Survivor

"It's actually had some benefits!" Survivor star Brooke Jowett says being brutally dumped on TV was a total blessing in disguise

Every rejection has a silver lining!

By Rebecca Sullivan
Remember when Sam Frost got mercilessly dumped by her real estate agent-turned Bachelor boyfriend Blake Garvey, in front of the entire nation?
It was absolutely awful. Being dumped is heartbreaking enough, but as Sam herself has revealed, getting dumped so publicly cut a particularly deep wound.
Yet funnily enough, with the benefit of hindsight, we can now see that that Blake actually did Sam a massive favour.
Of course, she dodged a major bullet, but the debacle allowed Australia to fall even deeper in love with Sam.
It created a groundswell of public support, and let's face it, a boosted public profile, which the 30-year-old has harnessed into a gig on The Bachelorette, a brave mental health awareness campaign and now an impressive acting career as fan-favourite Jasmine on Home and Away.
And now as another incredible Aussie woman, Survivor star Brooke Jowett, has found herself in the midst of a very public breakup with new Bachelor Locky Gilbert, she's also choosing to take her challenging experience and turn it into a golden opportunity.
As Brooke herself says: "Getting semi-dumped on TV has actually had some benefits!"
The 27-year-old opened up about her brutal breakup with Locky on the Shameless podcast this week, confirming she was "blindsided" by Channel Ten's revelation earlier this month that Locky is Australia's new Bachelor.
"I was blindsided," Brooke told hosts Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald.
"I had these plans with him and obviously they're not going ahead. So that's hard to deal with,' she said, referring to her Bali travel plans with Locky.
"I do feel screwed over. I do feel hurt, but Locky is just a small part of my story."
Brooke also clarified the status of her relationship with her fellow Survivor star, revealing they were not in an exclusive relationship.
"I must say, Locky and I were not officially dating and I've tried to make that as public as I could," she said.
"But it's the fact that we had things planned and in my head - maybe not his - I thought something would happen which he disagreed on I guess."
Brooke only found out she and Locky weren't a thing following Channel Ten's announcement. Image: Channel 10
Brooke is one of Survivor's strongest contestants, with a strong social and physical game. Image: Channel 10
She also dismissed claims the pair's romance was just for show.
"Some people say 'show-mance', I say romance. It's a romance whether I'm on a show or not," she said.
"It was real for me, it was real for him."
Survivor is a tough game at the best of times, so having a close relationship with Locky really helped her throughout the experience, Brooke explained.
"Out there, we were with each other 24/7. We had all these plans and we knew everything about each other," she said.
"And it was really nice having that out there, especially when I was really missing my family. Having someone who I just found comfort in was really lovely.
"We literally spent every second together. Every night he made us a bed out of bamboo. We were trying to play it down ... I was like 'We can't sleep next to each other anymore, people are going to start wanting to get us out'."
Brooke says her connection with Locky was legit. Image: Instagram
Brooke denied suggestions she was just dating Locky for strategic reasons. Image: Instagram
She explained that being one half of a couple on Survivor is actually a major disadvantage, and rejected accusations her relationship with Locky was a strategic move.
"In the game of Survivor, a power couple is the worst thing you can do strategically. Like, I would never have wanted to come into this game being like, 'I'm going to get in a power couple'. Because that's just like 'I want to go home day three'.
"It's not a good idea, but I couldn't help it. I really enjoyed my time out there with him."
Fearing their romance would be held against them, Brooke and Locky tried to keep their feelings for each other quiet.
"We toned it down a lot and we only spoke about some things whispering at nighttime and when people weren't listening," she said.
"But we didn't really hide too much, I think everyone knew what was going on."
Brooke wants to be known as her own woman, whose narrative is separate from Locky's. Image: Instagram
Brooke admits she's been frustrated at how her story, and the narrative around her success, has become dominated by a man.
"Something that's really bugged me, is [that] Locky and me were on par the entire time. I was making the decisions more than him, but the way it's shown is Locky is making the big calls," Brooke said of her portrayal on Survivor.
"We were both on the same level and watching it back, it's like 'Brooke is hiding in his shadow' and I'm making the decisions. Right now, that's something that has really bothered me.
"I want people to view me as someone who's strong, who's her own person," she said.
"I'm extremely independent and that's why I'm so frustrated with the fact that my name is constantly linked to Locky's.
"For me I'm someone who's strong, I've been great in challenges I've been fierce in all aspects of the game. I've played a mean strategic and social game, and there's just so much more to me and I hope people see that side."
She said the intense public scrutiny and interest in her personal life from Survivor fans has taken its toll.
"I Google myself everyday. I'm sorry, that's really embarrassing. Every morning, I wake up now and type my name in. It's definitely really hard to wake up and see photos of me and Locky everyday.
"Yes, I'm on TV but I can still get effed over."
WATCH BELOW: See the moment Brooke Jowett was blindsided on Australian Survivor in 2016. Story continues after video.
So, would she be up for starring as 2020's Bachelorette? Probs not.
"I don't know," she said.
"I think if someone asked me to do Bachelorette a while ago, I would have been like 'Absolutely'," she said.
"I genuinely, really do want to find someone, but seeing thinking about the show now, I don't know if that's necessarily where you go to find someone. Maybe the real world, aka Tinder, is going to be a better option for me!"
For now, she is working on some "fitness-related" work projects, as well as her influencer sponsorship deal with Nike.
She's also just signed on with talent agency CMC, which manages other Aussie media personalities including Sam Wood and Ada Nicodemou.

In the future, she says her goal is to do "travel presenting, a Postcards kind of vibe", referring to Channel Nine's popular travel TV show, and carve out a career in the media and presenting space.
"Getting semi-dumped on TV has actually had some benefits!" Brooke joked of her new career prospects.
Just like Sam Frost, Brooke's brutal breakup could actually turn out to be the ultimate blessing in disguise.