Yes, it’s true. I was on the Bad Girls Club, Season 3. That’s the one with “the Ambers”, and Ailea. Technically, I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about any of this, but the producers said that only applied for about 6 months after the episode aired. Seeing as it’s been almost 7 years since it aired, I think I’m okay.
Here’s the inside scoop on how it happened, what went down, and the aftermath.
In the spring/summer of 2008, my live-in girlfriend and I broke up and she moved in with a friend of hers. I took her friend’s roommate in as my roommate, but the ex and I were still talking and occasionally cordial (and sometimes intimate) with each other. I was in a rut, she was pursuing another fella, I was unemployed, my mom was literally on her death bed, it was a bad time all around. My years of work with M+ and Aural Salvation had amounted to fuck-all by this point, and finding another job was an uphill battle. So, I took on various “acting gigs” by way of joining an agency that books extras for TV/Film work. Occasionally, I’d even check Craigslist for random acting gigs. That’s where I struck the tainted gold of Bad Girls Club.
The post was pretty vague – just saying something about “needing hot local men for a night of speed dating, to be filmed as part of a reality show”. Since I was newly-single, needed to get out of my rut, and I’m perpetually drawn to making an ass of myself on camera, I figured I should go for it. I didn’t think I was the type of “hot guy” they’d be looking for, I closed my email with a sort-of dare.
Do you really need another “boy band” looking gym-obsessed douchey guy on a reality show? Take the path less traveled
It worked. They emailed me back within the hour, saying “we love your look”, that I’d be an “interesting addition” to the evening, and confirmed my eligibility, and age. I was all set. They told me it would be about a 3-hour event, for which I would be paid $75. If one of the girls picked me and/or decided to date me, it was entirely my own decision whether to move forward. Once the Speed Dating portion ended, so too did my “gig” end. After that, I’d be off the clock. As it turned out, that didn’t matter — they paid me as soon as I showed up.
If you’ve never watched the show (can’t say I blame ya), here’s a highlight reel I put together of what transpired — on-camera, that they decided to air — that night 1it should be noted that, since I was going on all these auditions and doing work as an extra, I shaved off the hawk for a few months :
I showed up to the club, was handed an envelope, and was told “at no point are you to mention to anyone else — not the other guys, and definitely not the girls — that you were paid to be here. You’re just a normal guy, going to a normal speed dating event”. I walked over towards the other guys, where I heard all of them discussing that exact thing. I didn’t join in, because I figured my “normal guy” routine would be a lot more effective if not even the other guys knew.
As it turned out, they didn’t just take over a Speed Dating event and invite some hand-selected fellas to mix with the Bad Girls. There were also just regular women there, and just regular men. It was obvious something was up, because there were cameras everywhere and because 7 of the girls were dressed to the fuckin’ nines, hair done up like it took all day to style (which it probably did), and they all knew each other.
To me, that’s the funniest part about this whole thing. Let’s imagine you’re a woman named Carol. You’re in your mid-late 30s, been divorced maybe a year or so. You’re looking to get out there, to shake things up, to start meeting some new people. You hear about “speed dating”. You say : “yeah, that’s NEW Carol’s jam. That’s what NEW Carol would do”. You tell your co-workers. They think New Carol is “wild”, but they cheer you on and they’re excited for you. You go to the JC Penney, pick up something classy but … also kinda revealing. Maybe it’ll show you’ve got some sass. And a little fire in you. You show up to this event, thinking you’re gonna knock some fuckin’ socks off. And you sit down. And you look across from you. And it’s just… high-dollar whores, as far you can tell. We’re talking 7 Paris Hiltons. Their hairstyle alone cost more than you make in a month. Their outfits? Easily your yearly salary. Tits popping out of tiny little dresses. You’d think “holy shit. I’ve been out of the game a long time. Is this what it takes to get a man in this day and age? Is this what I have to compete with?”. There were definitely more than a few women that night who thought that after seeing the Bad Girls lined up on the couches across the room. I sure hope someone involved with the whole event pulled those ladies aside and said “listen… this is not how life works these days. This is all make-believe, for TV. No one goes Speed Dating in those outfits”. Maybe they got a free voucher for a second go-around? Who knows. I think I explained this better onstage once.
The reaction from most of the Bad Girls was either one of amusement “ohh you freaky…“, one of disgust (one of the blondes just said “wow. NEXT!” and started talking to her friend next to her while I drank alone), or — in the case of Ailea and the other busty brunette — one of intrigue and actual kind of conversation. I didn’t want Ailea, I wanted the other brunette : Sarah. Sarah was more attractive, more fun, more talkative, and (I’d later find out) used to be a stripper. After the Speed Dating ended, we were supposed to fill out our cards and then go mingle if we chose. Ailea said “hey, let’s get drinks!” and I figured I could do worse than hang out and see what kinda trouble I could get into. I talked a little to Sarah, but Ailea kept trying to grind on her and act like she was “all about girls”. I wasn’t sure if she was trying to impress me, or just wanted to distract Sarah. Either way, Ailea pulled me over to a couch inside the club.
This is where I got my first look at the duality of Ailea. When the cameras and lights swooped through, she would go from just having a casual conversation about her home life, or music, or her favorite movies, to “now I’m gonna tell you all about my sob story”. I mean, on fucking cue this girl would change subjects mid-sentence. You can’t really tell that’s the situation by watching the video, but you can see my facial expression change from smiling to bemusement and rolling my eyes and doing the “I guess I’m just gonna go with it” slow head nod.
What the video doesn’t show is why I was weird and hesitant about our “kiss”. While the cameras weren’t actively pointed at us, I was moving in closer. She said “I hope you’re about to kiss me”. I said “I was going to…”, cause I felt like she kinda ruined the moment. She was holding her drink, looked at me and said “when I ask you if you’re going to kiss me — you kiss me, or I’ll break this glass over your head and squirt this lemon in your eye”. So, when the cameras swung back around and she says “do you wanna kiss me?”, I gave this half-assed “okay, this counts” kiss and you can see and hear me say “there.” because I had fulfilled my part of the deal, and she didn’t assault me with barware.
We continued to hang out, mostly cause I couldn’t find Sarah, but also cause Ailea was nuts and I love a good story, and I just had to know how this was gonna turn out. After spending about an hour walking around the club with her, and sitting on one couch after another while she flipped her crazy switch on and off, she said “okay, we’re all going back to the house. will you come over?”.
Now, what am I supposed to do, say no? And miss out on the Big Mystery of what could happen? That goes against the core of my being. Of course I’m gonna go to the house. No matter how fucking weird it was gonna get, I wanted to find out what happens next.
I followed a motorcade of the limo and all the other guys that were invited up to the house. I never got an address, and I couldn’t find that place again if my life depended on it. It was up in the Hollywood Hills, which is a labyrinth of tiny streets and giant homes the further up you go. When I arrived at the gate, there was a minor traffic jam while all of us sat in our cars and wondered how we were supposed to prove we were invited by a group of drunk girls. Eventually, they just buzzed us all in. Probably figuring there wasn’t a security risk in doing so. Once we pulled around to the front, we were surrounded by producers and PAs and fuck-knows-what. We were handed a new set of paperwork to fill out, patted down, and had to relinquish : cameras, cellphones, wallets, driver’s license (and any other ID cards), our car keys, and anything remotely weaponized. Surprisingly, they didn’t check my lower cargo pockets, where I had a camera with me (as I always did back then). I was so tempted to take a photo from inside the bathroom of the mansion, but I thought “well, if they’ve got a camera in here, my night ends here and now”.
We were then paraded into the home, and the girls were all decked out in bikinis. Except Ailea, who decided sweatpants and a crop-top were the better option. Sarah, however, was looking on fucking point. Watching the show later, she complained that she was the only one who didn’t get a guy that night. Ohhh how I wish I could’ve been her date and laughed at whomever got stuck with Ailea.
But, there I was. Stuck with Ailea. And ohhh she was so much worse at home than at the club.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↩||it should be noted that, since I was going on all these auditions and doing work as an extra, I shaved off the hawk for a few months|