"Silver? Straight up the middle," we were told, as a rope was removed and we were led ahead of the queue.
We thought our seats must be near the stage, but they were up the back, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, as we found out later.
Thanks to Ambi Pur we were at a live eviction taping of Big Brother 2013. Why Ambi Pur? Well Ambi Pur is the official odour-eliminator of the Big Brother house
And between you and me, I'm thinking one of the worst things about living in the Big Brother House has got to be the lack of personal space, particularly in places like the bathroom and sleeping areas!
So those Ambi Pur products are probably working up a storm ...
Meanwhile, back at the show, things are getting exciting.
It's the first time Chase and Harmonie have been at the taping of a live television show, and they are pretty hyped.
I've been able to give them an idea of what to expect. When the kids were young, I regularly covered Big Brother for New Idea magazine, interviewing the housemates the morning after their eviction and filing the story a few hours later.
It was an excuse to watch hours of reality television and attend a few live shows myself!
We've been watching some episodes as 'homework' but we're clearly not as clued up as other guests, including some who have dressed up in homeage to their idols. Several members of the crowd wear 'Team Ben' shirts, others have signs bearing the names of their favourite housemates.
The kids quite enjoy the spectacle of live television, including the pre-show warm up with Mike Goldman, dressed in a lairy jacket which bears a striking resemblance to a tablecloth. "Mum, what's this guy famous for?" whispers Chase. Hee hee.
There are practise shots and 'whees' and 'oos' and 'aahs', and I enjoy doing all this a lot more seeing the excitement and enjoyment in my kids' eyes than I did in the old days.
We scream, shout and dance in an attempt to win prizes which are randomly awarded and thrown to the crowd, but miss out.
Everyone loves beautiful Sonia Kruger.
We're told no one is allowed to boo the housemates, or call out when the evictee is being interviewed, or they will face being evicted from the taping.
There is no flash photography, but no one seems to have a problem with videoing or tweeting duing the show.
The night we were there, Tully was evicted, and because we're up the back near the stage where the housemates enter the studio, we get a good look at her and a few waves while she is waiting to go on.
She's very pretty and seems polished and prepared for the interview and photos.
Taking a selfie before we go in to post to Facebook! Just like their Mum ...
So excited to be there! (Bunny came too!)
And while she didn't come with us, favourite Big Brother 2012 contestant Layla Subritsky dropped by to talk Big Brother, smelly homes, and house sharing with MIA.
The beautiful Layla
Layla is Ambi Pur's Big Brother spokesperson and has been watching the series closely - and a bit enviously.
LHow are you enjoying watching BBAU as opposed to being on it?
Watching Big Brother definitely brings back so many memories and makes me feel nostalgic, I love watching dramas evolve as people start feeling more comfortable around each other and let their true colours show. It’s quite interesting to see that there are more or less the same underlying issues in every season. There is always the strong personality that’s a bit of a tease and likes to work people up and challenge other housemates – this season it’s definitely Tim! I think after having been in the house, I watch the show with a completely different perspective to what “house-virgins” would, as I know how annoying that one messy person is or how gross it is when someone farts! The contestants definitely have more creature comforts this season; I wish we had Ambi Pur as a sponsor when I was in the house because there is nothing worse than BO you can’t escape!
Did you understand how addictive it was, and how popular you were when on the show? And what about now? Can you relate to the contestants?
I don’t think I realised how mega- crazy obsessed people were with the show and the contestants until I actually came out the Big Brother house. It was definitely a shock when I saw some girls dressed up as me in the live eviction audience! It’s funny watching it happen all over again this year from a distance, I can definitely relate to the contestants. None of them will know what’s hit them when they walk out as they have no idea what the public thinks about them, it’s unpredictable.
One of the things my kids always say is that they couldn't share a house with so many people. I'm the same. How did you cope?
Being on Big Brother is all about adaptability, you need to be able to compromise and understand that everyone is different. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen – especially when Big Brother is up to his mischievous tricks! In the house. It’s fair to say majority rules and so it’s important that you get along with most people in the house. This often involved having the ability to let things go. Remaining positive was key. At the end of the day, I always tried to remember that Big Brother was a just a game and not to take anything too seriously such as when Michael burnt all my rollers!
