Ahead of the grand finale of I’m A Celebrity…, we caught up with Brooke McClymont to talk about the series, new single and to dispel rumours.
For almost twenty years, Brooke McClymont has been delighting audiences as part of the country music trio, The McClymonts, with her two younger sisters, Samantha and Mollie. They have released six studio albums to date, including their most recent Mayhem to Madness, which debuted at #3 on the ARIA Album Chart and was the second highest selling Australian country album for 2020, just behind Keith Urban’s The Speed of Now Part 1. Their efforts have earned them over 175k album sales, fifteen Golden Guitars, two ARIA Awards, 1 APRA Award as well as one CMA (USA) Award, amongst other things.
Brooke and her husband, singer-songwriter Adam Eckersley, also tour under the guise of Adam & Brooke. The duo released their debut self-titled album in 2018, which peaked at number one on the ARIA Country Album chart. The album was later nominated for four Golden Guitars and an ARIA Award.
In January, Adam & Brooke released the first single from their highly anticipated second album. After Brooke performed Star Of The Show (co-written by their nine-year-old daughter, Tiggy) on the reality television series, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia, the song earned the duo their first national number one single, with incredible download and streaming numbers across iTunes, Spotify etc. It was also our Song of the Day.
Ahead of the Sunday night’s grand finale of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia, in which Brooke is currently competing in, we caught up with Brooke to talk about the series, new single and dispel rumours.
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Yes, I'd never watched it before because we don’t get normal TV here at times. We don't have an antenna. We live on 100 acres, so we're always out on the farm working, but my Mum watched it. When I was approached to go on Celebrity, [she was] like, “Brooke, it's the funniest show! The trials are awful, but just go do it!”
I’m scared of spiders, snakes, all the awful Australian reptiles, everything, but also I went, “I'm just gonna go out of my comfort zone, I'm going to do it. What's the worst thing that can happen?” Another thing I was scared of was the internet (People, with what they say), but everyone's been really kind to me, and everyone's, obviously, seeing my personality. When you expose yourself and put yourself out there, it can be quite daunting. But, talking to the producers and everyone involved in this show, they said, “We've got your back, this is not a drama show. We're not here to hang you out to dry.” That was another reason why I said yes to it.
I've been really enjoying watching it back. It's funny because I’d forgotten most of the things that happened so, it's nice being able to watch it every night with my family and seeing what I did [laughs. I'm giving Australia a good laugh. I took it in my pride to have a great experience with it, enjoy every moment … even if it was awful [laughs].
When you see me in the trials, I get in, and I have a go. You've got the win the stars because we are hungry. We're literally on 800 calories maximum a day, so it was a thing of going, “We've got to win the stars. I'm just gotta do it,” even if you were uncomfortable and hated doing it. As far as me winning, oh my god, I want to do my charity [The Grafton Base Hospital]. So, you know what? I would love to win it. But, at the end of the day, the experience I've gotten out of this, I really enjoyed it, so that [in itself is] a win for me.
I learned that I am mentally strong. I didn't think I was, but I learned that I could get through everything. I loved meeting all the celebrities too. I already knew, as I said before, I’m scared of everything. I'm still scared of snakes, of the whole thing, that hasn't changed. I learnt I can eat 800 calories a day. That was amazing. I was pretty good with the lack of food, that's all I'm saying. I don't have to reach for the fridge all the time.
I love that no one guessed me! No one had a clue! It was so good! The contracts and the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) on the show was really big so I couldn't say anything [but] I was getting so much enjoyment out of watching everyone guess who it was. I think maybe two people might have said one of the McClymont girls but, other than that, no one had any idea! I loved [how the advertising for the series, which made it look like a male was competing] threw off everybody. They really kept me secret and hidden [laughs]. It was awesome!
No. I was allowed to make up songs because they're not already published songs, it's a licensing thing, like there's money involved, so for me, when I sang Star Of The Show, they said, “Brooke, you can sing a song and we'll look at that.” My husband had just written one with our daughter through the COVID-19 lockdown and, when I sang it, I was so surprised they put it in, to be honest. When they did, we had a film clip ready to go, because we were going to give it to our fans like the people that follow us. I couldn't have imagined how big it went. We went number one the next day after they aired it on the show. It's incredible, the response we've had. It all happened organically, which is just amazing. The power of people, hey?
Every time we played it at our Hang At The Wang here at home, people were connecting with it and loved it. I've got to thank Celebrity for that, they didn't have to put the song in the show. They did and they've literally given my husband and I our first national number one. We said to our daughter, Tiggy, “It’s taken us 20 years to get to a national number one. You’re nine, you write your first song, and you get to number one. That's unbelievable!”
Rumour #1. Some of the rocks are made of papier-mâché.
No, wrong. They're all real.
Rumour #2. The waterfall on the series is fake and is turned off at times to conserve water.
When I did my very first trail, it was disgusting. I had offal and all sorts of off-meat, fish, everything on me. I went and had a shower, and they did have to turn it off to drain out the water. But I'll say this, too, it obviously gets filtered and re-done again. It was lukewarm showers, like we were camping.
It wasn't flash at all. I washed in my swimmers every day, which was quite a challenge to dry yourself without the cameras because they’re on you 24/7. I was like, “Australia doesn't need to say all my bits right now. I need to cover up!” They've been good with not showing much of me in the shower, thank god [laughs].
Rumour #3. Contestants get given extra food off camera.
The only thing, if you went out for a trial you would miss lunch, so you were given a banana. That was it. You got oats in the morning and beans and rice, which was meant to be for lunch and dinner, but we ended up skipping lunch most of the time because if we didn't win any stars, we wanted to put it into our dinner so we could get a big feed for night time. It's pretty tough, and some people cope better than others.
Derek [Kickett] and I were cracking up laughing because we're probably the biggest two on the show, like, “We've got another week left til we start really feeling hungry!” [laughs]. We had a great time. It's all there in the contract, so however you prepare for it is up to the individual, but there's no use complaining because there's nothing extra, they own you for the whole time you're there.
Rumour #4. Apart from the allotted one personal item (ie. your guitar), contestants sneak in personal items.
Yeah, so many people did. I wish I did. I would have put all my contraband in my guitar, but I didn’t because I'd never watched it. Actually, Emily [Seebohm], Cal [Wilson] and I were the other ones that didn't have anything. We were like, “Dammit, wish we'd had the heads up with that because I probably would have snuck in heaps of things!” But I was a good girl when it comes to all that stuff.
Rumour #5. Contestants are allowed to smoke off camera.
No. There's no alcohol, no smoking. It is nothing. I've heard in the past, they could, but then they stopped it. Even if I wanted to, which I didn't, you can't … no one gets special privileges.
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