Competitive Dating

Finding real love in reality.

So there’s a new reality dating show on TV tonight called Ready For Love.  It’s a new concept, in that they have 3 guys, and there’s a bunch of matchmakers that pick girls for them. The matchmakers help coach the girls through the dates, which at least helps the girls in the long term when they get booted off the show. The first round is kinda like Perfect Match, because he can’t see them and they have to do the one liner thing, and then when he picks one, he gets to see her.

My beef with competitive reality dating shows is that I don’t think the contestants really see whether the prize is really a catch. They’re so focused on winning, they overlook any potential flaws. The one who is dating all the contestants doesn’t get a chance to really get to see the real personalities. They’re so caught up in being a prize and being loved on by so many people. When you make love a competition, it becomes about winning, not about finding love.

All these women are so certain this guy is “the one” but they don’t even know him. He gets to make them jump through hoops, and they have to try to be nice for a while. It’s kinda humiliating for them when they can’t deal with it.

At least this show they’ve got a coach telling the girls to raise their standards and be a challenge. Hopefully even if they get booted off here, they can take some dating lessons with them.

I just hope at the end of the show, if either one is not into it, they say so before the fake engagement. So many times, they’re so caught up in winning, it’s not till they have time alone together they realize if he had hit on them in a bar, they’d never have gone out. They just don’t have anything in common.

I also hope with all the bodily fluids being swapped, they do some kind of STD testing before the show.

I’m so glad I got a great man and I don’t have to go through dating drama….


Australia’s Got Talent 2013

More announcements for AGT

So far, they’ve announced  judges Timomatic, Kyle Sandilands, Dawn French, Mel B and now Julia Morris as the host. There’s still some drama over whether Mel B will actually get to work on Channel 9. Apparently even though the X Factor has announced Danni Minogue as a new judge, they’re still trying to stop Mel B from moving to AGT. There is still one seat open on X Factor, so maybe they’re hoping to put Mel B in that spot. More likely though, they’re just continuing their war with Nine…. I’ll be interested to see how it plays out. Either way, Simon Cowell wins. He created both programs, and this legal battle is creating lots of free publicity for both shows.

It’s interesting to see people’s reactions to AGT moving to Nine. Some people think the show should be retired. I’m actually glad there’s still a talent show out there for ANY kind of talent,  not just singing. There’s so many singing shows, X Factor, Idol, The Voice, etc. There’s been more over the years. But if your talent lies in another area, there hasn’t been a whole lot of places for you to show it off. At least during the 80’s there was Hey Hey It’s Saturday and Have a Go. Today it’s all about the singers.

I’m pretty excited they picked a variety of hosts, not just singers. Dawn French and Julia Morris should bring some definite laughs to the show. Timomatic has been through the reality show cycle, so he should bring a different view to the process. Kyle is Kyle. All these shows need someone who will tell it like it is without sugar coating it. I admit it, I loved the Spice Girls, so I have a soft spot for Mel B. I hope she makes it on there.

Seeing all these new shows popping up in Australia makes me wish I was still in Australia and working in the industry. I think it would be super fun to spend a year as a judge or host on a talent show. I’m not sure people would like me as a judge though, cause I have no social filter….

I wonder if Nine has a backup plan in case they don’t get Mel B after all? I’m sure they’re pretty confident they’ll work it out, but just in case they don’t, who do I email to let them know I’m available? 😉


Lindsay on Letterman

Lindsay Lohan on Letterman

So in case you misses it, Lindsay came back from Brazil, and went on to The Late Show with David Letterman.

I love Letterman. Have done since I was a small kid and we watched him thanks to the big dishes at the studio that picked up all the foreign channels. Well, actually, back then I used to think he was kind of mean to his guests. But Julie McGregor loved him, so we would always have him on in the green room. Then I went to Honduras, and it was like comfort food when I was there. I was older and started to get his humour. I think he also mellowed a bit. I couldn’t believe when Steve Vizard ripped off his show, right down to the pencil throws and arm twist drumroll. Then nine bought Letterman and he finally came to Australian TV.

