tl;dr: They say that Nicole Scherzinger had a good time unwinding here in Antigua yesterday, but it seems like the “fun” may have been entirely staged.
Yesterday at work I found an email in my inbox asking for Antiguans and Barbudans to participate as extras in a “popular UK TV show”. I wondered why, if the show was so popular, the sender was so vague. We were already aware of one big show being filmed here this month, but I didn’t bother to remember which one. It said that persons interested in joining an “energetic carnival party scene” should get in contact. I thought about putting the notice up on the company’s website, but I was busy with other things at that moment.
By the time I decided to deal with it, I realized that the event was already occurring, so I dropped it and moved on. And guess what? Today I was asked to put up a release on Nicole Scherzinger ‘partying’ with locals in Antigua in between filming for The X Factor. I was referred to sources that gave the impression that she just showed up suddenly while these ‘locals’ were having some kind of festive party or some crap, that she got into the “Carnival spirit”. You know something? The annual celebration of Carnival happened last month. The fact that there was a notice of extras being sought for a scheduled shoot of a Carnival scene for this show (there are no other UK shows in Antigua this month, or else the team would know) suggests that either the sources, dailymail.co.uk and reveal.co.uk, were ignorant and/or misleading or that The X Factor (which I don’t watch, admittedly) actually participates in its own staging. I’ve uploaded a copy of the email here: http://pastebin.com/7QxQmH9D.
But anyway, I started on creating a release based on these sources. As I read over the first article again, I realized that both it and the one I was writing were like mirrors. Mirrors in that they tried to sell something by subtly taking attention away from the story and weaving an advertisement in. Part of Nicole’s outfit was conveniently advertised as available for sale in a nifty little feature on the page. It says sold out. And of course, the writer highlighted how wonderful the singer looked in her attire. Now, my company’s website is somewhat tourism-centric, and as the sender of the notice was a contact from the Antigua & Barbuda Ministry of Tourism, which has a profile page with us, what my post had to sell was Antigua. As the Ministry of Tourism was involved, I wouldn’t be surprised if the event was staged, because their interest is in promoting the island, and working with X Factor provides another opportunity for them to do it. Their job is to tell you how excellent and fun it is here. I’m not surprised that this piece of mainstream television may be partially planned or faked, it’s just that I may have first-hand knowledge of this. And it bothers me, being reminded of just how exploitative and deceitful the world of media can be. We’ll have to wait and see for ourselves what X Factor tells people happened yesterday at Shirley Heights.