There are very few people who have the capability to set the internet on fire. While it may feel as though something goes viral every single day, it is actually the result of an incredibly complicated cause-and-effect relationship that requires the right amount of fame, a scandalous element and, of course, good timing. And when it comes to virality, reality TV shows are the crème de la crème.
Yesterday, Tuesday 21 November 2023, 9:00 pm came around, and the UK was graced with a brand new episode of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! The latest iteration of the beloved reality show, currently in its 22nd run, featured its very first fight of the season, as British-Belgian YouTube darling Nella Rose got into an explosive row with First Dates sweetie Fred Sirieix.
At one point in the show, Rose was speaking to Sirieix and their ages were brought into question. Following Rose’s joke about how Sirieix wasn’t that old, the French star replied: “I’m not 26, I could be your father.” His comment seemed to be hitting a nerve for Rose. And, after a good night’s sleep at the jungle camp, she decided to call out Sirieix on his mistake.
In the morning, viewers saw Rose state: “You know that my mum’s dead, and you know that my dad’s dead. You know that, right?”
“So yesterday, when I wanted to burn fat that you were going to throw away anyways—it’s not even something that we needed to survive in camp—you turned around to me, with an attitude and said: ‘You know I could be your dad, right?’ To me, I don’t care how you said it to me, it’s disrespectful, and I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to be around you. I only allow people to disrespect me once,” Rose continued. For context, the 26-year-old went on to say that she had spoken privately with Sirieix at the beginning of the show about her parents having passed away.
Sirieix immediately apologised for the offending comments, stating: “I am so sorry. Can I just say? First of all, I am sorry I’ve offended you. I am unaware that you felt offended. I am unaware that what I said would lead to this conversation, I only said that in a way because I am older than you. I am 51, and you’re 26.” Wisdom supposedly comes with age. However, most can agree that it wasn’t necessarily wise to reiterate that point, considering that Sirieix’s age doesn’t give him more knowledge or authority in these survival games.
Rose countered that she wouldn’t let Sirieix make her feel like “a little girl” and concluded the fight with: “I accept your apology, but let’s not be friends. How about that?”
The interaction is highly complicated and polarising because it includes the nuances of grief, ageism, and a clash between two people who just rub each other in the wrong way. In short, it had all the markings of a heated X debate topic.
Many were quick to describe Rose’s reaction as over-the-top and disproportionate to the alleged offence:
Nevertheless, a lot of other X users were quick to recognise the racism, misogyny, and fatphobia that was starting to overtake the online debate and ran to Rose’s defence:
This season of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! is still in its early stages, so there is plenty of chance that Rose and Sirieix will make up. And, I guess if you didn’t have a reason to watch it so far, you definitely do now. The contestants aren’t holding back this season, that’s for sure.