A few years ago I was in New York for a work conference, and I actually got to go see Letterman live. It was awesome. Dave and I share a birthday, and I had always dreamed of being on Letterman one day. Preferably with Drew Barrymore there also. 😉 Maybe one day I’ll have a reason to go on there, but just getting to be in the audience was pretty cool. When we were there, Vince Vaughn was on talking about Couples Retreat.

One of my other favourite people is Lindsay Lohan. I know she’s troubled, and people like to pick on her. But I think she’s incredible pretty, and a very talented actress. I still have hope that she can turn her life around and be a working actress, without a bunch of drama. I really hope that rehab works out for her. She desperately needs to just go somewhere that she can just work on her issues and not be interrupted by paparazzi and E! news all the time. It’s tough to grow up in the industry. People make fun and say she gets it easy. I’d like to see how well most people cope with just one day of being followed and targeted and having everything they do scrutinized and displayed for literally the whole world to see.

Everyone has crazy years. It’s hard to go from kid to adult and not fuck up. Everyone gets into trouble. We all do stupid things. But not everyone ends up on the news everytime they do something other people don’t approve of.

But watching this interview on Letterman, I think Lindsay is going to be just fine. She comes across as very humble. She makes fun of herself. She talks about how she respects Charlie Sheen because he’s nice to the crew. (There’s a lot of actors that are dicks to crew or lesser actors)

I truly hope that Lindsay takes this opportunity to take time for herself, and works on her demons. I hope that all the media also gives her the opportunity to take a time out and leaves her alone to fix herself. It’s important that she is given space and time. The constant hounding by people just hoping to catch her fuck up is only going to make it worse.

I’ll be sending happy thoughts to Lindsay while she’s in rehab. I hope wherever she is going has an awesome staff like they do at Heal For Life. That place was amazing, and they can do in one week what it takes some places months to do. I wish I could send her there.

When Lindsay gets out, I hope people give her a break. I hope she continues working. I hope she finds peace.

And Dave, I’d still love to be on your show one day!


Reality versus Scripted TV

Why is Scripted TV considered more high brow than Reality TV?

Reality TV is here to stay. Producers have worked out that it’s cheaper to produce, it requires less crew, and it can be made quickly.

Actors and people who are from traditional television despise reality TV. Probably because they know that the more hours of reality TV there is, the less hours of scripted shows, which means less jobs for them. There’s also a lot of really awful reality TV out there. However, there’s also some reality TV that  is pretty interesting to watch.

What I don’t get though is why people say that reality television personalities are all no talent brainless people who just walk around doing nothing and getting filmed. Then it gets edited to be interesting. They’re all just attention seekers who should get a real job.

Here’s the thing. It’s gotta take balls to be on reality TV. You also, for the most part, had to have some kind of talent to get on reality TV. It’s not like you can just call up MTV or E! and say you’d like a reality show and they’ll give you one. There’s also some major differences in how you work.

A traditional actor has someone write all their lines for them. They have someone who dresses them. They have a make-up artist. They have a director who tells them what emotion to have. They get told where to stand. They have set work hours. The cameras are there while they’re working, and then they go home. Most importantly, they’re playing someone else. Actors are secretive people. They talk about how they have to be choosy with parts because they’re worried about what people will think of them. They’re super careful in interviews, because even their real lives are mostly carefully crafted  fronts. Another character almost. They’re terrified of saying the wrong thing. Of alienating their audience.

On reality TV however, they don’t get a writer who spends a couple weeks coming up with witty things for them to say. It’s all them. They normally are in charge of their own wardrobe. Sometimes producers will create a scenario for the actors, such as in the Kardashians they’re going to dinner, but after that, it’s all on them. They’ve got to be interesting on their own. People love actors who do some adlibbing. For reality people, it’s all adlib.

There’s also not much private time. The cameras are there, all day, all night. They’re in your bedroom, your bathroom. They’re there while you have breakfast, lunch & dinner. They’re there while you’re trying to get your freak on. When actors go out and party, they hope there’s no paparazzi there to snap a drunken shot. With reality, the whole crew is there, documenting every stupid thing you do….

Kim Kardashian. Monster face, but no award...

