Second dropout ‘De mol’: ‘Fortunately it was not in the program, but once I pulled off a real Sherlock Holmes prank’

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“I still kick myself for not opening that box. Four passport questions! Those would most likely have kept me in the game. You don’t know how many times that Pandora’s box has haunted my dreams. By the way, I always made the right choice (laughs).

“I was especially worried that such an upset would cause a major breach of trust and that the other participants would no longer share information with Philippe and me. I’m notoriously bad with names, so I couldn’t afford that (laughs). But afterwards those fears turned out to be unfounded. Everyone, including me, immediately forgave Senne and Michaël, who opted for the pass questions shortly after us. That made it even more sad, knowing that I could have continued playing without any problems.”

Now unfortunately you had to get back on the plane to rainy Belgium after two eliminations.

“Ha, you would think so, but I flew straight to the equally sunny Mallorca! Reading a book in the sun and getting some sleep seemed like the best way to swallow my disappointment. Although that was easier said than done. The titles of my novels reinforced my elimination: Like it’s over by Julian Barnes, or Derailed by Michael Katz Krefeld… Thanks, guys. And if that wasn’t enough, Es Moli restaurant was regularly on my way. I shouldn’t tell you that I’ve never had dinner there (laughs)

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How did you explain those three secret weeks of sun-drenched vacation to those around you?

“Simple, with a sun-drenched holiday (laughs). I supposedly went on an ABC trip through Argentina, Brazil and Chile – a trip that actually existed this period, because I had done my homework and even researched travel agencies. Once I landed on South American soil, my cell phone conveniently died. Also an extremely plausible scenario, since I had been living with the same rickety iPhone for 9 years (laughs).»

“In retrospect, I may have spent more time preparing my alibi than the game. Because once in Sicily I realized that perhaps I had left a little too naively enthusiastic while other candidates had studied more thoroughly. Is there no option for me to return next year for my resit exam? Then I will also know what that feels like for my students (laughs).”

Speaking of which, the digital generation has probably introduced you to the infamous Mole memes.

“New memes were even created on campus. Suddenly a piece of paper hung up: ‘What did you know on Mrs Van der Kelen’s Vestibulology exam?’ Below it is a screenshot of myself smiling during the selection interview: ‘Delightfully nothing’. They do have self-mockery, my students. So now I’m not only looking for the mole on TV, but also the mole from Artevelde University College who hung that photo (laughs)!”

Didn’t you learn any detective techniques in Sicily that you can apply?

“Fortunately it wasn’t in the program, but once I pulled off a real Sherlock Holmes prank. Once I was woken early in the morning by muffled footsteps in the hallway, so I thought, “Aha! There you will have it, the mole.’ In my pajamas I snuck behind the saboteur to his secret meeting. They were chatting in the dining room, I saw a light on there, so I went to listen at the door. Until it suddenly swung open and I smacked my eggs on the floor. There I was, face to face with a Sicilian waiter. I don’t know which of us was more shocked (laughs).”

“’It’s only a quarter past five, ma’am. Breakfast isn’t ready yet,’ he said. “But I can offer you a coffee.” That look in his eyes when I calmly replied: ‘Thank you, but I don’t like coffee at all,’ and walked quietly back to my room was worth its weight in gold!”

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Besides ‘sneaking around at night’, do you have any tips for future mole catchers?

“Prepare your exit! I’m never at a loss for words, but after that red screen I couldn’t say anything anymore. If I could do it again, I would go home with a striking one-liner (laughs).”

Well then, a second chance!

(Confident) “Now seriously, Gilles. Where is that car bomb? Then I can make my comeback and win that game here.”

Great distinction!

The article is in Dutch

Tags: dropout mol Fortunately program pulled real Sherlock Holmes prank

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