I’m a Celeb co-host Dr. Chris Brown saw an opportunity and went with it.
On Wednesday night’s episode of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, singer Paulini joined actress Toni Pearen and AFL legend Dipper in a challenge that nobody wanted to be a part of.
The trio had to drink various “cocktails” made up of guts, pig snouts, dog hair and even bull’s penis.
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Unfortunately for Paulini, she had to down the bull’s penis smoothie.
While the singer struggled to down the drink, Brown quipped: “Paulini, do you know who my favourite Australian Idol judge was?”
Without missing a beat, he said: “Dicko. Drink up.”
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The joke didn’t go over Paulini’s head, who gave Brown a very stern look.
In 2003, when Paulini was a contestant on Australian Idol, judge Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson made the incredible error of telling her that the gold dress she was wearing basically made her look fat.
It went down in Australian reality television history.
“You should choose more appropriate clothes or shed some pounds,” the Idol judge said to the young contestant.
Speaking about the gibe to Woman’s Day in 2014, Paulini said that Dicko’s comment “affected me a lot”.
“[It] really hurt my confidence. I went back stage and started sobbing.”
Reminiscing about the incident in a news.com.au interview, she said, “there’s no way anyone could do that today” on a reality TV show.
“People would just be outraged,” she said. “There’s no way. And anyway, they shouldn’t be able to; these are often young kids standing up there being judged. We have so many problems with young girls who don’t think they’re skinny enough. There’s so much pressure about this mould that you have to fit into — it’s all crap.”
Dicko revealed on The Celebrity Apprentice Australia in 2012 that “people were virtually spitting on me” after the Idol episode aired.
“That moment was defining for me because overnight, I became a national pariah,” he said.
Dicko told Woman’s Day that, “I don’t regret saying it,” but later he changed his tune slightly during a chat with Hot91.1’s breakfast show, Dave, Sam & Ash.
“I cannot believe that it was 13 years ago that I said those 11 mundane words that sent the Australian media into meltdown,” Dicko said in the message to Paulini.
“I was trying to be nice at the time, can you believe, but I’m glad that you’ve gone on to do such great things.
“I’m a little jealous actually because at that time, those little cruel words that I said turned you and me into Australian reality TV’s power couple. Think of what we could have achieved together. In fact, right now you’re doing The Bodyguard. It should be me carrying you in my arms through the rain as that song plays. You in the gold dress for old times sake, me wearing a hernia support because I’m not getting any younger.”
Dicko ended his message by telling Paulini, “what I want to say is, I’m so proud of you girl, you go get’em”.
While stopping short of actually saying “sorry”, Dicko’s message did seem to strike a chord with Paulini who appeared to be on the verge of tears.
“Oh my gosh, that’s really nice,” she said.