Content Warning: This article touches on the topic of depression which may be triggering for some readers.
After winning Big Brother in 2003, Reggie Bird - now Reggie Sorensen - is back and in the final three for 2022.
Though the 48-year-old reality TV veteran explains that comparing the two experiences is like "chalk and cheese".
"First time, all I wanted was a holiday, and I got a holiday; I laid by the pool. And this time around was just full on with the challenges," Reggie tells TV WEEK.
Despite the competitive nature of the show, Reggie has managed to make it to the end along with newbies Taras and Johnson – with the winner coming down to a public vote.
But the 48-year-old was almost pipped at the post after being voted out by her fellow housemates along with OG Estelle Landy in what was a surprise double eviction. It was newbies Johnson and Aleisha who organised the blindside.
"I didn't know what happened; I was in so much shock as well," Reggie explains.
"I'm thinking: 'Who did this? Who voted me out?'. And I thought it couldn't be Johnson because he said he'd never do that to me."
Luckily for fans, Reggie and Estelle were saved by Big Brother and placed into an arcade room, with both of them returning to fight for their place in the competition.
"It wasn't until I got back into the house and I found out that it was Johnson and Alicia. So I was like: 'Oh my goodness, this house is crazy'," she laughs.
After winning Big Brother for the first time in 2003, Reggie has been dealt a bad hand. In 2004, she was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa and is now legally blind.
WATCH: Reggie Bird wins Big Brother 2003. Article continues after video
The reality star also suffered a stroke in 2017 as a result of a heart condition, was swindled out of her money, and nearly faced eviction from the home she shares with her children.
What's more, Reggie's youngest son Lucas is currently grappling with cystic fibrosis.
As life keeps throwing her curveballs, the 48-year-old tells TV WEEK how she stays resilient.
"I think it's a matter of you just got to get on with it," she says.
"Years ago, when I couldn't drive anymore and handed in my driver's license, I lost all of my independence. And then, you know, with Lucas' illness, I went through a lot of depression back then."
She continues: "But I managed to pull through and I think that what will be, will be, and I've just got to make the most of every day. That's how I look at life."
Reggie's kids are at the heart and soul of what she does, with the mum telling TV WEEK about an emotional unseen moment in the house involving her children.
"During the heart rate challenge, the kids came up on the screen and that's when I totally lost it. I broke down."
Currently, according to Sportsbet, Reggie is predicted to win Big Brother for a second time, but the reality star warns viewers not to get complacent.
"I'm not confident at all," she says.
"A lot of people think: 'Oh, Reggie's won it before, she's got it in the bag' and just sit back and not vote.
"I don't really know what's going to happen, but I just need people to vote. That's the main thing."
Watch the Live Big Brother Grand Final at 7.30pm Tuesday on Channel 7 and 7plus. Cast your vote now at bigbrother.com.au.
If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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