Reality people have to be very secure in who they are. They’ve got to have the balls to say whatever they

This fugly look got Charlize Theron an Oscar...

want, and not worry about offending someone. While actors are getting Academy awards for cutting their hair or looking ugly, reality people have to deal with looking fugly while crying and not getting any love for it.

There’s also so many kinds of reality show. You’ve got things like The Kardashians, which is probably the first thing anyone thinks of when they hear reality stars.

But there’s a whole bunch of different types of shows out there. Some are pure mind numbing entertainment, some are voyeuristic, some are actually educational or more like documentaries.

Shows like Being Lara Bingle, Mrs Eastwood and Company and the newest show, Chasing The Saturdays give us a glimpse into the life of people we already know. People that we’ve seen in magazines, or on red carpets. People who we want to know more about. We get to follow them around and see if their life is really as fabulous as we think it might be, or if they’re just like us.Chasing the Saturdays is about a British girl band that’s come to America and trying to make it. If it was a scripted show, it would be The Monkees. Instead, they show the real drama of moving across an ocean, trying to keep it together away from their family & friends. They show it’s not all glamour and red carpets. There’s lots of hard work and tears too.

Shows like Deadliest Catch and Pawn Stars are more documentary. In some ways, even educational. Sure, most of the time they edit it to focus on the personal drama, but producers seem to think that’s more interesting than just watching a bunch of regular office stuff.Think of The Office. All that goes into the daily drama of work. But there’s no witty Ricky Gervais to come up with funny punch lines. This is all real.

Then there’s a bunch of drama type reality shows, that don’t seem to focus on anything, except the interactions of people. Whether it’s a bunch of people thrown together like Jersey Shore, Big Brother, The Real Life or real families like The Kardashians, it’s about seeing how people interact. It’s about relationships. Shows like Here comes Honey Boo Boo give us a glimpse into a redneck heaven that most people have probably not witnessed in real life. It lets us see how other people live. Honey Boo Boo and The Kardashians are at two ends of the spectrum. One set is poor, and people look down on them for eating road kill. But their mother loves them and is putting all that money into trust funds for them. The Kardashians are rich, and their momma also loves them. She also manipulates them into making money any way possible… Both families though are probably nothing like our own, and it’s interesting to see how people live. Kinda like The Brady Bunch.

There’s a whole bunch of challenge type reality, like The Apprentice, The Amazing Race, Survivor, even any of the cooking or singing competition shows, like Master Chef, Idol or The Voice. Whether they’ve got celebrities competing for charity, or regular people competing for a job or money. They’re all still entertaining. They still have drama. Sometimes they’re even doing something good for the world, like helping to raise money or awareness about something.

I love good scripted television. I love dramas like House, NCIS and Lie To Me. But I also loves me some Ice Loves Coco or anything where Gordon Ramsey is yelling at people. With several hundred tv channels on cable, there’s more than enough room for all types of shows. I don’t think we should count reality TV as the bastard step-child to scripted TV. I find the real life stuff just as fascinating as the carefully scripted, edited stuff. Yes, there’s a lot of awful reality shows, but there’s just as many terrible scripted shows. I also find myself having more and more respect for those that are willing to just be themselves, who spend hours getting followed around, who have to be witty, smart and interesting without the help of dozens of people to make them look witty and smart and interesting.

Next time, before you bad mouth reality tv, trash a Kardashian, or bash a Bingle, ask yourself whether you could do what they do. If you were followed around all day. Could you handle it. I don’t think I could. Then ask yourself, is what you’re seeing when you’re watching Deadliest Catch  any less interesting than something like The Office. Is the acting on Home & Away really any better than The Hills?

I know thespians and their respective unions hate reality TV. They hate that they’re taking up air time. I think the unions brought a lot of it on themselves. They make so many demands, and make productions so expensive, some studios just can’t afford to make scripted TV anymore. There’s too many channels, not enough advertising dollars. Reality is easy, cheap and in a lot of cases, not subject to unions.

I think reality TV is here to stay, and I’m going to enjoy it.


