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Category — Helen Manuell

Hell’s Kitchen – Marco’s last sacking

So, I’ve missed a couple of episodes! What’s happened? Well, thank god Claudia’s here to tell us. “Three have left Hell’s Kitchen (shots of Jody, Grant and Bruce). Tonight, Marco picks his final four!” At this early stage, I’m going to predict that he gets rid of one of the women, just to balance things out, but I’m still keen to know what Grant and Bruce did to get the arse.

Our contestants get up to find that the backyard has been converted into a petting zoo. Ade is the first to discover them, when he investigates the source of some bleating. Naturally, precedent leads him to speculate that they will have to “slaughter them in cold blood”, a suspicion shared by Niomi. Actually, the mission is not to slaughter them, but to bottle feed them. Linda and Danielle get the lambs up on their laps and Linda even gives hers a kiss. I hesitate to point this out, but do the celebs think that because they got to feed, rather than kill, the lambs it means the lambs are – ahem – off the hook? Perhaps they really will be sent to a lovely farm to frolic and… well, you know the rest.

Are the lambs safe?  Find out, after the jump.

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October 13, 2009   Comments Off on Hell’s Kitchen – Marco’s last sacking

Helen Manuell From Project Runway Australia – One Of The Great Reality TV Characters.

helen-manuellIf you missed Project Runway Australia the first time around don’t worry as now you can see it all again in one go on Australia Day on Arena TV.

One of the designers that made the show so memorable was the Frockmaker, Helen Manuell. She polarised people with her utter self confidence and her ‘I am here to win attitude”. She gave great reality TV.

Even though she finished sixth, being on the show has certainly increased her profile and business and this year she plans to launch a ready to wear collection.

Helen kindly agreed to be interviewed by Reality Raver.

Reality Raver:Helen I thought you were one of the designers on the show that made the Australian version of Project Runway so successful. You were a “˜character’ on the show that people either loved or hated. Were you surprised by the amount of screen time you received?

Helen Manuell: Initially I was horrified by the amount of air play that I got, but after the second episode I pretty quickly realised that it was going to be good for my bridal couture business, Manuell & Moore. And every time someone mentioned anything about the negativeness of the air play, I just reminded them that alot of it was editing.  I had a fair idea that I would be cast as the bitch, and blow me down, thats what happened!
RR: Was there anything you would have done differently whilst you were on the show?
HM: Not done the swim wear challenge …. oh my lordy, what was I thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RR: Do you think the way you were portrayed on the show was an accurate reflection on who you are?
HM: I dont think it was a completely true reflection of what I am like, but that is show biz, and my skin is pretty thick!  I was always up for it!  My friends were actually horrified to see how i was portrayed.  However, its pretty black and white with me.  I say it how I see it!  Sometimes that gets me in trouble, but so be it!
RR: What has happened to you since appearing on Project Runway Australia? Have any business or career opportunities eventuated? Has there been customers coming to you because of Project Runway? (By the way I loved the Women’s Day 60th anniversary dress you did.)
HM: Since the final episode of PRA things have been pretty hectic.  Business is going great guns and have had 2 trips to Bali in order to set up a production facility for my new ready to wear collection which is being sold under my own name.  It is a reasonably tight collection made up of 10 different styles.  Each style is only available in black or white.
Have done a couple of interviews with Grubby and Dee Dee on Gold 104.3 and also a few interviews with Channels 7 & 9.  Would love to do some further tv or radio work … will just have to see what opportunities present themselves.
Our business has increased significantly over the last couple of months, solely as a result of appearing on PRA.  I continually get recognised in the streets, and even in Bali!!!!!!!! Too funny!
I have been approached by Womans Day to do a number of jobs for them which is all good, as it heightens the profile of my label.
RR:You were unable to contact your daughter while you were on the show, which must have been extremely difficult. How do you juggle your job with your responsibilities of being a mother (funny how dad’s never get asked these questions!)?
HM: I work approx 6 days a week which makes it really difficult being a single mum.  On mondays I pick soph up straight after school but the rest of the time she goes into after school care …. AND  I FEEL SO BLOODY GUILTY!!!  But the reason I work this hard is so that soph and I can have regular holidays!  Soph is THE ‘bali-queen’, or at least, thats what she thinks!
RR:What was your favourite outfit you did on the show?
HM: My favourite piece was probably in episode 6 (which I won) … winter wonderland/tailoring ….. I love doing structured, pleated pieces … that suit totally reflected the design ethos of my work. The Brownlow challenge came a very close second!
RR: What was your least favourite outfit?
hmmmmmmm … let me guess …. oh thats right, the swimwear challenge!!!  If I ever apply for a job with TigerLily can someone please shoot me!!
RR: Any tips for any would be next season’s contestants
Expect the unexpected, because, trust me, it WILL happen.  Make sure that you have an adequate supply of blocks, that your sewing skills are impecable and that you have a cool head and a sense of humour.  Having days and days of 2-3 hours sleep a night can make anyone go nuts …. so expect the worst and you might be nicely surprised!   And, definitely have a game plan!
RR: If you could go on any other reality TV show, other then Project Runway, what would it be?
HM: If you had’ve asked me a couple of months back I would have said Biggest Loser, but I have lost 10kg since Oct, so hopefully will be able to shed the weight required without any external assistance!
RR: What are your plans for 2009?
HM: Start selling my new ready to wear collection, pick soph up straight after school 2 afternoons a week, work less hours on the sewing machine, bank more money and continue to lose more weight!  And hopefully engage myself in a healthy relationship, with lots of mental stimulation!!!
For more information on her designs go to Manuell and Moore.
For interviews with Project Runway Australia winner Juli Grbac click here,  with Lui Hon click here,  and Leigh Buchanan click here.

