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Ugly Americans in Paris…and Moi!

Some of you may remember reading about my experience participating in the ABC Primetime show “What Would You Do?” over the summer here in Paris. It finally aired on Tuesday night in the United States, and almost all of my family and friends happened to be watching. Aside from getting my hometown wrong (I’m not from Colorado) and some pretty heavy editing, I thought it turned out pretty well. You can watch it online here.

Heather with WWYD crew
Me with host John Quinones and the actors, at L’Avenue.

Some people object to the premise of the show, “The Ugly American in Paris”. Two actors portrayed loud, badly-dressed, uncultured oafs from Texas. Paris, Texas, that is. The hidden cameras were waiting to see how the French would react but it was mostly other Americans and tourists who spoke up and chastised the couple. But much was edited out of the final show. For example, most French people, when interviewed afterwards, were not surprised that it was a hidden camera show because the actors were just too over-the-top stereotypes to be believed. So for all of you who are worried or angry that they made Americans look bad, don’t worry. Most of the French didn’t fall for it anyway, and those who did just thought the Americans were having a good time and that the French act the same way when they’re on vacation. 😉

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  • Hi Heather… Gee, I’ve never read your blog before… I’ll check it out some more.. Nice job on the interview! I watched all three parts and thought it was a bit overdone… even when they switched the second day and said they were going to be "rude." I didn’t think so, at all.. just obnoxious, but it felt forced… Like if I didn’t know about the filming beforehand, I would have thought- Something’s up! I’m from L.A., after all… ; ) I have actually been waiting some months to see this interview and I’m glad to finally watch it! Funny, if anything… and I think the actors were very comical. I think the French have seen much WORSE behaviour from tourists.. and if I may point out… It’s NOT just American tourists.. I see ALL kinds of obnoxious tourists here. Americans I see nowadays are pretty low key! I’ve been here for almost 3 years. Oh well.. Just wanted to add a few words.. Keep up the good work…Ciao, Leesa

  • Congratulations on the abc interview! You looked beautiful and were quite elegant. There is so much to say about the show and the subject. The actors were over the top and I am not surprised that the French caught on nor that it was the Americans who were so insulted at their behavior. I find that it’s the frequent US tourists or expats who are the ones sensitive to their compratiots’ behavior – usually more than the French are. The French are usually coolly bemused. By the way, wasnt the bateaux mouche waiter from another country? He didn’t sound like a native Frenchman. But outside of my little observations I am delighted at your interview. Your appearance must be a great feather in your cap!

  • Ah, yeah I totally missed that part on the website, my bad. I loved how scandalized the other American tourists were, especially so since the French were totally cool about it.

  • Nicely done, Heather!I know it was all staged, but those two were hilarious. "Look! That tower’s just like the one in Vegas!"Classic.

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