People have always asked me ‘what is it like to be famous?’ And coming from a relatively isolated town, my 5 minutes of fame seemed to be the closest thing anyone had to the answer too (and when I say anyone I mean everyone between the ages of 14 and 30 who owns a TV). I myself had forever questioned what it meant to be ‘famous’, was it beating Cheryl Cole in the ‘top 40 reality TV babes’ pol in 2008 (oh yes that was an extremely proud moment, flicking through zoo magazine as I scoffed left over curry in my PJs, ‘look mum people think I’m sexy’), when Tinie Tempah asked me for a photograph semi excitedly (I could have wished the excited part up), or when I spent 6 months never being able to eat my restaurant dinner still warm, ‘you’re that girl off the tele aren’t ya, please can I have a photo?’, commence my table being approached by every other person in the restaurant, most of them not actually knowing who the hell I was.
The whole pandemonium that surrounds you when participating in mainstream reality TV is pretty daunting, and 100% surreal. I remember the first time I really felt the madness, I went to a newsagents to most likely purchase some form of sugary badness, a few magazines to keep myself occupied while I waited for Brian Friedman’s choreography class, and as I was reaching for an ice cold refreshment I was caught in a blinding storm of camera flashes, I turned to the shop window to find an aggressive ant farm of photographers scrambling on top of each other to get a picture. ‘Is Kim K in here?!’ Was my original thought as I bewilderedly and eagerly looked around to find her. No, it’s just me. What the… F word. Look at me, I am a disgrace, I am nowhere near the glamorous specimen that you are surely expected to be to be chased by the paparazzi. ‘I’ve had these jeans for like 5 years, at least wait until I look like I’ve tried!’
As an X Factor contestant every day after that was a similar story. Driving through London had to be done with the car doors locked, as on one ridiculous occasion a scooter-driving photographer jumped off his bike ran towards our car in traffic to open the door and shove his camera in. All we could do was throw our coats over our heads and scream like fully fledged scream queens. We did laugh regardless of his totally reckless and near psychopathic behaviour as it gave us that feeling of importance. I mean some guy has literally just nearly killed himself trying to get a photo of us, now I put some real effort in trying to get the perfect selfie but that was just exceptional.
Fame is weird. No matter how much of it you experience or the level of fame you reach. You are seen as an alternative life form, and even though I to an extent know how it feels, I’d still attempt to koala hug Beyoncé’s legs if I ever met her.
Peace and Love, until next time.