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I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

Dylan Lewis reveals the heartache behind his I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! victory

''There's the life things that aren't over, like grief from losing a loved one.''

By Erin Christie
Trigger warning: This article deals with mental health issue and suicide, which may be triggering for some readers
Last night Dylan Lewis claimed the title of Jungle King as he was crowned the winner of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! Australia for 2022.
He accrued the most public votes, beating out the likes of Joey Essex and Nathan Buckley to take home $50,000 prize money and $100,000 for his nominated charity, Lifeline.
In the final moments it came down to himself and country singer Brooke McClymont, with the pair embracing as they waited for the final announcement.
Dylan Lewis claimed the title of Jungle King! (Image: Network Ten)
"I don't think I would've survived without Brooke there," Dylan told WHO in the wake of his win, referring to the strong friendship they struck up during their time in the jungle.
"When it narrowed down to just Brooke and I, it was like surreal, and she – we're looking at each other going 'what's going on?'" he laughed.
"At the end of the day, I think I just feel humble and I feel a lot of gratitude towards everyone who got involved with either voting, or getting in contact with me on social media and sharing their stories about stuff … I just tried to soak it in."
The 'stuff' Dylan refers to is what formed some of the more difficult moments of his time in the jungle.
While explaining to his fellow campmates why he chose Lifeline as his charity, Dylan revealed publicly for the first time that he lost his brother, Quinn, to suicide 15 years ago.
The difficult loss remained an anchor for Dylan throughout the challenges of the series.
"I was sort of not taking it that seriously before I went in … like, I don't like germs, and I don't like heights, and I don't like snakes," he recounts of his entry into the jungle.
"Turned out those things pale in comparison to when it comes to opening up my soul, and being that real," he said.
WATCH: Dylan Lewis shares powerful message about brother's suicide. Story continues below.
"I've never done that in public before, never talked about this kind of stuff … that ended up being the hardest, but the most rewarding part of the whole experience."
Dylan's conviction to share was encouraged by his campmates, who created a safe space for everyone in the group to open up.
"It's a weird thing you wouldn't think would happen, but I think having all our distractions taken away, and being forced to connect – I mean, we were going to connect anyway, but if everyone had their phones there, we wouldn't have got those conversations," he says with a laugh.
"We were left with just real us, and if you remove also sleep and food, then you get raw us and emotional us," he added.
Dylan was emboldened by the friendships he made on the show. (Image: Network Ten)
"We all went in there with stories to tell and messages to try and get out there, about our charities, and reasons why we have chosen our charities.
"It did feel very safe … right down to the fact that we formed such strong bonds so quickly … a couple of days and we were family, and that feeling is going to remain forever. I feel really lucky to have met these amazing humans from all walks of life," he said.
Reflecting on how he managed to handle the many challenges on the show – including being buried alive for 11 minutes in a pit full of vipers – Dylan claimed it was perspective that kept him going.
"I keep thinking … we go around in real life and we have our hardships and we get driven, we have our struggles, we get through them, and those bits of life are harder than sitting there in a pit of snakes. It's relative, I'm trying to keep it in perspective," he told WHO.
WATCH: Dylan Lewis calls out to his family as he jumps out of a plane. Story continues after video.
"I guess that's what was going through my mind when I was doing these things like lying in a grave with snakes in my face. I was thinking, 'oh, this is horrible' … but it's 11 minutes, it will be over soon.
"But then there's the life things that aren't over, like grief from losing a loved one – that doesn't finish, ever. So, you've got to keep it relative and keep it in perspective."
Dylan also hopes to use his win to keep sharing Lifeline's message.
"I think just knowing that there is someone to talk to when you are a hard place is an important message to get out there," he said.
"Another message that I've been really trying to get out there as well is that … it's not about second-guessing yourself, if you are worried about a friend or yourself, don't think 'maybe I'll be right, and maybe I'll do it tomorrow'. Do it now and get in there as quickly as you can.
Dylan with his brother, Quinn. (Image: Instagram)
"Don't second-guess yourself … ring them up."
As for what's next for Dylan, we'll be curious to see if he pops up on reality TV once more, given this is now his second win, after coming in first on Celebrity Big Brother in 2002.
"I only do them every 20 years, ask me again in a couple of decades," he laughs.
"There's a few that I don't really need to do – like Married at First Sight, or any dating shows. And there's some pretty scary ones, like SAS – which I would hate to do!
"I mean, there's so many out there … I don't know. Let's just see what happens!"
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.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Who.

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