First came the crown and then the tears came: the make-up artist and reality TV candidate Djamila Rowe won the RTL jungle camp 2023.
The 55-year-old, who got a place on the show in a roundabout way, collected so many viewer votes in the finale of “I’m a star – get me out of here!” on Monday night that she called the Australian flatbed camp Queen could leave.
That was quite surprising – especially for herself. “It can’t be. They’ve miscounted!” she said. “Is that monitored? Like with a notary?”
In fact, in the last episode of the season, Rowe shrugged off two high profile men. First, the confident singer Lucas Cordalis (“I once showed where the hammer hangs. Papa has delivered.”) had to bury his dream of following father Costa Cordalis to the jungle throne, which he had climbed in 2004.
Then reality actor Gigi Birofio, who had enriched the jungle history books with many beautiful sentences (“My English is still shit”), could no longer keep up with Rowe.
100,000 euros for the new queen
The new jungle queen, who also brought in the not to be scoffed at in prize money of 100,000 euros, could hardly believe her luck at first. The tears rolled down and a real handkerchief was not to be found. “I’m really overwhelmed,” she admitted.
In her first speech as regent, however, she regained composure and thanked everyone who had supported her. “Who recognized my true soul and didn’t just pay attention to externals. Who saw what kind of person I really am,” she listed.
Rowe was presented as a candidate just before the start of the show about two weeks ago, and her name was not on the original list of participants. To a certain extent, she took the place of actor Martin Semmelrogge (“Das Boot”), who, according to RTL, was not allowed to enter Australia.
Not an unknown face in the reality TV world
In recent years, the 55-year-old has been haunted by various reality formats. Among other things, she had fought in an RTL “jungle show” in Hürth to be allowed to move into the regular jungle camp, but only took second place there.
Appearances in programs such as “Die Alm” or “Adam sucht Eva” adorn her vita. Around 20 years ago, she gained a certain notoriety for inventing an affair with an ambassador.
In the jungle, Rowe had slowly but surely and not at all obtrusively played his way to the fore. She showed wit, had anecdotes ready and a good feeling for people. She also talked about difficult childhood days in which she also experienced hunger. In the jungle she now fights for her children.
Secret favorite to the end
Even a pretty messed-up exam in the final couldn’t destroy her status as the secret favourite. Rowe stuck his head in a tank that filled with water. But she quickly panicked and broke off – without a single star. Your two competitors fared significantly better.
Fellow camper Gigi, for example, bravely endured a choking martyrdom during a food test, in which tears sometimes shot out of his face, sometimes the contents of his mouth that had just been fed in.
When looking for reasons for the debacle, the trained make-up artist Rowe then showed herself to be self-ironic as usual. Among other things, she pondered her rather voluminous lips, which had to enclose a snorkel. “There’s so much hyaluronic acid in there,” she explained. “Do you still have the right feeling to bite down this mouthpiece properly? Because there is dead material in here.”
As the queen of the jungle, the 55-year-old follows in the footsteps of jungle majesties such as Costa Cordalis, Brigitte Nielsen and Ingrid van Bergen. Her immediate predecessor in office was reality TV contestant Filip Pavlovic.
It was the 16th season of the reality show. After a trip to South Africa in 2022, it was produced again in Australia this year. Presenter Jan Köppen, who led through the show alongside Sonja Zietlow and inherited Daniel Hartwich, was new.
It will be months before the next edition. Rowe, however, already has concrete plans for the next few days and weeks. “I need everything when I get out of here. My forehead is moving again,” she said. “I need Botox.” (dpa)
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