Miami Social is the latest in Bravo’s lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-vapid genre. It chronicles a group of Miami thirty-somethings who think they are glamorous and fascinating. Reality fans will note that the cast includes The Apprentice’s Katrina Campins and Big Brother’s Hardy Hill. It’s technically a reality show, but the producer manipulation is easy to spot. Numerous camera shots were obviously pre-planned. The conversations serve to set up future plot points. The cast consciously creates their personas, with fashion producer Ariel clearly aiming to make a name for himself as the show’s bitchy villain. The numerous improbable moments in the first two episodes include Katrina proclaiming that she works 24/7 then spending all her time on the beach and at parties, Maria shipping her 13 year-old off to Swiss boarding school (perhaps to star in a future spin-off) and entertainment journalist Michael making enough money to throw himself a birthday party at a fancy hotel. Katrina Campins and Hardy Hill gamely promoted Miami Social, which premieres tomorrow night, in a press conference. For added enjoyment, take a drink every time you read the words ”high net worth.”
Are you ready for the attention and potential ridicule that comes with being on this show?
Hardy: I haven’t really given it a whole lot of thought until recently. To be honest with you it’s a little scary. You don’t want to be seen in a bad light, but at the same time you want to be seen in an honest light. I’m hoping for the best and not necessarily preparing for any backlash but hoping people will enjoy the show and see something in one of us or all of us that they’ll either like, love, or hate.
Katrina: To add to that, it’s because I did the first season of The Apprentice and I was very young at the time (22 years old). It was a very intense and surreal experience. I learned very quickly that I had to have tough skin because people were very quick to judge before they knew me because of what they saw on the show. You have to remember that on The Apprentice we had hidden cameras, we were scrutinized, every moment was filmed and our persona was completely up for grabs. This time they moved around our schedule and it was a lot of fun to film. I think there’s always going to be people out there that are quick to judge you based on the way that you are portrayed on a show but ultimately you just need to be true to the whole reason that you did the show and move forward towards that goal.
Are we going to see the same types of clashes we saw on Real Housewives: New Jersey?
Hardy: Any relationship goes through elevations and changes. Are you going to see some moments where people are on edge and at odds? Of course. Are you going to see moments where we’re all having a blast and singing Kumbaya? Absolutely. And every degree in between.
Katrina: You’re going to see drama but you’re also going to see a group of friends from all different walks of life, cultures, beliefs and we agree to disagree most of the time. It’s going to be an adventure to watch.
Was the cast friends before or were the relationships created for the show?
Hardy: I knew every single person that was cast on the show, either as an acquaintance or a friend of a friend. I was socially associated with everyone whether it be a direct personal contact or being introduced to them or being in the same social circle. Were we all best of friends? I wouldn’t say that. We’re much, much closer now.
Katrina: I second that. Hardy I knew from the night life and reality [appearances] beforehand. Michael covered my wedding for People magazine. There’s a connection. Did our friendships evolve through filming? Absolutely. I’ve become much closer to certain people on the show.
Have you learned anything about yourself from filming the show?
Katrina: I absolutely have learned something from the show. But I learned a lot from watching myself on television the first time around. It was humbling to say the least because you don’t realize the way you react to certain situations until you actually see it on television. For myself, having seen a few clips from Miami Social, I’ve taken a different view of my marriage. I was able to see certain things in our relationship that I wasn’t able to see when I was entrenched in the relationship. I filmed while I was in the process of a divorce. It was definitely therapeutic.
What have the two of you been up two since you finished your prior reality shows?
Katrina: After The Apprentice I worked as a correspondent for ESPN and CNBC and took about a year off. Since then I’ve started the Campins Company which is a luxury real estate firm. We have offices throughout the United States. Our clientele are specifically athletes and entertainers along with a lot of celebrities. That comprises about 90% of our business. Our goal is relocating them and managing their real estate portfolio nationwide. In addition, the rest is comprised of high net worth individuals. I also do a lot of TV stuff on the side to help promote the brand. I learned from Trump. I learned from the best.
Hardy: Since I was on Big Brother I have opened Sky Bar as the operating general manager for Ian Schrager. I moved on from there to rejoin The Opium group as a general manager then moved into the position of Ambassador which they actually created for me because it fit my skill set and my talent. I was representing the interests of the owners and the vendors for our high net worth VIP clientele, traveling dignitaries, and taking care of them at our properties. Since then I’ve formed the Hill Hospitality Group. I do management consulting for different hotels and night life venues. I also own and operate a concierge company which caters to high net worth individuals.
How does Miami Social differ from all the other reality docudramas about beautiful, wealthy people?
Hardy: Ours truly shows the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives. It shows our friendships, how we handle each other, how we handle issues, and how we handle success. We work hard. We play harder. We’re not necessarily that different from anybody else. We just try really, really hard to be very, very successful.
Katrina: The guilty pleasure for people in their late twenties and early thirties has been The Hills. There was a void there because although we can relate to them, [they’re younger.] This will fill the void because I don’t see any other show out there that has people in their thirties that are successful and are in a city like Miami.
Is appearing on reality shows addictive? Do you now feel the need to film your lives?
Hardy: Definitely not. I find it fascinating that anyone would find [my life] interesting. But if the casting director and other people want to watch my life, so be it. It’s an opportunity for us to showcase our talents, our passions. Hopefully through that, good things will come.
Katrina: I stumbled across reality shows the first time by mistake. I was never somebody who was obsessed by pop culture. The Apprentice completely changed my life. I’m glad that I took a few years off from reality television to build my company. The motivating factor behind my decision to sign up for this series has to do with my long term goal of utilizing the media to empower women and encourage them to honor themselves. I want to inspire both men and women to be better. I get e-mails and phone calls day in and day out who are looking for inspiration.