‘Everyone Deserves A Second Chance’: Miguel Maestre Got His Redemption, And Doubled It
A little over a year ago Miguel Maestre was a devastated man, the first eliminated from ‘Dancing With The Stars’.
Now, he sits freshly crowned ‘King of the Jungle’.
When he was voted out of ‘DWTS’ it wasn’t simply a blow to his ego, he explained.
“In life, I always try my best in everything I do and I felt that I failed myself, I failed the cause that I was representing and -- this is very deep -- I felt that I failed all the families of all the chefs that are not with us anymore,” Miguel told 10 daily.
"The greatest thing about ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ is that nobody ever judged me.”
Recommending that everybody watches the show next year and that every celebrity gives up their luxurious lives for a few weeks to participate in a season, Miguel said the reason why he resonated with the experience so much was that it’s a celebration of the people in it.
“There’s no judgement of their colour, size, speaking, looks, where they’re from. It’s all about the people themselves,” he continued.
In ‘DWTS’ he lost out raising $50,000 for his chosen charity, R U OK? After his time in the jungle, he has managed to secure a $100,000 prize for them.
“It’s like a second chance,” he said. “Everyone deserves a second chance in life. My toughest job was being myself and I’m pretty good at being myself, so I felt really rewarded for the Australian public to join me on this journey.”
“I can come back to see Katherine [Newton] the CEO of R U OK? with a big cheque that says $100,000… the eight people who commit suicide every day this year it could be seven just because some guy who chops onions was in a show, crying all day. What an amazing thing to do.”
Katherine said in a statement to Network 10 that Miguel had raised awareness for mental health and suicide prevention -- especially around those in the hospitality industry -- as well as the importance of having those difficult conversations.
“Both Miguel and Tanya Hennessy’s meaningful connections with their campmates reminded us all you don't have to be an expert, just a good friend, and a great listener. We hope their example will empower viewers to start a conversation with anyone they’re worried about.
“We will use the funds to produce free resources for the industry to build on suicide prevention literacy and confidence levels to lend life-changing support when working or living alongside someone who is struggling with life.”
While he was thrilled to have taken out the title of King of the Jungle, Miguel refused to take credit for the win.
“I didn’t win this show over Dale and I didn’t win over Rhonda. The people that got behind me won it for us.
“This show was all about people being themselves, I will always be grateful and I could never be able to repay the opportunity. I’m just a chef, I’m not really that exciting. I’m just a chef!”