New Zealand Law Society - A taste of reality TV

A taste of reality TV

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Born and bred in Southland, 24-year-old Nikki Sim is a commercial and rural lawyer for Preston Russell Law, the Crown Solicitor’s Office for Invercargill. She recently featured on the reality dating television show, The Bachelor New Zealand, although her time was short lived, she says. Nikki explains her reasons for going on the show, her professional considerations and the feedback since coming home.

“Family and friends are really important to me. It’s probably fair to say that I have a really close relationship with my twin sister who also practises law in Invercargill. Both of us practising law can be a bit overbearing at times for the rest of the family as we can get carried away talking legalities!”

It was Nikki’s twin sister, Emma, who first entered Nikki onto the dating show and it took “a bit of persuading” to follow through once she was told she had been shortlisted.

“I decided to run with it. It was a pretty unsubtle hint that [my sister] thought my love life was a bit sad. I also thought that if I looked back on it in 20 years I may regret not being spontaneous and giving the experience a go.

“I guess my logic in entering [the] show was that I may get to have experiences I would otherwise never get to. I have always watched The Bachelor with my flatmates at university and was intrigued to be a part of what goes on behind the scenes.”

However, Nikki had her concerns regarding long-term professionalism consequences.

“In terms of going on a reality TV show, especially in New Zealand, I think you have to be able to deal with negative feedback.”

In terms of The Bachelor New Zealand, it is an unusual concept to “throw 21 girls after one guy”, she says.

“It’s not normal and hence some people will have strong views about it, which they will want to voice. I think another major consideration is that people are not always portrayed on a reality TV show as they thought they came across in person.

“Things can be taken completely out of context and the viewer does not know the context in which the situation was filmed. I think it is important when watching these shows to view it with a critical eye.”

To mitigate the situation, Nikki made sure she had the support of her employer before she agreed to go on the show.

“Having studied for five years and having now gone into pursuing a career in law I obviously did not want a short stint on The Bachelor New Zealand to hugely affect [my career].

“I set myself some rules before I went on there, such as having respect and being courteous to others.

“Everyone that I had told was really supportive and thought that I should embrace the show and give it a go, which I guess was a major reason why I decided to go through with it in the end.”

This was not the first reality television experience for Nikki, who together with her family went to Namibia and lived with the nomadic Himba tribe for 10 days in her mid-teens.

It was a great and positive experience, which could also explain her willingness to participate on The Bachelor New Zealand, she says.

Since the show aired, the feedback has been generally positive.

A lot of people have said it is not something they would do, which is understandable, she says.

Although her time on The Bachelor New Zealand was brief, seeing she left the show after featuring for only one episode, her overall feeling is that “it just wasn’t meant to be”.

“A number of people mentioned that I was possibly lucky to be in the first group to leave. They may have been right as in hindsight I hugely underestimated the amount of interest that was going to be focused on the show and how involved and invested some people get.”

As for the future, the newly appointed President of the Invercargill Young Professionals aims to boost membership numbers and nurture a stronger network for young professionals in the region, as well as travel as much as her funds will allow, and play sports such as social netball, social basketball and corporate rowing.

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