We talked with a girl featured on ‘My Super Sweet Sixteen’ and the whole show sounds kind of terrible, tbh

No, MTV didn’t help pay for the party

MTV made some serious waves when they announced earlier this month that the show that defined the early 2000’s, My Super Sweet Sixteen, would be returning to the air. Sweet Sixteen was the series we loved to hate, featuring the country’s most privileged teens enjoying parties that cost more than the average house. While you were slumming it with a basement slumber party, these kids were carried into their thousand-dollar functions on the shoulders of male models, serenaded by chart-topping musicians, and driven away in a Mercedes Benz of the perfect shade of candy apple red, or else.

When Hillary Duff’s anthem faded and the screen went dark on Sweet Sixteen’s final episode in 2009, we were left with a lot of questions. Were the show’s stars really that entitled, or was it mostly scripted? Did MTV chip in for that limousine ride, or were these parents really shelling out thousands for their kids’ perfect nights? And how the fuck can I get Pitbull to sing at my birthday party?

On the eve of the show’s return, we sat down with former Sweet-Sixteener Nikki Cain to find out. Nikki is now a student at the University of Texas, graduating this year and hoping to start her own real estate business, but back in 2009, she was just a high school girl trying to make sure her Vegas-themed birthday bash went off without a hitch. Take a look at some of her thoughts about being on the show.

Nikki’s 2009 invitation

Tell me a little bit about the whole process of getting on the show

I applied online on the MTV casting website. They ask you what you envision your party to be and then if they think you’re kind of cool they email you back. You have to fill out a questionnaire of like 100 questions. It’s all crazy stuff like your family’s income, how you want your party, stuff like that. And then they called me and were just like, “Yeah, we think you’re cool. We’re going to send some of our producers out to do a pilot.” I was like, “Great, when? Do I have time?” And they were like “We’re coming tomorrow.” So that was kind of quick, kind of crazy.

Did the show contribute to the party in any way?

No, nothing at all. There’s no compensation. They just come and follow you around for three weeks.

So what’s the filming schedule like? How long did you film every day?

Literally from waking up to falling asleep. It was long nights. I would get three or four hours of sleep at the most. They’re already at my house before I even get out of bed. They’re there until after I go to sleep. It’s crazy.

Did they ever have you go back and re-shoot things?

Yeah. If I would say something funny or that they thought was dramatic they would ask me to repeat it, which is annoying because then it’s not the same. It’s not as genuine as it was before. It sounds kind of fake. Before the party, they only send out two producers so when I would walk into a place I would have to walk back out so they could get it from different angles because there’s only two of them.

Did the producers encourage you to act a certain way or was it pretty natural?

Honestly, for the most part it’s [the producers] kind of pushing you. They’ll ask those irritating questions, like when I was picking out my car my dad had already bought the car and I didn’t know, so when I got there I saw the car, the exact one I wanted, but it already had the license plate sticker on it and I know that they don’t put that sticker on it until it’s purchased. So I was freaking out, and they’re like, “No, you’re not supposed to know the car is yours!” just getting so upset. And I’m like, “I know, but I know that it’s mine!” And they made me test drive a different car that was grey, and they knew that the car that I wanted was white, so they kept saying, “Well how to you feel about the color? You don’t like the color, right? You don’t like this, right? How does that make you feel? Does it make you mad because it’s not white?” So they’re pushing you to be annoying.

Nikki picks out shoes for her party

Tell me a little bit about the party itself

I just told my dad that I wanted to do a casino-style, and I honestly had no idea anything what was going to happen at all other than I would have an outfit change and then that it would be Vegas-style. I didn’t know anything. My dad planned the entire thing. His staff planned it all. So everything that happened was a complete surprise.

After the episode aired, what was the reaction like?

After it aired, I didn’t think that it was going to be as big of a deal as it was, only because back then Facebook had just started, so we had Myspace — but there was no Instagram, no Twitter. So the only reviews that I could read from a social media standpoint was what people would post on their actual websites. There was just stuff like, “She’s a spoiled brat,” stuff like that. But people in my hometown would be freaking out. I’d be at the store and they’d be like, “Oh my god, can we take a picture?” I didn’t think it was such a big deal.

What was your favorite part about being on the show? Your least favorite?

My favorite part was probably just the experience. I feel like everyone wants their spotlight at some point. Most people want to be famous, I would say. And so that was cool, but that leads into my least favorite part because my least favorite part was that they literally were following me all day every day. I would have to plan escapes to get a break. I would have to jump the fence and leave and then they’d be calling me freaking out, being like, ‘You better not be doing anything dramatic while we’re not there.’ It was just crazy. Honestly, I watch the Kardashians now and I don’t know how they do it.

What did you do for your seventeenth birthday?

We just rented out a club that we have here and all my friends came. It wasn’t as dramatic, obviously.

Nikki is now a student at the University of Texas

Is there anything else you want to add?

The only advice I have for people that are going to be on the show is you know how when you’re watching it and you hear [the voiceovers]? It’s all fake. Everything is scripted. You have to sit in a room and read off a script for like eight hours. Just completely boring, saying things that I wouldn’t even say, things that most people wouldn’t say, like, “I think that people are so jealous of me because…” It’s just too much. I would never say that. I would ask if they could reword it and they would say “No, you have to say it exactly as it’s scripted.” That’s the only thing that I would say was the worst.

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