Ben wins Big Brother 2012 …and proposes

Benjamin Norris has won Nine’s Big Brother 2012 winning $250,000 and a new car -but he capped off his win with a proposal from Benjamin to his partner Ben live on stage.

“Since I met Ben all I’ve ever wanted is for him to be a part of my family. No-one’s going to tell us sitting on the couch at the end of the day pretending that we’re married that we’re not married,” he said.

The 32 year old Victorian accounts manager becomes the first gay man to win an Australian Big Brother Series. His mix of gossiping, analysis and humour saw him triumph over Layla Subritzky for the title. Fan favourite Estelle Landy was eliminated at the eleventh hour.

Final votes were Benjamin 40%, Layla 31% and Estelle 29%.

“I’ve never really won anything in my life,” Benjamin said. “I thought the only way I could win was to be myself.”

It was ten years since he had first applied for the series.

Runner up Layla Subritzky, branded as the “English Rose” of the series, proved to be a popular housemate with her vibrant personality, romantic storylines and occasionally ditzy comments. As the series runner up she won $10,000 on top of her previous prize of a new car.

Second runner-up Estelle Landy survived multiple eviction nominations but her exit on the Finale night mirrored 2001 third placegetter Sara-Marie Fedele. After being eliminated she remained resilient about her time in the house and defended her individuality. Upon being evicted she was trending worldwide on Twitter (#LegalizeGayMarriageInAustralia also trended in Australia) and took home the third prize of $5000 cash.

Nine turned it on with a dynamic finale with fireworks, dancing and surprises. It began with footage from former series on TEN and an opening number from evicted housemates. Choreographed by Tony Bartuccio, they performed Oats a la Layla and Gangnam Style (including a video appearance by Korean pop star Psy). They also led a congaline through the backstage area and the house.

All the evicted housemates also appeared on stage accompanying a montage of series highlights as  glammed-up Sonia Kruger looked back on the series.

Peter Overton appeared in a news package bringing Layla and Benjamin up to speed on headlines (including Obama’s re-election just hours before) -always one of the most fascinating features of the finale.

Benjamin’s mother Jane also entered the house for one of the show’s most emotional moments as mother and son re-bonded. Sonia Kruger also snuck into the Diary Room to surprise Benjamin, by taking him to the eviction stage.

Despite the sudden departure of one housemate for personal reasons, Nine’s Reality series managed to avoid a controversy all season -a feat in itself given the show’s tarnished reputation. It has also performed well in advertiser-friendly Demos.

The show ended with Big Brother thanking Australia for watching.

Big Brother will get back to you.”


  1. I have just finished reading all the comments and am glad that I am not the only one who felt this way about Benjamin winning. I have watched every series of BB and have always loved watching the finale, as I enjoyed this years, until the winner was announced. I was so disappointed I promptly turned the TV off. I certainly didn’t want to see him grinning like Mr Potato Head and thinking all of Australia loved him. I have never wanted a housemate not to be in the house, let alone win, as much as I did him. I thought Layla had it in the bag. Josh would’ve won if circumstances had been different.

  2. Ben’s quote from a recent interview:

    Ben: Did you see when I threw [Estelle’s toy] horse over the fence?

    I did, but I wasn’t sure what that was about…

    Ben: Oh no, I threw it over the wall and said, “Take your friggin’ horse that you rode in on!”

    It doesn’t sound like he was being nice, and he is proud of it.

  3. @David Knox

    It was clear Ben was a massive game player. This season has a stupid amount of collusion. When colluding, you cover your bases. Ben’s obvious strategy was to vote slightly out of the colluded bases target.

    As I said below, go to BB fansites from during the seasons, many picked up and was right on his tactics.

    As a BB fan who has seen a few international series, trust me. Ben winning is the end of what was great about BB Australia. It’ll now just be a show of people focused primarily on backstabbing to win, like so many international versions became.

    @Menicci there is no such thing as being too sensitive. Everyone is an individual. Yelling at someone for something innocent like making a friend, a friend who then stood up for her, is inexcusable. Every bully always blames the victim. I am sorry blaming someone for crying when being harassed is inexcusable. You can try to justify it. However it’s just something which in my opinion is blatantly wrong.

  4. I enjoyed BB this year but it wasnt a patch on the TEN series. Ben was a gossip and often spoke before thinking, but always admitted to going to far. I noticed that throughout the series Ben gave some pretty good advice and helped others like Zoe come out of their shell….. i noticed as usual people ignored this side of his personality. I voted for him to win and would have been happy if Layla took it out also. As for Estelle, what can I say, she played the zany card and lost. All housemates voted for Estelle but not Ben, there must have been a reason. As for the horse over the fence…. what a laugh! I think Ben was actually throwing to Estelle.

    • He may have been throwing it to Estelle, but possibly with a “take your bloody horse with you” attitude. If you think all housemates voted for Estelle except Ben, you must have been watching a different show. BB reminded us he voted for her twice and then persisted in telling her he never voted for her.

  5. It’s a stretch to call any of this comments trolling.
    I have read many comments on TV Tonight, directed at TV and media personalities, which were much harsher.

  6. Some reality shows you are judged for your voice, some for cooking skills. On Big Brother, it’s personalities being judged. The contestants know what they’re signing up for. Don’t blame the editing.

    Ben has 250,001 reasons to smile today.
    Good for him. I’m sure any criticism isn’t going to make him lose any sleep.

