WATCH: I'm A Celeb's Abbie Chatfield snubs Ash Williams
The winner was announced on Sunday evening as the cast gathered together again for an extraordinary live vote, weeks after filming wrapped in the Murwillumbah bushlands of New South Wales.
For the final seven celebrities, anticipation was higher than ever. Whittled down to the final two, Abbie and Grant Denyer, the sweet winner's announcement finally came.
Abbie Chatfield's face was at first shocked, then ecstatic as she realised the reality of hosts Chris Brown and Julia Morris’ words.
Of course, Abbie didn’t have an easy path to victory. This season was more challenging that ever—and that goes right back to pre-production, where producers were faced with making the entire season on-shore, in our very own backyard.
Usually, the Australian show is filmed in South Africa, with celebs facing unprecedented outdoor elements. You’d think hosting it in our own country might make it a little more relative, but trust us when we say it was anything but.
The first alarming feat came when campmate and Aussie comedian Mel Buttle was faced with her ultimate fear: snakes.
“I wanted to try and come here and see how well I would go,” she tentatively told her campmates. “I have been losing my mind all day… I feel like s**t doing this but I have to go, unfortunately.”
And that folks, was just the beginning. From that moment forward, things went from uncomfortable… to really uncomfortable.
We saw celebrities faced with their biggest fears—an assortment of jungle creatures imposing themselves on their personal space, creepy crawlies getting up in everyone’s business, and don’t even get us started on Toni Pearen’s snake bites to the face. *Shudders*
Ofc, like all good reality TV, there were personal dramas as well. From the love triangle starring Abbie Chatfield, Ash Williams, and an unsuspecting Alli Simpson, who entered the jungle as an intruder.
Then, there were the deep and personal confessions—Jack Vidgen’s admission about his turbulent relationship with his mother struck a chord, while Grant Denyer’s open and honest dialogue of his colourful past was both raw and unexpected.
But through it all, the celebrities banded together, stronger than ever—and that was empowering to see.
It’s a funny thing, human nature. In situations of fear, shock, and unrest, you can’t help but appreciate those close to you more than ever. This group of Aussie celebs certainly felt it—and we’re pretty sure they won’t forget it.
In the weeks since filming wrapped, the stars of the show have kept in touch via a group jungle chat, often messaging each other throughout episodes as they aired. Now, they’ll no doubt celebrate their winner for days to come. We can’t blame them—it’s been a true journey.
A version of this story originally appeared on our sister site, Now To Love.