I’m A Celebrity 2019: Jacqui Lambie Will Not Quit
With a massive bump on her head, dealing with chronic neck and back pain and living out in the middle of the jungle, at no point did Jacqui Lambie consider uttering the words ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here".
“Packing it in was not an option for me,” Lambie told 10 daily just moments after leaving the jungle. “I know what veterans go through so, no, it’s not the way we do things.”
That never back down attitude kept her going in the jungle despite the injury she sustained in the Sunday Slam and has kept her going for the last year since she was forced to step down from Parliament amid the dual citizenship saga.
Lambie was completely honest during her time in the jungle, and even after leaving had no issue admitting that the reason she decided to take part in I’m A Celeb was due to a lack of funding to campaign for her seat in the upcoming election.
“I don't have the campaign money,” she admitted, “and Tasmanians, we’ve got a lot living on that median line and just below and… asking them for money, I feel like a f**king hypocrite, I don’t know how else to put that.”
“We can’t afford TV we can’t afford radio, we can’t afford billboards and we don’t even have enough for bloody corflutes at the moment,” Lambie told us, adding that since she stepped out in front of a vehicle in 2009, she’s a big believer in fate. When the offer for the show came through she saw it as her chance to allow Australians to see different sides of her, and for her to get her name back out in the public.
“I’ve been really honest with this, my first year in Parliament with Palmer United… I was a wrecking ball. I had to turn that around -- and do that fairly quickly,” Lambie said.
“There are still people who had seen me and just wrote me off. I was hoping [I’m A Celebrity] may reach them and say, you know what, I know I was a wrecking ball those first 12 months,” she said, “I’ve turned things around. Nothing’s changed, I still have my heart in it, I still want a shot. I had nothing else.”
Lambie isn’t the only one attempting to claw her way back into Parliament, with Clive Palmer also planning a comeback, placing “Make Australia Great” billboards across the country.
“I’d much prefer Clive Palmer than Once Nation any day,” Lambie said, “I think Clive has learned some lessons from his first time as well. He has a lot more to offer than what One Nation does and I would much rather Queenslanders have a good look at Palmer United before they look at One Nation. ”
“It wasn’t just Clive’s fault, we all need to take responsibility on [the Palmer United Party] self-imploding. I think he’s learned from that… I wish Clive the best of luck.”
Much like her time in the jungle, the last 12 months have been a strain on Lambie, revealing that the fight to stay relevant was difficult for her mental health. But fighting on was just what Lambie does.
“I think it’s the resilience to say I’ve had to stay alive for a whole bloody year, I’ve still got to stay alive out there and this is part of staying alive, and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Lambie said.
And while she’s desperate to get back into Parliament, there was no escaping the world of Australian politics, even in the middle of the African jungle. One of the familiar faces Lambie saw as the celebs made their way into camp was Sam Dastyari.
Admitting that she loved having Dastyari in the camp with her, the pair clashed over all sorts of issues from the death penalty to refugees, but things between the pair were never uncivil, despite definitely getting heated.
“I think it was nice to show Australians that we can be from different sides and still get on quite well,” Lambie said adding, “The unfortunate thing is that Sam and I are both sitting on the bloody sidelines.”
Lambie’s time in the jungle was spent provoking her campmates, with her strong opinions on social issues as well as her brand of tough love. None copped it more than former Love Island star Justin Lacko who Lambie delighted in pushing his buttons.
But it wasn’t meant in malice, and surprisingly Lambie is tipping the model and trial dominator to take out the title of king of the jungle. She just hopes she was in the camp long enough to push Lacko in the right direction.
“I mean this in the nicest way but he probably hasn’t matured,” she said, “I look at my son who is military and all that. [Justin] has probably been covered in cotton wool a bit, just a bit too mothered. Sometimes you gotta give him some tough love.”
Lambie has no plans on slowing down any time soon saying as soon as she touches down back in Tasmania she’s hitting the road. “I’m going to go home, get in the Jacqui Lambie-mobile doing laps around Tasmania.”
“I was brought up that if you want to make your way in life you do it with your boots on and you go out there and bloody earn it.”