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The Villain Edit : A memoir about reality TV and taking control of the narrative - Alisha Aitken-Radburn

The Villain Edit

A memoir about reality TV and taking control of the narrative

By: Alisha Aitken-Radburn

Paperback | 29 August 2023

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A memoir about identity and authenticity in the smoke-and-mirror worlds of politics, reality TV and social media, from Bachelor star Alisha Aitken-Radburn.

When former government staffer Alisha Aitken-Radburn was given a 'villain edit' on her first season of The Bachelor, she wasn't entirely surprised—after all, there are only a handful of character tropes producers can manipulate into storylines. But the backlash on social media was unexpectedly intense, and Alisha found her sense of identity completely rocked by a single comment: 'You are a bad person'.

Determined to shake the 'villain' label, she returned to reality TV screens, and this time, she got a different edit. She was met with praise and empathy, and her portrayal led to a third and final season, where she met the man she would marry.

But along Alisha's rocky path in the reality TV spotlight, the line between truth and fiction blurred. She cared about other people's opinions more than her own, and her insatiable quest for external validation saw her outsourcing her decisions and her self-worth to everyone from anonymous forum-lurkers to journalists and politicians.

The Villain Edit charts Alisha's journey through the smoke-and-mirrors worlds of politics, reality TV and social media. Navigating the secrets, lies and hard truths that are laced through even the most fairytale of endings, it reveals how the perceptions of others can rewrite the story of who we think we are, and how important it is to know when to go off-script and take control of the narrative.

About the Author

Alisha Aitken-Radburn is a former Labor government staffer who appeared on both The Bachelor and The Bachelor in Paradise. She is a regular contributor to Triple j's youth current affairs program, Hack, and the former host of In the House and In the Senate, featuring conversations with the women of Australian Parliament, and Cocktails and Roses, recapping The Bachelor and The Bachelorette with Osher Gnsberg. The Villain Edit is her first book.
Industry Reviews
'The Villain Edit feels like an intimate conversation with a girlfriend.Alisha Aitken-Radburn shares her experiences with an honest vulnerability-
immensely relatable and readable!'
Yumiko Kadota, author of Emotional Female


'The Villain Edit is an unflinchingly honest look at the machine
behind reality TV, and the way it intersects with the complexities of
real life. A rare peek into how it feels to be hated by people you've
never met, and subsequently loved by the same strangers. Ultimately
The Villain Edit is a love story-one that's messy and raw, but far more
meaningful than anything you can manufacture on TV.'
Clare Stephens, Mamamia


'Alisha's writing is self-aware, funny and captures both the universal
and her unique experiences of womanhood in a zeitgeist committed to
our shame and silence. The Villain Edit is relatable, deeply human and
challenges the surface-level assumptions and stereotypes women in the
public eye face. Alisha offers us relatable musings on love, friendship
and values-driven work. Reading this book felt like having a few red
wines with a friend; there is deep comfort in Alisha's reflections and,
as always, the truth is far more engrossing than the edit.'
Hannah Ferguson, Cheek Media


'A searingly, honest, intelligent and beautifully written book by a young
woman who knows the inner workings of both political campaigning
and reality TV. She reminds us powerfully of the feminist truth: the
personal is political.'
Professor Catharine Lumby, author of Frank Moorhouse: A Life


'This book is real, honest and genuine, just like Alisha. She continues
to challenge and change the narrative, and by writing this book she's
chosen to rewrite her story and claim back her true self. I admire her
for that, and I think she's courageous for doing so.'
Brooke Blurton, author of Big Love


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