Reality star: ‘I thought the apocalypse was going on’
WHEN Tweed Heads' Shane Vincent entered the Big Brother Australia reality TV show house, Australia was still relatively normally and pre-pandemic.
On exit having been cut off from the world for nearly a month, he reveals it was a "shock to the system" emerging into virtual lockdown
Mr Vincent, 39, was one of 20 contestants to enter the Manly-based Big Brother house with filming starting well before the coronavirus outbreak in Australia.
"They told us kind of like a smidgen of what we needed to know (about coronavirus)," he told the Bulletin.
"We weren't getting all of the food we ordered so we questioned (producers) what was going on.".
"I left the house and didn't really know anything about what COVID was," he said. "The kids were being ripped out of school, there was no toilet paper, couldn't get formula for the baby.
"Then I found out half of my business had been postponed until next year because weddings were no longer allowed.
"I thought an apocalypse was going on.
"There was only one case in Australia (when entering the house) and it was more an overseas thing.
"But (the Big Brother house) was the safest place in Australia. And we had toilet paper too."
The Tweed Heads father-of-three and marriage celebrant was voted out by fellow contestants on the reality TV competition show that aired tonight.
Mr Vincent lasted 22 days in the house and admitted the experience was "not at all" what he expected, especially after he left.
"The experience was far far removed from where I thought it would be," he said.
"I thought it was going to be drinking and bum-dances, high-fiving kids and Friday night games - all that carrying on that it was years ago. But it was far removed from that.
"It was like Survivor with a bed."
Up until this month Big Brother Australia hadn't been on screen for six years.
The show, filmed in a mansion on the Gold Coast, was axed after eight seasons on Network Ten because of audience erosion and controversy.
The Seven Network picked up and revived the show this year.
Asked what was the hardest part of the competition, Mr Vincent said "everything".
"It was hard because you had to play the game and build people's trust and strategise," he said.
"You had these long 24-hour challenges. It was very emotionally draining and physically draining.
"You had sleep deprivation and on top of that you had to try and win as well. It was a massive game. Like chess with humans - it was out of control."
He predicts fellow Gold Coast contestant Daniel Gorringe, Chad Hurst or Mat Garrick would win the $250,000 prize money.
Although Mr Vincent admits a former client convinced him to apply for the reality TV show, he's hoping it will bring more gigs his way.
"I would love to be able to have a bit of a media career. Radio or presenting, I would love to do but I'll see what Channel 7 holds for me in the future."
Originally published as Reality star:'I thought the apocalypse was going on'