'If You're Going To Kiss It, You May As Well F**k It': How Rhonda Burchmore Pushed Through In The Jungle
Cementing herself in the annals of ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ as one of the greatest tucker trial performers of all time, Rhonda Burchmore reflected on her time in the jungle.
Comfortably in third place, with a glass of French champagne in hand to celebrate, Rhonda said finally being out of camp and in the real world was a surreal feeling.
“I don’t have any gauge of time. It’s like being in a bubble. I know it’s February, I don’t know what day it is,” she said.
“When you don’t get eliminated the first two weeks you think well I’ve made it that far, but the closer I got -- Miguel just kept saying to me ‘One more day, one more day’,” Rhonda told 10 daily.
‘We’ve All Been Challenged For The Better’: Rhonda Burchmore’s Daughter Is The Reason She Went Into The Jungle
The undeniable queen of the tucker trials this year, Rhonda Burchmore needed a bit of help convincing her husband it was a good idea to trade french champagne for penis coladas in the jungle.
“I didn’t care if I won or I came third. I’m just so thrilled to be part of the whole thing and for Australia to see a different side of me.”
We didn’t just see a different side to Rhonda, we saw her completely invest in the ‘I’m A Celeb’ experience, never letting anything get in her way when it came to tackling trials with the roars of a demonic lion.
"I had this thought: if you’re going to kiss it, you may as well f**k it.”
Facing her greatest fears when it came to heights, swallowing all sorts of terrible “treats” and being zapped into another dimension, Rhonda did it all with one thing in mind: Her sister Michelle.
“My late sister battled the most cruel disease. That’s what kept coming through my head, I don’t care what they throw at me here -- it’s only short term.”
Michelle died in 2015 after being diagnosed with multiple systems atrophy, a rare neurological disease Rhonda said was “like a combination of Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis”.
“She was thrown that and still managed to have a sense of humour right to the end. In here, that’s what got me through, thinking what we’re doing is momentary.
“That’s why, I think I went into this kind of possessed, Linda Blair ‘Exorcist’ state, trying to wash out everything and channel an inner power to get me through those trials especially.”
A performer of stage and screen for 40 years, Rhonda said she had reached an age where she felt perfectly comfortable dropping her guard and letting audiences see “the real… ridiculously wicked Rhonda”.
“It’s just so beautiful coming out and seeing how people embraced it, I’m just over the moon.”
Probably the biggest surprise is how much her husband Nik embraced it. Before she went into the jungle Rhonda told 10 daily that Nik had told her he’d divorce her if she ever agreed to do ‘I’m A Celebrity’.
So it was a bit of a shock to see him pop up in a video message.
“I’ve been married to him for over 30 years and he’s never put his face on [TV],” she said. “Even when they did ‘This Is Your Life’ with me back in the day he wouldn’t, and they were going to pull the whole program. This was the first time.
“From going from someone that was going to divorce me to being so proud of me was amazing.”