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You either love them or hate them, but the truth is both The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) and Made In Chelsea (MIC) have become almost impossible to ignore. If you haven’t already seen the programmes, you’ll have seen the cast members plastered over lads’ mags, their love lives kept far from private in gossip magazines, and on other TV programmes such as Big Brother. The people whose lives we follow weekly have become almost celebrities and we are hooked on finding out as much as we can about them. However, which show is more real? The fake, reem, show-offs of Essex; or the glamorous and successful darlings of Chelsea?
Most people that watch the shows will realise that there isn’t just one camera in the rooms following the lives of these characters, and there is even an announcement at the start of the shows that indicates that some scenes are set up purely for the viewer’s entertainment. But how many is ‘some’? The scenes are awkward, have long pauses and strange looks are often captured between the characters, only adding to viewer entertainment and you can tell that these people were put in this situation by someone else; mainly to create a bit more drama. In fact, some members of the TOWIE cast didn’t even know each other before the shows and were just told to pretend they’d been friends for years.
A recent interview in Heat magazine between TOWIE’s Lauren Goodger and MIC’s Caggie Dunlop, asked the girls if they knew their circle of friends before the shows started and if the love triangles that are apparent are genuine. Lauren said that she only knew her now ex fiancé Mark Wright before filming started, but all the other cast members that she is supposed ‘BFF’s’ with were nearly total strangers to her. Caggie on the other hand said that the people she hangs around with on the show genuinely are her friends and that there is definitely the intense chemistry between her and Spencer that we see and love on our screens.
So TOWIE is lying to us in a way; we are hooked on watching peoples’ lives that are mere staged fabrications. Most of the cast of TOWIE have used the show in order to make themselves ‘celebrities’ and have even released products based on the success of the show, such as Lauren Goodger’s ‘Lauren’s way’ fake tan and hair extensions. They seem to love the image that they’re given and play along with it to make money; (smart, right?) even the boys off the show have helped endorse a company selling ‘vajazzles’ called ‘Vajazzle Me’. The cast of MIC are already wealthy, established people who don’t need a show to help them become successful. Caggie and fellow cast member Gabriella showcase their music regularly in the episodes and use it as a platform to become well known, but you would never see them releasing fake tan. Essex may think Chelsea isn’t reem enough, but they’re just jel.