She was one of the challenge beasts on Australian Survivor: All Stars and now, Brooke Jowett is back for The Challenge Australia.
Chatting to POPSUGAR Australia over the phone ahead of the show’s November 14 premiere, Brooke said that she was “very excited, and nervous, too!”.
Asked why she was nervous, Brooke course-corrected a little.
“Oh, for no reason,” she began. “But you know — you never know what’s going on behind closed doors and what’s being said and done, so it’s always a bit scary and exciting to watch it back!”
Having gotten “absolutely hooked” on The Challenge after competing on Australian Survivor, Brooke jumped at the chance to participate when 10 announced that the legacy reality series would be finally making its way to Australian networks. With her background in personal training and experience working with strategic and social games on Australian Survivor, Brooke said that she felt confident in her ability to perform in challenges on the series.
“Going in, I was like ‘oh, the challenges will be fun, that’s where I’ll do my best work’,” she recalled.
When it came to navigating the dynamics with some of Australia’s most chaotic reality stars, though, Brooke had no idea what she was in for.
Comparing her experiences on Australian Survivor to The Challenge Australia, Brooke said that The Challenge was “packed with excitement and a lot of drama”.
And while Brooke went in feeling “prepared for” the drama to come, she soon realised that there are some things nothing can prepare you for.
“When I got there, I was definitely not as prepared as I thought I would be!” she exclaimed, laughing.”I was just not prepared for the confrontation and the drama and the steamy hookups and everything like that! It was actually so exciting, I felt like I was watching the show being like ‘wow, I love this show!’ but I was actually in it?!”
Agreeing that it was a “surreal” experience, Brooke said that while she tried to reserve judgement on her fellow castmates, thinking “maybe they just got edited that way on their show”, she soon realised that in reality, some of them were exactly how they’d been portrayed.
“I was like ‘no, that’s genuinely what they were like!’ and it was… eye-opening!” she exclaimed.
Much to her surprise, Brooke said that despite her best efforts, she soon found herself caught up in the whirlwind of reality TV drama happening around her.
“I went in being like ‘I’m going to avoid drama, I’m going to do what I usually do’ but to be honest, it was not possible,” Brooke said. “There’s no avoiding when people are making things up, or lying, and there were a few times where I was at the centre of it, and I was like ‘s**t! This was not my plan, this is not going to plan at all! I’m meant to be the one who’s just sweet in the corner, how am I the one who’s at the centre of the drama right now?’”
Going into the show, Brooke admitted that yes, she “100%” stalked everyone she could think of to try to suss out who her fellow competitors would be.
“It was so funny, Brooke Blurton and I, we’d been friends on social media for awhile but we hadn’t actually met in person, and she’s helped me before doing some promo work for my activewear line,” Brooke recalled. “I messaged her asking if she wanted any of our new range and she said ‘sorry, I’ll be away’, and I was like ‘oh my God, she’s going!’ So I kind of had that in my head, like ‘oh, Brooke’s gonna be there!’, that was nice, I felt a little bit of comfort knowing I knew somebody.”
While Brooke didn’t notice any show-specific alliances or rivalries, say, Bachelor contestants versus Australian Survivor alumni, she did note that “there were definitely some bonds that were hard to break through” among her fellow contestants.
“A lot of people had connections still from out there,” she explained. “There were people who were friends going in there, or you know, ex-lovers and things, so it’s definitely going to be interesting to watch.”
As for whether there was anyone she didn’t want to see on the show, there was one name that came to mind: Ciarran Stott.
“I actually went into the show thinking ‘if Ciarran Stott is there, I am running the other way!’” she laughed, “For no reason at all, other than from my judgement of him on the show, which is on me. But it turns out I actually really got along well with him, and I think he redeemed himself a little bit with me. So that was nice! We love a comeback story!”
The Challenge Australia premieres at 7.30pm on Monday, November 14, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.
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