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An ode to Meryl: One year on, she’s still the most iconic The Traitors player of all time

Queen of getting everything wrong and still winning the prize money

Who is the greatest game player in Traitors history? There are a load of contenders you could throw out there. Wilf played the original calculated and savage game in season one that felt dastardly and game-changing at all times. In the current season, we’ve seen the Traitors play a more savage game but a lot of masterminding going on, and we’ve even seen Jaz on the Faithfuls side quietly piece things together and have the logic to not shout it loudly in order for the Traitors to not come for him. But there is one player of The Traitors who has defied all odds and solidified herself as the cleverest and most iconic player to ever grace that Scottish castle – I am, of course, talking about Meryl.

It is easy to laugh at what I just said. Meryl is, and I mean this with nothing but love and adoration, useless. She was wrong every single time in season one. She escaped murder from the Traitors because she was lovely, got on with everyone – but most importantly was absolutely way off. Every theory just a misfire. Completely and utterly had no clue what was going on. As this very hilarious TikTok comment put it, “Meryl doesn’t even know where she is.”

Because whilst it is so funny and borderline outrageous that Meryl won the show completely by accident, what she’s actually done in hindsight is create the blueprint for being the greatest Faithful of all time. Meryl wasn’t trying to do anything, she just made some friends and gave it her best go. But her unthreatening ways and naive nature won her the show. She became such an under the radar threat that Wilf and Kieran unravelled themselves from the inside.

If you want to go on The Traitors and win, do a Meryl. Even if you’ve got the racing, intelligent mind of someone like Jaz – you need to play this game like Meryl. Be fun, be friendly, be lovable. Say the wrong names at roundtables. Buddy up with those you think are Traitors so closely that they would never murder you in the night – because they believe that you’re too dense to see what they really are. Then you win the whole show. It’s the ultimate game plan and everyone owes Meryl some acclaim for accidentally coming up with it.

I saw a few shouts last night that this year’s Meryl is Mollie. I do not condone this. Mollie has spent the season being too quiet, not chipping in with theories, not doing much of anything. Meryl was TV gold. She was flapping it like a distressed fish every roundtable. There is simply only one Meryl, and her legacy is icon. Every night when The Traitors airs, Twitter is full of nods to Meryl and her legacy of getting it all wrong. She remains an icon, a legend and the moment.

The Traitors UK season two is available on BBC iPlayer now. For more like this ode to Paul from The Traitors and for reality TV and entertainment news, like Pop Culture Shrine on Facebook

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