Casey Donovan has won I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here 2017.
The former Australian Idol champion won her second Reality TV title, ahead of AFL footballer Dane Swan in second place, and actress / presenter Natalie Bassingthwaighte in third.
Donovan becomes the first female to be named Queen of the Jungle, a title she has claimed despite bailing on more challenges than her co-stars. Yet viewers connected with her personality to vote her the series champion.
She wins $100,000 for her chosen charity, Starlight Children’s Foundation, and is understood to take home pay bonus for winning the series.
“I’m surprised that I’m here. I’m grateful and proud of myself, and everything everyone has achieved. I’m beside myself,” Donovan said.
“It’s been fun, amazing…. something you would probably only ever do once. But I gave it a go, I thinl we all did that and we can be super proud of ourselves.”
But the TEN finale was not without controversy with the three remaining contestants having to be rescued from a final challenge, getting stuck in non-Newtonian fluid.
Meanwhile fourth-placed Nazeem Hussain also let the cat out of the bag early during a Live interview in which he said, “We’re excited to see. They’re all worthy, and I’m sad to see Nat come in third because they all should be first. But that’s not how it works.”
But Bassingthwaighte’s third place had not yet been broadcast.
Co-host Dr. Chris Brown attempted to smooth over the gaffe by claiming it as a Hussain “prediction.”
A Network TEN spokesperson told News Corp: “Nazeem Hussain accidentally told audiences that Natalie Bassingthwaighte was the third runner-up. Nazeem believed that this had already been announced on air.”
Meanwhile Donovan, who was driving Uber in between engagements before joining the TEN series, says the experience has given her renewed strength to stand up for herself in the face of criticism.
“This has definitely taught me a lot of new ropes to pull and dangle, and hang from. So it’s (about) facing them when they arise, biting that bullet and not taking any crap,” she said.
“Every challenge has pushed my buttons in some way, shape or form.”