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Pure Chrystal #1: Bachelorette legend Chrystal Chenery on the new season of The Bachelor

In a week-long series, Alex Casey gets reality star Chrystal Chenery’s take on the world over coffee and scones. First up: Chrystal shares some wisdom for our new Bachelorettes based on her time in the mansion last year. 

Chrystal became a reality star that outshone almost all other offerings in the ashes of the great MediaWorks reality franchise fire sale of 2015. On The Bachelor, she demanded that Art Green open-mouth kiss her, called the wildcard out for being a wildcard, and briefly workshopped a snippet from her new stage show Good Will Hunting: The Musical.

All those moves led her shimmying directly onto the Dancing With the Stars dance floor, where the incident forever known as ‘crotchgate’ strangely intertwined our two lives. She was just a Dancing With the Stars competitor fed up with being harangued for an involuntary and sexist screengrab, and I was a just a TV writer, standing in front of a TV, looking for something to write.

I’ve been trying to sit down with Chrystal ever since that moment, keen not only to hear about what the experience was like for her, but also simply to find out what she thinks about everything else in the world. Since crotchgate, she’s falsely announced herself as Survivor host for no discernible reason, and spoken out about the flag debate by wearing an Australian flag bikini. She’s fascinating, a rogue star who manages to endlessly embody the #sorrynotsorry hashtag she monopolised during The Bachelor NZ.

Last week we finally got an afternoon together to sit down and have a chat about her time in the spotlight. She was over half an hour late, bustling in with a pile of Newmarket shopping bags, and admitted upon arrival that she had lied about being on her way. It was an authentically ‘long hair, don’t care’ (another favourite hashtag) moment – I had truly been Chrystal’d for the first time.

What transpired was a two hour chat over scones and coffee. All of her responses were so refreshing and candid that it seemed appropriate to publish them as a topic-driven series of different posts. First up is Chrystal on the new season of The Bachelor, while coming up this week is Chrystal on men and women, the flag debate – and crotchgate. Please enjoy.

Chrystal’s wisdom for the new season of The Bachelor:

I call the new women the B2s and we’re the B1s. I do think that, because the B1s made the first season so successful, they’ve got a way better fucking house and Jordan got to arrive in a chopper like James Bond. The pool where they’re staying looks really, really good. So you’re welcome B2s, you’re welcome.

Sometimes I find it hard to finish a whole episode – I think these girls are all beautiful but they just need to get their confidence up. You can be nervous, but don’t get out of the car and be hyperventilating. If I was Jordan I’d be like “aw babe don’t even worry about coming in, just hop back in that Suzuki Swift and carry on.”

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I’ve learnt so much about myself since The Bachelor. I wasn’t even ready for a relationship. I thought I was at the time, but now I’d be a lot more serious about it. I don’t think I had one intelligent thing to say on camera.

Most of the time I’d drunk too much freaking champagne and I just had verbal diarrhea the whole time. It was horrible. I think there was this one scene where I was like, “I know the difference between real and fake.” I don’t even know what I was going on about. Fuck, it was embarrassing.

It is a nerve-wracking experience. You have 20 people around you, with all the cameras – and nobody’s really giving much back to you. You don’t ever really know what’s going on. It’s very overwhelming. My advice to the girls, if they start rambling, would be that if you want for them to cut it you need to actually physically ruin the scene. Say or do something they can’t cut around or they’ll just use everything.

We figured it out halfway through filming – if you were bitching about someone, and you happened to see a camera, you’d literally have to hold a cup in front of your face, do something really weird, or swear. You just have to ruin the scene completely.

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The producers can ask you to say it again, but you can just say, “nope, I cannot. You missed the gold the first time.” The story producers get you in so much trouble. You have them sitting next to the camera saying things like, “you’re too beautiful to be here,” or, “you’re gonna get a rose before anyone else.” You just have to tell them to shut up.

I was aware pretty early on that I was getting asked different questions to the other girls, and trying to preempt how you are going to be portrayed is horrible. I went on there trying to be as authentic as possible. If you thought something, why not say it? You’re going on TV anyway. Why pretend to be someone else?

We all know that the concept of The Bachelor is very misogynistic and stupid. You feel a bit stupid waiting for your rose. You all have these moments going “oh my fucking god, this feels horrible,” but you’re there for a laugh and you’ve made the choice to have the experience. No one can tell you what it’s like unless you’ve done it.

That’s like my whole life, I just do stuff to see what will happen. It was such a science experiment anyway, putting us all in that house with no phones. The space was pretty small with all those women. Fuck, it wasn’t nice, to be honest. Knowing what I know now – I wouldn’t do it again. It was just long, boring, and I had too much champagne.


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