‘Claim to Fame’ winner reveals famous brother’s reaction to his participation in show

Three people stand on a field in front of a pile of hay.
Gabriel, Chris and Monay compete in the two-hour finale of ABC’s “Claim to Fame.”
(John Fleenor / ABC)
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“Claim to Fame” has crowned its Season 2 winner, revealing the famous celebrities related to the final three competitors.

Warning: Spoilers from the season finale follow.

The ABC series stars — Gabriel, Chris and Monay — vied Monday for the $100,000 grand prize during a two-hour finale. Gabriel won the final challenge and the whole competition after getting the upper hand in the Guess Off, correctly guessing that Monay’s celebrity relative is comedian J.B. Smoove. Monay had previously eliminated her former housemate Chris by correctly guessing that he is the son of famed entertainer Donny Osmond.


As for Gabriel, turns out he’s the younger brother of multi-hyphenate Nick Cannon. Throughout the season, the champ referred to his more famous kin as an athlete, dropping football-pegged clues along the way. And that was all part of his plan.

“I knew eventually going in that the cover would be blown, but my plan going in was to hide under the athlete thing for as long as I could,” he told People. “I definitely went in with that strategy to try to stay knowing my stature, knowing that if I could keep you there, there’s no way you think Nick Cannon.”

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“Throughout my life, [I’ve] had to put on traits and I used to call it a mask to wear. It’s like, ‘Well, he’s funny like him, [but he doesn’t] look like him.’ That was something that I would deal with in life.”

But the rapper, who has toured with Mariah Carey, lost his edge when one of his clue cards revealed that his famous relative was the father of more than 10 babies — both a running joke and empire-building brand that has dogged Cannon.

“That’s a good thing to be known for in this life and in this world,” Gabriel told the magazine. “If you want to be known for something, it’s like a big family, a loving father, a man of the people. Shout out to Nick, man.”

Cannon, he said, was a “little hesitant” at first about Gabriel competing in the series, but the “Beat Shazam” host came around when he saw the format of the ABC show.


“At first, Nick is like, ‘A reality show?’ You see the eyebrow raise. He wasn’t sure. Like, ‘What is this?’ He knows me, so he knows I got a big mouth. So he’s kind of like, ‘I don’t know what you’re gonna say on TV,” Gabriel told ET. “But I think when he’s seen the concept and he’s seen what we’re doing, he literally said, ‘Man, yeah, that’s brilliant.’ He loved it once he saw the concept.”

“He was just like, ‘You been prepared for this. Go get them. And don’t make me look crazy.’”

Cannon has not yet publicly commented on his brother’s win, but Gabriel told ET that his brother thought he “represented [him] well.”

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Gabriel has said that he plans to use his winnings to give back to the community.

“Some type of community center for youth services, whether it’s anger management, whether it’s teaching them business management and development,” he told People. “We definitely want to reach back, build a bridge. Just want to do the same thing that ABC and ‘Claim to Fame’ have done for me and shed light on other people.”

This season of the competition, hosted by brothers Frankie and Kevin Jonas, also featured Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s niece Karsyn, Eddie Murphy’s daughter Shayne, former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson Hugo, rapper Lil Nas X’s brother J.R., Jenny McCarthy’s niece Olivia, Alicia Keys’ brother Cole, Dolly Parton’s niece Jayne, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s son Travis and Tom Hanks’ niece Carly.