  7. @Dayman

    I was watching the same show, I saw every single minute of it and I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. From day one I found Estelle irritating and boring, a combination I didn’t think was possible until now. Whereas I thought Ben was hilarious. You can’t say Ben yelled at her till she cried. She was in my opinion too sensitive and unable to cope with the pressures of the environment. And from what I saw she cried a lot. The housemates knew her better than we did and they kept on nominating her so what does that say? Not just Ben but many others too.

  8. @Menicci
    What show were you watching? Estelle cried a handful of times through out the entire show.

    When Ben had a go at her for being friends with Ava. Getting the most Nomination points. And literally a hand full of other times.

    I love that Ben yells at a young girl for making a friend until she cries. Then his fans say he’s the hero and she’s playing the victim card. Come on!

    I’m afraid to tell you, Ben didn’t care about anyone. He play acted for the camera’s more than anyone else.

    The the main point is, not liking someone does not give you carte blanche to be horrible to them.

    There was a divide in the house. Those that went in for a shared good time to get along with everyone. Those that immediately formed groups and due battle lines to fight each other. Ben played the game the hardest and he won. I and many others just don’t think there’s any excuse to treat others like that.

  9. I think if it had been Ben v Layla then Layla would have won as Estelle voters would not want to see Ben win.

    I wonder why it wasn’t down to two like in previous years.

  10. Blake 444. On the contrary I think Estelle spoiled the show. Playing the victim and blubbering in nearly every episode. And when she wasn’t doing that she was banging on and on and on about how different she was. I didn’t see different, I just saw boring and what appeared to be put on zaniness for the cameras sake. The Lavender, the swans in the pool and the show jumping stuff all appeared to be disingenuous. You can’t call yourself “a bit different and crazy”, do a couple of silly things and expect people to believe that it isn’t done for the benefit of the cameras. On the other hand, Benjamin may have been opinionated and a gossip but he was entertaining and did seem to genuinely care for many of the housemates. Did he have to like everyone? In life do we all have to like everyone? If someone cries do you have to like them? No!

    I would have preferred Layla to win but I am just thankful that Estelle wasn’t in the running, yawn.

  11. My opinion is that Ben winning was a great result. He was far more entertaining and was smart enough to have worked it all out by the end. With the increase in exposure to the outside world this series, he nailed it with his ” you play the victim card so well” remark to Estelle on the last night.

    Yes he talked behind housemates’ backs, but I too would have been driven to distraction by Estelle’s kookiness, multiple forced personalities and the whole annoying “I’m just different” act being worn as a badge of honour. Anyway, at least Ben confronted Estelle several times to discuss why they clashed. That was a good example to all the kids out there 🙂

  12. It has been fascinating to see how impassioned the responses were to the winner. I was pretty happy to see those two in the final. I didn’t enjoy Estelle at all, and didn’t like Michael’s not so thinly veiled strategies. I enjoyed Benjamin immensely. He was quite transparent about his pot-stirring and when called on it, was able to admit that he had over stepped the mark. He made for good melodrama storylines for the producers, and he pulled focus for a lot of the series. Value per housemate, he was everything they could ask for. And he is the 2nd GLBT person this year to win a reality show – Margie on the Biggest Loser 2012 won too.

  13. The Sara-Marie curse strikes again. The fan-favourite throughout the whole season, who always has the biggest total fan-base, is pipped at the post because of other fanbases combining forces to eject the favourite.

    It happened to Sara-Marie in 2001
    It happened to Vesna in 2005
    It happened to Camilla in 2006
    It has happened to Estelle in 2012

    Because these women split audiences, (you either love them or hate them), they always have people voting against them (in this case, saving the other housemates) for them to lose, as opposed to voting for say Ben or Layla to win. Ben & Layla would of attracted a lot of save votes because they weren’t Estelle.

    Shame really. Estelle took up 75% of this years air-time and debate. Like the above women, she essentially was the show.

  14. @steviep it’s not trolling.

    If you spend anytime in the BB online community you’d have seen there was a massive dislike for how Ben treated others.

  15. I’m just happy that the comments here are negative about his personality and not his sexuality.

    And as far as “trolling” comments – I think most of hte negativity is fairly tame (unless David has been holding back on the really bad stuff)

    I didn’t warm to the guy – and many of my firends didn’t warm to Estelle.

  16. For those that missed any of it, it’s being repeated on GO! tonight (Thursday) at 5.30pm. And for the record, I too am on the anti-Benjamin train…he wasn’t nice at all…(that’s me being polite)…

  17. David, I agree with you allowing the criticism of Benjamin, particularly in this case.

    Earlier on in another BB post you said to one person (not me) that if that they didn’t like the fact that BB didn’t have live streaming (or an up late show) that they didn’t have to watch it.

    I felt similar to this person and after weeks of not getting to fully know the participants in the show (and not being able to see their personality beyond a brief 22 min snapshot divided by over a dozen participants per 24 hours), I gave up.

    This was probably the first season of BB that I didn’t bother to watch the full season, whether that’s because I’m in my 30’s now or because of the poor editing or lack of access to the show (and it wasn’t like I watched live streaming in the past – I used to watch up late and FNG), I can’t see me coming along for the ride next year based on its current form.

    But maybe I am not the target audience, as it seems to be aimed at family now and I haven’t got any kids that I know about!

  18. jezza the first original one

    2 things….its good to see the “bad guy” win, its good that the “bad guy” happens to be gay….another stereoype demolished…

  19. Amazing how the final announcement of a series can actually ruin it. As Ben had been himself and entertaining to watch I was happy he was in the final three ahead of the likes of Michael and Zoe, but leaves a bitter taste that one of the nastiest people in the house this year ends up winning it.