Well, folks, she did it!
Australia’s sweetheart, Reggie Bird, has been crowned the winner of Big Brother Royalty Vs New Contenders, making her the very first two-time winner of Big Brother Australia.
Host Sonia Kruger announced the news to rapturous applause and cheers from the live audience, as Bird was embraced by her family and fellow housemates.
“Reggie!” Kruger said. “You’re the first housemate to win Big Brother twice! How are you feeling?!”
With tears in her eyes, Bird offered an emotional thank you to the Australian public.
“I can’t believe it, Sonia!” she said, her voice cracking. “Thank you! Thank you to everyone that voted for me, I hope I did you proud! Thank you so much, thank you!”
This year, the show celebrated its 21st birthday, and what better way to do so than by bringing eight of the series’ most iconic past housemates back into the Big Brother house?
Joining Bird as the Big Brother Royals, or ‘OGs’, as they came to be known over the season, were 2004 winner Trevor Butler and 2013 winner Tim Dormer, as well as ‘Farmer’ Dave Graham, Estelle Landy, Layla Subritzky, and exes Tully Smyth and Anthony Drew.
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They were competing against the New Contenders, and boy, did the newbies put up a fight! In the end, the final three came down to Bird, challenge beast Taras Hrubyj-Piper, and Big Brother superfan Johnson Ashak.
Despite each of the newbie finalists playing great games, neither Hrubyj-Piper nor Ashak were able to defeat the queen, and tonight, Australia’s love for Bird shone as bright as it did back in 2003.
It’s been 19 years since Bird won the series, and life has been anything but a walk in the park for her since then.
She’s endured two costly divorces, from first husband Adrian Bird shortly after her first stint on Big Brother Australia, and then from Dale Sorensen in 2012. She shares two children, daughter Mia, 15, and son Lucas, 12 with Sorensen. At four weeks old, Lucas was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
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In 2005, Bird also lost $40,000 to a conman who had promised to make a travel show with her.
On top of this, Bird has also been dealing with significant health issues. Suffering from a degenerative eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, Bird now only has nine degrees of central pinhole vision remaining. She has no night vision or peripheral vision. In 2017, she also suffered from a stroke.
Speaking to The Latch about her position in the finals in the days before the finale, Bird shared how much the win would mean to her:
“To make history, to win it twice, what a better housemate to do it than me?!” she exclaimed, laughing. “I know that sounds wanky, but to win it twice would be an absolute dream come true and an honour, to keep the crown on Reggie’s head would be amazing.”
As for what she’ll use the $250,000 prize money for, Bird said that it’s “a no brainer”.
“I just want a roof over our heads for me and the kids, so that’s what I’d be using the money for, and also that’s gonna help pay for Lucas’ medication,” she said. “It’s mainly for me and the kids to just have some kind of security and stability.”
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