Brooke runs deep

Cockburn Gazette - - TELEVISION -

BROOKE could be the most fas­ci­nat­ing con­tes­tant in the his­tory of re­al­ity TV show The Bach­e­lor Aus­tralia.

The 23-year-old Perth beauty – one of the youngest in this sea­son’s pack – is the first Indige­nous woman to ap­pear on the pro­gram.

She faced hard­ship and heart­break when she was 11 when her Abo­rig­i­nal mother died un­ex­pect­edly.

Her grand­mother died shortly af­ter, prompt­ing Brooke to move from her home in Carnar­von – and sep­a­rate from four sib­lings – and live in Perth with her English fa­ther and his fam­ily.

She is one of nine chil­dren, works in youth and mental health and is bi­sex­ual (al­though she prefers to iden­tify as Brooke, rather than a sex­u­al­ity).

And it seems we’re not the only ones fas­ci­nated with the pe­tite Aussie stun­ner.

Bach­e­lor Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cum­mins seemed in­fat­u­ated from the get-go, giv­ing her his first rose and key to the Bachie pad on pre­miere night.

“Hon­estly, when I got to the red car­pet and saw him I didn’t know who he was and that was what I wanted be­cause he didn’t know who I was,” Brooke said.

“I think it is an ad­van­tage when you don’t know each other and you can get to know each other on a deeper level.”

At 23, it’s hard to be­lieve any­one could be ready to set­tle down, but Brooke is dif­fer­ent to most women.

“I’m pretty par­tic­u­lar with what I want and I know what type of part­ner I need in my life,” she said.

“I didn’t go into the house with any ex­pec­ta­tions; it was all new and I just rode with it.”

We couldn’t leave the con­ver­sa­tion with­out ask­ing Brooke about the worst date she had en­dured be­fore the show.

“I jumped on the Tin­der train; my first and last Tin­der date. I met him and he hap­pened to be shorter than me, which is tiny be­cause I'm five foot one, and as we were talk­ing, a bit of chip landed on my cheek from his mouth,” she said. TO say Tegan was shocked when her Contenders tribe voted to send her to Ex­ile Beach on last week’s episode of Aus­tralian Sur­vivor: Cham­pi­ons Ver­sus Contenders would be stat­ing the ob­vi­ous. “I had no idea, which I think you could tell from my face,” Tegan said. “It was pretty in­tense but I loved watch­ing it back and see­ing how Benji was able to switch it up on me and get ev­ery­one to vote the way he wanted. My down­fall was that I didn’t have con­ver­sa­tions with ev­ery­body, so I wasn’t able to get a good feel where ev­ery­one was vot­ing.” The blind side re­sulted in Tegan spend­ing three days and two nights at Ex­ile Beach where next Con­tender voted out, Anita, joined her for a one-on-one bat­tle. “I lit­er­ally got dumped in the mid­dle of a beach and had no idea where any­thing was be­cause it was pitch black,” she said. “The beach was all shells and rocks and I could hear crabs ev­ery­where; I thought I was go­ing to lie down and have crabs crawl­ing over me all night.

“And I was ner­vous that I was go­ing to be com­pet­ing against one of the cham­pi­ons.

“I re­ally strug­gled at most chal­lenges, which sur­prised me. I was al­ways su­per scared be­cause I never wanted to let the team down. So go­ing into the chal­lenge just for my­self was ex­cit­ing.”

Tegan, an ac­coun­tant who grew up in Derby and boarded at Iona Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege, now lives in Broome with her hus­band Ben, two-year-old son Levi and one-year-old son Lenny.

Her Abo­rig­i­nal fa­ther is one of 12 and she loves her huge ex­tended fam­ily, in­clud­ing about 60 first cousins, de­spite them all think­ing she was mad for go­ing on Aus­tralian Sur­vivor.

“My par­ents al­ways en­cour­aged us to do what we wanted and this was just an­other crazy Tegan idea I thought I’d run with, even though I was still breast­feed­ing and missed Lenny’s first birth­day,” she said.

“Ev­ery­one ral­lied around and made it hap­pen.”

Aus­tralian Sur­vivor: Cham­pi­ons Ver­sus Contenders con­tin­ues on Chan­nel 10.

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