Star Privilege

The rise and fall of “Star Power”

With all that’s been happening in the last couple of months in Australia, it’s been hard hiding my past from people, and it’s kinda funny when people I’ve known for a while find out I used to be an actress. I explain I was a kid on a TV show, and they’re like, ok, and think it was a bit part or something. Then a couple days later, I can tell they’ve done a little Googling… The reaction I get so often is, “but you’re so normal”. It’s kinda sad that people just expect all former child stars to be either in rehab or total prima donnas.

For all the bad shit that happened, I’m still pretty happy for the way I was raised. I’m not on probation like Lindsay Lohan, making porn like Judy Winslow or dead like Dana Plato.

I never really did all the things famous kids do now. It wasn’t a non stop party of red carpets and after parties. I didn’t jet off to other countries for festivals. I wasn’t photographed a million times looking super glamorous. A quick google images search actually shows very little. Most images of me are unflattering screen grabs from my ACA interview, or cast photos. As much fun as it would have been, I never did any glamorous cover shoots for a glossy mag. I think I dreamt of doing a Dolly cover, but it never happened. I only attended 2 Logies awards. I remember being so jealous of the Neighbours kids because they lived in Melbourne and they got to go. I needed a chaperone & they didn’t want to pay for a second ticket. The last 2 years I went, I took our publicist one year & our make-up artist the last year. I took Megan our MUA because I loved her, (and she was willing to go) but then everyone just expected my room to become their private make up room and thought she was there for them, which sucked for her. I didn’t take her so she’d have to work.

There was some important lessons I learnt back then, hanging out with the crew. They’d talk about “soapie syndrome” which is when some new starlet gets a job on something like H&A and because they’re young and pretty, and they get famous quick, they become total divas. They think they’re going to be famous forever. Then, they’d leave, looking for bigger and better things, and when they didn’t get anything, they’d be crushed. Their world came crashing down. It was pretty sad to witness. Some picked themselves up and learnt an important lesson in humility, others, not so much.

There was a sign in the wardrobe room with a picture of a bucket. Underneath it said, Put your arm in a bucket of water, then pull it out. Watch how quickly the hole is filled. That’s how quickly you can be replaced.

Such a harsh statement, but also so true in the land of TV. Fuck up, and there’s another pretty young thing just waiting to take your place. There are days when I wish I had done some beautiful photo shoots, or been to more glamorous red carpets, but I was so young, I really wouldn’t have appreciated them for what they were. Or they’d be so normal that nothing civilian could ever satisfy me. I’m actually pretty glad I was raised to be just one of the production crew. It made transitioning into regular jobs so much easier.

Here’s the other thing people just don’t get. I don’t want to be an actor anymore. I have no desire to play make believe for a living. Just because I was an actor as a kid, doesn’t mean I want to be one when I grow up. Read any article from me as a kid, I always wanted to be something else when I grew up. Being a child actor was something that was chosen for me. I was too young to make that decision, like many other child stars. However, most people stay in acting because they don’t know how to do anything else. They were so busy working, they didn’t finish school. Or, they tried civilian life, and it was either too dull after the glamour of TV, or they had people who weren’t accepting of them. It’s hard to transition to regular life. I loved working in restaurants. I didn’t do it because that’s what every out of work actor does. I really enjoyed working with food. But you’d always get people making comments. I’ll never forget the bitch, who trying to impress her date, said “don’t most people go from waiting tables to acting, and you’ve gone the other way”…. Yes, I realize I’m not living up to your expectations, I was however being a good citizen and paying my bills.

Just like your parents may have put you into ballet lessons or football, it doesn’t mean that’s what you want to do forever. Just cause you worked at Maccas when you were 14, doesn’t mean you want to climb that ladder and be CEO of the chain. Just because I did some modeling and acting as a kid doesn’t mean I dream of winning an Oscar when I grow up.

