In defense of Clifton Shores

Clifton Shores is a new ‘reality’ TV show set in Cape Town. It features a group of prominently American girls who travel all the way to slaapstadt to work for local entrepreneur Quinton van den Burgh. I got to meet a couple of them at a Peroni yacht party some time last year and thought they were all really nice, sweet, super pretty, down-to-earth girls.

Kathy Davids (the funny one), local muso Rikki Brest, Detiny Moniz (the ‘Lauren Conrad’ of the group), local hottie Brett Roux, VERY tall, dark and handsome ‘billionaire’ Quinton, self-proclaimed ‘bitch’/Jessica Simpson clone Katy Johnson, Claire Dante (an ex-PE meisie soos ek, so you can automatically assume she’s awesome) and half of Latino ‘fireball’ Jamillette Gaxiola.

I’m using the kakkest camera right now (long story) and couldn’t squeeze everyone in. Still, I feel bad about cutting darling Jamillette in half so here’s another piccie of her that I sommer ripped off the net:

If Jeannie D and Selena Gomez where somehow related and had another sister, don’t you think it would look like Jamillette?

I’ve been looking forward to seeing the show on TV mostly because my friend Karisa and I make a super-brief cameo as ‘drunk-dancing bikini girls’ (yes, our parents are totally proud). Still, when it finally aired on VUZU, I was pretty impressed. The production’s totally slick and they’ve made Cape Town look totally gorgeous. In fact, the whole thing comes off like a really long Peter Stuyvesant commercial for the Mother City!

Can you tell they used the same director who did ‘Laguna Beach’ and ‘The Hills’?

Still, the show’s inspired a bit of a negative reaction from SA audiences. If you search ‘Clifton Shores’ on twitter, you’ll see peeps bitching about the fact that they didn’t understand why Americans where cast as leads instead of South Africans… that they were outraged that Americans didn’t realise we didn’t all live in shacks… In addition to this, there’s also a very ugly element of people saying shizz like ‘OMG, the show’s so bad, watching it makes me want to stab a baby…’ (really?!) or calling the girls ‘dumb ugly sluts’. (Nice people… nice…)

I was hung like a donkey after a Cosmo Lingerie party the night before so I was super grateful when Kathy and Destiny made me a PB&J sandwich.

When I attended the press launch this morning, I intended to give this post some kind of ‘The Clifton Shores girls tell us how to look hot on hi-def TV’-angle but the more I think about it, the more I want just want to address the above. To stomp my foot and shout ‘Oh dear God, people… it’s a reality show, okay? It’s supposed to be mindless fluff!’ And while it’s showing in SA, it wasn’t created for South African audiences so why should they feel obliged to put South African’s in lead positions? Market research proves that Americans like watching Americans. End of story. Clifton Shores doesn’t exist to replace the Egoli: Plek van Goud­­­­-shaped hole in your heart. It’s made to sell. And anyone who expects reality shows not to be scripted or at least ‘guided’ to a certain extent is beyond naive.

And yes, many Americans (and foreigners in general) are ignorant about how good it can be, living in South Africa. That’s just how it is. While we’ve had an unfair advantage in that we grew up on a diet of US TV shows, the rest of the world views SA as an endless CNN montage of our country’s rioting, hijackings and crime stats. Now, however, we’ve played host to a show that shows off Cape Town for what it is; one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet. Do you understand how many tourism brownie points we’re going to earn when it flights off shore?!

So ja… in light of the backlash, the press conference had a slightly defensive tone to it in some parts and that made me super sad ‘cos I wish our majority wasn’t so freakin’ stupid (yes, I said it) in that they don’t understand the financial/ratings-factors that dictate why the show, or any ‘reality’ show, rolls out the way it does. They’re here to make a show that appeals off shore and shouldn’t have to apologise or explain it.

Kathy, Brett and Destiny. (Brett, who’s super chatty and rather sweet, reckons people don’t recognise him with his clothes on.)

Anyway, I work like a donkey and like to come home and zone out in front of glossy-looking reality kak; it makes me happy. If you don’t like it, however, change the bloody channel. Jumping onto twitter to blab on ad nauseam about how it makes you want to ‘rip out your eyes’ just makes us look like a bunch of rock-throwing whiny little bitches.

So that’s all I have to say on that. Feel free to lambaste me in the comments section. And if you want to catch the show, it airs on Tuesdays on VUZU at 9pm. I know I’ll be watching.

A Clifton Shores sparkly cupcake! (Yes, it’s that easy to buy my love…)

So tell me… did you catch the show? What did you think? Be honest now! If you genuinely hated it, don’t clam up now just ‘cos of my little ranty tant; tell me what you thought. And do you have any beauty-related questions you want me to ask the girls?  And is there another reality trash show you just love, love, love that I should totes be watching to? Let me know, okay?

Love, love


Posted by

Editor of South African beauty blog Lipgloss is my Life.

