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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Tom Murray

Former Speaker John Bercow and Love Island’s Ekin-Su join the cast of The Traitors US version

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British people have been left stunned by the cast announcement for the forthcoming second season of the US version of BBC One’s hit competition series, The Traitors.

The game show, fronted by Claudia Winklemanin the original UK version, sees a group of strangers split into Faithfuls and Traitors, and tasked with playing the ultimate game of deception in order to win a large cash prize.

US streaming service Peacock announced its season two cast on Thursday (21 September), featuring the highly unlikely names of former House of Commons Speaker John Bercow and Love Island star Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu.

The British duo will be joined by heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder and basketball player Marcus Jordan – son of NBA legend Michael Jordan.

A total of 21 celebrities will compete for the $250,000 (£203,000) prize.

On Twitter/X, Brits reacted in disbelief at the improbable casting.

“Numerous ICONIC housewives, Peppermint, Ekin Su (!) and John Bercow the literal speaker of the House of Commons all on the same show I feel like I’m having a stroke?? This could be Celeb Big Brother 2016 levels of iconic if they play their cards right,” one person tweeted.

“Sorry but I got so excited about Ekin Su I totally missed that... John Bercow is also on the line-up,” wrote another.

“John Bercow being cast on Traitors US is the breaking point of the simulation. This is the singularity. The event horizon,” said a third.

Bercow, 60, resigned as Speaker in 2019 after a decade in the role and was replaced by Sir Lindsay Hoyle. He served as the Conservative MP for Buckingham between 1997 and 2019.

29-year-old Cülcüloğlu is known for winning the eighth series of ITV2’s Love Island in 2022 alongside Davide Sanclimenti. She has gone on to star in a travel series with Sanclimenti (Ekin-Su & Davide: Homecomings) and competed in the fifteenth series of Dancing on Ice in 2023.

Unlike the UK version, which is made up of regular members of the public, the US version of the show consists entirely of celebrities.

Find the full list of contestants for The Traitors US, season two, below:

  • Carsten “Bergie” Bergersen (Love Island USA)
  • Chris “CT” Tamburello (The Challenge)
  • Dan Gheesling (Big Brother)
  • Deontay Wilder (Boxer)
  • Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu (Love Island)
  • Janelle Pierzina (Big Brother)
  • Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio (The Challenge)
  • John Bercow (UK Parliament)
  • Kevin Kreider (Bling Empire)
  • Larsa Pippen (The Real Housewives of Miami)
  • Marcus Jordan (Basketball Player)
  • Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Dancing with the Stars)
  • Mercedes “MJ” Javid (Shahs of Sunset)
  • Parvati Shallow (Survivor)
  • Peppermint (RuPaul’s Drag Race)
  • Peter Weber (The Bachelor)
  • Phaedra Parks (The Real Housewives of Atlanta)
  • Sandra Diaz-Twine (Survivor)
  • Shereé Whitfield (The Real Housewives of Atlanta)
  • Tamra Judge (The Real Housewives of Orange County)
  • Trishelle Cannatella (Real World: Las Vegas)

The Traitors US season two will air later in 2023, with the episodes likely to be made available for UK viewers on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, as was the case with season one.

Meanwhile, producers of the UK version have teased that the show’s forthcoming second series will be a “different” game due to the show’s overwhelming popularity.

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