In case you're not an avid follower of my social media (shame on you!) I starred in an episode of ITV2's brand spanking new Dating in the Dark 2016 which aired last Thursday. Having filmed the show a wee while back, it's been a hell of a wait. Glad it's finally over and out in the open!
I'm just going to put this out there now...it was a RIDICULOUS amount of fun filming the show. As I came into the mansion half way through, I wasn't sure how I would be received by the original girls. But, the girls were all amazing. As cheesy as it sounds, I love them all and we became really good friends during the show. Yas, even Justine and I - we all got on so well.
What I love about the show was the filming process itself - you start to feel like a little family with the cast and the crew, because the intense environment means you're all together 24/7. I completely get now why people in Big Brother or Love Island bond so fast...it's the nature of the environment.
In case you're all wondering...no, it isn't fixed. Everything is real. We genuinely do not know who will pick who or what we all really look like until the light reveal at the end. We also didn't know one of us would be sent home, everything is revealed once filming so all of our reactions are authentic. We got to dress ourselves and do our own make up (which is not the case on Take Me Out) and had free reign on how we decided to express ourselves on the show. It felt so natural and very chill to be there. I cannot praise the crew enough...made the experience incredible.
The filming, as per any show on TV, is a lengthy and exhausting process and the 60 minutes never gives justification to how much really goes on during the days. We were up early every morning and date-ready by 8 30am, often filming through until 8 or 9pm at night. I was exhausted, running on coffee and adrenaline most of the time. Every shot gets filmed more than once and so many conversations and features are filmed but never make it to the final cut. The crew sorted out meals and drinks for us, and kept us sane when we were shut in our bedroom unable to go out for fear of seeing the dudes.
Now for the dark room...I mean...yeah we get it, it's dark, but nothing prepares you for how pitch black it actually is! IT'S SO DARK IN THERE. We can hear producers on the outside if they need to communicate with us, and we know where the door is to leave for safety precautions. But other than that, you enter and leave only when you're told to. It's the most surreal experience watching it back and 'seeing' what was going on, because when you can't see fuck all you forget what you even did or said. It's such an odd feeling to feel like you know someone or have a connection with someone when you have no clue what they even look like. It certainly taught me lots about my judgement on personality. You end up creating a picture in your mind via voice or words and then when you see them in the light, it never matches what you were thinking. So surreal.
I had the best experience and watching it back made me just want to go and do it all over again. If you've not tuned in yet, click here to watch it - ITV2 Dating in the Dark 2016 Ep 3.