'All I saw was concrete and no sky': Stars of Breaking Amish admit they had no idea what they were signing up for with new TLC showBreaking Amish premieres on Sunday September 9th
18:11 GMT, 7 September 2012
The stars of new reality series Breaking Amish have admitted they had no idea what they were signing up for when they agreed to leave their sheltered lives for New York City.
When TLC producers approached Kate, 21 and Sabrina, 25, the pair saw an opportunity to escape their restrictive Pennsylvania Amish and Mennonite communities, and follow dreams such as modelling and driving cars.
However, Sabrina says they had been so protected from the wider world, the concept of reality TV was very foreign to them. She told the Today show this morning: 'I freaked out. I had no idea what to expect. When I got here all I saw was concrete and could not see the sky.'
Scroll down for video
Breaking Amish: Sabrina, 25 (left), and Kate, 21 (right) stars of the new TLC reality series about young Amish folk leaving their rural surroundings for New York City, have revealed the overwhelming culture shock they faced entering the 'real' world
The new show, premiering September 9th, follows the lives of five Amish and Mennonite 20 to
30-somethings who have never left their homes before, showing the group as they shop for non-Amish clothing, and lingerie, for the very first time.
During the show Kate is convicted of a DUI, while others are unable to make sense of elevators, ATMs, and at one point, an airplane. The stars say it quickly became obvious they had no idea what lay ahead of them when they agreed to join the new show.
'I don't think [the concept] really sank in right away. I don't think I realized exactly what everything held,' Kate said.
Sabrina, who is adopted, explained that leaving her tight knit community was harder than she expected. She said: 'You basically
give up everything to find out what's out there. I mean, it's hard.'
The 25-year-old Mennonite comes from Italian
and Puerto Rico decent and has struggled to identify with the community
she has been raised in. The city promised exposure to her
heritage – and the chance to discover her parents.
Too loud: Kate,the daughter of her town's bishop, says she struggled to adapt to the overwhelming Big Apple, filled with technology and noise
Amish in the City: The show's producers dismissed any notion of concern in the possible exploitation of the show's stars, who had not been exposed to media culture before
The show's producers dismissed
any notion of possible exploitation of the show's stars, who had not
been exposed to media culture before.
Executive producer Shannon
Evangelista told Today: 'First of all, we were down in Lancaster County
for over a year and a half doing research. We had an Amish and Mennonite
producer that reached out to our cast and knew them personally.'
and every person on the show had already planned on leaving. It was
something that was important to them. So we just made it possible for
them to do that with a safety net and with others that felt the same.'
Eric Evangelista, also an executive producer on the show, explained the difficulty of shooting in the Amish community.
said: 'You have to be very respectful of everybody. You have to go in
with a small crew, similar to a news crew and really be respectful of
the area and the beliefs of the people we're filming.'
Kate, the daughter of her town's bishop who has always dreamed of a career in
fashion, says she struggled to adapt
to the overwhelming Big Apple, filled with technology.
'My first reaction was like, “It's so loud!” she explained.
'I didn’t know anything about computer systems. I ended up spazzing out,' she told New York Daily News.
Breaking new ground: Kate, Jeremiah, Sabrina, Abe and Rebecca (from l-r) have all left their strict Mennonite and Amish communities throughout the U.S. for New York City in the new TLC show Breaking Amish
Worlds away: Kate, pictured at home in the community where she was raised, has always dreamed of a career in fashion. She used to paint her nails with markers as a child, pretending it was in fact nail polish
Rebel: The pretty brunette, who has been convicted with a DUI (right), hopes to work as a model in New York
New heights: Kate is seen to be baffled by the multiple buttons when she steps into an elevator for the first time. She also fails to use her plastic room key, exclaiming to amused staff 'I don't know to use this thing!'
The aspiring model is seen struggling to operate a
hotel elevator at one stage, unable to work out how her room key, a
plastic card, can be inserted into the elevator's wall.
When the pretty brunette, who is later convicted with a DUI on the show, realises the elevator has failed
to lift past the lobby in which she entered from, she steps out
exclaiming: 'I don't know how to use this thing!'
Meanwhile, Jeremiah, 32, and also adopted, leaves his Amish girlfriend behind in order to experience life in the city.
'I was adopted and kind of thrown into this Amish crap, you know, it's not cool,' he says.
He tells his girlfriend that the
chance to visit New York, given to the clan by TLC, the network
behind Toddlers & Tiaras, is something he
simply could not resist.
He is later seen struggling to
operate an ATM, telling the camera: 'I never used an ATM before, this
thing started ****ing out money'.
Retail therapy: Rebecca (left) and Kate (right) are desperate to seek out new lingerie to suit their new life
Free: Rebecca, a 20-year-old who is the show's youngest cast member, is experiencing a crisis of her own
Frightening: Rebecca is seen praying and crying at the same time when she travels to New York on a plane
Struggle: 'I was adopted and kind of thrown into this Amish crap, you know, it's not cool,' Jeremiah, above, says
Heartbreak: The 32-year-old (left) is leaving his Amish girlfriend behind in order to start a new life in New York
Meanwhile, Rebecca, a 20-year-old who is the show's youngest cast member, is experiencing a crisis of her own.
She is seen struggling to even tolerate the plane trip to New York. Like Kate, Rebecca dreams of becoming a model.
The young woman, who once shocked her
Amish family by punching a male classmate in the face, hopes to 'eat
sushi' while she is in New York but most of all, she hopes to fall in
Another character, 22-year-old Abe, is simply tired of the 'day-to-day monotony' his community never fails to deliver.
The wide-eyed group are also seen gazing up
at Times Squares' skyscrapers in awe, struggling to process the hustle and
bustle of their new surroundings.
One of them says: 'I've never seen that many people in one place going nowhere.'
The groups' escape to New York differs from Rumspringa, a rite of passage
where some 16-year-old Amish are given the opportunity to experience some of the
outside world before deciding whether or not to remain in their home
'In Rumspringa, you’re still living under your parents’ roof,'
explained Kate to New York Daily News. 'You’re not going off to New York and risking becoming
New scene: The wide-eyed group, above, are also seen gazing up at Times Squares' skyscrapers in awe
New beginning: Kate is visibly stunned as she takes in the hectic scene at Grand Central Station in New York
What a sight: The boys, above, cannot believe their eyes as their dreams begin to unfold before them
New look: Sabrina, above, is delighted as she trades her Mennonite clothes for a leather jacket and clingy tank
BREAKING AMISH premieres on Sunday, September 9 at 10PM (ET/PT)
WATCH THE FIRST TRAILER FOR BREAKING AMISH HERE: