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Tom Hanks' Niece Has Meltdown After Reality Show Exit: "I Should Have More Camera Time!"

Carly Reeves wasn't happy to be eliminated on the first episode of this season of Claim to Fame.

On the reality competition show Claim to Fame, relatives of celebrities have to figure out which famous face their competitors are related to before their own familial connections are exposed. The first season was a success, and now the series is back for Season 2. And while the game hardly has life or death stakes, one fame-adjacent contestant flew into a rage when she was eliminated during the June 26 premiere. Cameras caught Tom Hanks' niece, Carly Reeves, making huge scene when another contestant correctly guessed the Apollo 13 star, meaning that her chance to win $100,000 was gone. It didn't take long for the clip to go viral.

Read on to find out what happened when Reeves made her reality show exit—including her screaming that she deserved more camera time—and see what she had to say about the dramatic display afterwards.

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Other contestants quickly figured out her clues.

"Claim to Fame" contestants looking at the clue board
ABC/John Fleenor

The Claim to Fame cast live in a house together during the competition, where they compete for immunity and clues and strategize about which celebrities their rivals are related to. In addition to the clues provided by games and gathered from their conversations with one another, there is also a giant clue board in the house that they can study.

Some of the contestants worked out immediately that there were hints on the board pointing to Hanks, including a bench that represented his 1994 hit Forrest Gump. 

Reeves tried to steer them in another direction.

Carly Reeves and other contestants on "Claim to Fame"
ABC/John Fleenor

Reeves is related to Hanks through his wife, actor and singer, Rita Wilson. According to USA Today, Reeves is the daughter of Wilson's sister. During her first and only episode, when anyone else in the house would bring up Hanks, Reeves tried to change the subject, making her fellow contestants even more suspicious.

At one point, a contestant told her he thought an astronaut on the clue board could be related to Apollo 13, and Reeves posited that maybe someone in the house was related to a real astronaut. When her brought up the Forrest Gump bench, Reeves said that Hanks was too big a star to have a relative on a reality show and noted that Gary Sinise was also in the 1994 movie. This fully convinced the other player that Reeves is related to Hanks.

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She melted down after being eliminated.

At the end of the episode, one contestant is chosen to guess another contestant's celebrity relative. A contestant named Hugo chose to guess Reeves' family member and correctly named Hanks, which meant that she was sent packing and he was safe.

When Hugo chose Reeves, she said, "I helped you. I helped you." And after his guess eliminated her, she told Hugo that she hopes he goes home soon as payback for not listening to her clues about someone else. She did not say goodbye to any cast members.

Reeves left to go back her things, and soon, the other contestants could hear her screaming and crying.

"These freaking clues were just so freaking obvious!" she yelled. "Freaking bench. That's the freaking poster of freaking Forrest Gump. Are you kidding me? Why a bench? Why a bench? There's literally no reference to benches on any other movie. Even Gabriel found that out, he's not even, like, smart. I didn't even get to do any challenges! I don't deserve this! I should have more camera time! I should be here longer!"

Reeves did get to do one challenge, despite her complaint. She competed in a talent show competition in which she wrote and performed a rap song and twerked. This made one contestant think that her relative was a comedian, perhaps Jim Carrey.

Reeves has some regrets about her behavior.

Carly Reeves and Hugo on "Claim to Fame"
ABC/John Fleenor

Reeves, who is an actor like her uncle, spoke to Entertainment Weekly about her exit from Claim to Fame.

"I was really upset," the 39-year-old said. "I think I overreacted a little bit, but I'm an emotional, very dramatic person. I was really angry that I didn't get a chance to play as long as some of other contestants. I mean, there was no one to be angry at. I was just angry in general at myself, and at the fact that I was going home. And then that turned to complete despair and sadness. I even say, like, "I should get more camera time!" That's just so silly of me to say. But I also was just saying things out of my mouth."

Reeves also admitted to making mistakes in her gameplay. During a "two truths and a lie" introduction in which the contestants had to share their relative's relation to them, their profession, and the biggest award they've won, Reeves said her relative is her uncle, that he is a musician, and that he's won an Oscar. She knows now that she should've lied about the Oscar instead of Hanks being an actor, because winning an Oscar is more rare. Hanks has won two Academy Awards for Best Actor for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump.

She also said she "was trying too hard" to deflect. "I just am not a good liar by nature. I hate lying, and I'm really bad at it because I just kind of giggle my way around it."

She revealed what her uncle thinks about her foray into reality TV.

Reeves explained that she talked to her uncle about Claim to Fame and that Hanks was excited for her and wished her luck. Asked if he would watch the episode, she told EW, "I hope I don't embarrass him, but I don't think I do. So, I would love for him to watch it, because I think it's hilarious… He's happy for me no matter what."

Reeves also posted about her "meltdown" on Instagram, writing, "I can just be a little expressive and vocal shall we say."

She wrote of Hanks, "My uncle is awesome and he has known and experienced my tantrums since I was a kid. He would actually imitate me have a meltdown as a kid! I know it's not a good look but I really wanted to play along with the rest of the cast. Hope I made you laugh at least!"

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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