HUGS ’N’ HISSES | 

Irish contestant on ‘The Traitors’ says Claudia Winkleman was like ‘second mother’ to her

Alyssa was one of 22 contestants who had to pit their wits against each other in a bid to win a prize pot of up to £120,000

The 22 contestants on The Traitors with TV host Claudia Winkleman

Alyssa Chan on The Traitors© ??G ? ?F???</_??? ?

Alyssa Chan on The Traitors© ??G ? ?F???</_??? ?

Eugene MastersonSunday World

Telly beauty Claudia Winkleman has been praised by the only Irish contestant on hit TV game show The Traitors for hugging her after she broke down when she was booted off the programme.

Cork woman Alyssa Chan admits Claudia was like a ‘second mother’ to her on the show, which has been airing on BBC1 three times a week on primetime slots and has been described as ‘Highland Hungergames’.

Alyssa was one of 22 contestants who had to pit their wits against each other in a bid to win a prize pot of up to £120,000.

Not only did they have to carry out various physical and mental tasks, but three of them – including Alyssa – were picked as ‘traitors’, where they has to ‘murder’ a rival player each night.

As well as the ones taken out by the ‘traitors’, others were banished at round table get-togethers by the ‘faithful’ in a bid to syphon out the ‘traitors’.

The 22 contestants on The Traitors with TV host Claudia Winkleman

Alyssa was eventually found out and viewers on Thursday night saw her as being the first of the three ‘traitors’ to exit the show.

“After my banishment I was completely breaking down, I don’t see the cast anymore, that was the last time I saw them,” Alyssa (21) explains to the Sunday World. “You don’t get to say goodbye or anything, that’s that, it makes it so much intense.

“Claudia made sure to come up to and she was the first person to give me a proper cuddle afterwards. So, I really commend Claudia.”

Claudia also had to change her usual TV persona to suit the role as host of ‘The Traitors’, which showed a more devious side to the presenter’s character, including initially axing two contestants at the beginning of the show for standing at the end of a line.

“When I met her I was like ‘this is not the Claudia I remember’,” smiles Alyssa. “She really set the tone when she banished Amos and Kieran at the beginning.

“But she was so sweet with us,. She really cared about us and actually was interested in the game. She said it herself, she was in the TV room where she could just see all of us all the time. She was just so engrossed in the game herself, she really cared about the contestants.

Alyssa Chan on The Traitors© ??G ? ?F???</_??? ?

“She was brilliant. She’s amazing. I had seen her on Strictly growing up and things like this and knew what she was like.”

Alyssa reveals her mother is from Limerick, while her Chinese dad was born and raised in Scotland.

“I lived in Limerick for a few years, until I was about nine,” she recalls. “Then I went to Schull and did my whole secondary school there until the Leaving.

“Schull is home for me and all my friend are there. I’ll try and come home for Christmas and do the whole 12 pubs thing.”

She laughs when asked if she’s any relation to Jackie Chan.

“Chan is a very common Chinese name,” she points out. “I went to Hong Kong and there are loads of Chans there. I’m half Chinese, half Irish. I can’t speak a bit of Chinese though, I need to learn some.”

She has been living in Edinburgh for the past four years, where she is studying Business Management.

“I have a lot of family in the UK, I’ve been here for four years,” she adds. “I really wanted to wave the Irish flag on the show as the only Irish contestant.”

She entered the show because she wanted to show a different side to her.

“I got a message about it and had a look into the premise of it,” she reflects. “ I know it sounds bad because it’s based on lying and manipulation, but with a background in sales and business, I thought ‘you know what I have the skills for this’ and I think growing up a lot of people underestimated me and really just assumed I was innocent, naïve, just because I’m 5 foot, half-Chinese half-Irish.

“My whole life, I’m trying to deter that misjudgement and kind of show people what I can do, and I think that was a really good opportunity for me to do. It was a good way to weaponise that and use it to my advantage to hopefully win the game.

“Going into it, I kind of wanted to be the innocent young naïve girl so that everyone would kind of underestimate me, so that was kind of my game plan going into it.”

Alyssa Chan on The Traitors© ??G ? ?F???</_??? ?

She tried to deflect people from focusing on her as a ‘traitor’ be keeping her head down but admits it was couple Tom and Alex who first became suspicious of her, with Tom once hinted in a car journey to a task that it was her.

Magician Tom even accused her of being a fame because he noticed her eye twitched during his interrogation of her.

“Honestly I probably blinked,” she argues. “ He was looking for anything really., When he said that I was a bit intimidated by the whole thing. I was like ‘why are you interrogating me?’, but again he’s just trying to play the game, so I do get it. I was ‘Jesus, is there anything I can or can’t do that he will just take’.”

At her final round table get-together, she says it was Andrea who first targeted.

“She wasn’t very accusatory, she was just like saying it could be me, not that it is me, whereas it was more Alex was the driving force behind it and just people jumped on the bandwagon really,” she recollects.”

She has no regrets, but admits she was taken aback when fellow ‘traitor’ Alex branded her as a ‘traitor’ too.

“I knew it was going to come eventually,” she says of her ‘outing’. “The game is always going to traitor versus traitor. Especially if you make it to the end you’re going to want all the money, you’re not going to want to split that.”

She knew that she had no real chance of winning.

“I’m not going to lie, by day three I was kind of like ‘I’ve no hope of winning’,” she insists. I knew the guilt would get to me, because of how quickly relationships development and the guilt really got to me, then once I got to know the people I was accusing. “

But she enjoyed taking part.

“The whole experience was just so intense. No one bar the 22 or us gets it as much as we do. We can reminisce and we can laugh about it, but we can also get the mental struggle of it. We are all in contact and we just support each other where we can,” she notes

She has not been told who has won.

“It’s really anyone’s game. I kind of want to see how people go on, because we are seeing different sides to different people,” she observes. “ It’s really hard to tell. With the faithful’s I’m rooting for Maddie, because she was on to Wilf, I’m going ‘go on Maddie, get him, fingers crossed’.”


Today's Headlines

More TV

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos