Celeb News

EXCLUSIVE: From crippling anxiety to leaving Celebrity Apprentice "in tears," Samantha Jade isn't afraid to talk about it

''I was bawling my face off and shaking backstage cause I was like, I can't leave this room.''

By Faye Couros
Australia first met Samantha Jade when she won X Factor, and it wasn't long before she captured the nation's hearts.
Now, she has returned to reality television on a vastly different show, Celebrity Apprentice.
The 35-year-old admits to Now To Love that she prefers the singing contest to the "craziness" of Lord Sugar's boardroom.
"I think X Factor is a bit safer for me because singing is my comfort zone," she says.
Luckily, throughout the drama, she had her fiancé Patrick Handlin to support her through filming.
Sam has made her return to reality television on Celebrity Apprentice. (Image: Ten)
"I would come home in tears or just exhausted, and I feel for all the partners when we were filming because it's very long days, and it becomes a bubble.
"You forget there is a world outside the show. Pat would sit and listen to me for the millions of times that I would talk about what is going on.
"He would say, 'There is a world outside of this. We're going to take Banks [the couple's Cavoodle] for a walk tomorrow' or 'we're going to go and have dinner just so you can remember there is a world outside of the show," remembers Sam.
Besides the emotional rollercoaster that comes with filming the show, the singer was thrilled the Cancer Council, her "dream charity," was happy for her to represent them on Celebrity Apprentice.
"I was so grateful when they were like, 'yeah, we'd love to be a part of this,' because of my story and how it connects with my mum. I lost my person to cancer," says Sam, whose mum Jacqui Gibbs lost her battle to cancer six months after she was diagnosed in 2014.
"You forget there is a world outside the show." (Image: Getty)
The mother and daughter were close, and when they found out about her cancer, it had already spread around her body, so they couldn't find the primary source, which is why the Cancer Council was close to her heart.
"This particular charity doesn't focus on one kind of cancer. It focuses on cancer as a whole, and I think that is really important for the people like mum, who didn't know what the main cancer was," she shares.
Sam doesn't go a day without thinking about her mum, and she tells Now To Love that she still yearns to call her to get her opinion and support, "Obviously it's so hard losing your mum like mum's the rock! She's the person who holds everything. She's the glue, you know?
"There is literally something every day that I think, 'Oh, I wish I could call my mum and tell her about this or get her opinion on this, you know? That that never goes away. And that I don't reckon that ever gets easier."
Sam shared this photo of her mum on Instagram. (Image: Instagram)
The Sweet Talk crooner reveals she always had some anxiety, but "it came on very strong" when her mum passed.
It was so crippling that she went through periods where she couldn't leave her house, and her chest pains would stop her from being able to do anything.
For a time, she suffered in silence, but when she didn't want to go on medication, Sam found talking about her experience liberating.
"I found for me; it was really helpful to speak about it. At first, I was kind of embarrassed because I was like, 'What is happening with me?
"And I don't know how to deal with this. When I became a bit more open about it, that was when I learned to deal with it because pretty much every single person said, 'oh yeah, I've had a panic attack' or 'I've had anxiety.'
Sam and Pat are finally tying the knot after multiple delays. (Image: Instagram)
"And that actually makes you so selfishly feel so much better because you just don't feel alone," she shares.
Sam recalls a story from her first tour when a panic attack struck before going on stage.
"I couldn't get out of it. It was my tour. I had to do it. I was bawling my face off and shaking backstage because I was like, 'I can't leave this room," she tells Now To Love.
However, in a moment of solidarity, her band surrounded her with support and shared their own mental health stories.
"My whole band came in, and they were really amazing. We all said a prayer, and they came in, and they were talking about their experiences," she says. "I was able to go out and do the show.
"I truly think that I became a robot. Like, I don't remember it. I don't even know how that happened, but I think, you know, due to second nature."
Sam's fiancé was also a massive support for the star, and she fondly remembers Pat coming back from the store with lavender oil, tea, and anything else he could find to help ease her anxiety.
After having to delay their wedding multiple times throughout the pandemic due to Sam's family living in Perth, the couple is finally making it down the aisle very soon.
"At one point, we were like, 'Do we just go down to the courthouse?" she jokes.
But after planning a few weddings, Sam says it made them more relaxed about the "little details."
"I think at the beginning you have this idea of it and how perfect it's going to be and all these little things. And then I think at time goes on, you're like, 'You know what? That'll be fine'."
Wedding bells aren't the only tunes shaking up Sam's year.
"At one point, we were like, 'Do we just go down to the courthouse'." (Image: Getty)
She is releasing a new song in a few weeks about finding "silver linings" after the "crazy time we've been through" since 2020, and a double EP is on the way, too.
"It's a bit different. It's just packaged a little bit differently. I've kind of split it up into two, I think, at this moment, because I've got one that sounds a little different than the other. And I think I want to separate the two kinds of narratives onto two different ones," she hints.