Kid Nation‘s resident villain, southern beauty pageant queen Taylor DuPriest, says producers of the show fed her lines. In an Entertainment Weekly story that catches up with four long-forgotten reality stars and one host, Taylor reveals that the producers were quite manipulative.
First, lest we think Taylor’s dumb, she proves herself to be self-aware, recognizing that some of her behavior was bad, and that she was the villain. She’s also clearly smarter than many of the show’s critics. “But I was surprised that everybody ended up making so much controversy that we were by ourselves, because that’s not true! There were more camera crew and producers than there were kids,” she said. As to the manipulation, here’s what Taylor has to say:
“There was only one time I was upset with the producers — when we were fixing to kill the chickens and they were telling me to say ‘Ugly chickens deserve to die’ and all that kind of stuff. I didn’t realize they’d actually make it out on TV to sound that bad. But when I did see it, I was like, ‘Whoa! That’s not how that went.’ I wasn’t okay with how they made me look. I didn’t act like that the whole time. Sometimes I did, but I was 10! When the show was on TV, my parents were like, ‘Taylor, did you really do that?’ And I would actually tell them how it went, if the producers told me to say that. Sometimes my friends would help me when people would come up to me and make fun of me and say ‘Deal with it’ or ‘Ugly chickens deserve to die.’ It’s like my friends kind of knew that some of it wasn’t real. Even though I was the bad person, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I’d love to go back. It was fun.”
Whether or not you believe Taylor probably depends upon how much you loathed her character on the show. Earlier, executive producer Tom Forman admitted that the show had kids do “pick-up lines,” i.e. retakes, but he didn’t say anything about telling the kids to say things.