‘I Go Home A Better Man’: Tom Williams’ Emotional End To His Time In The Jungle
It was one of the most emotional farewells the jungle has ever seen when Tom Williams left the camp on Thursday night.
Leaving his mate Miguel Maestre until the end, Tom held the chef close and quietly whispered, “This is yours”.
Fighting back tears, Tom handed over a single piece of elephant-shaped pasta -- saved from a dinner the camp had won early in the season. “You gave it to me before I went to the snake trial and that was my lucky charm,” Tom said. “You got me through it”.
The pair were in tears, the rest of the camp were in tears, most of the folks at home watching were in tears.
Soon after leaving the jungle Tom told 10 daily, “I don’t win a lot in my life, I’ll compete as hard as I can and give everything I can… but I don’t win.”
Asked if he felt like a winner now, having spent three weeks in the camp Tom answered, “Yeah mate, yeah.
“I go out with a full heart.”
Tom was one of the quieter campmates this year, with some very big personalities in there Tom admitted he wasn’t keen to compete for conversations or in volume, but every time he was sent out on a tucker trial something took hold and he’d deliver every single time.
There was a simple overarching idea motivating him every single time. “The fact that you have to provide and do the best that you can for the nutrition and the strength of the camp, pure and simple,” he explained.
“That’s where an Australian spirit shines. If you’re in a team and you’re sent out to complete a task -- a mission -- and everything relies upon you,” Tom said.
"My determination will override any obstacle that was in my way purely for the fact that it’s not about me, it’s never about me and I wanted to go home victorious.”
And victorious he was. If bungee jumping out of a helicopter wasn’t brave enough, Tom also had to face his phobia of snakes by putting his entire body into a box full of them. Later he had to fight against every natural urge in his body to consume a “rot dog” and an entire, giant cockroach.
“I’m glad I got those opportunities to do those tasks that are in this wild and wacky experience,” he said. “I couldn’t walk out not doing a trial.
“To push yourself to the envelope and see how far you’ll go… you realise how strong your body really is.”
Obviously bonding with Miguel, Tom also made a strong connection with Cosentino -- someone he knew quite well from the outside world.
“I’ve talked to Cos on a number of occasions and watched him and marveled in his skill, expertise and brilliance,” Tom said.
Looking to the pair for support and comfort during his time in the jungle, Tom said both men were the ones to come over, lend a hand “and say everything’s going to be alright”.
While the lack of personal space in camp was the hardest part of all for Tom, who said: “You can’t even go to the creekside and think you’ll bust out a fart… somebody will walk out behind you and expose it to the country!” -- that closeness also meant they were mostly a harmonious unit.
We say mostly because after a new arrival Tom admitted things in camp have been… interesting.
“You don’t realise how harmonious things are until you get somebody driving a wedge into it,” Tom said of the camp’s most recent addition, Perez Hilton.
“If I had to endure another day you probably would have met Snappy Tom,” he said, “It’s probably better that I’m not there because I was tiring of the lack of consideration.
“It’s hard as a newcomer coming in, but he needs to try harder if he wants to get along.”
They sounded like strong words but for Tom, he had become protective of his jungle family.
The whole experience had a profound effect on Tom, who spent the past three weeks really considering what comes next for him. Prior to heading into the jungle he told 10 daily he was using the ‘I’m A Celebrity’ experience to quench an appetite for adventure. Now, heading back to real life, he said he had a lot to think about.
"I go home a far better man than I walked in, and that’s the best thing about it,” Tom said.
“My heart is full. I’ll be a better dad, a better husband and a better mate. More appreciative of what goes on around your life -- open air, blue skies, love, happiness -- I’ll be deep and I want to stay fit,” he continued.
“What’s next is to go home and see the family and get myself back into family life.”