So, it's finally here, the website! What better time to launch it than on the evening of the day my biggest professional mistake is due to air on TV to 7 million viewers!
So my question is this: Does everyreality TV show think it can get it's cheap kicks by humiliating those involved?
Do they really think they ban BUY anyone with a promise of ratings and exposure?
Well not this lady.
So! Six months ago I was asked to take part in a "reality" TV show named 'The Apartment- The Celebrity Edition which airs tonight for the first time. I was sold the show by being told that myself and 11 other contestants were being invted to stay in the beautiful Nikki Beach Resort in Phuket, there we would raise money for charity by competing with other celebrities to decorate a villa in Thailand.
Nothing was as we had been promised. The villas were not in Nikki Beach, that was just a marketing ploy, they were owned by the same group, instead our first surprise was that we were staying at a Novotel 40 minutes drive awayfor the first few nights and were then taken to the villas that were covered in mud from the yards, concrete dust and given no tables or chairs where we could eat and were provided with terrible food... the producers did this and much more in the hopes we would be unhappy and 'at each others throats', just in time for the airing to begin.
Our contracts were breached by our caring team within a day of landing and we were made to feel that we would be depicted as 'divas' if we spoke out or complained.
So, I was chosen to be a team picker and our first challenge began. We were given 4 stores to visit, and all 4 teams were sent to the same places. Our team found that after many hours of being told in every store that what we wanted to buy was 'unavailable', that these items were being made 'available' to other teams. We were being set up to fail.
That night as my team and I sat around trying to figure out how to fill our room which now had no furniture in it a member of the production crew came to me and told me that I could call the store and ask to borrow stuff and return it in two days.
I was told that I should drop the names of the celebrities in the show who were known in Asia as my audience only extends to Japan and Korea. I was told that other contestants had borrowed stuff in previous years and that I should just keep within budget. So I went ahead and contacted my favourite store, which was the first one I had entered and followed up with an email which I copied the main producers of the show in on.
The next day I was happily decorating my room when Jamie Durie entered to ask how progress was, and we were all getting on fine, apart from myself and my team mate Patricia's frustration that our other team mate Ryan Star being completely lazy, unhelpful and trying to set Patricia and I against one another (no chance ;)
So Jamie Durie then told me I had cheated! I was obviously shocked and confused. Then he laid out the 'rules' to me, which I was later told by a member a senior member of production crew was not a rule at all, but that I was 'set-up' as it had been decided that I was going to be the 'villain' of the show.
Jamie informed me that I was being given a "free pass" and that I could keep the items I had borrowed, but that if I broke the rules again I would be thrown off the show. I immediately told the delivery men to come and return the items to the store and explained that if my having these items was "cheating" that I did not want them, as we were all competing for charities.. and besides that, I NEVER CHEAT! The rest of the day the producers tried to convince me to keep the items borrowed to decorate the room.... I was told that if I didn't keep them that I would definitely be placed in the bottom 2 team for elimination,.. but how could they know this before the room was even finished? I was told that if we were selected the bottom team I would be asked to select who should leave the show. I was fine with that, I explained that I would vote myself off, as I didn't really want to be involved in a show that was manipulating circumstances and happy to throw words around like "Liar, cheat, divisive, ego-centric."
The production crew kept saying, "It's only TV!" I kept saying: "I'm not playing a character in a film, this is my name that you are tarnishing with words like "liar, deceptive, and divisive!". For the rest of the day they attempted to turn our little group against each other, by whispering in one person's ear something to provoke and argument within the team, then they would start filming.... all in the name of 'good TV'.
Our team stayed up until 5am trying to figure out how to make the room work with so much having been removed from it. Patricia finished off the painting, ironially the paint I chose was called 'INNOCENT', it's a Dulux pentalite paint.. I had chosen this paint before all of the 'being set up to look like a cheat' had happened. So we worked until 5am when Patricia collapsed from exhaustion, and bad food. I cuddled up to her in bed all night as she was really unwell and our call time was at 6am. Patricia and I were blurry eyed and unhappy and made out way to the 'Judgment' which was of course at Nikki Beach, just for the 'image' and all.
Our room was slaughtered by the judges, they hated it! I was okay with that as I just wanted to return to my (then) partner and start planning our wedding. I was stressed, exhausted, unhappy and ready to vote myself off... in my own mind I had put my own head on the chopping block by sending our borrowed items back. Patricia had given up a lot to be on the show, I felt she was definitely more deserving to be there and I wasn't prepared to give the producers any more opportunities to lie about me or TO me again.
During the voting Jamie started his dramatic little piece about how someone had lied and cheated. I raised my hand and attempted to explain, but when ever I got to the part where it was revealed that I was told by a member of production to borrow items, the head of production shouted: "Cut!"... hmmmmm. I guess the truth wasn't as sexy?
So, I was put through the joy of being called a bunch of wonderful names by Mr Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen "Egotistical, dishonest, disgusting, divisive...." etc, they then asked everyone to explain why they should stay on the show, and I couldn't wait to have my chance to state that I didn't want any part of the show and was voting myself off... but I never got the chance, they told me that I was staying, and my worst nightmare Patricia was voted off. Firstly it should have been me to go, but if I was staying it definitely should not have been Ryan Star. Patricia had actually worked and painted, Ryan just sat and played his guitar.
So there was me, with only half an hours sleep, barely any food, and surrounded by a production crew who had 'thrown me under the bus' for fun.
I didn't know if the show would minimise the entire 'incident' or I'd end up with my life ruined like 'Nasty Nick' from the early days of Big Brother!
I don't often become emotional but seeing Patricia voted off.. got the better of me....
After we wrapped, we went down stairs and I informed the production crew they should reshoot the last 5 minutes and vote me off as I was leaving anyway. I was then bombarded by every senior member of the production and even promised by the program creator, followed by the rest of production that if I stayed: "You will go really deep into the competition... we see you at the finals." This made a farce of this show being a 'competition'. They told me that there was no way that Patricia could stay, perhaps they only had one star to smash.. i'm guessing.. (which upon Ryans shattering it with the sledgehammer, a piece penetrated through Ryans jeans slashing a bloody wound in his leg!) So, as I was told that there was absolutely no way of reshooting, they then told me that I could removed the "misleading neames" they had labelled me in the edit, that they would permit me to list the words that were lies and defaming. I was promised this by the 3 members of senior production and the program creator.. but as I predicted, they failed to put that promise in writing, blaming their lawyers,.. which I was not informed about until the morning we were due to shoot next which was one day later, after a day off between shooting. The schedule in the contract was detailed as 3 days shooting, which equaled 2 episodes, followed by a day off.
So, none of the promises or agreements came to pass, and so I walked off the show…
These shows need to be shown that not all people in media can be 'bought' for the promise of exposure and ratings.
They could not buy me or my baby, self respect and integrity can't be bought... so it's less Buy Buy Baby, and more Bye Bye Baby!