Marion Farrelly’s “Talk of Doom” for Reality contestants

Reality TV

The Feed SBS's Michelle Rimmer finds out it takes three seconds for super-producer Marion Farrelly to decide if you’ve got what it takes to be on a reality show.

Posted by SBS VICELAND on Wednesday, January 1, 2020

With Big Brother filming underway, and ongoing complaints about Reality TV editing -especially from Married at First Sight– I thought it would be timely to listen once more to the words of seasoned Reality producer Marion Farrelly.

In an interview last year with The Feed she reiterated her “Talk of Doom” she recommends to contestants before they start any new show.

“You will leave here and you will be too famous to go back to your job, but not famous enough to be famous, so you probably won’t work for two years.

“If you’re a guy, people will want to fight you in the pub. If you’re a girl, no one will want to date you.

“Everyone you have ever slept with will come forward and they will tell their stories to the press.

“You think that you will come off as the person on TV that everyone loves.

“But actually when was the last time you were in the bar and you saw someone from TV, and you went, ‘Oh my God, there’s that idiot off the telly’?”

“You don’t think the idiot will be you. But it probably will be.”

Similar advice was given by producer Alex Mavroidakis (also a former BB producer)  to celebs in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! in an interview with Mumbrella.

“I say this to all the celebrities walking in, ‘You’re going into an environment where you are what you are, and there’s nothing we can do to change it, you can’t change it. If you go in there and you’re the nicest person in the world, that’s what you will be on the show, if you go in and you’re the biggest d***head in the world, that’s what you will be. There is no time to save you or fix you.’”

Don’t say you weren’t warned…

4 Comments:

  1. There’d be some word in the network contracts I suspect that you don’t talk badly about the company just like some other company contracts. Production houses know you are most likely not going to come off in a good light when doing these high pressure cooker reality shows, so they would have to imbed something in the contract so you couldn’t sue them if you didn’t have a good experience. Marion and Alex definitely are giving great advice to potential contestants. Also as a contestant, what do you want to get out of the experience at the end of the day. Promote or start a company, get your Instagram account followers up. Think you have to think with a business mind when signing up these shows.

  2. What is interesting to me is it seems that contestants are getting away with dismissing the NDA they signed pre-show. I see current Survivor contestants (ahem Henry) posting behind the scenes info in forums and MAFS contestants displaying contempt for the rule as well. I have seen a few contracts for these types of shows and it clearly states something along the lines of ‘if we dont air it, it never happened’ and contestant are expressly told not to reveal behind the scenes info from casting right through to filming and post-show.

    I get that the networks are loving that people are talking and generating interest, but do you think that they will ever act on the threats stated in the contract?

  3. If anyone is being paid to sign you up to something (phone plan, internet provider, credit card provider or reality TV show) then they have a hidden agenda and really aren’t keeping your interests safe. They want you to be naive. Recently I saw a ‘journalist’ (can’t remember if it was morning show or The Panel in the evening) who were asking so-and-so to come on and “tell your side of the story” even though they’d just spent a segment criticising whoever it was. Because they need to keep the drama going to make their big bucks.

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