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Rise and Fall finale

Rise and Fall finished its first season in the worst way: By letting the rich get richer

Instead of a young student mum, the £85k cash prize went to literal landed gentry

I have watched Rise and Fall over the past 18 episodes with an engaged but annoyed air of disbelief. Shock at twists, shock at how people behaved, shock at decisions made. For the entire run, it’s been an enjoyable watch without question, but one that I think has shown quite a horrid mirror up at society at every step of the way. Last night, the show went the way for a long time how I felt it was going to in regards to who would end up the winner – and it’s an eye rolling revelation of how this country is obsessed with keeping the rich rich. Here’s where the Rise and Fall finale went utterly wrong.

‘Ordinary people’

I don’t want to go any further into this without presenting in verbatim what Channel 4 itself declared Rise and Fall to be in its official press release. “With levels of inequality in Britain higher than ever and millions feeling powerless to affect the decisions that shape their lives, Channel 4 is launching a major new social experiment that explores the gap between the haves and the have-nots and asks how wealth and power shape the way we behave toward one another.”

From this, I always felt like this show was about giving power and status to people who wouldn’t normally have such. For whatever reason, the show whittled down to its final two – voted fairly by the other contestants. The final two ended up being Eddy and Sydney. Sydney is a young mum, delivery driver and student from Scotland. Eddy is an aristocrat, landed gentry and calls Great Fulford and 3000 acre land his family estate. No guesses here who the grafter-earned £85,000 prize fund went to.

— Stuart (@st_ua_rt) April 13, 2023

Look, I actually think Eddy came across like a nice guy on Rise and Fall, and the way this finale went is not really his fault. He has every right to go onto this show no matter what his background is – he didn’t choose where or what he was born into and being as privileged as his life has ended up being. He also made a lot of friends on this show – he’s clearly a charismatic and nice fella, even if his dad has said some of the most toe curlingly shite posho things I’ve ever heard in the two documentaries made about how big a load of toffs the Fulford family are. His dad said in their 2004 show The Fucking Fulfords, “If all your children end up poofs, that’s the end of the family.” Great stuff, but again – not directly Eddy’s fault.

My qualm is actually with a group of contestants who voted to keep the rich richer. I was not on Rise and Fall and can only speak as an outside observer. I know the show was about grafting, and no one can say Eddy did not put a graft into his time in the basement. He baked bread, he gave every work shift his all and he stuck it out for almost the longest time before he rose up to being a ruler. He played a good game, and if the money was voted to go to him based on that then so be it.

But watching the finale, I couldn’t help but think how on earth anyone could see him standing next to Sydney and think regardless of how the game was played, surely this money would exponentially change her life for the better? Her daughter, her life – it would all be so different. I just can’t help but think it would have been a nicer ending for her to get the money.

Overall, though – Rise and Fall was one of the most interesting shows I’ve seen in some time. The goal was to ascend to ebing a ruler, to enjoy the luxuries of its penthouse. But the actuality was that it wasn’t ruler status where happiness came – it was the friendships, camaraderie and team spirit of the grafters in the basement that meant the most. An interesting mirror up to society for sure, and one I hope they end in a way that feels more satisfying for me if there’s a season two.

Watch the Rise and Fall finale on All4 now. For all the latest reality TV news and gossip and for the best memes and quizzes, like The Holy Church of Love Island on Facebook.

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Meet Rise and Fall winner Eddy’s uber-posh, aristocratic family with a 3000 acre estate

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