Big Brother's Reggie slams 'sympathy vote' controversy: 'Unbelievable'

Big Brother crowned Reggie Bird as Australia’s first two-time winner on Tuesday night, but not everybody was happy with the decision.

The star has come out and slammed criticism that she only won due to the ‘sympathy vote’, and argues she never asked to be treated any differently.

Reggie looks shocked on the set of Big Brother with her daughter and son
Big Brother's Reggie Bird took home the grand prize on Tuesday night. Photo: Seven

Reggie tells Yahoo Lifestyle that she’s ‘proud’ of herself for winning, and is glad she was able to represent people with a disability on reality TV.

‘Sympathy vote’

The ‘Aussie battler’ has a degenerate eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa, which has left her legally blind. She only has nine degrees of central pinhole vision, and compares it to looking through a straw.

Some viewers have been tearing the star down online, with one saying she ‘doesn’t deserve the win’, and another adding that she ‘played for the sympathy vote from the start’.


“I never once played the sympathy card in the house,” she retorts.

“I did all the challenges, gave it my all, never ever asked for Big Brother to change anything just because I’m going blind,” she says.

She believes that her disability makes her a stronger person, and she was able to ‘battle it out’ against her able-bodied housemates.

“Going in there, having a disability, it was unbelievable…I’m so proud of myself.”

The star celebrated with her kids and the other housemates. Photo: Seven
The star celebrated with her kids and the other housemates. Photo: Seven

‘Beautiful moment’

Reggie also let us in on some behind-the-scenes secrets from the live finale, and reveals that herself and the other two finalists were kept in a separate room from the rest of the housemates.

“We had a beautiful moment where we just said like, we’re just so happy that it was us three there together. And we all just have a love for each other, like we really do, regardless of what happened in the game,” she shares.

While runners-up Johnson Ashak and Taras Hrubyj-Piper were happy for Reggie, she admits that they likely would have been a little disappointed.

“They were happy for me, they really were. But I reckon deep down inside, in both their hearts, they would have went, ‘Damn! She did it!’,” she laughs.

Reggie raises her hands in a black dress on the set of Big Brother
Reggie has walked away $250,000 richer after winning Big Brother. Photo: Seven

‘I felt sick’

Before host Sonia Kruger announced the Big Brother winner, she paused dramatically — and it seemed to take forever.

“Oh my goodness I felt so sick, and I was so nervous,” Reggie exclaims.

“I was just waiting for her to read out either Johnson’s name or Taras’ name. I didn’t think that I was going to win it,” she says.

When Reggie was revealed as this year’s winner, all the housemates immediately swarmed around her to congratulate her.

“It is such an honour because I’ve been known as the Queen of Big Brother for so many years, and I lived up to that name,” she laughs.

When asked if Australia would have been upset if she didn’t win, Reggie doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind.

“Oh definitely. They would have been outraged!”

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