How Winning I’m A Celebrity Changed Reality TV For Abbie Chatfield

From the red carpet of the Bachelor mansion to the jungle throne, Abbie Chatfield said no one was more surprised by her win than her.

“I can’t believe that I even got in the top three, you know what I mean?” She told 10 play over the phone.

The last time she was doing a day of press interviews the 25-year-old had just left Paradise after being one of the most controversial figures in the Bachelor franchise.

“All of Australia hated me, people wanted to kill me, but now she’s back in action! I can’t believe it,” Abbie said. “I can’t believe I was in the same competition as Grant Denyer and I won!”

From her time on The Bachelor, the runner up of Matt Agnew’s season took some time away to recoup from ‘being dumped on a rock in South Africa’. In the time since, Abbie has built an empire for herself with her hugely successful podcast ‘It’s A Lot’, as well as her social media following and upcoming debut book.

“I’ve been lucky to have the platform that I have to question those archetypes and those categories that we get put into as people on reality TV,” Abbie said.

“And maybe people that didn’t like me, or didn’t know me, got to know me without any crazy editing or any crazy storylines. It was just us all hanging out, having fun. It was kind of the perfect storm.”

Though she admits she was extremely anxious about stepping back into the world of reality TV, Abbie described her experience in the so-called Aussie jungle as “the best thing I ever did”, that doesn’t mean she’s looking to pack up and move to the jungle camp full time.

“I’ve been saying all day, if I got offered $1 million to go back I don’t think I could. It’s the hardest thing in the world!”

One of the first things Abbie promised as she entered the jungle was that she was absolutely not interested in any jungle romance. Just a few days into the stay, however, things began to heat up with comedian Ash Williams.

“I just can’t be in any environment without a crush,” Abbie explained, laughing. “Any job I’ve had I need a work crush. Whenever I’m on set I need to have a crush on somebody to get me through the day so it was even more profound that I needed to have Ash as a crush.

“That was the only reason why the cuddling happened. I’m also quite physically needy, let’s be honest, so there weren’t feelings there. I just needed a cuddle.”

From the lack of food to the tucker trials pushing her to her limits, her time in the jungle was more difficult than she was expecting, but every day she spent in there was dedicated to her grandma, Carmel.

Just as Abbie was offered the opportunity to join the cast for the 2021 season, she visited her grandma and told her the good news.

“I saw her that night and it was the last time I saw her before she passed away. I told her that I had gotten on and she was like, ‘Why would you go on that videos show?’ But she was also excited and said, ‘If you get on, you have to tell Dr Chris I think he’s gorgeous’”.

Dedicating her time in the jungle in support of Dementia Australia, Abbie’s crown also won the organisation $100,000.

“It just means so much to be able to help people with dementia and $100,000 is such a lot of money,” Abbie said. “I know grandma would be proud. It means everything.”

Want more so-called jungle? 10 play has full seasons of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! to watch On Demand