Ten years after winning The X Factor, Samantha Jade made her long-awaited return to reality TV for Celebrity Apprentice where she faced Lord Alan Sugar in the boardroom alongside 16 of Australia’s most popular personalities.
And while the pop star says she’s happy she stepped out of her comfort zone and joined the cast, she tells Yahoo Lifestyle the experience was completely different to what she expected.
“Oh my god, honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” she reflects.
“It was lockdown and I got the offer and I said ‘no’. I was like, ‘Nope, no way’, because I haven't done reality TV. I feel like The X Factor is [reality TV], but it’s a music show so it's very different.”
Samantha explains that she watched a few episodes of last year’s season and decided to sign on with the main intention to win money for her charity, Cancer Council Australia.
“It’s a classy show,” she adds. “It didn’t feel like ‘reality TV’ in a way and I thought that was really nice.
“I will never do something where I have to eat spiders or do crazy things like that. I mean, hats off to those people that can do it, but I can't. I’m just not that person. But I thought, ‘I could maybe do this one. I’m good if you give me a job, I can do it’. I just thought I'll throw myself in the deep end, but it really was the charity aspect of it.
“I am glad I did it now, but it was tough. It really was tough. It was not what I thought it would be at all.”
‘There was no strategy for me’
Samantha went on to say that one of the most “intense” aspects of the show was competing against The Block’s Ronnie Caceres and MAFS’ Beck Zemek, who secretly formed a strategy to get her fired from the competition.
“I felt a bit silly afterwards because I was like, 'Oh my god, that was happening right there and I didn't know!’,” she remarks.
“But I think at the end of the day, they were reality TV show people, they’ve been on shows before, they understand the game and they understand how it works. And I think that when you come from that background, there's a different way to play it.
“There was no strategy for me. I was like, ‘I’m just here to do the job and then I’ll go home’.”
Despite the drama, Samantha says that one of the best parts of the experience was getting to meet and work alongside the show’s eventual winner, Benji Marshall.
“He's just a really good man,” she gushes. “Great dad, great husband, he’s just a good guy. So I was really happy to see the good guy win.”
‘That is a dream of mine’
When asked about potentially appearing on other reality TV shows in the future, including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, The Masked Singer and Dancing With The Stars, Samantha revealed that she’s “been asked to do them all” and has always said ‘no’.
“The funniest one was when SAS Australia came to me and my manager was like, ‘I don't know, I’ll ask her,” she recalls.
“And then it was on TV at the time and it was Bonnie Anderson - who I love, who is just gorgeous - and she had to fight someone. And I was like, I could never do that… Like, imagine if it was her I had to fight. I love her, I couldn't do that.
“I mean, I couldn't fight anyone. But I couldn't do that. That’s what turned me off. I was like, I could not do that, no way.”
However, she does have her sights set on a very different style of competition that will take her to the world stage: the Eurovision Song Contest.
“I've really thought about that because that is a dream of mine,” she says.
“I just think like, ‘Oh my gosh, what would be better than representing our country on that kind of a stage?’. I think maybe I'll go for that next. I've been kind of putting it off, but I get so many people telling me I should do it and I'm like, maybe I should just bite the bullet.”
Samantha Jade’s new single Dance Again is available on all streaming platforms now.
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