reality tv

In 2012, Layla Subritzky had the ultimate Big Brother experience. This time, it felt 'weird'.

British expat Layla Subritzky was an absolute hit on Big Brother Australia. She was the runner-up in its 2012 season, thanks to relatability and humour. 

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 had 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 told Mamamia back in 2020.

But it worked out in the Aussie audience's favour. And now a decade on from her time on the show, Subritzky decided to return for Big Brother Australia 2022: Royalty v New Blood.

But it didn't turn out how she expected it. In fact, it was nothing like her first time around.

Watch the trailer for Big Brother Australia 2022: Royalty v New Blood. Post continues below.


Video via Channel Seven.

Layla Subritzky's life after Big Brother 2012.

On Australian Big Brother in 2012, the British beautician made it to the top two, with Benjamin "Ben" Norris winning. Subritzky won over viewers thanks to her down-to-earth personality, and, of course, who could forget the tune "Oats A La Layla".

She also 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. It was a little bit weird, and I think that's what created a bit more tension," she shared with Mamamia.

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 explained. "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 said.

Layla in 2012. Image: Channel 9. 

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In 2019, Subritzky decided it was time for a change, and was looking for something that would 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 said to Mamamia. "It's the best thing ever."

Subritzky also gets a lot of happiness from her relationship. She and her fiance James, who's in the construction industry. The pair have been together for over four years now, and became engaged in March this year.

"Betrothed to my best friend, the one who has my back no matter what. He said to me this morning 'Just because we are engaged doesn't mean I want to tame you, I want you to stay wild.' Oh it's been a ride," she wrote on Instagram at the time. 

She also credited James for helping reintroduce her Maori culture to her. 

"You're there for so many people James, putting their broken pieces back together, with love. Keep being the man you are today, your people, is your calling," she said on Instagram. 

"I have a newfound love and respect for people who stop James on the streets, and want to learn, a million questions are so much better than a two second 'stare'. It's time for us all to have our spiritual awakening, to accept every culture, and to spread nothing but love, and if you can't do that, then at least share a smile."

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Layla Subritzky and Big Brother Australia: Royalty v New Blood.

But even though Subritzky has been enjoying living a quiet life, a return to the spotlight was around the corner. Perhaps she was also encouraged to return to reality TV after her brother David 'The Dave' Subritzky on Australia's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here.

It was officially announced in May this year that Subritzky would be returning to the franchise in Big Brother Australia 2022: Royalty v New Blood.

"As a 10-year-old watching Big Brother… I ALWAYS knew I was going in the house, some way, somehow. I'm so lucky to now have the opportunity to go in for a second time," she said, reflecting on the opportunity to return to the house. 

Unfortunately, Subritzky didn't last long in the house, saying she struggled with the new format of the show and found it unsettling that others thought of her as "a massive threat".

Layla Subritzky found her return to Big Brother "weird".

In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Subritzky said she didn't feel incredibly welcomed by the other housemates either.

"There were times in the house that I was like, I wish this was live. I wish people could vote. You know? I think it's just the beauty of the show, to be able to be interactive with it," she said. 

Listen to The Spill: Tully Smyth and a Big Brother shock the cameras missed. Post continues after audio.


Subritzky also said that when she walked into the house, no one spoke to her. 

"No one hardly spoke to me. Nobody really wanted to like give me the time of day. The girls saw me as a huge threat in there," she said. 

She also said that in the middle of conversations with other housemates, they would "just walk out", leaving her to feel left out and confused. 

"It was a weird, weird, weird, experience."

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What the future holds for Layla Subritzky.

When she spoke to Mamamia, Subritzky said she was hoping to further her career in the entertainment industry by becoming an actor. And for three years, she studied acting as well.

"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 said at the time. "Maybe a scary film. I don't think I'd be very good at comedy. I'd be terrible."

And thanks to Big Brother, people are still recognising Subritzky - mostly, when they hear her speak.

"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. 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 her original season of Big Brother as she did, especially being from the UK.

"I thought it was a fix. I didn't know why anyone was voting for me. I wasn't really doing anything. It was so awesome. It was so nice."

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This article was originally published on June 24, 2020, and was updated on May 17, 2022.

Feature Image: Channel Nine/Instagram @laylasubritzky.

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