Real Housewives of Auckland: Louise Wallace has no regrets

Louise: je ne regrette rien.
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Louise: je ne regrette rien.

OPINION: It’s been a wild ride but it’s finally come to an end.

I never dreamed Real Housewives of Auckland would have such an impact or be so scrutinised.

Tuesday night just won’t be the same. I like to think we have spiced up people’s social calendars as well as their viewing habits as it became de rigeur to get together on a Tuesday to dissect and digest every item of clothing, every piece of jewellery, every wrinkle, facial expression and resting bitch-face of all of us…not to mention the gems that came out of our mouths.

Cinema verite: Ange's PA Lea.
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Cinema verite: Ange's PA Lea.

I hate to think how much champagne has been imbibed over the last five months. I'll get to the final episode in a minute but first, some general observations.

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Louise gets down to the gossip.
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Louise gets down to the gossip.

Although we can (at a push) be reasonably civil to each other when we get together, there are obvious pair-ups. Anne and I have become great friends, as have Gilda and Michelle.

It’s not unusual when you shoot a programme to form these platonic love affairs. After all, we have shared an experience no one else in New Zealand has and it’s consumed our lives for most of the year.

Julia and Angela appear to have teamed up but I’m not sure that their relationship is anything more than a marriage of convenience. When you think about our personalities and backgrounds these couplings are not really surprising.

Anne and I share a similar upbringing and education and have mutual contacts. Gilda and Michelle are from a different generation where social media is all-consuming, and fashion and glamour are second nature. Angela and Julia are similar also… they tend to confuse perception with reality.

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The two most asked questions? How much is scripted and is Leah an actress? First, I can honestly say that all the on-air spats were off the cuff. From the very first social gathering, Angela and Gilda clashed and where Gilda goes, Michelle does not fear to tread. I was quite prepared for anything on-air to just stay there and go no further but the depth of dislike took even me by surprise. I guess that’s where the casting was so brilliant. Each of us has brought something different, genuine and entertaining to the show.

Secondly, Leah is for real. Yes, she is French and yes, she was here as an intern to learn styling tips from the self-appointed “star” of the show, Angela. I would love to be a fly-on-the-wall when she gets together with her girlfriends back in France. What she saw and heard when she was with us must have made her eyelashes curl.

Of course we have been very aware and wary of how we’ve been portrayed but let’s face it, you have to take ownership of what comes out of your mouth…as Julia found to her distress. My mantra? Keep calm and carry on.

I actually enjoy solving problems and finding solutions so anything that was thrown at me I took a deep breath and paddled like hell. The final episode is case in point. It was Julia and Angela’s final hurrah to bring me down but by owning up to the fact that I’d said Michelle would bleed David dry, all I had to do was sit there and wait for Angela to blow and I knew I’d be sweet! Mission accomplished.

Perhaps the biggest irony of the episode was when Julia said my career was washed up and yet I was the only one who couldn’t make the final viewing because I was working!

I have no regrets and yes, I would do it again if I was given the chance. The best piece of advice anyone gave me was “remember your manners and keep your dignity” and I think I’ve managed to do that. I’d never have thought I’d be described as a Housewife but it’s a title I’m happy with and I’ve loved sharing this bizarre journey with you! Till next time. 

 

 - Stuff

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