reality tv

"It was like prison." A reality TV 'whistleblower' on what really happens behind-the-scenes.

A very mysterious reality TV contestant has spilled what really goes on behind-the-scenes, and well, it doesn’t sound good.

The man – whose identity wasn’t revealed and neither was the show he appeared on – spoke to Adelaide radio show Jodie & Soda about how the experience negatively impacted his life.

He was involved in a scandal during his reality TV stint, which resulted in him being evicted from the show.

Though unnamed, reported the show he appeared on was one which aired on Australian TV for at least eight years.

What an honest reality TV job interview would look like. Honest. Post continues below video.

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He said that while on the show, contestants were unable to listen to any radio or TV or talk to anyone on the outside.

The former contestant recalled being allowed one timed 10 minute phone call when filming took place over Christmas and likened his experience to prison.

“That’s how I’ve referred to it a lot of times, it is like prison,” he said.

While contestants had access to a psychologist, the man said he suspected confidential information was being leaked to producers.

“I really do think that the main part of the psychologist on the show was to talk to the producers to get what they wanted and reactions out of us, rather than supporting us,” he said.

“Producers would say ‘what we want you to do is say this’ and ‘do it in this way’ and ‘have this much excitement about it’. Short of being handed a script we were told to say certain things.

“There was definitely a lot of lying going on. I felt that within my show there was deliberate set-ups.”

jodie and soda reality tv behind the scenes
Breakfast hosts Jodie and Soda react to the man's experiences.

He recalled being evicted from the show after a scandal, getting emotional as he explained how it was handled.

"I was told the day after [the incident] that I was being evicted from the show and I would have no chance of winning any money, but I would have to wait for the film crew to arrive back on set to film things. I was basically put on lock down for two days.

"When I returned home, my parents didn't know I coming home so I flew in and I surprised them at their door and they said 'What's going on?'" he explained, choked up. "I said 'I'm on a break,' because I couldn't tell them that I'd been removed."

It took three weeks after he arrived home for the incident to air on TV and as expected, the public reaction was negative.

The man was unable to regain his job with his employer, his family struggled with the scandal and it had an adverse impact on his mental health, he said.

When asked what advice he would give to anyone considering going on a reality TV show, the contestant told them to think again.

"We're all naive. We all think that by being on TV it's going to be the be all and end all, but at the end of the day I got nothing but pain from it.

"People ask me constantly how it was, 'would you do it again?' and the answer is no. Basically, you'd be better off going to prison because at least people can come and see you in prison and you'd have that support there. On the show, you've got nothing.

"It’s not worth it. If you want to be controlled for the rest of your life and be listed as something you’re not then go for it but my answer is don’t do it."