Meet Gold Coast influencers set to be next reality TV stars
GOLD Coast influencer besties Amanda Blanks and Ashleigh Lawrence are the latest locals to score a reality TV gig.
Blanks, a 29-year-old model and former Gold Coast Bulletin Best Dressed lister, and Lawrence, a 31-year-old personal trainer will make their debut on Channel 10's The Amazing Race Australia on February 1.
While both are anticipating an all-expenses-paid Aussie adventure, Blanks has her eye on the prize to put towards her postponed wedding and happily ever after.
"We had to cancel (our wedding) due to COVID-19," she said.
"Then my fiance and I have just bought a block of land so I would love to put some into the house build."
Lawrence said she would open her own training studio if the duo came out on top.
While the globetrotter has a backpack full of travel stories after roaming through 73 countries, home is where her heart is.
"It could be a biased opinion, but Burleigh Hill on the Gold Coast is the best place to have a picnic and watch the sunset," Lawrence said.
"The best part of travelling with Amanda is that she is the most fun and always down for an adventure."
Why do you want to be on The Amazing Race Australia? What do you hope to accomplish?
Amanda: The Amazing Race Australia will be such an incredible chance to discover unseen parts of the great country I'm blessed to live in. It's such a fun challenge and I love competing, doing challenges and of course, winning. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity that money can't buy.
Ashleigh: Despite travelling to 73 countries, I haven't travelled much around Australia. I am super excited to explore my own country and see some places I've never been to before. I am always pretending I'm on The Amazing Race when I've had to eat something weird or I'm running through an airport trying not to miss a connecting flight - so it will be cool to race for real!
Do you have any travel horror stories?
Ashleigh: I went to stay with an Amazonian tribe in Ecuador, and every morning they host a tea ceremony, guzzling a type of tea which makes them violently vomit. The purge is a precaution in case they have eaten any bad parasites or drunk bad water. As I was staying with them, I was obliged to join in on this tea ceremony. I feel extremely lucky to have experienced such a unique tradition, so I can't complain too much, but being woken up at 3am for a vomit-party was a little traumatic for me.
Have you travelled with your teammate before?
Amanda: Yes! We've explored a bit of Australia together. We love going on random unplanned adventures to a distant waterfall or a four-day long camp trip out at the Granite Belt near Stanthorpe, or Lamington National Park in the Hinterland or New Year's on Moreton Island. We were actually planning a trip up to Cairns and the Daintree rainforest before we found out we were selected on the show.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your life?
Amanda: Choosing white paint for the interior walls … jokes! My dad was fighting cancer eight years ago with a pretty dismal chance to live. I was living in the Gold Coast by myself and the rest of my family were in another state. I was managing full-time university with five to six subjects, working a bar job, modelling, then flying to Sydney every weekend I could to see him while he was in hospital for months on end. Then in and out for over a year and a half. Staying positive and on task with all parts of my life was very challenging through this time. But I'm incredibly lucky to have my dad here today and he never gave up fighting.
Tell us a bit about your life and upbringing.
Amanda: I was extremely lucky as a child to have such devoted and fun parents. We spent a lot of my childhood at our family's holiday house on the Murray River or the farm with my 26 cousins and two brothers. All of us together were my favourite memories. Water skiing since we could walk, playing on the farms with motorbikes and the animals and spending hours in the river. My parents always made sure that every weekend or Sunday was dedicated to something as a family.
Ashleigh: I grew up on the Gold Coast and studied accounting at uni. When I finished, I decided that accounting wasn't for me, and I quit everything to move to Los Angeles to pursue acting and modelling. After my visa expired there, I moved to London. While living there, I started training at the gym and fell in love with it and decided I want to help other women discover how strong they actually are and find their confidence in the gym. I lived in London for eight years, before moving back home a few years ago.
Originally published as Meet Gold Coast influencers set to be next reality TV stars