Like most of those soapy stars who have been humbled by hitting the bottom, I would do things differently if I was given a second dose of celebrity. I’d use it for good, not evil. Have you noticed the ones who appreciate what they have are always trying to use it for other things, like charity? I was doing some promo modeling over here, and one of my products to flog was the Justin Beiber perfume. While its seems derigeur now to have a fragrance if you’re a celeb, I loved that unlike the others adding to their vast empire, all the proceeds from Someday were going to be given to charity. I love it when actors use their voice to be Ambassadors for a good cause. Look at Angelina Jolie or George Clooney. Yes, their lives are fabulous, but at least they’re trying to give back. When was the last time you saw Jennifer Aniston do anything for someone?

I’d love to create my own perfume, and give the money to a good cause. I’m not famous anymore, but I’m glad I can still use what I did in the past to try to do good now. I’d love to be one of those people who used to be famous but is now an activist or professional philanthropist. Don’t make fun of people doing charity shows like Celebrity Apprentice. It’s not always about a career bump. Some people really see it as a great way to promote their charity, and help do their bit to raise some money and awareness. If all they wanted was another 15 minute extension, they’d do celebrity rehab or have a public meltdown.

One day I’d still like to make Going Down. Yes, it’s TV related, but I don’t want to be on screen. Im just too cheap to hire someone for in front of the camera for now. I’d like to produce a scuba series that could focus on the world around us and the water that covers 70% of our planet. There’s so many awesome scuba charities, like the Wounded Warriors. People save what they love. If you can introduce the oceans wonders to people, maybe they too will learn to love it and try to save it. I still believe some programs are great for TV and for humanity. And seriously, who wouldn’t want to make a living getting to travel and meet awesome people? Samantha Brown & Anthony Bourdain have the second best jobs in the world. Their producers have better ones. Same travel, same people, but when they feel like going stealth, they can go out and eat dinner and nobody bothers them. They also don’t have to worry about what they look like in a swimsuit…

Of course, when all this is over, I’m going to see if I can do some glamorous victorious magazine cover. Every girl dreams of getting to dress up in haute couture and being fussed over by stylists and then being photoshopped to perfection. I’m no different. I’m just glad it’s a dream of the future and not a memory of the past.


Ice Loves Coco

My new fav reality show – Ice Loves Coco

Ice Loves Coco

Ok, I’ve never hidden the fact that I love trashy reality TV. After a long day of serious work, sometimes it’s nice to just come home and switch off. At first I watched the Kardashians cause I was trying to work out why they were  worthy of having their own reality show. I haven’t gotten into any of the MTV shows, like Jersey Shore or the ones about teenage mothers. I’m into  switching off, not going into a coma….

I’ve watched Married to Jonas, and it’s interesting to see a girl who obviously loves her man, but really isn’t prepared for living the life of a musician’s wife. It’s obvious she’s not a gold digger, but I do think she’d like  the nice life without him having to ever leave the house. It’ll be interesting  to see whether they work out. I hope they do. It’s so nice to see a girl who loves  her man for him, not what he does, but if she doesn’t toughen up, it’s just not going to work.

Then there’s Ice Loves Coco. Here’s a couple that are going to work. Her body  may be fake, but her personality isn’t. She’s open and out there and looks  like she’s totally comfortable with who she is. She’s also totally supportive of Ice.  In return, he’s totally and utterly whipped by her. He’s what every woman wants in her man. He loves her. He loves her curves. He loves her personality. He loves her quirks. He is always right there beside her, building her up. He admits she makes his life easy and takes total care off him and he’s lost without her. They’re total best friends. They’re the ideal  couple.

I think I love Ice Loves Coco for two reasons.

I love that there’s a reality show that’s positive. Yes, they’re quirky and they do some weird stuff. However, there’s no drama. There’s no cattiness. They don’t look like they’re making shit up just for ratings. They don’t fake fight to make it interesting. It’s so refreshing to see a show that just lets people like each other. Every other show, whether it’s set in a pawn shop or catching fish creates so much drama. I have enough of that in my life without watching grown ups yell at each other over petty shit. Ice Loves Coco shows that people can just be nice to each other and still be interesting. We could all use a bit of niceness in our life.

The second reason I love them is because they remind me of Matt and I. This month, on Thanksgiving Day we’ll have been married for 10 years. I will truly have a lot to be thankful for. Matt is my best friend. He’s the best friend I’ve ever had. He’s always there for me. He loves me, flaws and all. He never cared about who I used to be, what my weight is, or anything else others obsess over. He helped me grow as a person and become comfortable in my skin. He empowers me to be what ever I want to be. He’s everything a girl wants in a boy.

