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‘Claim To Fame’ Winner Exclusive: Nick Cannon’s Brother Gabriel Talks His Sneaky Strategy—‘I Had A Plan’

A ubiquitous baby daddy’s skillful sibling did it!

After weeks of sneakily strategizing during the second season of ABC’s Claim To Fame, Nick Cannon’s brother, Gabriel, took home the top prize!

Source: Kinetic Content / abc

During Monday’s two-part finale viewers watched as Gabriel was exposed for fooling his cast mates into thinking he was related to a star athlete.

After his plan went awry, however, he switched gears and ultimately won by correctly guessing that his ally, Monay, was the daughter of comedian J.B. Smoove.

Now the sibling of the Masked Singer host is $100K richer and eyeing a return to Hollywood just like his big brother.

Below Gabriel tells BOSSIP about his time playing the celebrity relative guessing, his “phase two” strategy, and his big bro’s reaction to his time on television.


Congratulations on winning Claim To Fame, how does it feel to be the big winner?

Thank you so much! Winning is still kinda unreal but it for sure feels like a confirmation. I know people go through seasons asking themselves if they’re doing the right things in life or going down the right path  and for me [that was] leaving Hollywood years ago to work in the community and with the youth.

Winning for sure tells me it’s time to blow the dust off some of these dreams and ideas and get back into my Hollywood bag. Seeing myself on TV and just seeing the feedback from the show for sure gave me the confidence that I might just need to be on that screen more! Lol!

Going into the house did you have any doubts that you could keep your relative a secret?

Going into the house I was very confident that I could personally keep my relative a secret. I know we don’t look too much alike and being one who teaches acting and improv to intercity youth, I knew putting up an act wouldn’t be hard but I do know that my relative is frequently in the headlines or onscreen for one reason or another so I knew the clues would at some point expose me.

I also made sure I had a plan for when the exposure happened!

You played an excellent game by pretending that your relative was a football player, what went through your mind when it was exposed that you lied the entire time?

Well, even with me watching season one I knew if we played the category light-up game, my cover would be completely blown so I kinda started panicking when I realized we were going to be playing that game and almost forgot my “phase 2 exposure plan” which was to direct people into thinking I was related to Terry Crews because he played football and also hosted the same TV show as my relative.

So when I was exposed, I was able to gain respect for what I seen all the other players before felt and how serious of a moment it is realizing it could all end here.

Besides yourself, who do you think played the best game?

Besides myself, I would have to say Monay and Chris played the best game. The whole time those two felt like two lions just waiting to devour me but without the roar; silent but viscous. That’s the real reason I stayed so close to them. I couldn’t go to sleep at times staying up with their clues in my head like puzzle pieces trying to make them fit and make sense.

Things were tense going into the finale, did you have any doubts that you would come out on top?

Going into the finale I had doubts for sure. I felt I wasn’t supposed to have made it that far, I didn’t even feel like I was supposed to be on the show. I’m the middle child of 5 boys; the underdog with the big mouth so because my reality was the opposite of  that, that’s what doubt was making me feel.

[But] I had to keep pushing on the faith that got me there. As long as I had a fighting chance, I had to keep pushing. So after I put the doubt in its proper place as fuel, I kinda hit this mindset of kinda just “knowing.” I was outside of myself watching something I had already seen before and almost just became a witness of what God was doing.

What did you think about the guesses that your celeb relative was Terry Crews?

I loved the guess that my relative was Terry Crews. It felt like my secondary plan was working perfectly! I think Terry was the perfect deflection, it almost made everything the house was thinking prior still true about football and perfectly blends in with the entertainment stuff.

What was your brother’s reaction when you told him you would be on Claim To Fame and what are his thoughts on your time on the show?

Nick is a very creative person who obviously understands the television and entertainment world. I think when he saw the concept of the show and that it wasn’t just reality TV but also tying in many other innovative aspects he was excited about it. I think he knew too what ABC was getting themselves into by casting me knowing how much preparation he himself even put into me through the years [so] he knew I was ready. And just for the record, Nick Cannon loves Claim To Fame! Lol, it helped him keep some of his money in his pocket!

Lastly, here’s the biggest question; What will you do with your prize money?!

With the prize money, I plan to continue the mission, “the marathon continues” [Nipsey Hussle] style. For the last seven years I’ve been front line in the community working with young visionaries doing all kind of youth advocacy work and that’s where our future is; the youth of tomorrow. So I’m developing this youth enrichment and empowerment campus where a kid can come get anger mamagement classes or come create a logo put it on a shirt and create their own business.

We’re [also] teaching acting improv podcasting [and] this place will also be a summer camp. Each building will be sponsored by a different brand or entertainer like the “Nick Cannon theater” or a shoe company sponsors the basketball courts.

The youth create the content for the companies. There’s so much I want to do but most importantly, I will use this money for seed money to grow the trees of tomorrow. Amen!

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