14 thoughts on “In defense of Clifton Shores

  1. I really enjoyed the first episode and had a few laughs while watching it. But maybe this is because like you “I work like a donkey and like to come home and zone out in front of glossy-looking reality kak; it makes me happy.” I am obsessed with reality TV and love shows like The Hills, Laguna Beach, Jersey Shore etc. Another one which is awesome if you haven’t seen it yet is Towie! To all those people who are bitching and moaning about it….it boils down to a few things – jealousy because the girls are stunning or because they are doing what they have always wanted to do! As you say if you don’t enjoy it don’t watch it! Quite honestly if you don’t have anything nice to say about something don’t say it…keep it to yourself or tell your close friends there is not need to run people down on social media seriously it just shows the kind of person you are!

    1. Going to google Towie in a bit. My dad’s also a hard worker who likes his reality trash and we both used to be OBSESSED with The Hills. He’d be in PE and I’d be in CT and we’d watch the show and then SMS each other in the ad breaks. ‘Oh my God! I can’t BELIEVE Heidi said that!!!’ Hehehehe…

  2. I’ve set my PVR to record all of them. I’m also a hard worker who likes vegetating in front of reality TV. Have you watched Toddlers and Tiaras? It’s so bad it’s gooood.

  3. Thanks for your input, Leigh. It actually makes me sad for the human race that people will go on Twitter and ‘like’ Clifton Shores on Facebook and all they have to say is something mean and nasty. Remember when our mothers said, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all”? It’s one thing to voice your opinion if you don’t like the show, but some of the things said we were really harsh. And the girls check what’s going on on the Twitter feed, not nice for them to see how bitchy ‘we’ (South Africans) can be 😦

  4. I am on exactly the same page. My job is crazy and stressful most of the time and after a long day dealing with server migrations, software development issues, network performance and other draining things, I want to just veg out in front of the TV and watch something easy. Reality shows are perfect for this. Yes I know I’m not enhancing my bloody IQ in any way, but that’s not really the goal at that point. In essence I just want to give my brain a bit of a break and watch something entertaining at the same time.
    My personal favourites are The Bachelor / Bachelorette (yes yes – laugh away), America’s Next Top model (mostly cause Tyra is crazy and most entertaining to watch), So you think you can dance (you’ll find me dancing in my pajamas in front of the mirror afterwards), Project Runway, Kitchen Nightmares and Survivor (mostly love how conniving the people get).
    I also watch the odd episode of Jerseylicious and have even attempted one or two episodes of Toddlers & Tiaras. So yeah, I’m pretty much a reality TV whore and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. I will be keeping an eye on Clifton Shores as well – mostly because it’s really cool to see all the Cape Town scenery and spot all the locals. I don’t get why people are getting so angry about it… just watch something else then dammit.

    1. It’s totally okay not to like it. It’s just not cool to tweet the girls and go ‘your show sucked you dumb stupid bitch’-type of thing. I was at the press conference tweeting about being there and someone replied to my tweet (cc-ing in the girls) saying something like ‘pity they have a single digit IQ and can’t act’ and I was just like ‘woah! I’m sitting two feet from this person… she’s real… you’re being so mean’. People get very ‘brave’ when they’re hiding behind their PC screen or phone. I’d like to see them spew that out face to face. But ag wat, I guess you take it from where it comes. If I had verbal rocks thrown at me by trolls I’d probably find myself quite entertained by it.

      1. Leigh, I must say I know the fool that is XXX (Ed – I’ve blocked out his name ‘cos I feel bad for the oke. In fairness, he did apologise. This is the guy who tweeted the mean comment) and he does not have the balls to go up to an attractive woman and say hello let alone insult them with what he spammed out that day. He is a short, unattractive guy with no personality and he spends his days trolling the internet. To take offence is exactly what his type wants.

        I enjoyed last weeks episode of CS and I enjoy Jersey Shore, The Only Way is Essex etc. It’s the kind of effortless watching that girls love and our boyfriends will never understand. (Although I sometimes find mine engrossed over my shoulder.)

        I will also continue to watch CS not only to keep a look out for you but also because it’s being PVR’ed and I want to. because of reasons.

        Keep up your laugh-a-minute blog Leigh. You’re great.

  5. Hi Leigh, I found it fascinating seeing Cape Town through their eyes (the clifton shores girls) we forget that we know SA so well and how it must have felt for them driving fm the airport and seeing all the shacks and then luxury around the corner! I think its going to be fun to watch the show from another perspective for a change and agree totally that its awesome for tourism in SA! Why dont people look at the big picture, its not a SA show but I think they had a darn good idea filming it in Cape Town.
    Im also a bit of a bachelor bachelorette fan……….and loved the housewives of New York and Orange County! Claire and I buy all the series in Thailand and love them! Pure escapism which we all need!
    Good for you for supporting CS and speaking up, a lot of people are right behind you!

    Lots of love

    1. Ag dankie Sue, you’re a total sweetheart. And riding my exercise bike and shrieking at the doffness going on on The Bachelorette is a secret guilty pleasure of mine too x x x

  6. I agree with Sue. Out of all the cities in the world the production could have been shot, they chose Clifton and they still put the name in the title of the reality show. I’m happy just for that. Just watched an episode of Real Wives of Atlanta, and a few episodes were shot in Cape Town, and The Bachelor finale was shot here too. I love my city, and get even more excited when its shown on my favorite TV shows.

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