How is it different to sharing with just one or two housemates?
EVERYTHING MULTIPLIED! Living in a share house means more unpleasant odours, more mess, more conflicting personalities and more gossip. It’s also harder having any space to yourself.
The big issues would be sharing personal space, like toilets, showers, and in particular bed rooms. How did you survive that?
It’s about being adaptable and open to the experience. In a way Big Brother was like being on a school camp! At times sharing bathrooms/toilets was pretty unpleasant. Also we weren’t always allowed to wash our clothes regularly so we felt dirty and the house did get very smelly I’m sure you can imagine…
Did you have Ambi-Pur when you were in the house?
No we didn’t unfortunately. I wish we had though. The 2013 contestants are so lucky. They must be breathing a lot happier than we ever did last year. The Air Effects Lavender Vanilla & Comfort Air Freshener would have definitely been my best friend!
Who were the smelliest/most hygiene-challenged housemates? Did you ever hint or ask some of them to clean up their acts?
Michael, without a shadow of a doubt. He ate with his mouth open and never cleared up after himself. Big Brother also told him off when he proceeded to give all the girls a head massage after he’d returned from the bathroom without washing his hands! Hehe I love him though, he’s a new bestie. We still joke about his messy ways!While I’m a bit of a clean freak, I hate confrontation so I never dared ask contestants to clean up their acts. I reached breaking point though towards the end of the show when the house got very dirty. I was so nervous about confronting the housemates that it took me a whole hour in the Diary Room to psyche myself up to do it.
What about this time around? Do you think there have been some challenges for people in the house around hygiene and smells?
Earlier in the season Jade remarked on the smell of her fake-husband Drew’s hair as being “oily and smelly”, but I think all the boys have a tendency to smell bad - whether it’s from a hot day in the sun without enough deodorant or that they’ve simply worn a T-shirt one too many times. They are lucky this year though, Ambi Pur Air Freshener is perfect for making dirty clothes smell good by eliminating all the bad odours.
What's your advice on being a good housemate?
At the end of the day, you’re there to have fun. So have fun, be friendly, try to stay out of the drama and most of all pull your weight in the house! No one likes a lazy housemate.
Do you currently share a home or flat?
I can say for certain that my house share days are over! I’m living with family at the moment until I move into my own place soon. I’m so looking forward to having my own space and not having to worry about cleaning up after housemates.
And what about being a good houseguest - say if you're travelling and staying with family or friends. What do you recommend to ensure you get asked back?
My pet hate is houseguests not clearing up after themselves! People appreciate you taking care of their things so I always make sure I’m clean and tidy and I try to leave the house in a better condition than when I arrived. I like to clean the dishes and also sometimes help with dinner preparation if I can. It’s the least I can do in return for my friend or family’s hospitality.
Finally, in our home, there is me, my son, 12, my daughter, 10, a dog, two cats. We cook a lot. The kids have shoes. There are odours. We don't like overpowering smells to cover them up though. What do you recommend to have our house smelling fresh and clean without smelling like we are trying to hide the stench of wet dog and socks?
I would say, always determine where the odour is coming from and try to organise a daily routine of clearing and airing out your house. I make it a habit of opening my windows as it’s so important to let fresh air into the house every day! I would also invest in a good air freshener like Ambi Pur which eliminates bad odours rather than just masking them for a short time. For kids’ shoes and fabrics that can’t be washed like couches and upholstery, Ambi Pur Air Effects is perfect as it has a formula which neutralises odours while slowly releasing light fresh fragrances as it captures odour molecules. For day-to-day use you might want to try the Ambi Pur Electrical Plug In as it freshens the air whilst also eliminating odours up to 80 days, and there is an intensity setting according to your day-to-day needs. Many of the scents in the Ambi Pur range are designed by the same team behind some of the world’s biggest perfume houses so it’s also a treat! Join the refreshing conversations at https://www.facebook.com/AmbipurANZ
The good news is that Ambi Pur is going to show the love by hosting a giveaway on my blog.
Stay tuned for details ...