The housemates stayed within the confines of his four walls, sealed off from the outside world, with their every move recorded, 24 hours a day, for 40 days.
During a live finale on Wednesday, and after more than 700,000 votes, construction worker turned model, Chad Hurst, walked away with a $230k prize.
“I’m actually so relieved it’s over,” he said in a post-win interview with TheLatch—. There was so much stress and pressure. It’s a lot to take in and now I’m going to let it sink in and have some downtime.”
Flying mostly under the radar until the final weeks of the game, kind-hearted Hurst quickly became a fan favourite and challenge beast — winning the most challenges.
Fans gushed over his kind heart, his budding relationship with fellow housemate, Sophie Budack, and also his love of his family, in particular his “ma” and his late father, Neil.
Hurst’s father, Neil, passed away three years ago and was a huge Big Brother fan.
“We’ve got photos of him with all the Big Brother winners hanging up around the house. He loved it,” Hurst said in a previous interview with TheLatch—. Now, his own photo as a winner joins them.
“He definitely would be smiling and I know he’d be so proud. He wasn’t much of a talker and he’d keep it very simple,” he said after he was crowned victorious.
While Hurst is a very deserving winner, his victory hasn’t come without some negative attention — including the fact that he tried to oust fellow housemate Sophie Budack.
“I was expecting some negativity, but I’m trying not to let it get to me too much. I played an honest game and played everything from the heart and everything in the house was genuine and that’s all that really matters.”
Here, Hurst talks to TheLatch— about his experience in the house, why having Budack in the house-made such a difference and puts to bed the many rumours that have plagued his win.
Anita Anabel: Congratulations on your win! How do you feel about it this morning?
CH: I’m actually so relieved it’s over. There was so much stress and pressure. It’s a lot to take in and now I’m going to let it sink in and have some downtime.
AA: You sound exhausted, you poor thing. The last time we spoke, you told me there were photos in your house of your dad with all the past Big Brother winners. What do you think he’d be saying to you now?
CH: Yeah, bloody hell. He definitely would be smiling and I know he’d be so proud. He wasn’t much of a talker and he’d keep it very simple.
AA: Some fist-pumping in the air?
CH: Yes, definitely!
AA: What about the experience will you remember the most?
CH: The whole experience itself was so much fun. The challenges were one of the best things about the show. Doing all of these challenges were amazing. I am just so happy the way they did the show this year, the Survivor kind of style. It was just so good.
AA: You and Sophie were so lucky to have each other during the experience. Why do you think it made a difference?
CH: Yeah, definitely. We were so lucky to help each other out. It was also good to have someone to share your opinions with and what you’re thinking about the game. She stresses a lot so she could always come to me and I could calm her down and she’d do the same if I was a bit stressed.
AA: There have been so many rumours flying around and people are always looking for the negatives in a positive situation, how does that make you feel?
CH: I haven’t really looked into the negativity too much. Of course, I was expecting some negativity, but I’m trying not to let it get to me too much. I played an honest game and played everything from the heart and everything in the house was genuine and that’s all that really matters.
At the end of the day, I’m proud of what I did and so are all of my family and friends.
AA: Let’s set the record straight on two rumours doing the rounds.
The first one is that you tried to get Sophie out of the house after Casey went home by “cutting a deal with Mat”.
CH: Everyone is going to run with different stories. Mat told me that he never said that. It’s just ridiculous. It’s so stupid. Why would I ever try and get Sophie out or backstab Sophie? It’s funny how it’s all coming out now.
It seems like it was trying to get a swing vote towards Dan [Gorringe]. I didn’t need to retaliate. I’m not that kind of person. They want to go out and start spreading stuff like that. Let them do it. It just proves who they are.
AA: The other rumour I want to clear up is that you were in a showmance. According to a few people, Sophie was chosen at the last minute so that there could be a romance in the house.
CH: Sophie was chosen because of the character she is. Nothing to do with romance. She’s got a very unique personality. She’s such a cool girl. That’s another rumour.
AA: Thank you for setting the record straight!
CH: Each day there are more and more.
AA: Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, your work has really taken a hit. How will the prize money help you?
CH: Pretty much since COVID, I haven’t worked at all. This will help out a lot. Everything is shut down and I can’t see myself doing a shoot for months or travel overseas for a really long time. I also lost my American visa, so I can’t even work in America anymore.
I lost everything. It’s definitely going to help out a lot. I’m still doing the personal training which is bloody awesome and I’m putting all my energy into that.
I’ll just take it on the chin. Being a pandemic there is nothing I can do.
AL: How can people train with you?
CH: I’m at Fitness Playground in Newtown [Sydney].
AL: You’re about to get an influx of new clients! [Laughs] So, what’s next for Chad?
CH: I’m not too sure. I’m going to continue working. I haven’t planned anything. One day at a time, I guess.
Catch up on all episodes of Big Brother Australia 2020 on Seven Plus.