn't want anyone to see how extensively I studied, so if someone knocked on my door, I threw all my notes under the bed. You'd think it was porn the way I scrambled!"
Find a Partner in Crime
"I knew from previous Moles that the winners always had a coalition partner to share information with and mislead the others, so I picked Erik von Detten. He'd call me in the hotel every night and say, 'Dude, I totally think you're messing with me. You're the Mole.' And I would say, 'First of all, don't call me 'dude.' I'm a lady. A pretty, pretty lady...'"
Be Quick on the Trigger
"I completely lucked out, because I was wrong about who the Mole was until the final round, but I kept beating everyone's time on the quiz, so I stayed in the game. I understood better than anyone that if there's a tie on who does worst on the quiz, the fastest person stays."
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
"Don't worry about the clues that the producers try to give along the way that are revealed in the final show. That was Corbin Bernsen's downfall. He was obsessed with trying to figure out the clue in the opening credits, when the opening credits haven't even been put together yet! Those clues are purely for the viewing audience."
Don't Underestimate Someone Just 'Cause She's a "Supermodel"
"I was sure Michael Boatman was the Mole, right up until the moment he was voted out. So when I realized that it was Frederique, I went back to my room and spent hours going over every single thing I had ever written about her. By the way, Frederique and I had such incredible chemistry together that we can basically write our own ticket over at the Oxygen channel. I want us to do a buddy cop show called Fatty and Skinny. I'd play Skinny."