FAMILIES of this year’s top four I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! contestants say they’ve already won regardless of who is crowned king or queen of the jungle.
Casey Donovan, Nazeem Hussain, Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Dane Swan have been reunited with their loved ones after six weeks roughing it in the South African jungle on the Channel Ten reality show.
“Casey has already won for herself, that is what this was all about,” Donovan’s mum, Tracy Axford said, having flown in from Sydney.
“She looks so healthy in the face. I didn’t think she’d do half the things she did, honestly. Just to do these things, she would never have thought she could because of the weight.”
Donovan, 28, was previously best known for winning Australian Idol when she was 16. Her jungle journey has seen her overcome many of the severe anxieties she suffers, as well as losing nearly 20kgs.
“People knew Casey as a young, naive, teenager who couldn’t talk much,” Axford said. “She has grown and she is a bit of a sponge, watching and learning.”
The top four are competing to win the crown, but also $100,000 for their chosen charities. The series three winner will be announced on Monday night.
Natalie Bassingthwaighte has perhaps struggled the most being away from her family.
Before going into the jungle she predicted that if she quit the show that it would be from missing husband, Cameron McGlinchey, and children, Harper, six, and Hendrix, four, not the various Tucker Trials the celebrities have endured.
“She is obviously more resilient and stronger than people realise,” McGlinchey told News Corp, adding that he believes his wife looks more beautiful without the usual hair and make-up and designer clothes we see her wearing. “Her hair and her face, she’s beautiful. That’s how she looks at home and I love it. But on television, the preparation and everything that goes into it is very different to this, they just layer it on. I prefer the natural look.”
AFL legend Dane Swan’s girlfriend of nine years Taylor Wilson is grateful Australia has seen a different side to her heavily tattooed partner.
“Knowing his personality I think people have been really surprised at how introverted he is and how quiet he is. He is being himself and that is really nice to see,” Wilson said.
Swan has shaken his bad boy image, showing a softer side. But he’s also proved his strength through the difficult trials, not flinching when he’s had to bungee jump or eat gross concoctions or insects like scorpions and tarantula’s.
“He set this precedent where nothing bothers him so even if he is dying inside, he just has to go with it because he has set that bar of nothing bothering him. To be fair though, he is the stable constant one in the relationship and I am the up and down one.”
Comedian Nazeem Hussain has also been extremely popular, inside and out of the camp. Despite saying he was one of the least famous celebrities going into the jungle, he’s been one of the most endearing and has been at the fore of much of the interesting debate in camp.
“He is kind of known as the Muslim guy but that is just one part of him, he is all these other things so it is great that people actually got the chance to get to know him,” wife Shaheeda Abdulla said.
This journalist is in South Africa as a guest of Channel Ten.