I was going to start a minor tirade about the press again picking on Michelle Leslie. Nabbed with two eccy's in her purse. Did they really think three months wasn't long enough? Apparently Leslie's now doing a Princess Diana, visiting orphans in Cambodia [!] to show the world she's not all that bad after all.
Guilty of starting at least three 'Poor guy or girl facing death or life spent in third world prisons living on a diet of ****roaches to survive" style threads, this one is kind of token.
I found this article from thechaser.com a few months back, was a bit amused despite the callous humour, read schapellecorbytours.com and am now too tired to write anything very serious about this again. Not this morn ...
'Australian Drug Mule' down to final Bali Nine Written by contributor Chris Kennett
Network Ten’s smash hit reality show Australian Drug Mule is down to its final nine contestants after the dramatic exit of sentimental favourite Van Nguyen [in Singapore] on last Friday’s elimination show.
The controversial elimination dominated the entertainment press during the week, with strong campaigns mounted by supporters to keep the 25 year old on the show. But even a candlelight vigil was not enough to save Nguyen, who became the third contestant to be eliminated after early favourite Schapelle Corby and ‘intruder’ Michelle Leslie.
Channel Ten execs and Mule’s producers are ecstatic with the coverage that the show has received this year.
“The 2005 season has surpassed all our expectations” said producer Simon Gibson. “It’s received great media support and it just goes to show that there’s a huge audience out there for locally produced misery.”
The show launched to solid ratings in January, with audience support for young Aussie hopeful Schapelle Corby reaching fever pitch despite daily updates on her family's latest terrible ideas and constant clumsy attempts at intervention. However, ratings flagged after Corby’s elimination from the show in May, and an audience drift to Channel Seven’s new reality effort, When Terrorists Attack: London in July led some media pundits to predict Mule’s demise.
But Gibson and his team were saving their masterstroke: the introduction of sexy ‘intruder’ Michelle Leslie.
Despite the arguably flimsy premise for her inclusion (just two ecstasy tablets), the show’s producers hoped that the addition of the Adelaide underwear model would stir things up among the Mules and reignite public interest – and their gamble paid off in spades, with Australian Drug Mule’s ratings receiving a huge boost in August.
“Michelle’s been fantastic value.” says Gibson. “She knows how to play the game, and she’s not afraid to tread on some toes.”
Leslie’s penchant for dramatic costume changes and tendency to splash money around divided the audience, but provided the series with its highest ratings since the peak of Corby-mania. She has continued to generate publicity for Mule even after her exit from the show last month, amidst ongoing criticism of her tactics and allegations that friends and family conspired to rig the contest in her favour.
With Van Ngyuen now out of the race, attention has turned to the final Bali Nine, including ‘girl-next-door’ Renae Lawrence and ‘bad boy’ Andrew Chan. Gibson refuses to nominate the likely winner, but says “being the baby of the group, there’s obviously a lot of sympathy for Matty (Norman).”
The show’s recent success has all but guaranteed another season in 2006, with auditions expected to attract thousands over the summer months.
“We’ll see” laughs Gibson. “Let’s just say there’s no shortage of young Australians willing to strap narcotics to themselves and sweat their way through South-East Asian airports for a chance at fame.”
Triumphant: Model Muslim Michelle Leslie
Defeated: the last we ever got to see of Schapelle
See schapellecorbytours.com however, for deals including tours of her quarters in Kerobekan prison, as well as the opportunity to see Schapelle, her new best friend and fellow Aussie Renae Lawrence. Deals can include meeting and mingling not only with Schapelle, but with those other eight crazy rascals from Down Under, the boys Renae Lawrence calls her best mates, the Bali Eight. Fully respectful to Schapelle, deals may include personalised photos.
(I find it almost impossible to believe this, but schapellecorbytours.com apparently is NOT a joke!)