Why Schapelle Corby is Australia’s answer to Princess Di
If you want to take people who have already been through incredible hardship and force them to undergo even more suffering, there are really only two professional career paths you can follow: Victorian Premier or reality TV producer.
Fortunately for the rest of the country, whoever came up with SAS Australia chose the latter, which is why instead of torturing millions of people they are only torturing Schapelle Corby and 16 other people nobody is talking about.
Whoever came up with the idea of casting Schapelle and managed to convince her to do it deserves the TV equivalent of the Dally M and Brownlow combined. This is the most inspired television moment since Humphrey B Bear decided not to wear pants.
I met Schapelle once, and I have to say I was impressed. I don't buy that she was innocent or set up, but she was put through more hardcore stress and mental torture than most of us could imagine.
When I saw her and spoke to her during our exclusive interview on Studio 10 I was struck by how much fragility and resilience was all tangled up in the same stare. She was somehow both broken and strong.
The rest of the cast are nice enough but they're already pretty close to perfect physical specimens so you have to wonder what the drama is: Does professional fitness trainer Shannan Ponton have what it takes to be a commando?
Er, yeah, probably. In fact didn't he used to work with one?
Likewise champion sportsmen James Magnussen, Nick Cummins and Mitchell Johnson, sportswomen Candice Warner, Shayna Jack and Sabrina Frederick. Call me crazy but I'm guessing they'll probably do all right.
And having shared a dressing room with Merrick Watts I can assure you he's got a rig that only Edmund Hillary could climb. I'm sure him and Ed Kavalee bench press each other in their spare time.
But Schapelle, that's something I want to see.
This is a woman who accidentally orchestrated a 13-year real-life version of I'm A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here and survived.
No wonder the nation is fixated.
The Brits had Princess Diana, the epitome of beauty and tragedy, glamour and grace. All Australia ever wanted was a Gold Coast hairdresser who got busted in Bali. She is our Diana of Denpasar.
Originally published as Why Schapelle Corby is Australia's answer to Princess Di