With 22 of the country’s biggest reality TV stars, sporting legends and media personalities living together and competing against one another on The Challenge Australia, it’s no surprise that there’s drama amongst the cast.
Professional boxer Billy Dib and influencer Suzan Mutesi, who were paired together on Monday night’s episode, had quite a complicated relationship on the show which led to them being the first two contestants eliminated.
“It was a bit of an anti-climax to be quite honest,” Billy tells Yahoo Lifestyle following his exit. “I was really looking forward to going out there and showcasing my ability and my skillset as an athlete.
“Being up against reality TV stars, I sort of thought I had a good chance of winning. But unfortunately for me, sometimes you're only as good as your partner. And I can see now that Suzan was definitely clout chasing and she didn’t have the desire to win like I do, and that’s just the way it went down.”
Suzan agrees it was “disappointing” that her time on the show ended so suddenly, but argued that Billy was the one to blame.
“I feel like my time in the house was stolen because Billy made silly decisions,” she tells us. “He said, ‘Well if no one wants to go into the final challenge to fight Cyrell [Paule] and Jack [Vidgen], I will. I want to’. But he was not thinking about Suzan.
“There was a little conflict in the house between him and a few people, everyone just wanted him gone, and it's sad that I had to be on the back burner of that and go down the drain.”
‘I was not happy’
Speaking about the moment they partnered up at the beginning of the episode, both Suzan and Billy admit they were reluctant with their choice.
“I initially wanted to be with Marley [Biyendolo], but then things happened so quickly that I found myself standing next to Billy and I was like, I guess it’s Billy,” Suzan recalls.
Billy tells a slightly different story, however, claiming that Suzan “ran straight towards me” when they were told to get into partners.
“I was literally shocked, but at the end of the day it is what it is,” he says. “I’m not going to bag Suzan. She did the best that she could and I did the best that I could in that situation.”
Although Suzan found it “frustrating” working alongside Billy, she acknowledges that it was all a game and she doesn’t hold any grudges.
“I have nothing against Billy,” she says. “Much love and respect for what he does as an individual, but our partnership was hard. I was not happy.”
Billy, who is a two-time world champion boxer, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he was keen to appear on The Challenge to show viewers a different side to him.
“I just felt like it was an amazing opportunity for me to go out there and showcase my ability in something other than boxing,” he shares. “Obviously I come from a background of sport, and I just felt like it was an opportunity for me to sort of dabble in the world of reality TV and showcase my skillset.”
While he says it was an incredible experience getting to meet “so many amazing people”, he reveals there were a few things viewers didn’t get to see on TV.
“What they didn't get see is how many clout chasers there are in the house,” he remarks. “There are so many clout chasers. They’re all there for Instagram followers, everyone’s chasing that clout, and it’s really frustrating, to be honest.
“Anytime a camera would come on, you can see clout chasers run straight to the camera. They want to be involved and they want to have their say.”
‘A very difficult journey’
Sadly, after filming the show Billy revealed to his social media followers that he had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer.
He’s currently writing a book about his experience, which will be released early next year, and hopes to have another opportunity at competing on The Challenge in the future.
“If God allows me to survive this cancer and I walk out of this place alive, and I get a phone call from The Challenge, I’m definitely signing up again,” he says.
“The most important thing for me is that next year sometime my autobiography is going to be coming out, and I want everyone to get out there and definitely look into buying the book. It’s about overcoming adversity, living the life with somebody who died from cancer and then being diagnosed with cancer myself. It’s a very difficult journey, it’s a heartfelt story and I definitely think it will touch a lot of lives.
“At the end of the day, I’m just really thankful for the love and support out there.”
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