Exclusive Interview with Chelsea
We had the opportunity to interview Chelsea, the winner of the first episode of Meet My Folks' 2003 season. In an exclusive interview with www.fansofrealitytv.com (FORT) Chelsea shared some of her experiences with the show.
FORT: Thanks for agreeing to an interview and congratulations on winning. Have you already taken your trip or is it still pending?
C: Dan and I plan on taking the trip during the summer time when we are both off from school. We're both really excited to go to Europe and experience the club scene there.
FORT: Are you going with Dan or separately?
C: We want to go together but I think it might be fun if I brought my best girl friend and he brought one of his boys and we could all go as a group and run around Europe.
FORT: Are his parents going along?
C: His parents have their own trip.
FORT: Have you spoken with Dan since the show ended?
C: Yes, we're still good friends. He's really just such a great guy.
FORT: Do you keep in touch with anyone else from the show?
C: Tawny and I talk often. We both bonded during the show and just tried to make the best of it. We both were kind of like, look I know I like you and I know you like me, they are going to try to make it seem like we all hate each other so go ahead and say what they want you to say, at least we know the truth.
FORT: Who did you get along with best during filming and have your feelings changed at all since seeing the episodes?
C: Tawny and I definitely had fun during the last few days but all in all, I liked everyone. Don't believe everything you see on TV, every single one of these girls were classy and smart and respectable. The bitter exit speech from Stef really left a 'bitter' taste in my mouth but mostly it was because she made Dan's Mom cry. I'm sorry but you just don't make parents cry.
FORT: How did you hear about the show?
C: I met Angela Bosworth (Nash Casting) one weekend and she asked me to come down and try out.
FORT: Did you watch last season?
C: No, truthfully, my show was the first show I've seen.
FORT: Have you appeared on any other TV shows?
C: No, reality dating isn't really my thing. It was just a brief moment to experience what working with a production team was like.
FORT: Did you know that there would be 8 girls competing for one guy?
C: Originally I had a call to be the girl with 6-8 guys competing for me in Hawaii (a new idea of theirs), but unfortunately my father passed away so it wasn't possible.
FORT: I'm very sorry to hear about your father. It's too bad the show wasn't able to be filmed in Hawaii as that would be interesting. How long have you been hula dancing, and is it customary to eye up men in the audience while dancing?
C: I have danced Hula all my life and yes, when you are honoring someone with a dance you do look at them. Typically though, in just a regular dance you smile and watch your own hands motions.
FORT: I don't recall seeing you miss any answers in the trivia contest. How many questions did they really ask? What questions did you miss? Had you ever heard of Wink Martindale before that segment?
C: They asked a lot of questions (I think about 30?) I think I came in 3rd in that contest but the questions were all so stupid we started thinking that they were trick questions. They did ask a question of who was the host of Tic Tac Dough and I was actually the only one to get that question right. Not that I knew who he was but it seemed like a logical answer.
FORT: Good call, on Wink. He hasn't aged a day in 20 years, by the way. You comforted Shannon when her boyfriend accused her of hacking into his records. How high were the emotions during the filming? How did you keep your emotions in check?
C: It was really stressful during the first couple days just because I don't think even the film crew knew how to deal with 8 girls (they've never done this before). Emotions were running high in all of us, but Shannon just wasn't prepared for such exaggerated stories to come out (not that any of us were). After a while, Tawny and I just decided to look at it as a game as it was much less stressful that way. The girls they show aren't really us, just the characters they wanted us to play.
FORT: What did the rest of the girls do while Dan was on his private dates with one of the girls?
C: Hmmm...well I spent the next 3 hours trying to wash all the paint off! Haha, you wouldn't believe how much time it takes to get paint out of your hair!
FORT: Were you sick during the filming? Did you really sneeze in the salad twice?
C: It was a fake sneeze so nothing really came out except the sound. Plus the first one went to the lettuce before I washed it, the next one went to the gnocchi because I knew it was going to be tossed out anyway. I'm a clean person and there is no way I'd want someone to eat something I sneezed on!
FORT: Did you have other food available, as the show was constantly interrupting your dinners with faxes and packages?