January 22, 2009   3 Comments

Project Runway’s Lui Hon Wag’s Dress For Sale On Ebay


The dress from episode four Project Runway Australia designed by Lui Hon for a WAG to wear to the Brownlow Medal is now on Ebay. The popular and amazing designer who came fourth on the show is now selling on Ebay for $300 or $250 if you want to bid on it on auction.

This episode was memorable as when the WAG came for the fitting she did not like the original dress Lui had designed for her. Cannot remember why (Not slutty enough?). Anyway Lui did an amazing job and appeared to sew and redesign the dress in about 2 hours.
If you are a size 8 and interested here. For Lui Hon fans an interview with him will be posted on Reality Ravings shortly.

The seller also has a Manuell and Moore designed piece for sale as well here. Helen Manuell was also a contestant on Project Runway Australia. This is selling for $250. Manuell dress below.

November 15, 2008   Comments Off on Project Runway’s Lui Hon Wag’s Dress For Sale On Ebay

Project Runway Australia – Petrova needs to get down and kiss Helen Manuells butt in gratitude.

Last nights episode on the fabulously entertaining Project Runway Australia was riveting as the designers had to work with the already eliminated designers as their muses to designer a winter outfit that was white, structured and tailored. The big carrot however was the eliminated designer in the winning team would be allowed back into the competition.

The much maligned Helen Manuell (yes I know she has her painful moments) had to take her partner Petrova to task as she was trying to take over the design by pointing out she was the designer still in the competition and Petrova was to assist her. She quite rightly pointed out she was the designer still in the competition so if she was going to be eliminated it would be her mistake that would do it. Also Petrova got into a funk when Helen unpicked her sewing and redid it. She was right and it was something Julie have heeded to by trying to satisfy the many whims of her partner Deb which almost saw her eliminated.

Anyway Helen designed a funky suit which matched the brief perfectly and Petrova is now back in the competition. I hope she gave Helen a big thank you.

This week TV Week had an interview with Helen Manuell which queried whether she was the new queen of mean taking over from Omarosa from The Apprentice. However Helen strikes back.

She states that she was presented as a diva. “Rightly or wrongly, I don’t know, but at the end of the day, if the others can’t do their stuff… well, of course they’ve got to blame someone. They’ve blamed me and I have to be honest – I’m getting a little sick of it.”

On the suggestion she acted like a martyr by helping people finish their pieces she responded “I choose to help people. They can see me however they want. Maybe it’s their shortcomings that make them see me as a martyr, but I didn’t see myself as one. It’s pretty black and white – if I want to help, I will.”

Her response to why she rubs people the wrong way. “I’m larger then life and I say it how it is. If people don’t like it, well, go and crawl back into bed. I’ve had a lot of diversity in my life, and if I don’t trust my instincts at my age, I may as well not be there. Everyone else is stressing and I don’t stress. If they see that as my shortcoming, good luck to them.”

She was asked how she felt when people on the show saying they could not stand her. “I was surprised that there was that level of… that people didn’t actually like me. And you think, “How much can you help people? Why not like people just because they’re good at their job?” I did my job, I did what I was there for.”

On the most hurtful things that were said on the show – “I know Leigh said quite a few things, and so did Juli and Brent, but they warned me things had been said. Leigh’s “beached whale” comment in the second episode – he was mortified he said it. He told me it was tongue in cheek and I said, “It’s OK love – if you didn’t say it, I would be the first one to say it.”

On the accusations she was a name dropper in the Brownlow Medal challenge – ” It’s all in the editing. I knew when I started doing the show I would be portrayed as the arrogant bitch, but it’s a TV show and I was cast as a character. [The producers] knew my skin would be thick enough to cope with whatever dirt was thrown at me.

Helen is glad she did the show and would do it again but would go harder. “Go hard or go home! I’d be really catty. KNowing what I know now, I would give them so much more.”

She will be at the finale and she is looking forward to it. “It’ll be interesting. There’ll be a few people who are a little sheepish. The fur will fly at the finale.”

Villain or victim you decide.

August 12, 2008   8 Comments