I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

"We felt like we were revealing too much": I'm A Celebrity's Toni Pearen reveals the reality of being in the jungle at her most vulnerable

''I felt like these people know me in a way that I didn’t even know myself.''

By Mark Brook
Ever since launching herself successfully back onto our screens on I'm A Celebrity Australia's 2021 season, Toni Pearen has proved she's got what it takes.
Indeed, the talented actress has all the makings of being crowned 'Queen of the Jungle', a feat that will see her win season seven of the reality show.
You don't have to look far to see why.
After enduring a harrowing challenge that saw her bitten by snakes, the 48-year-old scaled a 50-metre tower and took a leap of faith to win meals for her fellow campmates.
But despite overcoming her fear of heights and conquering the mighty tower, the trial couldn't have come at a worse time, with Toni admitting earlier that she had been struggling in the jungle.
I'm A Celebrity star Toni Pearen (pictured) has once again proved she's got what it takes to be crowned 'Queen of the Jungle' and win season seven of the reality show. (Network Ten)
That said, quitting was never an option for the former E Street star, who confessed it was an honour to represent her campmates, whom she has developed emotional ties with.
"I felt like these people know me in a way that I didn't even know myself," Toni told New Idea, referring to the way the campmates provided support for each other.
"Because we were facing the same challenges, fighting for food and all of those things we take for granted, you just cling to each other - it's quite amazing because you need each other for strength.
"I just found we all had those embarrassing moments when we felt like we were revealing too much, crying and not coping but then you'd realise everyone else was feeling the same."
When asked which campmate was her "rock" in the jungle, Toni admitted they all were for very different reasons but comedienne Mel Buttle immediately came to mind.
"When I arrived Mel Buttle and I really connected and we helped each other up. She was struggling and I was having my own difficulties and I just loved her sense of humour, it kept me going.
Toni admitted she and Mel Buttle (pictured) supported each other in the jungle. (Network Ten)
"Whenever I was feeling any kind of difficulties she would just make me laugh, which is always a good tonic," she said.
The Walkaway Lover singer then gave insight into several other campmates who individually provided support at one time or another in the jungle.
"Grant was a great and steadying force for me," Toni recalled. "He really pushed me forward in many ways and Jess was amazing being a mum herself, we just stood by each other.
"Colin also had my back. He was always looking out for me and didn't even need to say anything. He'd just give me a look – that's how close we all were. It was pretty special."
When asked who her least favourite campmate was, Toni insisted she didn't have one, However, there were a few celebs – including a former 'housewife', whose annoying traits were hard to ignore.
"Pettifleur complained about the food a lot and that sometimes got the better of us," Toni confessed.
Toni confessed Pettifleur Berenger (centre) could complain a bit. (Network Ten)
"She was always throwing in little comments and you'd have to bite your tongue – especially when we'd been in a trial – because we were exhausted and hungry and a little side comment from Pettifleur that the food wasn't up to scratch was always a bit difficult."
Other campmates who left a lasting impression was Dippa, (aka Robert DiPierdomenico), whose snoring kept the celebs awake and Ash, whose shirtless torso was a constant source of distraction.
"Dippa's snoring continued to be annoying. But I learned to live with it after a while," Toni said.
"I got to a point where I was putting toilet paper in my ears so I could actually get some sleep because the snoring was off the charts some nights."
Despite several annoying traits, Toni said, overall, the experience of being in the jungle alongside the other celebrities was an experience she'll appreciate and remember forever.
"On a whole it was pretty fantastic and I truly appreciate everyone that was in the camp. They all gave something really important. Every single one of them helped me at certain times," she said.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, New Idea.

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