PROFILE Shura Taft
After being hooked on the show as a teenager, the host of The Mole is thrilled with his new job and, just like us, he’s trying to guess who it is, writes Anooska Tucker-Evans.
Tuesday, 7.30pm, Seven
FOR Shura Taft hosting the revived series of Channel 7 reality show
The Mole is a dream come true. The 30-year-old was addicted to the original series, which ran from 2000 to 2003, and says getting the opportunity to present a program he loved so much as a teenager is ‘‘amazing’’.
‘‘It was a pinch me moment when I got told I was doing the show,’’ he says.
‘‘There’s not many times in life that you’re part of something that you originally loved. It’s a dream job for me.’’
As a 17-year-old, Taft (pictured) would watch the show religiously then discuss with his mates what happened in each episode.
‘‘On the back of my school diary we had our collective thoughts on who was the mole,’’ he says.
‘‘Now being a part of it is bizarre and amazing.’’
The series has contestants working together in different challenges to earn money that adds to the winner’s pot. But trying to sabotage those challenges and make the group fail, is the mole.
The mole’s identity is kept secret throughout the competition until the very end. So secret, in fact, that not even Taft or the crew are allowed to know.
‘‘I think that’s a good thing for two reasons,’’ the host says.
‘‘One, it means that when I’m doing my pieces to camera I’m not suddenly thinking, ‘Oh, have I looked at the mole too long, have I given something away?’. So it means I can be at ease. And two, which is even better, I play along with the audience.
‘‘I’m in exactly the same position as the audience so, of course, I’m thinking about who it is and I’ve got my theories.’’ Many theories as it turns out. Taft admits he’s suspected five out of the 12 contestants to be the mole, and is constantly debating with the rest of the crew as to who is the saboteur among the competitors.
‘‘Everyone’s got their theories. We’ll finish the shoot and sit down and have lunch and we’ll be like, ‘What did you think of so-and-so doing this?’,’’ he says.
Making it even trickier for them to guess is a new trend which has developed among the contestants that has been nicknamed ‘‘moling’’ or ‘‘molish behaviour’’.
Given the person who knows the least about the mole each week is eliminated, the contestants have started pretending to be the mole to throw others off and keep themselves in the competition longer.
‘‘There are people who aren’t the mole acting like the mole because it’s part of the game so you think, ‘Why did that person muck up the challenge? Is it because they’re moling?’.’’
While the task of guessing who is the mole is tricky enough, the challenges have been putting some of the contestants far out of their comfort zones.
They include everything from physical to mental challenges like solving puzzles, finding missing people, abseiling and even being suspended from a high-wire 20 storeys in the air above the Blue Mountains in NSW.
‘‘There’s a mix of thrillseekers and scaredy cats in the group,’’ Taft reveals.
‘‘Some of them handle it well, others not so much.
‘‘I’ve looked at all the challenges and been like, ‘Oh my God, I want to do that’.’’
So how then would Taft go as the mole?
‘‘It’s a lot of pressure. The whole show hinges on the fact that the mole can do their job secretly and without being detected,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s a very hard thing to do because people are constantly watching you.
‘‘I think I’m quite a convincing liar, but having that weight on me I’m not sure.’’