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Exclusive: Michelle D reveals all about new reality show Wild in SA

You might remember her on the first ever season of The Bachelor SA, but Michelle D is going places, quite literally!

She is a fitness junkie, former model and TV Presenter; and she's gracing our TV screens this August in an exciting new show that is bound to take you on an exciting adventure across the country from the comfort of your own home.

Brought to you by Ignition TV, Wild in SA is a new and exciting travel and adventure show, covering all the wonders that South Africa has to offer. In each episode presenters Tumelo Maketekete and Michelle D aim for an amazing destination - a special, out of the ordinary experience.

Each episode takes them on a whirlwind ride as they visit interesting people and places in specific areas all around our magnificent country.

Exciting, educational, and full of suspense - the show is jam-packed with multiple entertainment elements to ensure they are kept captivated.

Michelle D

Each episode contains a short insert on “how to survive in the wild” on an adventure, showcasing if you run out of fuel, or what would happen if your vehicle picks up a mechanical issue.

Survival specialist Ian van der Vyfer shares tips like how to start a fire with your vehicle’s battery, and much more.

In addition, within each episode, two mountain passes are featured: a gravel one, and a tar version.

Again, what captivates the audiences is that the directors mostly steered clear of the more mainstream, well-known passes, and instead feature some lesser-travelled routes.

We caught up with Michelle D and found out what she had to say about this entertaining new show...

From The Bachelor to Wild in SA – how has your journey been since then?

I cannot believe that it is almost 2 years since filming the Bachelor SA (we Filmed from October 2018). The Bachelor was a whirlwind and in 2019, when it was on Mnet and post the show, all I could do was focus on the craze around it. It was amazing and daunting at the same time.

Michelle D

A reality show is VERY different to this kind of show. The opportunity to present this show was brought to me at the end of 2019 and I jumped at it. Now in 2020 – I can focus on my presenting and just enjoy the process.

What do you love about TV presenting?

For me TV Presenting is somewhere between acting and reality TV – so while we do work with a plan there are moments that happen unexpectedly and it just makes for a good time and a good TV show.

Do you have a passion for cars?

So to be honest I am not the type of person who can tell you “what is under the hood” of a car. The concept about horsepower and torque escapes me a little BUT I do have an appreciation for the really unique and special cars we are exploring on the show.

In the one episode I got to drive in a Buick Roadmaster Coupe that was originally made just after WW2 and has been beautifully restored to its original condition. It is something to experience.

You filmed during the nationwide lockdown – what challenges did you face and how did you cope with that?

We were fortunate enough to film during lockdown – and yes, I use the word “fortunate.” We got to see the country when the land was at such peace.

Michelle D

It was a surreal experience to leave lockdown in Gauteng – all the rules, and fear and news, and and…. and to get lost in our country.

There was one trip where we were travelling through the Free State and I was in awe. The Free State has never looked so beautiful to me.

There were golden fields no matter which way you looked – and whilst driving in the car, we were the only people for miles to see. Not another car, truck, tractor in site. It was breathtaking.

There were some challenges though – quite a few travel and tourist destinations and activities were closed due to Covid-19, so ideas and the concept we had envisioned had to be changed or postponed. So yes, challenging – but so worth it at the end of the day.

What makes this show unique?

It is not just a travel show – there is a human element to it. There are some funny moments too.

I have not laughed so much whilst filming than I have doing this show. We go to places; we meet people and we have a good time. There really is no script.

Michelle D

There is even footage of me singing (not knowing I was being filmed) that I am quite sure is going to be used somewhere.

The show is real – real people, real places, and real fun!

What do you hope to be remembered for one day in the entertainment industry?

I hope I am remembered for being real and authentic. I tried to be true to myself on The Bachelor and viewers will definitely see more of the real Michelle D on Wild In SA.

As a woman presenter, in a male-dominated world, why is this show changing the game for woman?

I think what makes this interesting is that while it is a travel show – it includes a car element.

Traditionally TV shows of this nature are hosted by men, because men typically know and like cars more than us ladies. BUT, let me tell you, that is changing.

It has been such an experience not only to get to see but to appreciate their beauty (in the case of the vintage vehicles) as well as their power and abilities (the 4x4ing side).

I believe it will speak to female viewers and say to them – “yes, you too can enjoy a vintage car, a 4x4 or even a rally car driving experience”

What does it mean to you, to be a strong woman and take up space?

To me, to be a strong woman is to own who you are. The good and the bad.

What was your Favourite on-set memory?

MD: There are a few but I am going to choose the waterfall scene - you will have to tune in to see what I am talking about. Because of lockdown we were the only people there and it was amazing.

Plus, I “sang for the mermaids” (you will have to watch that episode to see but I thought it was pretty priceless).

Catch all the excitement in their first episode, which airs on Saturday 15th August at 08h00, on Ignition TV, DStv channel 189

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