ITV’s long-running reality show returned on Sunday (19 November), with a brand new cast of daytime presenters, soap stars and controversial right-wing politicians jetting off to Australia to face gruesome challenges and gruelling conditions in the jungle. You can read all about the contestants here.
Representing the USA on the show is Jamie Lynn Spears, 31, who is best known as Britney Spears’s little sister who rose to fame as a child on Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101.
Spears has threatened to leave I’m a Celebrity... after she faced emotional turmoil during her first three days in the Australian jungle.
She broke down in tears during Tuesday’s episode of the reality TV show, telling cameras that she was missing her children after her campmates failed to win her luxury item: a photograph of her two daughters.
After not getting her luxury item, Spears cried as she spoke to the Bush Telegraph.
"I don’t get it... this is not okay, I wanna go home," she said. “I do not want to be here.”
Spears then returned to her campmates and said: “I quit, I don’t wanna do it. I do not wanna be there.”
“I went to tell them [the producers] this is not fair. I quit. I don’t wanna do it, I don’t wanna be here, that’s so unfair that was torture. F*** this.”
As her co-stars comforted her she said: “I just wanna see my kids that’s it, I am struggling.”
Since arriving in the jungle on Sunday (19 November), Spears has expressed that she is deeply unhappy and misses her children, Maddie and Ivey, as she has broken down in tears several times on the show.
On Monday’s episode, Spears’s fellow campmates attempted to comfort her by running her a bath while JLS’s Marvin Humes tried to get her to crack a smile by serenading her by singing Mario’s “Let Me Love You”. Meanwhile, Made in Chelsea star Sam Thompson and EastEnders actor Danielle Harold tried to give Spears a supportive pep talk to convince her that she shouldn’t give in.
The first episode saw Spears complete a skydive before taking on the “Temple of Doom” challenge alongside Humes and Hollyoaks star Nick Pickard. Preparing for the challenge, Spears yelled: “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, I did the wrong show.”
According to reports, the 32-year-old’s response to the challenges has seen her labelled a potential “flight risk” by crew. On Sunday night, The Sun reported that Spears isolated herself in camp on Saturday and stayed in bed on Sunday morning.
“The entry trials for I’m a Celebrity are notoriously tough and Jamie [Lynn] wasn’t the only one who struggled through the challenges,” a source told the publication.
“But away from the cameras and scenes that aired on TV, it’s her behaviour in camp that has become obvious to crew. She has kept herself somewhat separate, not really socialising – and stayed in bed.”
They continued: “It looked like she is really missing her family and, of course, unlike the other celebs, who are all from the UK and mostly know – or know of – each other, Jamie Lynn didn’t have immediate connections like that.”
The Independent has contacted ITV and Spears’s representatives for comment.
On Wednesday night’s episode (22 November), Spears will take on a sky-high Bushtucker Trial titled “Climb of Cruelty”, after the public voted for her.
The news comes as viewing figures show that ratings for the new season of I’m a Celebrity have plummeted.
However, the 2023 launch episode, which saw a new crop of stars enter the Australian jungle, had an audience peak of 7.8 million, and an average of just seven million.
While this makes it the biggest entertainment launch across any channel, it was still down from the peak of 10 million, and average of 9.1 million, who watched the launch episode in November 2022 .
Viewers are attributing the dip to the inclusion of controversial ex-politician Nigel Farage, who is known for espousing right-wing views on subjects ranging from immigration and the gender pay gap, and over the years, has been accused of inciting xenophobia.
Since the GB News host was revealed to be appearing on this year’s series, long-time fans of the show announced plans to boycott it, and the ratings dip has been branded “the Farage effect”.
I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! airs Sunday to Friday at 9pm and Saturday at 9.30pm on ITV.
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