Alisha Aitken-Radburn - aka the Bachelor queen after making three appearances in the franchise - is one of the few people from reality TV to achieve two massive feats.
Not only does she have a lasting relationship with someone she met on-screen, but she’s also had a successful transition into the ‘influencer’ space after gaining a large following.
Prior to making her reality TV debut on the Honey Badger’s season of The Bachelor, Alisha worked as a program advancer for then-Opposition leader Bill Shorten.
Three years on, the 28-year-old has managed to combine her passion and her audience with the launch of her latest project: a political podcast titled In the House and In the Senate.
Each episode features Alisha interviewing women working in Australian politics and exploring the changes they think need to be made within Parliament House.
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, Alisha says that she couldn’t be more proud of the venture as it has been a long time coming.
“Ever since my public profile started to increase, which can be quite overwhelming, I really wanted to make sure that I was utilising my newfound platform in a positive way,” she explains.
“I really wanted to do something like this for a while and I finally made it happen.”
Although she acknowledges that it was born out of “not so nice circumstances”, Alisha wants her podcast to highlight and amplify the achievements of women in the House and in the Senate.
“A lot of the really incredible work made by predominantly women in Parliament House isn’t as sexy a news angle, but that doesn't mean it's not interesting or important," she says.
When The Bachelor ended and the public’s attention on the show and its contestants faded, Alisha says she became riddled with doubt and found it challenging to deal with people that she calls “detractors”.
She adds that her self-esteem was “pretty shot” after going out of her comfort zone and appearing on national TV to find love.
“Once I had the idea for this podcast, I knew I needed to really back myself and pursue it from start to finish,” she details. “Because if I was to have another idea in my mind that I didn't act on, I think I was gonna be in a bad place.
“It’s been a busy few months, but I'm feeling very confident within myself and I feel like I've reclaimed some of the self-confidence that perhaps I lost along the way.”
Alisha self-funded the entire first season of her podcast, working with a studio in Perth to bring her idea to life and produce eight episodes.
“I really hope that potentially some brands or organisations might be interested in helping support the podcast so I can record a second season,” she adds. “I think there are just endless more people that I want to speak to and it's not the cheapest endeavour.”
As Alisha’s new project comes after three entertaining reality TV stints, she believes it’s important for the public perception of reality TV stars to change.
“I think the general commentary around reality TV contestants is quite cynical and for the most part, the people that I've met who have gone on reality TV are actually really lovely and really driven and kind-hearted,” she says.
Alisha also wants to challenge the idea that it’s wrong for contestants to use their reality TV following for personal gain with the launch of side hustles.
“I don't really blame people for trying to make something of the public profile they've been gifted through the show,” she admits.
“And the fact of the matter is that a lot of the time, Australians have basically enjoyed people's heartache or misfortune, or their highest highs and their lowest lows for our entertainment.
“I think we need to be a little kinder to reality TV contestants. It’s the classic phrase, we hear all the time, but they're just real people.”
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