Squid Game: The Challenge’s Player 301, Trey Plutnicki, and his mother, LeAnn Wilcox Plutnicki (Player 302), recently shared insights with People about the unexpected twist in their journey.
Speaking about the game of twists, the duo admitted to finding themselves in a game of Marbles, and LeAnn recalled the moment when Trey’s quick instincts led him to investigate their picnic basket as the remaining players gathered for what seemed like a treat. “I think we knew right away what was happening,” LeAnn remarked, acknowledging Trey’s swift response to the unfolding challenge.
As a reality TV enthusiast, Trey, drawing from his Survivor experience, hoped to find a hidden advantage in Squid Game. LeAnn, sharing his mindset, diligently searched for clues in her surroundings. Amid the unpredictable sequence of games, they were unaware of the stakes until it hit them. “We didn’t know what kind of game we were playing. We didn’t know what it was until it hit us,” LeAnn explained.
How did the duo prepare to face each other?
Instead of a boost, the duo faced the grim reality of being responsible for each other’s demise. “Before we even took a bite of food, I found the marbles,” Trey shared. “Let’s just let everyone have a nice meal together, and we didn’t talk about it.” Maintaining composure, the mother and son aimed to savor their moments in the unexpectedly smooth game.
LeAnn grappled with the separation, confessing, “I didn’t want to [play the game] with him,” but Trey’s perspective shifted her stance. As a former college basketball player, she summoned her skills to face off against her son, who was ready to do the same.
It was obvious that they were each other’s best allies, having faced little resistance from other players. LeAnn confessed that they planned to keep their relationship a secret, but Trey’s relief when she avoided elimination in Red Light, Green Light gave it away. “For better or for worse, we were associated in that way,” he said, as per People.
Trey was ultimately eliminated
“I think part of our strategy was we divided and conquered. So I would take one half of the dorm, she’d take the other half,” he explained. “And ultimately I think it worked out in our favour. I think people looked at us and said, ‘That’s a strong duo that we need to break up.’ But I don’t think anybody in there had the heart to do that because we were close with so many people.”
Ultimately, a compelling storyline popped up with the show’s only family members having to feud for the chance at the record-breaking $4.56 million prize. In a twist of events, Trey was eliminated shortly thereafter during the Glass Bridge challenge.
‘That moment was such a good moment’
As LeAnn prepared to leave for New Jersey the next morning, the uncertainty of seeing her son in Chicago before her departure left her anxious. A “soft knock” on her door around 2:30 in the morning brought an unexpected visit from Trey and James [Player 269], accompanied by studio welfare personnel. Anticipating Trey’s devastation, she was surprised to find both of them in high spirits.
“I was so surprised at how almost jubilant both of them were. And I think I realized right away they were both just really so happy to have played, but also happy to have played the way they played because James was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. And he was truly that person in the game. So it was just so great to talk to them in the room. And I don’t know, it was like the beginning of the great post-experience of all this. That moment was such a good moment,” she described the moment.