Deep down I knew this was going to happen.
Over four weeks, they likely could not have come across worse. I was transported back to Year Eight – a place I was not intent on revisiting – where a trio of outgoing girls almost obsessively tear you apart for reasons that are not entirely clear.
Romy, 29, reduced a woman to tears on Wednesday night’s episode, after accusing her of being a hypocrite for kissing their shared boyfriend. Along with Cat, 24, the pair ridiculed the appearance of several women, mocking one for showing off her midriff when she didn’t even have abs, and laughing that they were relieved when they saw what the intruders looked like.
I could go on. And on. And on.
I know, of course, these women have been edited and produced and what we’re seeing is a manufactured truth. But it is a truth, nonetheless. You cannot edit words into someone’s mouth.
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When I told friends I’d be speaking to Cat and Romy, they insisted I ask: “Are you aware of the difference between being honest and being mean? Were you bullies in high school? How did you feel watching the show back? Do you regret someone of the vile insults that came out of your mouths?”
And they’re only the questions I can print.
I had no qualms about asking them tough questions. You signed up for a television show, I thought, and then you said some unequivocally shitty things that you ought to be held accountable for.
And then I met them.
These two women – to put it plainly – are not okay. Romy, in particular, is broken.
Neither were really the women I saw on television. They were far more complex. A little bit funny, a little bit sad, and wearing deep pain on their faces.
On Thursday, for the first time, Channel Ten allowed them to preview the episode early, likely sensing how bad things were about to become.
“I didn’t think it could get any worse than my single date,” Romy said. “And it did. And it wasn’t a nice feeling to see yourself in that light.”
After watching the scene where Tenille left the mansion in tears, Romy said she “felt awful…
“It’s something I’m not proud of. It didn’t feel nice at all.”
She reflected: “One little slither of our personalities have been shown and it’s the ugliest side… it’s a real shame.”
They didn’t re-watch the episode live last night. But when Cat checked her phone after her elimination had aired, she was confronted with more than 500 direct messages on Instagram.