Among these contestants is a saboteur - the Mole. It's their job to create confusion, throw others off-track and use whatever means they can to stop the group winning money. And the Mole's brief is to remain undetected.
Contestants have to hold their nerve, back their judgment and find out everything they can about each other in an attempt to uncover who among them is the Mole.
SEBLE - 24, MELBOURNE / LAW GRADUATE
There is nothing subtle about Seb. Though she’s determined to find the Mole and win the series, she’s going to do it with perfect hair, freshly painted fingernails and a beauty regime that would leave a model exhausted.
But don’t for a minute think this pint-sized Victorian law graduate is a pushover. While she admits her petite frame may give her a disadvantage at first glance, there is a lot of fight in her.
JAYDEN "MOZZIE" - 21, MELBOURNE / LIFEGUARD
With his surfie good looks and warm charm naturally drawing in strangers, Jayden is hoping that his greatest asset could lie with conforming to a stereotype.
The lifeguard is hoping the other contestants underestimate him. And if that means using his charm and good looks to build an alliance with a female contestant, or to overtly flirt to flatter in order to lull someone into a sense of trust, then so be it.
Why not! he laughs. All is fair in love and war. This game is not about coming second.
HILLAL - 22, SYDNEY / COMMUNITY YOUTH LEADER
Distrustful, manipulative, deceitful and selfish are all personality traits indelibly linked to playing a successful role in The Mole. While many of us may at first struggle with living out these traits, Hillal has fretted more than most. As a devout Muslim aspiring to strictly follow his religion, the thought of embracing the conniving nature of the contestants was at first a moral dilemma.
My game plan is to be the best of both worlds - to be a mediator and a friend of everyone, he says. But when night-time comes, I need to use those friendships to benefit myself.
SHAUN - 33, CAIRNS / BUILDING SALES REP
If it takes one to know one, then Shaun is a contestant to watch. The straight-talking Queenslander openly admits he has spent a large proportion of his life lying and admits he will do anything to win the show.
Not everyone will like me and there will be differing opinions on how I’ve played the game; this is an individual game and at the end of the day there’s only one person that can win the money so if I have to do anything I can to get to that final hurdle then I will do it.
Driven, determined and, quite frankly, couldn't give a damn about other people's opinions, Ally does not mince her words and has a stare that could freeze water.
I am a bag of assorted lollies and you just don't know what you’re going to get on any given day, she says. When I wake up in the morning it’s a case of what personality will I be today. Will I be the bitch, the crazy girl or the happy gal?
With boyish good looks and oozing confidence, it’s easy to take Sam at face value. But donít be fooled - this charismatic Gen Y is ultra-competitive and has his eyes set firmly on the prize of winning The Mole.
I’m absolutely different when I play the games and challenges than to how I am in real life, says Sam, a devout Christian. In real life I’m cocky, confident, forward, loud, funny, not shy, not easily offended and I generally get what I want. But you can’t be a team leader in this game because if you’re in the front, you can’t see what’s happening behind you. Unless you’re the Mole of course.
Kerrie has spent her professional life in the mining industry being exposed to a hostile environment where she needs to stay alert and watch her back - which sounds a bit like being a contestant on The Mole!
I love twisting with people’s minds, says Kerrie. Some of the contestants don’t think before they speak and have no logic behind their arguments, which comes across as stupidity. But they could be quite clever and playing a game against me.
NICK - 26, BRISBANE / ART GALLERY ASSISTANT
Nick boasts with pride that he’s manipulative, self-absorbed and selfish. The eloquently spoken and not easily flummoxed art lover is here to put himself first and isn’t looking to find a new best friend.
This is a social game to a degree and I daresay I have made friends here, but at the end of the day, I want to win, says Nick. I will throw any one of these contestants under the bus if I need to.
ERIN - 24, GEELONG / SPONSORSHIP CO-ORDINATOR
Erin is a highly intelligent law graduate, shows a strong discipline to maintain a healthy lifestyle and admits to being a conniving teenager by cheating in school exams and writing the answers on the inside of her pencil case. But this is not the image Erin wants the other contestants to have of her.
In a show like The Mole, perceptions are everything and underestimating people can make or break a contestant. It is why Erin sees herself going far if she is viewed as a stereotypical bubbly, image-obsessed ditz.
Those who take Erin at face value do so at their own risk.
AISHA - 22, GERALDTON, WA / COMMUNICATIONS GRADUATE
Aisha has cleverly played a game of manipulation and power for two decades. The recent university graduate has grown up as the middle child between two sets of twins, forcing her to be a strategic thinker in how to get what she wants.
Aisha rejects talk that her compassionate and diplomatic personality may be her weak point.
There will be times when I will no doubt feel I'm too nice to be on The Mole, she says. One of the hardest things for me on this show is to be confrontational. But when I believe something is right I'm very passionate and I can be a bitch.
LINDA - 42, GOLD COAST / MEDICAL SECRETARY
There is nothing diplomatic in Linda’s manner to other people. In her words, she tells it how it is and if that means inadvertently offending people with a stream of consciousness, then so be it.
I consider myself to be a bit of a bitch sometimes and I talk before I think, she says. My weakness is that I’m a bad storyteller and I don't try to be somebody I’m not. The feeling of being dishonest would just eat at me.
ALEX - 31, SYDNEY / ENGINEER
Alex is one cool, calm and collected person. No matter what the situation that confronts him, he is totally unflappable and, with a perfect poker face and a love of messing with people’s heads, he’s planning to get to the finale.
I can manage my emotions extremely well, explains Alex. If I’m coming across as cool and calm, then I’m luckily enough that on the inside, I’m normally the same and emotionally under control.
When I'm in my element I can be perceived as cocky, arrogant and over confident and I won’t be putting anything on in the show - I’ll just be me, he says.