C: Actually the two main things we lacked during that week was food and sleep. We thought it was all a plot to get us more easily irritated so that we would fight each other.
FORT: You looked like a natural with the crying dolls. Have you ever had to baby-sit at newborn for a number of hours? Did you have to keep the dolls all night or were you able to give them back to the show producers at some point during the night?
C: I have 4 baby nephews and when the show was being filmed I had just gotten back from Hawaii were I was super-aunt for the summer. I love babies and truthfully, those dolls made me miss the real ones I left behind. My nephews, I might add, cry A LOT LESS. This is a funny story, the producers needed more crying scenes, so they would come in and shake our babies to make them cry. When I finally got mine to sleep at about 3 am the producers came back in and I thought they were going to shake my baby again and in my half asleep mind all I could think of was "protect the baby!". They told me the next morning that I had played tug of war with them over the kid (trying to hide it with me under the covers) when all they were trying to do was turn it off.
FORT: That is a cute story about protecting the doll. What was the real deal with the lie detector?
C: The lie detector is a sham. Even when used properly, they are only right about 70% of the time, and on this particular show, they are not used properly. We only got asked the questions one time and on camera. We did not get a list of the questions before hand nor did we get a break so that we could be tested again. Some of the questions aren't yes or no answers either. " Wait did you say prettiest girl in this room? Or did you say week,
ack I don't know, well mom's not a girl she'd be considered a woman, and Nick? well if Nick is a girl then he needs some make-up tips...so um...yes? Maybe? I don't know!" The test measures nervousness and anxiety, and I'll tell you, if you are being asked embarrassing questions, some which might even anger you because they are so out of context, your nerves will be jumping up and down too. For the record, I never had two boyfriends, I never trashed a room in anger, and I don't even know where they got that last question about a boyfriend and an ex boyfriend. In case you couldn't tell from the show, I was laughing at the absurdity of the question and not the answer. All in all, I feel that everyone was unfairly shown and misrepresented by the lie detector as it seems that most of us failed it. Not only that, but there were about 20 questions that they asked, meaning they could show all the ones that came out bad or all the ones that came out good according to whatever the producers wanted. I guess in this show they wanted everyone to look like liars...
FORT: Were you expecting as much attention as you are getting from fans, especially on the Internet?
C: It really didn't register in my mind while I was filming that "wait, the whole country is watching me!" until I saw the first episode. It's kind of weird to see yourself on TV and know that everyone else just saw you as well and found out that you were got caught shoplifting or some other embarrassing
FORT: Do you have a website for people who want to contact you?
C: Haha, no website sorry. But if you have any questions feel free to post them in the Meet My Folks forum at www.fansofrealitytv.com and I'll check in from time to time to answer them. :-D
FORT: Overall was being on the show a positive experience for you and would you recommend it to a friend?
C: It was interesting to see how it was filmed but after about the 3rd day both me and Dan were like "what did we get ourselves into!". I would recommend it to a friend only if she completely understood just what she was getting into.
FORT: If you did recommend it to a friend, would you then rat out all of her dirty secrets for the show's tapes? Seriously though, how much did they coach your friend in revealing the secrets for their cameras?
C: My friends never even heard some of the stories they read on camera. The shoplifting was my own story I told the producers, and they made it into cue cards and had my friend read them for the camera. As for the bill paying, my friend knew that it wasn't true (after all, they filmed it in my apartment so I had to have paid that bill right?) but they said it would affect my chances
of being on the show if she didn't read the scripts, so she did it for me. Just for reference, that story about bills came from telling them I'm a shop-oholic and love to shop--they had to add in bill paying scandals to make it more juicy. I'm still in college and my Mom pays for my apartment, so she was a little surprised that a 10 dollar thong constitutes for a months rent check!
FORT: Anything else you would like to add regarding you experience on the show?
C: The girls were great, Dan was awesome, and the Maloney's were truly just a loving and wonderful family and I'm glad I had the chance to meet all of them.
FORT: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview and for sharing your experiences. Best luck in the future, Chelsea.
C: Much mahalo for your time and Aloha.