Alisha Aitken-Radburn had quite the rollercoaster journey with reality TV.
From appearing on the Honey Badger's season of The Bachelor in 2018 and being dubbed a 'villain' to her redemption arc on 2019's Bachelor In Paradise and eventual love story on 2020's Bachelor In Paradise, she's rewritten her own narrative on what can happen when you're typecast on a show.
And now she's putting it all down in her very first book, The Villain Edit: from the infamous 2018 'mean girls' situation all the way through to her third-time lucky love story with now-husband Glenn Smith.
Here's what we learned from Alisha Aitken-Radburn's book The Villain Edit:
She was re-filmed doing Bachelor voxies after she had been kicked out of Honey Badger's season
Alisha detailed being snuck back onto set to film an interview to cover the premiere episode of The Bachelor. Producers talked her through their intentions for the episode, and it's how Cassandra Wood became known as the season's 'stage five clinger'.
"They [the producers] told me they had clips of one of the girls, Cass, stalking Nick through the entire first cocktail party. I hadn't really noticed at the time but I was determined to be helpful, so I colourfully commented on the scenes they described.
"My interviews fit in seamlessly with the narrative the audience was being served up. By the end of the episode, Cass had been neatly packaged up as a 'stage five clinger', another favourite trope of the franchise."
She was addicted to reading online comments
Alisha talks often about perusing forums and reading online comments after every episode. After the Honey Badger's series aired, Alisha then said (unlike Cat and Romy) she didn't turn her comments off, despite the flood of nasty messages all three girls received.
"There was a part of me that felt we needed to be held accountable," she wrote. "In the wash-up of the season, it was clear there were many things we'd done that we'd regret. I reflected on the edgy jokes I'd thought were funny and the snide sidebar comments we'd made, glued together as three. I consumed the comments as a form of self-flagellation, like maybe if I read enough of them I would be absolved of my sins."
Alisha admitted contestants 'pre game' to try and set up Paradise matches for longevity
"It was quite common for people to try to pre-game Paradise," she wrote. "People wanted to stay around as long as possible – for both the paycheque and the free pina coladas – so they'd try to set up relationships, or at the very least friendly alliances, before flying out to ensure they had someone to keep them around during rose ceremonies."
Bachelor in Paradise pays better than The Bachelor
"Bachelor in Paradise had a much higher day rate than The Bachelor," Alisha wrote. "But if you didn't connect with someone and you were only there for a couple of days, you'd slink back home with a paltry amount to remunerate your rapid rejection. I guess that's why producers bumped up the pay cheque for the spin-off; their pool of candidates was far too aware of the costs."
Not all Bachelor in Paradise stars were paid equal
"Rumour had it that Richie [Strahan] and Alex [Nation] were paid $4000 per day for their appearance on the last season," Alisha said.
For her second season of BIP, she said she negotiated payment for fourteen days, before saying she met the show 'somewhere in the middle' of what she originally requested payment-wise.
Alisha suspects Jules previously had a girlfriend before his stint on Bachelor in Paradise
After she left the Bachelor in Paradise set, and before the final commitment ceremony was filmed, Tenille [who had been dating Nathan] and Alisha were discussing with one of the producers how cool it was to get to know someone without seeing their social media. Tess, the producer, allowed the girls to stalk Jules and Nathan's Instagram accounts.
"One picture had a cute, blonde girl in frame. I clicked through to her profile and discovered a whole new collection of images. On 6 November, the day before I had flown to Fiji, she'd uploaded a picture of her and Jules leaning against a fence on a coastal walk, two red hearts in the caption."
Alisha and Jules still hung out post-Bachelor in Paradise but gradually lost contact after the show started airing
After dumping him on the show, Alisha reached out to Jules on Instagram, rationalising that things could be different without the cameras and microphones.
"We quickly fell back into our old pattern. Jules would offer me breadcrumbs, giving just enough time, energy and affection to make me think that he might just like me. The messages made me obsess over seeing him again," she wrote.
She opened up about both herself and Glenn cheating on each other not long after their season of Bachelor in Paradise
After declaring their love for each other and going back to their states (NSW and WA respectively), Alisha and Glenn continued a long-distance romance but hit a rocky patch not long in.
Glenn called Alisha after a party he went to, where he admitted to drunkenly kissing Helena Sauzier. Glenn was also due to visit Alisha in Sydney and go to Jackson Garlick's birthday party — she agreed to see him in Sydney, but said he forfeited his right to go to Jackson's.
The night of Jackson's birthday party, Alisha got drunk and took Scot Fuller home, before telling Glenn what happened immediately after.
She now credits the hard situation with helping her and Glenn forge a deeper bond.
"It might be difficult to comprehend, but ultimately I became grateful for that time. We had considerably disappointed each other, and with that disappointment, the layers of performance had to be shed. Our crisis let us explore each other's hearts in a way that we might never otherwise have done."
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