The Traitors winner Cirie Fields reveals what it was REALLY like to film grueling series – from ‘terrible’ food, to agonizingly long days with VERY little sleep – as she shares the sneaky tactic that helped her to victory

The winner of the first season of The Traitors US has revealed a host of behind-the-scenes secrets of the hit show – including the grueling long days with ‘terrible’ food – and the lengths producers would go to in an attempt to shield to keep the identity of the traitors.

The popular Peacock game show, hosted by Alan Cumming, is currently in its second season with an all-star cast including Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Phaedra Parks and Survivors star Parvati Shallow.

But as it nears its grand finale, season one winner Cirie Fields spoke exclusively to DailyMail.com to get the dirt on what it’s really like to take part – and revealed the strategy she adopted to win the whopping $250,000 -pack prize fund.

“I thought it was going to be like a scavenger hunt,” she said. “I thought it was going to be like The Amazing Race because that’s kind of how it was presented to us.

Traitors season one winner Cirie Fields has shared what goes on behind the scenes of the hit Peacock series

Traitors season one winner Cirie Fields has shared what goes on behind the scenes of the hit Peacock series

The Survivor star became the first ever contestant to win the show in season one

The Survivor star became the first ever contestant to win the show in season one

‘We didn’t know the concept until we were there in Scotland, and that’s when it was explained to us that you could be chosen as a traitor, and so on and so forth. And I was still like, draw me!’

Cirie said she quickly adopted her strategy from four seasons of Survivor to win the show: to befriend the first people she comes in contact with. In this case it was Rachel Reilly, Michael Davidson and Andie Thurman, whom she met when she boarded the train to Ardross Castle.

“We were assigned seats, and so when Rachel and I sat down, guess who sat across from us? Michael and Andie,’ she said. “From that point on, I used my Survivor game strategy.”

Each day begins with a big breakfast, where the participants wait patiently to find out which faithful were killed by the traitors overnight.

Cirie’s role as a traitor weighed heavily on her throughout the filming process, and the daily breakfasts did nothing to assuage her anxiety – and to add insult to injury, the food was mostly inedible.

She said: ‘The anxiety of walking into breakfast and having everyone look at you and feel like “Damn, they know I’m a traitor.”

“Your mind was playing tricks on you, and you would be so anxious throughout the night that sometimes you couldn’t sleep.”

As for the food, Cirie said: ‘I can’t give the whole of Scotland a bad name for food just because I haven’t really experienced Scotland in those terms.

The first season of The Traitors US premiered on Peacock in January 2023

The first season of The Traitors US premiered on Peacock in January 2023

Cirie revealed to DailyMail.com that her game started before she arrived at the castle - and before the game actually started

Cirie revealed to DailyMail.com that her game started before she arrived at the castle – and before the game actually started

The television personality revealed that her role as a traitor weighed heavily on her throughout the filming process

The television personality revealed that her role as a traitor weighed heavily on her throughout the filming process

‘But I didn’t have any good dining experiences during my stay.

‘For breakfast we had a large charcuterie with some toast, coffee and orange juice. There were no omelets, or pancakes, or bacon, or grits. The one good meal I remember was beef cheeks for dinner, it was delicious.

“Besides, the food was terrible.”

She said there was a lot of anticipation for the daily challenges to start, which gave the players a chance to discuss their theories about who the traitors were – conversations she said were often too repetitive to make the final cut.

“If it was too cold, we’d sit in the bar and go from the library to the bar to the pool room and really just talk,” she said. ‘For the most part we would talk about who we thought the traitors were.

Cirie said a lot of time was spent hanging around each morning while waiting for the daily challenge

Cirie said a lot of time was spent hanging around each morning while waiting for the daily challenge

Cirie beat finalists Quentin Jiles and Andie Vanacore, who were placed runners-up, as faithful

Cirie beat finalists Quentin Jiles and Andie Vanacore, who were placed runners-up, as faithful

‘Once the believers arrived at a person, every conversation would be about them. You can only take so much of it and put it in the show because it was the same conversation.’

Cirie described the roundtables as ‘so emotionally taxing ‘with people’broke down in tears,’ before revealing how the traitors were escorted to the turret to choose their next victim while the faithful were taken back to their hotel rooms.

“I would be emotional a lot of times,” she said. ‘I cried a few times at the round table watching the others’ emotions.

‘At the end of the night we’d all end up at the bar and would usually all have a bit of wine and then our cars would come and take us back to the hotel one by one. Each time you would leave separately.

“The producers will call someone’s name, and then they’ll give everyone hugs and then they’ll go out, and then the producers will call the next person, and so on, and so on.

“That way, no one can vouch for anyone and say, “Oh no, it wasn’t you because you were in the car with me” or “I know it’s not this person because they were with me drove.”

“Everybody left by themselves, and we’d leave like we were going to the hotel, but then we’d make like a little U-turn and go to the tower.”

She revealed how being a traitor was not only mentally exhausting, but physically, due to the lack of sleep.

Cirie described the roundtables as 'brutal' and said emotions were always heightened

Cirie described the roundtables as ‘brutal’ and said emotions were always heightened

She said: 'You have people breaking down in tears.  Many times I would be emotional.  I cried a few times at the round table as I watched the emotions of the others

She said: ‘You have people breaking down in tears. Many times I would be emotional. I cried a few times at the round table as I watched the emotions of the others

“By the time we were generally done, it would be around midnight, and then everyone would leave to go to their hotels,” she said.

‘We traitors would have gone to the turret, so we wouldn’t get back to our hotels until damn like two in the morning.

‘We were exhausted because the call time is usually around 9am every morning.’

Cirie revealed that the players are being put up in a basic hotel, which is located right across from Inverness Airport – a far cry from the picturesque Ardross Castle where the show takes place.

“If you look on maps, there’s nothing close by,” she quipped, before revealing details about the amenities and how attendees could entertain themselves during downtime.

“We had a bed, we had showers, we had room service,” Cirie shared.

‘We had television to a limited extent. They gave us a fire stick that they programmed, so it was luxury compared to what I was used to on other shows.’

Focusing on how she navigates the game as a traitor, Cirie insisted: ‘I never chose anyone.

Cirie explained how the traitors sneak their way to the tower without attracting the attention of their rival believers

Cirie explained how the traitors sneak their way to the tower without attracting the attention of their rival believers

‘I wasn’t looking for victims, or looking for people I could manipulate.

“My friendships are real friendships and they’re tangible, and people trust me, and that’s what helped me in the game.

“Honest to God, the only lie I had to tell was that I’m not a believer.”

Reflecting on the series, Cirie said: ‘Whenever I look back, I always think, it was a lot of fun.

“I would say to anyone who plays these games, try as hard as you can to allow yourself to enjoy it and have fun while doing it.

“Because I was a traitor and I didn’t want to be banished, I didn’t really relax.”

She also pointed out that being a traitor really isn’t a walk in the park, despite how it might seem to viewers at home.

“It’s not that easy, especially when things play on your conscience,” she said. “Your anxiety is multiplied, multiplied, and magnified to the thousandth degree.”