Between all the staring and the massaging and the staring and the flirting, the 24-year-old model and 33-year-old retired AFL star have formed a highly charged, erm, friendship in the African jungle.
Fellow contestant and comedian Fiona O’Laughlin spoke for us all during a recent episode when she said, “There is so much going on between Josh and Simone… in my head.”
Of course, an environment replete with bugs, baboons and hidden cameras, where showers are cold and food is scarce, might not exactly seem like fertile ground from which a romance could spring.
But according to psychologist Dr Arthur Cassidy, the I’m A Celebrity jungle actually offers uniquely ripe conditions for the formation of a relationship. And not just because the contestants have been thrust together in close (and boring) quarters.
Dr Cassidy argues that relationships on the program are likely to occur for more strategic reasons – essentially, as a form of alliance. This paring off, according to the celebrity specialist, is a subconscious, primitive reaction to being placed in a stressful social situation.
“To combat the stress some campmates will form alliances rather spontaneously, [which becomes] a predominant and extremely important gamesmanship tactic,” he wrote on his website.
“Alliances are vital as people have to stay alive and survive in restricted diets, so strategising is central. Getting people to like you means a lot.”
Who they choose to form these alliances with, Dr Cassidy says, is a decision that tends to occur on a subconscious – and rather shallow – level.