Olivia Vivian may have only appeared on Celebrity Apprentice for a short amount of time, but she admits that it had a profound impact on her.
The Ninja Warrior star spoke exclusively to Yahoo Lifestyle about how the reality TV competition affected her and re-emerged childhood ‘triggers’.
Despite competing on Australian Ninja Warrior for the past four years, Olivia says that Celebrity Apprentice was her first experience with “real reality TV”.
“With Ninja Warrior, the course is the drama,” she explains. “What I found with Celebrity Apprentice is that I didn’t know what real reality TV was really like.”
The 31-year-old went on to share what she found most surprising about filming, besides the new experience of being “miked up for 16 hours a day”.
“What surprised me actually the most was how terrifying the boardroom really is,” she reveals.
“I’m a firm believer that we’re all humans, all of us have a beating heart, Lord Sugar is just a man.
“But I don’t know what it was. You get in that boardroom and my knees were knocking. I was far more nervous in that boardroom than I've ever been on Ninja Warrior.”
Olivia went on to say that it would be difficult for others to understand how the experience makes you feel because it was “a very unique scenario”.
“I think it’s because we’re there fighting for our charity. It got really competitive, so getting fired feels like you’re letting your charity down.”
‘It's okay to make mistakes’
Celebrity Apprentice has sparked controversy this season with a number of contestants calling out the show for extreme editing.
The Veronicas slammed producers for giving them a ‘disgusting’ portrayal, while Wippa declared parts of his lines were completely fabricated for TV.
Chatting about the show’s editing style, Olivia jokes that she was almost completely edited out.
“Watching the first two episodes, I felt like I was barely in it,” she laughs.
One reason the Australian gymnast believes she wasn’t shown as much as other ‘characters’ is because she didn’t provide the drama.
“The nature of the show goes against a lot of bones in my body where they try and highlight mistakes and blame other people,” she describes.
“But I've learned through time that mistakes are how we learn and how we grow, and I grew up in an institute where I was terrified to make mistakes. Gymnastics is all about being perfect.
“So the show actually brought back quite a few triggers for me. I have to sort of just remind myself that it's okay to make mistakes, whereas in Celebrity Apprentice, you felt like you were punished for doing so.”
‘It's more than just a TV show’
The Guinness World Record Holder will be competing for the title of Australian Ninja Warrior for the fifth time in the show’s upcoming season.
Olivia is determined to be the first female worldwide to conquer Mount Midoriyama after her partner Ben Polson accomplished the task last year with one second to go in the nail-biting finale.
“My goal is still to win the show, the mission hasn't been completed yet. I know Ben did it and that was incredible to watch,” she says.
“For me, Ninja Warrior started off as just something I did for fun, and it's turned into this purpose to help inspire other women, especially young girls to just believe in themselves and chase their dream.
“I truly believe that if you put in hard work and you stay persistent and never give up, magic happens. For me, it's more than just a TV show.”
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