While spending so much time away from home for work, Ice Loves Coco lets me enjoy a little bit of the perfect relationship I have with my own man.

Do you have a favourite guilty please reality show? Is it something like the Kardashians cause you have a big family, or no family and wish you did, or do you love those singing or cooking shows cause you secretly wish you could also sing or cook? What’s your guilty pleasure?


Is there no Aussie Talent?

Is there no Aussie Talent, or does Tall Poppy Syndrome mean Aussie’s need a foreigner to validate them?

Keith Urban has announced he is leaving The Voice Australia and it looks like he will be heading to American Idol. Who can blame the guy? He’ll probably earn about 20 times more on a US show than he would in Australia. He’s also at home in the US, since until The Voice, he was probably much more famous in the US than he was in Australia. He’s had a home in Nashville for many, many years. He was a household name, he’s well liked and respected. Until The Voice, the poor guy was better known as Mrs Nicole Kidman by people in his home country. The Voice gave Australia a great opportunity to  get to know Keith. To know his music, to know him as a person. Keith finally got to feel some love from Australians. He finally had a hit in Australia.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if Australian producers gave that same opportunity to another Australian artist?

The Australian psyche is complex. They like the “Little Aussie Battler”. They like the underdog. They like people who are almost famous. But as soon as that person becomes successful, they’re suddenly too big for their boots. They’re ostracized. They’re no longer loved. Then, feeling like they’re no longer welcome by Australia, that person will move overseas and climb the ladder again. While they’re doing it, that person is a “sell out”. Then, when they make it big overseas, all of a sudden, they’re once again LOVED by Australians. All of a sudden, they’re one of ours. They’re making Australia proud. They’re representing! Remember Kylie Minogue in the early 1990’s when she won 4 Logies? It was like overnight, people hated her. There was such a backlash. Then, she went overseas and made it huge in England. She made an impression in the US too. Then, she was a huge hit with Aussie’s and everyone wanted to claim her as their own.

I am also amused by the people who aren’t born in Australia but grew up there, who then move overseas. Think Russell Crowe. When he fucks up, he’s a damn Kiwi. When he’s winning an Oscar, he’s an Awesome Aussie. Actually, Keith Urban was also born in New Zealand…

australias-got-talentThen, we’ve also got an obsession with needing to be validated by Stars from overseas. Can you think of a Logies that didn’t have some international guest? Even for the races like the Melbourne Cup, or something as mundane as a Nightclub opening, they’re flying in some special guest from overseas. Even Excess Baggage had Kevin Federline. Seriously people, how bad is it when you’re importing Kevin Federline? Even if they do fly in an Aussie, they treat them differently. Fly in an American, well, they get a first class ticket. Flying in an Aussie, they get coach… Why the need to roll out the red carpet for foreigners, but not for your own?

The X-Factor has Mel B and Ronan Keating. The Voice has Seal and Joel Madden.  Australia’s Got Talent has Brian McFadden. Even that Everybody Dance Now had Jason Derulo & Kelly Rowland. Maybe that one would have lasted longer if they had at least one Aussie on there….

Ok, it’s a global world now and people move around and work in other countries. But it seems like each show is only half Australian talent and half guest worker. Now that Keith is leaving, the names they’re throwing out there are ALL foreigners. Is there seriously no-one in Australia that could take his place? Is there no Aussie singer who wouldn’t be fabulous as a judge/coach? Is there not an Aussie who could step up? Even if you did like they did with Keith Urban, and brought an Aussie back from overseas to work on the show. Let Australia get re-acquainted with an old friend. Let someone who had moved overseas to be successful come home and feel the love.

Australians need to let go of the Tall Poppy Syndrome, and start showing some love for one of their own. Australians are talented. They have personality. They’re quite capable of being a judge or a host on an Australian show. I hope they pick another Aussie host for The Voice. I hope as people leave these shows, they start filling their places with other Aussie’s too.