Casa Fernandos. CASA FERNANDOS! So much drama, so much fun. The saddest thing about the entire Take Me Out journey is that the 24 hours the 8 of us spent together had to be reduced to 32 minutes of television. I’m sure all residents of the Casa feel this way, but they could have made a great 4-hour Oscar-worthy epic of our time there.
Arriving at the Casa was a great moment – reconnecting with our friends and (for me, being last on the main show) finally putting a face and personality to each of the dates’ names. As the episode showed there was a lot of love between each of the boys and we hadn’t seen each other to debrief after the dates so it was great to get a quick overview of everyone’s day – what they did, how they got on with their dates, and what the girls were like. We were in the Casa (drinking) for a good few hours before going out to the club with Mark and Laura. That was a pleasant and docile period, free from tension (apart from Paul and Terezita!). Oh memories of a happier time.
The house was incredible. Separate bedrooms for the boys and girls who were strictly forbidden from stepping into each other’s room. While the house is rigged up with cameras all over the place like Big Brother there is no way there will ever be sex in that house, despite many people assuming that it’s encouraged. There’s a separate out of bounds area round the back for crew who live onsite, interview areas scattered around and on the roof outside one of the bedrooms is a camera pointing at the sky 24/7, purely to record the movements of the sun and moon to show the changing times of day in cutaway shots. Mark and Laura were pulling us away for quick interviews while we just dossed around with each other drinking. Then off to ‘The best club in Fernandos’ with the hosts.
Some of the contestants who have appeared on the show this season have been the victims of some pretty brutal and manipulative editing. What happened in the club for our episode was actually pretty accurate (except for Mark and Laura ‘leaving early’. For ‘leaving early’ see ‘sat in corner of bar forbidden from being approached’, fair enough). It’s summarised well on the footage (which can be viewed here) so I won’t go into the details of it too much. I will say that during his down period Harry was being interviewed on camera for an obscene amount of time. Most interviews were just 5 minutes to get a couple of potential quotes to use, but Harry was with the crew for well over an hour. I’ve got no idea what happened in this time but it wouldn’t surprise me if a clever interviewer (a producer, not Wrighty despite the voiceovers) was instrumental in getting those tears out.
The whole experience is extreme and impossible to fully prepare yourself for, especially if your world is as contradictory to television as high finance. Harry’s main obstacle which he created for himself was that the night out was a continuation of the date, where the other 7 of us considered it a group party. He didn’t adapt to the environment and started thinking himself into a downward spiral. While hearing his side of it, understanding the mentality and sympathising where I could, it became a situation where an amicable outcome was nigh on impossible. Harry remains an excellent human in the eyes of anyone who knows him.
On a purely selfish note though, the saddest thing for me was that all my best moments of performing got cut from the final edit. I did take the opportunity to perform the highlights of my Mind Reading repertoire (such as the Superspeed Psychoforce) – successfully, succinctly and entertainingly despite having spent a good 8 hours drinking by that time. Perhaps the footage may see the light of day in remote posterity. On a happier note, they also didn’t show me rapping Blackalicious’ Alphabet Aerobics (as per the Kanye West sketch from my 2015 Edinburgh Show) right in the face of some random girl out on the street, or on the stage in the club to an empty dancefloor. Every cloud…
The next day was also fun but uneventful. Couple of inside secrets – Harry and I didn’t cook breakfast. We stirred and served but the runners did the hard work. And boy did they skimp. We had a good half hour delay due to builders next door using their pneumatic drills during the ‘breakfast scene’. Why the inverted commas though Ben? Well breakfast was served mid-afternoon. Not sure what happened in the end, the director called their boss who told them to stop drilling but they didn’t, so I think they had to pay them to stop.
Finally, our journey came to an end. We got on the coach to Fernandos Airport and were given our phones back, did some number swapping, some selfie-taking and finally got to talk freely and fluidly. And after everything the 8 of us had been through together, Paul and Terezita finally realised that they did quite like each other after all (when the only cameras were on our phones).
The next time we all saw each other was 6 weeks later, the evening before Take Me Out: The Reunion, although Harry and I had met up with a few of the others from the show on New Years Eve. We had a great night out with the stars of the previous 2 episodes as they were recording all 3 the next day. We were out until 6am that night and filmed our Reunion third so we were hanging (I’ve never had a hangover quite like it before) but the guys filming first had a 7am start. Oops!
I’ve done some interesting things in my life but no experience quite compares to Take Me Out. From start to finish it was everything I could have hoped for, I made great friends, learnt a lot about myself, made (if I may say so) entertaining television, experienced Reality TV without humiliating myself (too much), and continue to enjoy the camaraderie and sense of community that everyone involved in the show has created, which will endure long after the series has finished.
Thanks for reading, I hope my insight into the world of Take Me Out has been of interest to you. I you have any questions it’s my pleasure to answer them, so do get in touch. Please do indulge me one more click as I give evidence of my Listographic…