reality tv

Eight years ago, Layla Subritzky was the runner-up on Big Brother Australia. This is her life now.

Big Brother 2012 runner-up Layla Subritzky has been living a fairly quiet life on the Gold Coast for the past few years. She’s started working with young people with disabilities and has settled down with her boyfriend James. But Subritzky is now planning a return to the spotlight – in a very different role.

When Subritzky auditioned for Big Brother, she’d only been living in Australia for a few weeks. Originally from a small village in Lancashire, she’d previously auditioned for the UK version of the show and had been told she’d made the final 15.

“But I didn’t end up taking it up because I was over in Spain – I was living with my boyfriend in Ibiza,” she tells Mamamia.

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On Australian Big Brother, the British beautician made it to the top two, and walked away with a new boyfriend, fellow housemate Sam Wallace.

But the relationship didn’t last.

“It was a bit difficult because everyone was watching,” she remembers. “It was a little bit weird, and I think that’s what created a bit more tension.”

However, she’s still “best friends” with another housemate, Zoe Westgarth.

“Zoe’s my favourite girl, ever. I went down and stayed with her in Dubbo. She showed me Warren, her little country town.”

After Big Brother, Subritzky went on The Celebrity Apprentice, which she admits was “a little bit too competitive” for her. Fortunately, fellow contestant Roxy Jacenko had her back.

“I was always just floating by and if anyone was rude or anything Roxy would straightaway defend me. She was awesome.”

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Since The Celebrity Apprentice, Subritzky has been offered other reality shows, mostly of the romance kind. But she’s knocked them back.

“I didn’t really want to bring back all of the craziness again,” she explains, “and also, it’s so different now, with social media. I look at Married At First Sight and I think, ‘Oh my gosh, how do they all deal with that?’ It’s full on.”

For a long time after Big Brother, Subritzky struggled with trying to decide what to do next. She returned to working as a beautician, but had to put up with a lot of comments from people.

“People have such a high expectation that you should be doing something else,” she says.

Last year, Subritzky decided it was time for a change, something that was going to bring “positivity and harmony” into her life. She closed her beauty business and started working in disability community support.

“I help young people with disabilities integrate into the community,” she explains. “It’s the best thing ever.”

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Subritzky also gets a lot of happiness from her relationship. She and her boyfriend James, who’s in the construction industry, have been together for three and a half years.

“He gives me balance,” she says.

But even though Subritzky has been enjoying living a quiet life, a return to the spotlight might not be far away. For the past three years, she’s been studying acting.

“I haven’t really tried to get jobs yet, but this year my acting coach was like, ‘I think you should start putting yourself forward,’ which is exciting.”

She doesn’t yet have any particular roles in mind yet, but likes the idea of horror.

“Maybe a scary film,” she suggests. “I don’t think I’d be very good at comedy. I’d be terrible.”

Eight years after Big Brother, people are still recognising Subritzky – mostly, when they hear her speak.

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“I’ll be in a shop and I’ll be talking to James or whoever I’m with, and then they’ll turn around because it’s my voice.”

There’s also at least one seven-year-old girl out there who’ll never be able to forget her.

“The apartment block I used to live in, there was a lady downstairs who was with her granddaughter and she was called Layla. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m called Layla too!’ The lady was like, ‘Yeah, she was called Layla after this girl from Big Brother.’ I didn’t say, ‘Oh, that was me.’ I just walked off. It was so awkward.”

Even after all this time, Subritzky sounds a bit surprised she got as far in Big Brother as she did, especially being from the UK.

“I thought it was a fix,” she admits. “I didn’t know why anyone was voting for me. I wasn’t really doing anything.

“It was so awesome. It was so nice.”

Feature Image: Nine / Instagram


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