TV

Ex-Australian Idol star Rob 'Millsy' Mills' candid reality TV confession

The former Australian Idol contestant explained the toll of being a reality star.

By Bettina Tyrrell

"Why the hell would you go on reality TV?" It was a question put to former Australian Idol contestant Rob 'Millsy' Mills and a group of ex-reality TV stars on Wednesday night's episode of the ABC's You Can't Ask That.

What followed was a candid conversation with personalities who have been through the reality TV ringer, including Rob Mills' raw confession that he had suicidal thoughts one week after Idol ended.

Millsy and seven other ex-reality TV stars appeared on ABC's *You Can't Ask That*. *Image: ABC*
Millsy and seven other ex-reality TV stars appeared on ABC's You Can't Ask That. Image: ABC

Rob Mills was 21 years old when he appeared on the first season of Australian Idol. Speaking without guard, the 36-year-old revealed the mental struggle he suffered after the singing competition launched him to household name status.

Mills explained, during his rise to fame his brother had told him, "just don't read the blogs".

"As soon as someone says that, you're like, 'I'll just read the blog,'" Mills chuckled. It was then he realised not everyone in Australia and online liked him and that rattled the young Mills.

"I don't think I had any idea of who I was, and everyone else now had an idea of who I was," he said. "So that was terrifying."

Rob Mills in 2003, after finding fame on the first season of *Australian Idol*.
Rob Mills in 2003, after finding fame on the first season of Australian Idol.

During the episode, the talented singer recalled feeling fearful and panic as he was mobbed on the street.

"I remember the first weekend I was off the show, and I was just mobbed," he said. "I was mobbed on the street.

"They just wanted a piece. I remember just getting pulled left, right and centre. There's nothing nice about [it]."

The notoriety, and lack of control had a terrible affect on Mill's mental health.

"I had a massive panic attack, like a huge anxiety attack," he recalled, "and I just jumped into a car… the closest car, I just jumped into it.

"I just said to this guy can you please drive me back to the hotel. He's like 'I know who you are!'"

WATCH Rob Mills explains the struggle of being a reality TV star. Post continues after video...

Then, in possibly the most confronting admission of the show, Mills revealed a moment he's never been able to forget.

"I got to the hotel, I remember going to the 20th, 30th floor or something," he said. "The door to my balcony was open, and I was like, this could be it. You could do this. You could go.

"That was not a good night."

The singing talent made a surprising confession when asked is he'd return to reality TV.
The singing talent made a surprising confession when asked is he'd return to reality TV.

When asked whether he'd go on reality TV again, perhaps somewhat surprisingly Mills said, "100 per cent".

Mills was able to put his dark post-Idol days behind him and create a successful career as a TV personality and musical theater actor. He said, when he learned he had booked a role in the musical Wicked it was "the best day of my life".

You can watch You Can't Ask That on ABC on Wednesday, July 18 at 9pm, or on iView.

If you or anyone you know is suffering, contact Lifeline (lifeline.org.au) on 1311 14 or visit Headspace at (headspace.org.au).

You can also visit Beyond Blue at (beyondblue.org.au) or call 1300 22 4636.