How 'The Mole' Season 7 Is 'Completely Different' From What Came Before

'The Mole' Host Ari Shapiro Teases How Season 7 Is 'Completely Different' From What Came Before

Ari Shapiro.
Courtesy of Netflix

Host Ari Shapiro is excited for The Mole fans to see season 7 because of how the new episodes stand out on their own.

“The fact that it’s in Malaysia is a completely different context from the previous season [which was in] Australia. So we go to tropical islands, caves and skyscrapers,” Shapiro, 45, exclusively told Us Weekly before the competition series returned to Netflix on Friday, June 28.

Shapiro noted that the new set of players is “more diverse” than past seasons, adding, “I say diverse not in the simplistic meaning of the word. I mean it in every sense of the word.”

According to Shapiro, everyone brought something unexpected to the table. “So each person is there for a reason. Whether it’s because they’re good at puzzle solving or physical challenges,” he continued. “But they’re all very, very different from one another in age, body type, background, occupation, politics and race. That was really exciting to see how the 12 of them work together.”

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The Mole originally aired on ABC from 2001 to 2008 before being reintroduced on Netflix two decades later. The reality game show is focused on a group of contestants who work together to add money to a pot that one of them will eventually win. However, there is one contestant among them who has been secretly chosen to act as “The Mole” to sabotage the group’s effort to make money.

'The Mole' Host Ari Shapiro Teases How Season 7 Is 'Completely Different' From What Came Before
Bonnie Yap/Netflix

During The Mole’s original run on ABC over 20 years ago, Anderson Cooper hosted before being replaced by Ahmad Rashad. The position was taken over by Jon Kelly and Alex Wagner hosted the show’s reboot sixth season.

“I’ve been a fan of the show forever and so I love the Anderson Cooper seasons. I love Alex Wagner personally and as a host. I’ve [actually] been good friends with her forever and officiated her wedding. But I didn’t want those styles of hosting to color the way I approached it because I really thought I just needed to be me,” Shapiro explained to Us. “I needed to be who I naturally am.”

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Shapiro expanded on his vision for his hosting gig, adding, “You want to feel like this is somebody who is in your living room for these 10 episodes, carrying you through this adventure and through this story. And being a host of All Things Considered on NPR, I have that experience of trying to be my most natural and authentic self. The kind of self you are when you’ve had just the right amount of sleep, just the right amount of caffeine and you take people along for the journey.”

'The Mole' Host Ari Shapiro Teases How Season 7 Is 'Completely Different' From What Came Before
Bonnie Yap/Netflix

Shapiro is the fifth host of the franchise after originally applying to be a contestant.

“The great thing about being a host instead of being a contestant is that you will be there through all 10 episodes. The contestants who got eliminated would tell me as I was walking them to the car, ‘I’m really bummed that I’m not going to get a chance to see what comes next,’” he recalled. “Because each episode of the show is in a different location because the missions were over the top extraordinary, everybody really wanted to see what comes next. The difference between being a host and being a contestant is you were guaranteed to be there through the very final episode.”

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While reflecting on his time hosting The Mole, Shapiro highlighted his attempt to be his “most authentic” self.

“I was so excited to be there and be the host of this show that I’ve loved [for] so many years. I just wanted my natural enthusiasm and excitement to show through. There’s also some moments that I think I had to be mean [about] and say, ‘You really screwed that mission up. What went wrong?’ he told Us. “There’s something fun about that too. But this was just a dream job for me. And I wanted to be able to express that excitement sincerely and genuinely to these contestants, who I know are also really excited to be in Malaysia having this kind of adventure of a lifetime.”

The Mole premiered on Netflix June 28, and new episodes of the series will drop Fridays.

With reporting by Sarah Jones

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