I’m Not A Celebrity… Get Me Into There!: Why I Should Be On Reality TV
I was a fan of reality television from early on.
To a certain extent this was in spite of myself -- I had pretensions of being the sort of elite televisual connoisseur who turned his nose up at anything less artistic than The Sopranos -- but I couldn’t deny my true nature and found myself spellbound, along with the rest of the world, by the sight of ordinary or semi-ordinary people fighting themselves, each other, and the bizarre challenges producers threw at them.
And so I got into Big Brother, I got into Survivor, I got into The Amazing Race, and of course I got into MasterChef, a love affair that continues to this day. But though I watched reality TV enthusiastically, there was one thing I was sure of: I would never be a participant.
Reality, I knew, was a genre designed for people like me to look at others and regard their behaviour with amusement, disgust or outrage. It was a perfect medium for us to pass judgment on others from the safety of our own lounge rooms, to enjoy an enormously satisfying sense of superiority.
I could mock reality stars’ inability to solve a puzzle, cook a roast or competently impersonate Celine Dion, and the fact I was totally incapable of doing any of it myself didn’t matter at all -- the shows were beautifully constructed to allow me to slag off anyone who failed to live up to the standards I had decided arbitrarily they should match.
When I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! started, my opinion was only confirmed. It was fun to watch them suffer, but I was more convinced than ever that actually appearing on such a show would be an unmitigated nightmare. In fact, the show was just about the only reason I could find for not wanting to become a celebrity.
And yet…today…I find myself bewildered by the change in my own nature. Because somehow, the reality genre has so wormed its way into my bloodstream, has so seduced me with its dark magic, that…god help me, I know not what I do…that I actually want to be on it.
I know. I KNOW.
Surely that way lies only madness and humiliation and personal nightclub appearances. But whereas these shows once made me think, “There but for the grace of God go I”, now every time I so much as see a promo for a reality show I am filled with jealousy. “Lucky bastards,” I mutter under my breath.
I find myself fantasising. Maybe, I think, I could teach myself to cook well enough to get on MasterChef. It can’t be that hard, can it? All I need is one really good dish to get through the audition.
Or maybe I could not bother with the cooking, and just go on My Kitchen Rules.
Or could I go on Survivor? I need to lose some weight anyway, I’d be perfect. And I love lying to people, so I’d be a natural. I know I’d probably be the guy who gets medevaced off the island after a sudden cardiac event, but that’d just make my stint more memorably, wouldn’t it? In any case I’m pretty good at puzzles and I can swim up to 10 metres at a time, so I’d be an asset to my tribe.
Or maybe The Bachelor? Or The Bachelorette? I reckon I could really shake things up in the mansion. My unconventional appearance and cynical, world-weary take on life would endear me to viewers and co-stars alike. The only obstacle to my appearance on either of these shows is, of course, my wife, but she’s an excellent woman and I’m sure she’d understand it’s just something I have to do.
But the holy grail right now is I’m A Celebrity. Here is a show that not only pitches you into the public eye and gives you the chance to win the adoration of the great Australian public, but it gets you a free trip to Africa as well. And frankly I’ve been hoping for one of those for years.
I would very much like to meet a lion and also hopefully some monkeys, so I see no downside to appearing on I’m A Celebrity apart from the faint possibility that the series I’m on will be the same one Clive Palmer is on.
In this case, obviously, the snag is that I am not yet a celebrity, but that I think is only a matter of time. Being a celebrity can’t be that difficult: not if James Brayshaw can manage it. I’m not sure exactly how I’ll become famous, but at the moment I’m thinking along the lines of an affair with a Nationals MP. Something like that, anyway.
The important thing is that I get there. Because once I’m on reality TV, the world, frankly, will be my oyster. And it’ll be a great oyster: the kind of oyster that Gary will give 9/10 at least.
I will stun and amaze reality viewers. I’ll show the world how to do reality TV right.
I won’t be like all the others, stumbling round, losing their cool, failing to come up with hilarious quips at the opportune time.
I will be the perfect contestant: witty, charming, loveable, and always with that sardonic twinkle in the eye that lets you know I’m not taking any of it too seriously.
In no way whatsoever will I be a deluded idiot who has no idea what he’s in for and ends up looking like an irredeemable moron in front of a national audience as clever producers cut the footage of me to highlight every possible flaw. That ain’t my style.
So, casting bods of Australia: there’s my pitch. I am here. I am available. I am raring to go. I am champing at the bit for my life to, finally, become Real.